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Beginner Question and Thoughts so Far


Dec 13, 2004
Hi Everyone, first off, i'd like to say, great sight; this is THE source for octopus information as of date. I am new to the octopus world. I've always thought of them as suchg interesting creatures, but until now never thought of keeping one.

I'm in the process of setting up a tank and have been doing so research on the subject and was hoping to bounce my ideas off of some experianced people with first hand knowledge.

Basic background info:

*new to saltwater tanks
*Have had many freshwater
*Started a saltwater 1 week ago: 20 gallon: purpose of "basic
undersanding of saltwater tank (old freshwater tank)
*cycling right now(nothing in tank)

I would like to set up a bimac tank, and here is my plan so far. Any comments welcome,

i'm going to use a 55 (+/-10%) gallon tank. Use the 20 gallon as a sump. Have a mechanical biowheel filter already; will keep. Will add a skimmer on the 20 gal. Get this tank cycled, add a denitrator(anyone have DIY plans?) eventally. What's everyones thought of using a deep sand for dinitrator in sump(apparently not a good idea in main tank)? I'm thinking of making this tank an alge scrubber; need to know what the opinion is of these. pictureing 3/4 of 20 gal tank (long tank) full of "screens (maybe back door type)" promoting alge growth, with air blocks for oxygen.

I need to circulate betyween this tank and the 5 gal. does anyone know of good pumps for this type of load? do these pumps need to be "aquiarium" pumps? I'm handy, i can manage with others(cheaper).(also an engineer, have plenty experiance with pumps)

what means are there available for compensating for hydrostatic head in a sump/viewing arragnement? don't wnat to keep the sump at same water level. (if either pressurized above atm, would prefer viewing tank(i.e. sump above viewing).

What experianced pointers do you guys have for setting up my existing tank as an adequate(awesome) sump? I'm thinking surface area, oxygen, sunlight, and amonia. I want to get this thing going good before i even buy a 55 gal tank. (learning curve)

last thing; sorry this is getting long, I live in houston texas (not from here) and I can easily get to the gulf. I know offshore i can score some pretty good live rock, but does anyone have experiance with rock off of the "coast"(snorkeling depths) or waters edge. and also using mud minows for cycling? I don't like paying for imported rocks and sand seeing as wehre i live, and that garden banks is so close (illegal).

final note: as you've probably guessed, i'm somewhat of a do it yourselfer, so any ideas or comments should not be limited to not include crazy and/or difficult ideas. those are usually the best ones.

tanks a bunch,

:welcome: to Tonmo!!!
Whew! That is quite a lot of info there...but there a lot of diy's on board here (myself included)...
one thing I can answer for you now, is yes, you do need to buy an aquarium grade pump, as it has no exposed metal/toxic parts...whereas many commercial pumps do...it is worth the added expense, and I think my Rio's have been running nonstop for over seven years, without fail...not too bad for 50 bucks!
Will hop on with more stuff as it pops up...glad to see that you are an innovator !
Welcome :smile:

First I live in Galveston so I can help you with some of the questions. I would buy aquacultured live rock for several reasons; 1. It is better for the environment 2. It is a lot better quality that anything you will find by the Texas coast. 3.It would cost you more to go somewhere and collect your own Offshore. 4.I'm not quite sure of the regulations Texas has about collecting liverock, but any good places would be illegal (flower gardens).
As far as filters go I would put your bio-wheel on the sump if you have not desided to already bcause it will make it easier to seal the top to prevent the oct. form excaping. As far as filtration goes I don't think you need a algae turf filter unless you really want make one. I you have a octopus it will be the only thing in the tank and therefor don't a elaborate setup, simplicity is the key in my opinion.
Well, good luck and let us know how it works out.

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