Cleaning used tank that had copper in it

Nancy

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I hope we have no hateful repllies, but I would like to say this:
we have many people posting with many views of how to keep an octopus. Just because one in a hundred people gets away with something once, and then tells everyone, doesn't mean it's worth taking the chance.

To give your octopus the best chance, have a mature aquarium waiting for him. Octopuses are very sensitive to ammonia and nitrites - you don't want to expose your octopus to these, but you run a risk with a tank that has not cycled.

There are a few people whose water tests so pure that they don't need RO/DI water. The rest of us must use RO/DI. I use distilled water that does not go through copper piper for my top off (with buffer). Very few people, at least in this country, can use tap water. Chlorine is added, it had a number of impurities and may be high in copper.

Some people may be able to keep a small octo in a very well filtered tank without a skimmer, but the bioload of an octopus is three times that of a similar sized fish, so it really helps. And, the skimmer will remove ink, which is necessary with most octopuses.

We have spent a lot of time investigating the copper issue on this forum. Copper tends to stay in a tank. Most people advise not only a thorough cleaning and soaking, but also replacing any silicon, which tends to hold the copper. The safe thing to do is start with a new tank or a tank that you're sure has never been subject to a copper treatment.

If I were in your position, I'd content myself with octopus visits until you can have a well cycled tank and all that is necessary to keep an octopus under the best conditions.

Nancy
 

monty

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Unfortunately, as "data points" go, cephs die for unclear reasons a lot. I think the main point of recommendations that the ceph care folks make is that there seems to be a decreased mortality rate with "good" practices. If you try this, please do report success or failure, but note that it's one data point among many. One reason I respect TONMO's husbandry folks is that they emphasize practices that seem to lead to good pet experiences for both the octo and the owner... this isn't necessarily "the one and only true way" of octopus-keeping, but many other recipes seem to have a high mortality rate. Because we don't encourage pushing the envelope on the parameters, there may be some "folklore" mixed in that isn't really significant, but running tests to check all the possible factors over a significant statistical sample space just seems cruel... it will be interesting to hear if you are successful, but it won't be entirely clear what each factor contributes in the big picture... e.g. how often the stability of a tank cycled less than 3 months is insufficient for the bioload of the octopus isn't really easy to tell from one sample, and whether there is "stuff" in your water supply that RO/DI filtering would eliminate depends on what water you start with, of course. And presumably there are other factors, like how closely you monitor your water chemistry and how often you do water changes, both of which could compensate for cycling and skimming, maybe.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for your octopus in any case, and I'm interested in the outcome, but I think it's important for us to try to present the husbandry suggestions that seem to have a better success rate. I know the "list of octopuses" has lifespans and, when known, causes of death, but I don't think we have full data as to water type, cycle time, skimmer, used vs. new tank, tank size, water volume, temperature, diet, feeding schedule, and so forth, so a lot of the evidence is subjectively observed trends. Maybe we should set up a spreadsheet to try to get better raw data and see which correlations are the biggest, but that's a big project... in the meantime, it seems like trusting the collective experience of TONMO octo-keepers to provide a working "best practices" recipe seems, to me at least, to result in a lot of stories of long-lived and interactive octos.
 

Hayek

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I was presenting a view point that others who I know have voiced. I intend to ensure the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels level off before putting the octopus in the tank. It is a 46 gallon tank which will have probably 50 lbs of live rock and a month and a half cycled before I put in what will most likely be a joubini. From what I have read, a 46 gallon tank is quite large for a joubini. Some forum members report keeping them in much smaller tanks.

Second, I did buy a protein skimmer and a good one at that. (octopus bh100f) Of the two people I asked who had kept octopuses successfully, neither had used a skimmer, that conflicted with the "you need to get a $200 skimmer" attitude prevalent on this board. I thought I would bring it up.

third, I will be using the same water as the individuals in question, and since they had success thought I might have success as well. Water conditions vary greatly across the country so I thought maybe I should listen to those close to me geographically.

If I do not have success with this octopus, I will go ahead and get an RO unit, etc etc the next time around, but I think I have enough of a chance at keeping a ceph successfully to give it a shot. There are too many hurdles with RO units right now (water pressure, cost, etc)...

I've had many many MANY tanks over the last 10 years that have done well. I've also screwed up a tank or two with newbie mistakes. When that happens, one can only look at mistakes made and correct them. In this case, if the tank fails, I can be pretty sure of the kinds of mistakes made.

Brock: Whether you call it suicide or not, that is essentially what it is when an animal refuses to eat. Do humans that die from old age die because they refuse to eat? doubtful. I guess you could call it civil disobedience or fasting if you wanted, but I think suicide more accurately characterizes the phenomenon.

Nancy: you cite chlorine as a problem with tap water. Do the chemicals sold as tap water purifiers which claim to remove chlorine and heavy metals not work? I thought chlorine naturally leaves the water after a certain period of time. Are those products just snake oil?

