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First octo setup (pre cycle)

sean1

Pygmy Octopus
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Nov 23, 2014
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iowa
Hey just joined after lurking for almost a year! Please feel free to suggest any modifications to my build as not everything is bought yet and I want to do this right.

I have been reading a lot and decided that I am just posting a tank build for an undecided ceph. Hopefully a pair a cuddles but would be just as happy with an octo.

I am just about to begin the mixing and cycling my old 75gal 48.5"L x 18.5"W x 21.125"H tank with a bottom overflow. It was a reef tank a few years back that has my best lid situation while being over the 50gal minimum (for smaller species I know). Its going to need a cover for the gap on the left side and some screen work on the overflow/return. I see that foam is also suggested in conjunction with the mesh but is this a must or which would be recommended? Should this be weighted down since it does have a break with a grommet for opening?

I will be upgraded the sump at this point to either an eshopss r200 gen2 or a homemade replica of it after living with the stock all in one noisy sump. This will probably add about 20 or so gal to the water volume I would think and give me room for a refugium to store live foods for later consumption.
Petco: Pet Supplies, Pet Food, & Pet Products

For the skimmer will be reusing my vertex omega 150 since it is technically rated for 150gal tank and worked nicely on a heavily stocked version on this tank.Omega 150 Protein Skimmer (DISCONTINUED)

For lighting I have a t5 4x10k atm with some "moonlight' leds and a few othr bulb selections I have been playing around with. Is this to much for 8-12 hours a day?T5 Fluorescent Aquarium Lighting

I also have a mp10 that I'd like to use just for some circulation as my return just isn't quite adequate all alone. I can control it through my apex so can crank it way down.

Next on to the apex with ph, temp, and salinity... Will control lights, pumps, power head ect.... to bad no ammonia, nitrate/nitrite probes huh, but they'd probably be ridiculous, :lol: so strips and a hanna phos checker for the rest.

My return is rated at about 950gph I believe so decent rate of probably 5-7 full cycles/h after you deduct the overhead of tubing and what not.

I use brs reactors, one with some carbon and another with gfo.

Thanks for any advice and I will begin cycling the tank in about a week in hopes of obtaining a ceph is 4-6 months! I will also put a few a few smaller fish from my reef tank in just to test cycling and help in building up bacteria but will absolutely be removing them prior to his/her arrival. No copper ect has or will be used in either tank and I use ro water so no cloramines.
 

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:cuttlehi: Welcome to unlurking! You sound well on your way to starting up an excellent tank for octopuses or cuttles.

Its going to need a cover for the gap on the left side and some screen work on the overflow/return. I see that foam is also suggested in conjunction with the mesh but is this a must or which would be recommended? Should this be weighted down since it does have a break with a grommet for opening?
screen or sponge (whichever works best to discourage entry and still maintain flow) are fine. The idea is to make the dark box an unattractive entry. Most larger animals will not enter the weir but very young or dwarfs find it attractive. My current O. briareus often blocks it at night (causing a tank overflow since I have only one overflow area :roll:) but never enters the box. However, I have had very young animals to end up in the sump if I don't rig something behind the grid. You will want to either fasten or weight down the tops for an octopus as they would be easily opened.

For lighting I have a t5 4x10k atm with some "moonlight' leds
If you use a night light, use red, not blue. Nocturnals will not likely come out with blue lighting and it may be a problem for diurnals (providing a dark sleeping den would likely resolve this but not for nocturnals).

I use brs reactors, one with some carbon and another with gfo.

I don't know of any reason to use a carbon reactor with a ceph. You won't be maintaining many corals in this species tank and adding carbon dioxide will reduce the needed higher oxygen levels.
 
Thanks for responding and this is just pretty much the setup I was running a reef with minus the new sump so I never really knew carbon actually carbonated the water lol. I usually just used it for water clarity and filtration of dissolved organics as it was always recommended at the lfs and online for reefs. None of that had the oxygen requirements that these guys need so I'm glad I know now. :notworth: I will update here once I get it up and running and add some screen/sponge discouragement.

Thanks again and once it gets going ill graph all my data, from the apex, for you guys to analyze.

Also I know orp has alot to do with o2 levels so I might look into grabbing one used from the local forums and at least be able to detect an huge o2 swing. :wink2:
 
I may have "carbon reactor" confused with a "CO2 reactor" :oops: (used mostly for freshwater planted aquariums to add carbon dioxide). I use semi-passive carbon filtration (activated carbon in a filter sock) as my only chemical cleaner and if the carbon reactor serves the same purpose without adding CO2 then there should be no problem using one. My systems are very simple (lots of live rock, carbon, filter sock and a skimmer, an open sump for CO2/O2 exchange and weekly RO/DI water changes) so some of the more advanced methods are outside of my experience.

