• 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.



Dec 13, 2007
:heee::smile:Hey, my first post on this board, and I got to say there's a lot of very helpful info on here. I'm still deciding(like everyone else starting out) between a cuttle fish or a dwarf octopus. Most likely though I'm leaning towards a cuttlefish because I think a 50 gallon tank might be to big for my room. Where a 20-30 gallon would be perfect for me. Anyhow I was looking for any info. anyone might have on some decent tanks good quality and good price. Doesn't everybody though, haha. But some sites I go to have saltwater tanks and freshwater tanks separated with a big price difference. I hear from other people there is no difference, its probalby just what the seller hooks up the tanks with before selling. Then I see some 50 gallon tanks that are only $100-$200 and it seems pretty cheap for that size, but some of them do look good quality. Like I said though I don't know much about fish tanks, and I don't want to buy some tank that is gonna explode in 1000 pieces if you bump into it, haha. Well this is gettin message is gettin pretty long so I'm gonna cut it off here and say any and I mean ANY info. you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated. Any tips or anything else you think I need to know would be great. On a side note I plan to run my tank with coral, and maybe a clown fish or two, with a couple crabs. For about 2-3 months to make sure its nicely setup for the lil guy.:heee:

AFAIK the main thing to watch out for with freshwater tanks is if they're used, and someone has used copper-based medication for the fish in them, the residue can be lethal to cephs and is pretty much impossible to get rid of.
Crazy part at my old job I basically worked with copper all day. Welding it and all that good stuff. Good thing I'm out the business now. I could see me playin with some copper fittings or somethin, then accidently feeding without washing my hands, not coo. I read that they have a blue-copper type blood, I wonder if that has anything to do with it. Besides that I found a nice site GlassCages.com and they seem very affordable. The 45 tall looks nice for $60 although it dosen't list how many gallons. Right over it is a 38 gallon for $50, so I'm guessing it's at least that. I wrote the webmaster though, so we'll see.
Quicky on tanks.

Saltwater or "reef ready" tanks come with additional components and labor charges for bulk heads and overflows and are designed to be used with a sump. They are usualy wider (front to back) than freshwater tanks because of the overflow encroachment. Today, you don't need to worry about metal but in the past freshwater tanks often had a metal banding that would pit some with fresh water but be destroyed with salt.

Glass is generally easier to clean because you can use a stainless steel blade on the glass BUT the silicone will get imbedded with algae and can't be cleaned without concerns of weakening the seal. Older glass tanks are of real concern for leaks but can usually (OK, Carol, I said USUALLY) be resealed if you break the tank down, scrub and resilicone. It is much riskier to drill a "freshwater" tank to provide an overflow but many DIY reefers have had excellent success, others take the aquarium to their LFS (generally not a chain store) and have them drill it. If you will look at the rimless glass tanks on your mentioned site, you will also note that the thickness of the material used (the difference between the rimmed and rimless) accounts for some of the price variations. In this case, the "rim" is a support structure, needed because of glass thickness.

Acrylic scratches easily (the newer acrylic more so than an older tank for some reason). This is actually more of a concern on the inside rather than the outside. Cleaning an acrylic is more difficult because of the need to use only acrylic safe scrubbers (and some of those will chip and scratch). They are pretty much guaranteed to never leak if they don't leak from the factory because the seaming process is a chemical bonding of the two pieces of acrylic and the seam is as sturdy as the side. Acrylic can discolor over time (none of mine have) but most of the newer tanks are made of a non-yellowing, cellcast material (and may be why they scratch so much more easily). Acrylic tanks require some kind of support along the top to prevent bowing. Some tanks will have a full acrylic top with cutouts for access, other will have simple support struts. They are quite easy to drill and customize and are my personal choice for this reason. Acrylic tanks are considerably more expensive than even the thicker glass and are not generally the purchase choice for a first aquarium. Observation has suggested that often an enthusiast that remains in the hobby converts their first glass tank into a sump when upgrading. Do note that the tank is just the begining of the money pit for a saltwater hobby.
Thanks for those tips Dwhatley and monty, every lil bit helps.

I think I'm gonna go with a 40-gallon 36x15x17 tank. It comes with a glass top and light strip, for $99.99. Not bad?? Right, heh heh. Also I need some tips on what type of corals to get that will be good with the cuttlefish. I know it has to be soft ones, like green star polys or mushrooms. I know I want to get live sand on the bottom. The main question is when they talk about live rock am I still suppos to get the actual hard rocks some of the live coral is connected too? This is my first coral tank I'm settin up so ya know I don't know everything yet. But I pick up quick, so ya know any more tips would be appreciated.
Others can be more helpful with which corals are your best options for cuttles but as far as the small bits of LR that comes with mounted coral, it is not part of you LR consideration. Corals taken from the wild are restricted in the amount of substrate attached. The LR you will buy to start your tank cycle is the primary part of your filtration and will be far lager. Mounted corals will be on very small chips that you will attach or wedge into your primary rock. Often corals will not be mounted and you will have to wedge or glue them to your existing substrate.

Aquarists have a lot of differing opinions on LR. I will give you mine and hope others chime in. I have used LR from fish stores, purchase through eBay, purchased through Dr Fosters and from an aquaculture coral farmer. I have a bias that might influence my choice since I now webmaster for the coral farmer but if you look at my various tanks, you would find more color and interest in the aquacultured rock than in any of the other. The worst was the "cured" rock from the fish store live rock bin and my observations of different LFS rock (I am in an inland city so this will vary with proximity to the ocean) suggests this is typical. IMO, Florida aquacultured rock, direct from the farmers will be fresher, more attactive and does not take anything from the natural reefs (now illegal in the US but is still common practice in other places).

Any LR may have undesireables since it comes from the ocean. Again, IMO, rock found in the fish stores is often more dead than alive and is likely to have a lower chance of unwanted critters but will also be slow to cycle and less interesting - especially over time. Florida rock will likely have more brissle worms (not sure why) than the "Walt Smith" rock (opinions on brissle worms varies widely) but it will also be almost guaranteed to show little feather dusters (mine are mostly pink with white shells or white and between 1/8 and 1/4 inches across) and other new benign critters over time. Rock from Hati carries a bad reputation but I have not used it.

You might also look up Live Rock on Reef Central for other opinions and options. I hope you will not be too shocked at the cost, it is not inexpensive.

You can save some money on the sand though. Most of us agree that buying live sand in a bag is a waste of money. There will be very little beneficial bacteria still alive in the bag. Regular sand will take on live properties from your live rock during your cycle. If you still wish to start with some live sand to seed the tank, look again at some of the coral farmers or find a friend that can give you a small amount of sand from an existing, established aquarium to mix with fresh sand.