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California Tank


Dec 30, 2005
hello its me again

just wanted to tell everybody that my california intertidal tank has now been up and running for a good couple months. Here are the specs:

55gallon long w/ hood
canister filter
protein skimmer
0 ammonia
0.25 nitrite


1 Giant Kelpfish [Heterostichus rostratus]
3 Sculpins [Artedius corallinus]
4 Brittle Stars
12 Hermit Crabs [Pagurus spp.]
3 Spanish Shawls [Flabellina iodinea]
2 Navanax's [Navanax inermis]
3 Sea Hare's [Aplysia californica]
1 California Spiny Lobster [very small]
3 Kellet's Whelk's
4 Turban Snails [big]
1 Two-Spot Octopus [Octopus bimaculoides]

Aquascape: "reef" type formation on right side of tank has many rocks that I have collected from my area. Wavy top shells scattered around along with some pvc pipe and a plastic castle for the octo to play with.

Everything is running A OK except for the nitrite which is causing some stress. I have been doing regular 10% water changes though and they seem to be helping.

I'll try and upload some pics for you guys and comments would be appreciated!

once every 2-3 days. The reason the nitrite is up there is because when I added the octopus to the tank it forced it through a mini-cycle which is just now in its second [?] phase i believe.
that's great! Is the octo far too small to eat the lobster?

I'm also curious if the fish harass the octopus at all... I know that's often a problem, but not many people have tried the California cool water animals....

I notice you don't list a chiller; it seems like you'd need one for those animals, although I guess most of them are somewhat used to tidepools that are heated by sunlight (and that have fluctuations in salinity from rain or evaporation).

I'm looking forward to pictures!
Thanks for the reply, and its funny that you asked that because when I added the lobster I intended it to be food for the octo but he still hasn't eaten it even though it seems very easy for him to overpower. It could just be that he is lazy and doesn't feel like handling the struggle.

As for the chiller, I haven't seen any reason for one yet because the aquarium is located on a ledge outside of our kitchen window. Don't worry though it is protected from rain and direct sunlight from part of my house that hangs above it. We put it here so that the temperature would be similar to that of the ocean itself [I live very close to the beach]. The temperature stays at 58 normally.
I hope your local cats and raccoons, if any, don't decide it's a sushi bar!
haha yeah we had some problems with possums getting in there in the past and eating our fish but we have a secure lid now so that [hopefully] won't be an issue. Yeah its a bit hectic right now being christmas eve but I will try and upload some tomorrow afternoon if i can.
yes, they are the species that cleans the moray's and lobster's. They are red shrimp with thin white lines running down there back. Kind of like a peppermint shrimp.




sorry for the wait but here they are.

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