I am pleased with the quality of replies. I have to say that I expected replies whose analogue might be a parent scolding a child for having a party while they were away. These seemed closer to "if you are going to have a party while we're away, don't let anyone drive drunk." Thanks.
 

Hayek

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I'm not here to argue about semantics, though I have read the article. I have also read other articles that claim after laying eggs, a female simply refuses to eat even in optimum conditions and that males simply drift into senility at some point and do the same.

edit:I also want to add that although OTC copper tests are typically not sensitive enough to detect LD50 copper levels for octopuses, I have never had a level of copper in the tank measurable by those tests.
 
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Hayek;135411 said:
Whether you call it suicide or not, that is essentially what it is when an animal refuses to eat.

You were using the "suicide" argument to justify exposing an octopus to an element that we know is toxic to cephalopods. The context in which you said it was almost derogatory to the octopus. Like it was stupid or something for killing itself, so it's well-being doesn't need to be considered. So I was trying to give you the other side of the argument of supposed ceph suicide, but I can see you are going to hear and read what you want.

I won't give my opinions where they aren't welcome, but I'll be praying for your octopus.

Brock Fluharty
 

Hayek

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I'm not justifying exposing my octopus to harmful chemicals. There has never been a measurable level of copper in the tank. I don't even know for certain that the medication with malachite green was used in the tank. All I know is that the tank was running for three years and I received a very slightly used bottle of the medication with the stuff in the tank. I assume it was used. I have replaced the filter, heater, substrate, decorations, etc etc etc, and if there is any copper in the tank the only place it could possibly be is the silicone. If I knew there was copper present for certain I couldn't justify putting an octopus in the tank, but I don't.


Please save your prayers and zealotry for someone else.

My argument was that it wouldn't be the absolute worst thing in the world if the octopus died. I certainly didn't spend what will probably near $1000 to kill an innocent animal, and I believe my efforts thus far show that I am considering the well being of the animal.

I may send my water to a lab for analysis because if the copper can't be measured or observed even by the most accurate tests then there is no way in hell I'm going to break down a tank that is already set up, buy another tank and stand, and waste a ridiculous amount of time and money to remedy an imaginary problem.
 

Hayek

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It is easy to recommend things when they have no bearing on your own time or wallet.
 
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Like I said, I did it as a high school student. I said that it was a lot cheaper to go slow, which also allows time for the tank to mature. You can buy a skimmer now, then lights another time, if you see some used ones for cheap, and a heater when they're on sale, etc.

I wasn't trying to be a zealot. I'm just trying to make recommendations based on what has been proven to work. Do what you want with the tank, but some things I did to save costs were buying the stand used (Don't know if your tank came with a stand or not), but buying the tank new. Tanks aren't usually terribly expensive (Not to say cheap =P). It's the stands and hoods that make it costly. I didn't buy a super powerful skimmer like was recommended, but I made up for it with pretty meticulous tank maintenance. I still had algae problems though. I didn't have a sump or fuge, and my octopus did just fine. Light was a used single tube flourescent fixture. I used the play sand from Lowe's (Gets an ugly brown after a while), and took rock from an existing system. These might not all work for you, but just some tips.

I wasn't intending to be rude. I just think that if the octopus does end up dying from the copper, it will have been a lot of work for nothing. I've been there. I had dwarf seahorses die after months of planning all because I forgot one of the biggest rules of keeping dwarf seahorses.

I apologize for seeming callous, it just seems unfair that they have such short lifespans in the first place. Plus a lot of members here just want an octopus for the "Wow factor" and don't give a hoot what they need to survive and be healthy.

HTH,
Brock Fluharty
 

Hayek

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My tank did come with a stand, but I just can't rationalize owning 2 46 gallon bow front tanks. I have a new 55 gallon tank, but don't have a stand for it or a place to put it. In addition, I would have to start the cycling over again if I moved everything to that tank because my assumption is that I would have to use different materials than what is in the tank already if it truly has enough copper in it to be toxic to an octo. Another problem is that I don't think my lease even allows aquariums larger than a certain size, and I would rather not have a ton of tanks in my 1 bedroom apt. I am already using an entire 15x15 room to house my past aquariums and supplies. It is even more unfortunate that the 10+ filters, 10+ heaters, and other supplies have all had copper based medications used in them at one time or another - likely more often and in greater quantities than what was used in the 46 bow.


I have been slowly setting up the tank to give it time to cycle, but my goal is to get the octopus in the tank as soon as possible. I am only in my apartment until next May and would rather not try to move an octo.


It may not be ideal, and some may even see it as cruel, but at this point I would just rather spend the $40 than try to redo the entire setup. Anyone who has had aquariums know that fish come and go. I've had entire tanks die off during extended power outages before. In addition, is it any better to feed live fish to other fish? They sell octopuses at sushi bars, how would that compare to what I am trying to do? If we are talking about morality, I don't think putting an octo in the tank is necessarily wrong, maybe a light gray area at worst.



I know you weren't trying to be callous, and if it sounds like I was being an A-hole, I apologize.
 

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