Monitoring O2 might be give an interesting view of how the system is functioning and I will be interested to see if you detect swings.
 
Yea orp probe isn't quite the same thing as an actual o2 sensor but it should give me a good idea of a large swing in either direction if I can find one for a reasonable price.

The carbon in a sock is virtually the same thing as a reactor, I just hate socks after my last sump and was looking for a way to use it anywhere else.
 
We're thinking we have an issue with oxygen in our tank, too, but it's hard to tell since we don't have a lot of critters. There are some damsels, and none are gulping at the surface.

Our tank is in what we call "extended cycling" because the basic parameters are stabilized but there are some other things I want to work out with a bit more confidence before bringing in an octo. The O2 level is one of them. I've read a lot of conflicting things about what actually works for keeping 02 up. I've added a bubbler to my sump but no telling whether it's had any impact. Hope I can learn from what you find.

I do have a dissolved oxygen test kit on order, and once it arrives, we'll probably be experimenting with what works best, too. Can compare notes. Your oxygen probe sounds more precise than a test kit, though. Didn't realize there was something like that out there. Any advice in what to look for if I were to get one?
 
Pretty much endless for a reef tank but you can do all sorts of amazing things even with a ceph tank too. Just think.... you get a critter carrier with live mysis, in it and a dosing pump, or a solenoid driven crab version. You could could then tell it when to "dump" and watch it all on a webcam from your phone... Not to mention it can automate about every feature of your tank you can think about like water change ect. Also give you monitoring and alerts for the common parameters.

Not trying to say you need one by any means and they are pretty expensive but it was my best investment when I had a reef tank and should come in pretty nice now.


Edit: also I just got an invite to visit the central campus aquarium and I'm pretty excited. They apparently have a cheap way to bread mysis for their specimens which I will try to learn all I can on. Not to mention the largest high school saltwater aquarium.
 
Pretty much endless for a reef tank but you can do all sorts of amazing things even with a ceph tank too. Just think.... you get a critter carrier with live mysis, in it and a dosing pump, or a solenoid driven crab version. You could could then tell it when to "dump" and watch it all on a webcam from your phone... Not to mention it can automate about every feature of your tank you can think about like water change ect. Also give you monitoring and alerts for the common parameters.

Not trying to say you need one by any means and they are pretty expensive but it was my best investment when I had a reef tank and should come in pretty nice now.


Edit: also I just got an invite to visit the central campus aquarium and I'm pretty excited. They apparently have a cheap way to bread mysis for their specimens which I will try to learn all I can on. Not to mention the largest high school saltwater aquarium.

I'm still very new to the hobby, but when I looked at controllers I just couldn't see any advantage. I have a webcam, lights and powerheads on timers, a temperature probe, an excellent ato system etc. I couldn't really see what the controller added...most of the added functionality required the purchase of additional modules.

It isn't plausible for me to have a controller do a water change due to space constraints...if I could get an email if there was an ammonia spike or something, that could be pretty sweet.
 
@JingoFresh, check out the Seneye system. There are others out there as well but a long time TONMO member in England has started working with this company so it is the one I have seen the most.

@sean1, PLEASE report in on the mysis technique. Keeping mysis alive (and spawning) for newly hatched cuttlefish is something we have not been able to get a good grip on and any new techiniques would be most welcomed.
 
@JingoFresh, check out the Seneye system. There are others out there as well but a long time TONMO member in England has started working with this company so it is the one I have seen the most.

@sean1, PLEASE report in on the mysis technique. Keeping mysis alive (and spawning) for newly hatched cuttlefish is something we have not been able to get a good grip on and any new techiniques would be most welcomed.
That thing is sweet! The kelvin, par, lux and nh3 would be awesome...@neptunecontrollers.... lol. Yea and @JingoFresh the main reason I got my controller was to avoid another heater meltdown. It worth the peace of mind to me just for that and knowing I can expand on later if need be. Reefkeeper also makes a decent one that can do ph and temp for a much more reasonable price, 100$ I think, that will shutoff your heater if it gets stuck in the on position. Hey @DWhatley can that the seneye reef control a powerstrip and shut off or adjust frequency? That and the monthly charge for connectivity are the main difference I see between the mainstream controllers and this guy. Have you tried floating it in a ceph tank :sink: ?

As for the mysis breeding I was talking to a friend that's been there recently and he said they use rubermaid containers about 3-4in in depth with and unknown size strainer at the bottom which traps them constantly above it.. Then just remove everything large with it and change the water daily after dumping the remaining little guys through yet a smaller strainer, and then back into another rubermaid. All on a huge scale of course but I feel like there is something I'm missing.
 
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