• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.

Cycling time?


Feb 17, 2005
Why does it take so long to cycle these octo tanks( i've read that it takes at least 2-3 months)....when fish tanks only take 1 month and sometimes less???

My lfs owner who is helping me with my setup has kept 4 octos in his life and he cycled his tank in about a week he said......

I have ordered a 75gallon overflow tank with a 20gallon sump and a 20gallon food tank, a protien skimmer rated for 125 gallons, and 45lbs. of live rock to start with.....should come in next week......what do you suggest as an approximate cycling time???
Well, it sounds like your lfs store guy might need to read more on octos...it is impossible to cycle an invertebrate tank in that short amount of time...unfortunately ! It would be great if we could have shorter cycling times, but inverts like octos , and reef corals, etc are much pickier about water quality...whereas a fish can be placed into water that is slightly off in parameters, a ceph will just refuse to eat, act oddly, and then die...this is why cephs were thought to be soooo hard to keep initially, because people weren't placing them into the proper tanks, in water quality and tank size.
Take your time, use the right size tank, with the correct filtration, and who knows how long you can keep your octo???? Trust me, they are worth the wait !
i guess im just wondering if my ph and salinity are good, and my nitrite, nitrate, ammonia are all 0 after a month.....what is waiting another month or two gonna change?
well, it's been a month and 4 days and my ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and copper are all 0, ph is 8.2, and salinity is 1.024.......am I ready to go? If not, how do I know when I'm ready to go.......I wont be adding an octo right away, I first want to stock my food tank that's connected to the system and take let any nitrite/ate spikes level out....but after that am I okay?

P.S.- Is octopets.com still offerring their 100 baby clam package even though the octos are on hold for a while...and if they are, what kind of shock will it cause my system to drop all of those in (im guessing they aren't very dirty animals)
Don't worry about the clams...all of them wrapped together in a paper towel are about half the size of a golf ball. Most people recommend putting them in a separate holding container just so they're easy to grab and feed.

You're right about the cycling usually being finished in a month or so...I think what you want to wait for is tank maturity: My 75--even though the levels went to zero in a month--was still getting transient blooms of different algaes for about a month and a half after that.


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