$400 Octo set up is it possible?

evan484

Cuttlefish
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Hey,
The title says it all, im looking into the hobby but i have already put 1k into my 29 bio cube reef tank. I was wondering if i could set up a octopus tank for less then 400 bucks. I know its a stretch but does anyone think it could happen? if so can you give me the low down on the set up you would suggest?
Thanks,
Evan
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
656
I think it could happen, but you'll have to do almost everything diy. IMO, for an octopus tank, the hardest part of keeping to that budget will be the skimmer. Octo tanks require a very powerful and efficient skimmer. Here's how I would do it:

Get a second hand 55 gal, but preferably 75 because the extra width is extremely helpful with aquascaping. Make sure that you are getting it from the original owner and that copper has never been used (even the smallest amount is 100% deadly to an octo).

Build the stand yourself (if you're not woried about appearance, use cinder blocks and plywood.)

Get sand from HD or lowes for 5 bucks a bag (you have to be careful about what type you use, someone with experie
nce here will hopefully chime in on what type to use) and then get about 1 pound of live sand and mix it in.

For live rock, do some research about making it out of agrocrete, or use something like texas holy rock or similar, just do research to make sure it's ok to use in an aquarium. Get a few medium sized pieces of real live rock and spread them out through the dead rock in the tank.

---note: if you do it this way with the rock and sand, you'll end up having to spend quite a while (at the very least, 3 months, if not 5-6) to let it all get populated.

As for the skimmer, see how much you have left in terms of money, maybe get a good used one or do some research on how to make one. You are going to want a skimmer rated for 100-150 gallons for an octopus in a 55 or 75 gallon tank.

You may want to do powerheads or closed loop, I personally prefer closed loop because it takes up less room, and IMO is easier to work with. Powerheads would probably be better though on this budget.

set up a 30 or so gallon tank underneath the stand as a sump/refugium and just use simple plumbing for it all. (find a used, cheap overflow box, or dyi for 20 bucks, or of course you could go new for a ridiculously overpriced $70-$80. Also, make sure to use flexible hosing to bring it back to the tank)

If you're planning on trying to do a cheap set up for $400, you'll probably end up spending more like $500-$600 from the "low cost" set ups I've seen...

Hope this helps.
 

cthulhu77

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Only if you are dating or married to someone at the fish store.
 

evan484

Cuttlefish
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Jan 8, 2009
Messages
19
L8 2 RISE;131189 said:
I think it could happen, but you'll have to do almost everything diy. IMO, for an octopus tank, the hardest part of keeping to that budget will be the skimmer. Octo tanks require a very powerful and efficient skimmer. Here's how I would do it:

Get a second hand 55 gal, but preferably 75 because the extra width is extremely helpful with aquascaping. Make sure that you are getting it from the original owner and that copper has never been used (even the smallest amount is 100% deadly to an octo).

Build the stand yourself (if you're not woried about appearance, use cinder blocks and plywood.)

Get sand from HD or lowes for 5 bucks a bag (you have to be careful about what type you use, someone with experie
nce here will hopefully chime in on what type to use) and then get about 1 pound of live sand and mix it in.

For live rock, do some research about making it out of agrocrete, or use something like texas holy rock or similar, just do research to make sure it's ok to use in an aquarium. Get a few medium sized pieces of real live rock and spread them out through the dead rock in the tank.

---note: if you do it this way with the rock and sand, you'll end up having to spend quite a while (at the very least, 3 months, if not 5-6) to let it all get populated.

As for the skimmer, see how much you have left in terms of money, maybe get a good used one or do some research on how to make one. You are going to want a skimmer rated for 100-150 gallons for an octopus in a 55 or 75 gallon tank.

You may want to do powerheads or closed loop, I personally prefer closed loop because it takes up less room, and IMO is easier to work with. Powerheads would probably be better though on this budget.

set up a 30 or so gallon tank underneath the stand as a sump/refugium and just use simple plumbing for it all. (find a used, cheap overflow box, or dyi for 20 bucks, or of course you could go new for a ridiculously overpriced $70-$80. Also, make sure to use flexible hosing to bring it back to the tank)

If you're planning on trying to do a cheap set up for $400, you'll probably end up spending more like $500-$600 from the "low cost" set ups I've seen...

Hope this helps.

