• 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.

Filter Question


Pygmy Octopus
Nov 14, 2005
I am putting together my first octo tank (40 gallon) and was wondering if anyone had any advice on the type of filter to use. I have read the ceph care guide but it doesnt really say what type works the best. I was not wanting to use a sump, but can if I have to. If anyone has any advice on what they use, like, dislike etc. I would really appreciate it.
I had the same problem, the guide tells you the types of filtration but doesn't give the -"use this type of filter" answer. I think its because there are a lot of opinions out there on the topic.

I was scared about the idea of a sump, had no idea how they worked or anything, but I decided to make my own and its actually very simple. And with everything outa the way it will make the tank much easier to octo proof.

Many here use wet/dry and cannister filters successfully. The water parameters(specifically nitrate) can be much more lax than an sps reef tank. I have heard from many reefers who dont like cannisters -but I also think there is a lot of un-informed bias surrounding this opinion. Some reefers do use them - and successfully.

A good skimmer is a necessity. A 40G tank is a little smaller than what most people here reccommend but it can be done.

What do you have access to? If you use a cannister/wd make sure it's quite over-rated compared to the tank size.

If you go the sump route you can have a dsb and a place to put live food and grow capulera ect, all of which will help out your octo.

http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html is a good place to start if you were like me and a total newbie to sumps.

You could incorporate a w/d filter into the sump design.

Maybe others can offer some more info.

btw :welcome: to tonmo, everyone here is real helpful!
Feelers said:
I had the same problem, the guide tells you the types of filtration but doesn't give the -"use this type of filter" answer. I think its because there are a lot of opinions out there on the topic.

Hi Feelers, do you mean the guide on this site? I am about to try reworking some of the info sheets at TONMO.com and would appreciate any other comments on the subject from a new person's point of view... :smile:

MRNEL57 - :welcome: enjoy TONMO.com
I was talking about the ceph care on this site. It is really informative but I dont have any knowledge on filters. The ceph care told me which types were best but choosing between those types is were I ran into a problem. I didnt know if certain types were better for certain sized tanks and which ones would require a sump. I have asked questions at different lfs and I keep getting different answers. I got some good info in the last response I recieved and any more personal views on which types seem to work best would be great.
Hey Colin, yeah I was just saying that the guide tells you the types of filter but doesnt have a - "use this type of filter" answer that many people would be looking for. (Unfortunately there isnt one answer).

I suppose maybe a little review of each system might be useful, for example

filter X is the most common type used by people on this site - relativly cheap, but can accumulate nitrates ect. for the following filter types:


Cannister filters

Under gravel filters

In tank powerfilters

Overhead filters

Also maybe some more info on sumps, possibly with a link to http://www.melevsreef.com/what_sump.html
to get people off on the right foot.

I personally found it quite hard to figure out, and even now I'm not entirely sure. Like should I have a W/D over a cannister filter for example?

And maybe a bit of info on the suggested amount of liverock needed per gallon (and per litre lol :smile)
Good points !!
To answer a few of these questions now, you are right about the not mentioning of a certain brand or type, as each of us has different experiences and favourites...but both of you are correct about the need for some info on the care sheet, and I am sure Colin is already typing away like mad !
If it is at all possible, using a sumped system is the best way to go...especially with a drilled tank (most dealers will drill two holes for a nominal fee), as that way, you can put on a secure top without resorting to ugly masses of tape, etc, around all of the filter inlets/outlets. Using a sump, you can have all of your equipment handily available for maintenance and not bother the ceph while you are doing water changes, etc.
I use about 1 to 1.5 pounds of live rock per gallon, with some base rock thrown in too...this seems to work out well for most tanks.
Most of us use canister filters of some sort, rather than wetdry units, as the octo puts out an incredible amount of matter into the tank, and physical removal is necessary. Make sure you have at least two filters for the canister, as you will need to change them out frequently. I prefer the Magnum or Lifeguard type of can filter that uses the media that is found in swimming pool/hot tub filters...those white rippled tubes...they catch alot of particulates, can be sterilized, and used over and over for years.
Until we have something up online, feel free to just keep on jotting down questions here...I'm sure a bunch of us will chime in.


Trending content

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.