Aspiring Octo Tank

Ladybug5234

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Hello everyone! Happy Thanksgiving Day!

I am new on here and I would like some direction. I am in the process of doing much research before setting up the actual tank for an octo. Having been in reef-keeping for over 20 years, I know the value of research.

What I need to know is if I will have enough room in my tank and what kind of octo you all recommend. Here are the specs: The tank is a 50 gallon corner tank. It is the perfect tank for an octo because it is very tall, but it is not drilled, and because of its odd shape I would not be able to place any kind of sump or fuge under it. The best I could do is a CPR hang-on-back fuge or an AC 110. I also have a HOT canister filter that I would put on there with carbon and such. As far as lighting goes, I have 4 T5's that I could retro into the canopy or I could also add 4 PC. I plan on also getting a hang-on protein skimmer (I've had good reults with a Remora).

Now that you know the specs, here are my plans. This would be an octo tank and nothing else. I plan on placing a few large pieces of live rock, as well as large empty clam shells for the octo to hide in, and live sand.

Are my plans reasonable? Is there anything you guys would change? Lastly, what kind of octo could I keep? Obviously size is a concern as I would not want something that would not be comfortable in this tank. I was thinking about a pair of Gulf Dwarf Octos and found some guy off Tampa (close to me) that sells them as "mated pairs".

Any help would be much appreciated. Please don't direct me to the archives and the previous reserach done because I am already perusing all of those posts. Every tank/situation is different and I think we can all benefit from people's personal opinions, which is what I seek in this thread.

Thanks much!
Aly
 
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Welcome to TONMO and Happy Thanksgiving!

The size of your tank should do fine. What is the footprint of the tank? Most octopuses spend their time on the bottom crawling over the rocks and sand, but swimming room is a definite plus. As far as filtration goes you really want to get a good skimmer, and then you can supplement that with the refugium and canister.

If you retro-fit the lighting, make sure the octopus you get can't squirt it.

With that size of tank I would try to find an O. hummelincki (aka Caribbean 2-spot/Bumblebee octopus). The dwarfs are easy to care for but I don't know that you would see them in a tank that big. If you did get dwarfs you could keep several in there though and they are "breedable".
 

Ladybug5234

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Thanks for the response and the help. The footprint of the tank is a little complicated because of its shape. Picture a pentagon with 2 equal sides of 24" (the back corners) and then 3 panes each 13" (the front). All of these are around 24" tall. In my opinion, I think octos would look beautiful in there. And as far as the lights go, the canopy is very tall (around 12") because it previously held MH for a reef tank that I had set up in there. I would not think any spray would get up there, especially since the tank will have a lid to make sure there are no escapees.
 

Jean

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I wonder what your LFS guy means by a "mated" pair? If it's just that they are used to being with each other then fine, but if they have actually mated then not so good as they will have very little life span left.

J
 

sedna

Larger Pacific Striped Octopus
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I have a 55 gal corner bow front and octos are the best thing I've kept in there so far! Yes, octos do spend a lot of their time on the tank bottom, but my last octo did enjoy the height of the tank because it gave room for some free swimming which it did everyday. I know what you mean about not having enough room for a sump underneath it, though, a serious draw back to that shape! I'm wondering how you plan to octo proof your "hang on the back" appliances, though. I have a canister filter that is rated for twice the size of the tank and am religious about tank cleaning.

I've only kept aculeatus so far, but they are a great choice for 50 gal, too. They are diurnal and friendly, are tropical so they don't need a chiller. They are beautiful animals that display a large variation of color and texture. You can't keep more than one together, though! They also are small egged octos, so not the best choice if you were hoping to raise off- spring.
 

DWhatley

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Gholland and I (as well as Animal Mother in a past life) have kept and raised the mercs (O. Mercatoris, likely the dwarf you mention) and I think Greg would agree that your tank is way too large to enjoy them. They are nocturnal and cannot be trained to daylight (unlike some of the larger species that hunt early morning and early evening). You will need to provide multiple dens with your live rock setup, not just a few scattered shells. The octo will chose (or redesign) the best housing that suits them. The mercs will stay hidden and you will seem to have an empty tank. If you want to try to raise them, consider a much smaller tank (15-30 gallons). Of all the octo pairing attempts published on this forum, the mercs seem to be the most successful at both living together and successful matings. Thales and Neogonodactylus are experimenting with tank breeding and raising chierchiae but they are keeping the male and female separatated except for mating introductions.

I would be very hesitant to take any kind of octo advice from a shopkeeper that tells you he has a mated pair of octos. The closest I have ever seen is a very unusual pair of vulgaris kept at Mote (not sure of their sexes and they are likely to be sibblings of the same sex). Unfortunately, they are not shown on the site and may no longer be alive (they had been with Mote a year at the time of the conference).

Since you are researching the journals and articles here, you will pickup the fact that almost all octopuses mate to produce a single brood, are not social with conspecies and die after the eggs hatch (the males die in about the same time frame as the females but have no interest in the young or their mate after mating). Of the aquarium kept, only the chierchiae (which is not readily available) is a known exception to this pattern.

The most commonly kept Caribbean octopuses available will be o.briareus (Animal Mother feels a 50 is too small and he is having excellent success with Kalpso), the dwarf O. mercatoris and the mid-sized O. hummelincki. Occassionally O.Vulgaris is available, but it is the largest of the warm water group and definitely needs a larger tank. I am partial to the O. hummlincki but have not yet kept the briarius.

The most common Indonesian species we see are members of the Abdopus complex and are generally thought to be Octopus aculeatus. This is another I have not yet had the pleasure of keeping but is high on the availability and success list.

In spite of your request, I have included a few :oops: journal links. Follow at will.
 

Ladybug5234

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Thank you all for the wonderful info. What I meant was not to tell me "go search on the archives" or "go do some research", because I am already doing that. Information is a valuable tool, so links are most definately welcome! Anyways, I do not intend on having a pair of octos, much less to try and breed them. I would like to keep a singular one. I have also been researching cuttle fish as well and that may be a possibility.

As far as octo-proofing the holes for any HOB filters, I was thinking of using the injectable foam in order to seal the tank completely. Of course, all of these are just "plans", so if anyone sees a problem with what I am thinking, by all means let me know. So much to learn...

Thanks again for all of the great information provided me thus far!

Aly
 

DWhatley

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Aly,
If you still want to keep more of a reef environment, cuttles may be the way to go for your first ceph. Look for threads by both Paradox and Thales for info on raising them. The availability threads under the Sources for Cephalopods forum currently shows that they have eggs but they have been offering eggs to babies when available.
 

Ladybug5234

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I dont know that I would want to keep a reef setting, since I know myself and before long it will be a full blown reef which I cannot afford right now. But I am also researching cuttles. They seem like interesting creatures. Could cuttles and an octops live together?
 

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