Good! Well right now PetCo online is probably the cheapest place for supplies, because there's currently a special on if you spend $45 or more you get 20% off your total order, that's a pretty good deal! Here's my order:
As you can see, for just over a hundred bucks you get an eclipse system, protein skimmer, and air pump. I'll continue in the next message....
Why Eclipse? Well some do not like it. I love it, however, and I'll explain why. First, take a look at my current setup, I just received my PetCo order tonight so the tank is finally setup and ready to begin the cycling process:
What's the first thing you notice? The tank top is completely enclosed! EVERYTHING, INCLUDING THE PROTEIN SKIMMER, is INSIDE THE TANK . While not as important with Bimacs, still, better to be safe than sorry . I did have to cut a little bit of the plastic from the inside of the lid to get the skimmer to fit, but it was no big deal
A lot of people are under the false impression that Octopuses require excellent water quality. Technically, this is not the case. They are very tolerant of Nitrates (for an invertebrate). However, they are still intolerant of what I call "The Big 3" - Ammonia, Nitrite, and Heavy Metals (especially Copper). In addition, they require more oxygen than a fish the same size (remember, they do have 3 hearts).
So here's where the Eclipse system comes in. As we know, it does an excellent job (specifically the bio-wheel) of removing Ammonia and Nitrites from the aquarium, however it does its job so well you end up with more nitrates. However remember what I said earlier, it isn't really as big a deal as all that. Regular partial water changes will keep them at very acceptable levels.
Now take a look at this pic:
Look at the first item (1.) - Water enters the Eclipse system via a magnetic impeller, and drops down onto the filter media. Here is your FIRST air/water exchange (that's GOOD for keeping tank Oxygen levels up).
Next, look at the second item (2.) - The spinning bio-wheel. Here is your SECOND air/water exchange. If you look closely towards the middle of the bio-wheel, you can actually see air bubbles forming.
Next, look at the third item (3.) - The exit flow. The water is shot out and drops down yet again into the tank water. This is your THIRD air/water exchange.
Lastly, notice the blue filter cartridge containing a long strip of carbon (that's GOOD for removing harmful items from the water and absorbing ink if the octopus inks).
Octopuses require more oxygen than marine fish, and they are messier as well. This is where the protein skimmer comes in handy.
Take a look at this pic shot with the flash on:
Look at all the Oxygen in that tank! Notice on the left the airstone-driven protein skimmer is providing more than enough Oxygenation. It's hard to make out in this pic because it was shot at an angle from above, however there's also a decent water flow from right to left from the Eclipse exit tube as well.
And the skimmer has the added benefit of keeping the water conditions at acceptable levels by removing waste materials from the water (remember that messy Octopus I mentioned earlier )
First, try to get a black hood, because black duct tape doesn't show up as much since it's the same color, and you may need to duct tape your aquarium hood to keep the octopus from climbing out and exploring your living room
Second, give the octopus lots of hiding places. Go to Home Depot and pickup some ABS/PVC tubing joints (3-ways, 90-degree angles, 4-ways, etc). Make sure you get the kind that says "for potable water use", this is the kind used to transport drinking water (i.e. it won't leach anything into your aquarium). He/She will love to hang out in those and explore them all at night. This is also smoother than live rock (which you should also have because it's helpful for biological reasons as well and looks nicer), and it won't hurt his/her delicate suckers.
Third, try as often as possible to feed it live food - shrimp, crab, crayfish, baby clams, etc.
Fourth, give it different items to play with (that are saltwater safe...i.e. no metal items!) on different days to keep him/her from getting bored. You'll soon learn what his/her favorite toy is.
Lastly, if you're getting a Bimac or similiar temperate (i.e. cold) water species, make sure you keep the temps at room temperature (70 degrees) or lower, if possible. Remember, the lower the temp, the more oxygen the water will hold, the less metabolism the Octo will have, and ultimately the longer it will live.
All these are very important to keeping an Octopus, ESPECIALLY if you're going for a smaller than recommended tank.
Sure, you could spend big bucks on a snazzy setup for yourself, however there are many people that have done this and failed (multiple times) at keeping an Octopus, because they don't understand the nature of the animal and what water conditions really matter.
The Eclipse system incorporates a filter into the hood, so it is both...and has proven several times to be a failure in trying to manage a reef type setup...can it be done? Of course...but the negatives far outweigh the advantages.
As to the statement regarding water quality and octos...it is true that you can keep an animal alive in poor conditions, but it is equally true that it will certainly not thrive under those conditions...and it seems to me that we are trying to do what is best, not what you can "get away with".
Every Eclipse reef tank I have seen set up has crashed, killing all of the inhabitants...it is designed for freshwater use, not saltwater, no matter what they say on the side of the carton.