Thanks that very helpful. Do you think that any of the dwarf or pygmy octopuses could require a cheaper set up? My thinking is that I could scale everything down like the tank size down to around a 30, use less sand, so on, but still get a real big skimmer. I have also heard though that they are more difficult to keep then larger species and arent as "intresting" as other species such as the bimac. To me any octopus is cool as long as I can see it enough to know that it is still alive. Since I am (hopefully) living at home for another year putting 600 bucks into a tank that will stay home is a bit scary. Any opinions are apreciated
Thanks!
 

robind

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Nov 11, 2008
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Sorry to threadjack, but why is a skimmer the defacto filtration recommendation for an octopus? Are skimmers just way better with the salt water chemistry?

I have a 100g freshwater tank with a Red Ear Slider turtle, and my filter system for that is basically 500gph pump, plumbing, filter media, and 5g buckets. Would a similar setup for a ceph work, or is the skimmer just 'the way to go'? Because I'll totally make one of those too...I already have some of the parts, as it's been in the back of my head.
 
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robind;131194 said:
Sorry to threadjack, but why is a skimmer the defacto filtration recommendation for an octopus? Are skimmers just way better with the salt water chemistry?

I have a 100g freshwater tank with a Red Ear Slider turtle, and my filter system for that is basically 500gph pump, plumbing, filter media, and 5g buckets. Would a similar setup for a ceph work, or is the skimmer just 'the way to go'? Because I'll totally make one of those too...I already have some of the parts, as it's been in the back of my head.

I have never heard of, nor expect anyone would recommend running a ceph tank without a skimmer. I also know that you couldn't really compare fresh and salt water, unfortuneatly, otherwise salt water would be so much more straight forward :banghead:. Basically, yes, skimmers are IMO, and I believe many others, the best type of mechanical filters at maintaining salt water chemistry.

evan484;131191 said:
Thanks that very helpful. Do you think that any of the dwarf or pygmy octopuses could require a cheaper set up? My thinking is that I could scale everything down like the tank size down to around a 30, use less sand, so on, but still get a real big skimmer. I have also heard though that they are more difficult to keep then larger species and arent as "intresting" as other species such as the bimac. To me any octopus is cool as long as I can see it enough to know that it is still alive. Since I am (hopefully) living at home for another year putting 600 bucks into a tank that will stay home is a bit scary. Any opinions are apreciated
Thanks!

In my experience, and I have now kept 4 tanks from a 12 gallon to the 50 gallon temporary tank I have now while I wait to finish my 200 gallon ceph system, a smaller tank will not significantly reduce the overall price. For example, I didn't even have a skimmer on my 12 gallon, and have a used euroreef on my 50, and I spent more on the 12 gallon than I have so far on my 50. And in terms of pygmy's, I don't have any experience, but from what I've seen, you may, or you may not ever or often see the octopus and know that it's alive. You're way better off spending that little bit more and bumping it up to at least a 55 so that you can get the more interactive octo's.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Robind,

Having been there and done that (sort of and more in the reverse at one time), IMO the only thing similar between fresh and saltwater aquariums is that they are both vessels that hold water. After that the worlds are different (Colin might object a little here). I still have a 35 fresh active, do almost nothing to maintain it and my lone silver dollar fish continues to require I keep the tank running (year after year ...:roll:). I spend 90% of my Saturday's maintaining my other 7 saltwater aquariums. Where it is true that you can keep more sensitive freshwater fish than a silver dollar (I kept discus for a number of years) there is still no comparison to the water maintenance requirements. That being said, there are a couple of members that have been successful keeping an octopus in a tank with a large canister but the aquarium had been established for years, not months.
 
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Our merc setup probably cost about $200... and half of that was the external cannister filter. It's a 20 gallon tank, fluorescent light, heater, crushed coral and liverock.
 

cthulhu77

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A salt water tank without a skimmer is just an accident waiting to happen. Yes, you might get away with it for a while...but when it crashes...:banghead:
 

robind

O. bimaculoides
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Nov 11, 2008
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69
Okay then. I'm going to finish the sump filter that I started, build a stand for a tank, buy the 55g tank from my lfs (for $50!), and then let that cycle with whatever live rock/sand I can find/make on the cheap. Then a skimmer. I have an old seaclone body that I've fitted to make into a recirculating needle wheel skimmer.
 

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