i think im ready for my first octo

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
i'm pretty sure im ready to do this. its been about 3 or 4 months of me researching this and i think i have all my bases covered. but i wanted to run it by you guys and make sure im not forgetting anything. this is my first octo. and i want to make sure i provide the best opportunity for me and my octo to be happy together.
to start with i have been keeping reef tanks for about 2 years now. i'm no expert. but i would consider myself pretty knowlegable about this hobby. i am an active member of my local reefing club. and i currently have a sweet 150g in-wall at home that is my pride and joy.
it started with me asking my boss if i could put a nano in my office at work. he liked the idea so much he wanted to put it in the lobby in stead. so rather than going with a little 10g like i had planned we kicked around a few ideas like a lionfish, or puffers, but ultimatley we decided to go with an octopus.
so i set up an old 55g i had. i knew it had never seen copper. and it wasn't too big. we set it up about 12 or 13 weeks ago. it has a deltec hob skimmer and a hob refugium i rigged up with cheato, corbon, and some floss pads i clean on a regular basis. i do 5g water changes every other week from my own ro/di system at home. i have had some fish in there on and off. ( i've kinda been using it as a holding tank as i do work on my 150 at home) and it currently has a bunch of snails as a CUC.
i have a buddy in my club who cuts acrylic from a cnc machine and he is making me precission cuts lids for the tank. once i get the lids. im confident my tank will be set up pretty escape proof.
im planning on ordering it from liveaquaria. i know i wont get a garontee of species but i hoping for A.aculeatus. im pretty sure my settup will acomidate aculeatus pretty well.
im also going to be orderind either fiddler crabs or shore shrimp from this online site from St Augustine florida. i have rubbermaid buckets i will be using as holding tanks for the food. and i may have to change this setup acording to what my octo wants to eat. im hoping he will like fiddler crabs. then i can just keep an inch of water in the bottom of a bucket with some rocks. if i change the water on a regular basis the crabs should be ok. i will be using the waste water from the bi weekly water changes to freshen the water for the crabs.

im hoping i have everything covered. if i am missing something PLEASE let me know. i dont want to hurt an octo by my ignorance. and any help will be greatly appreciated.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
2,833
Cool. sounds to me like your on the right track so far. Sounds like a nice setup. you didn't mention Lights or temperature control device (heater/chiller). aculeatus and anything that come from Live Aquaria are warm water species so you want to target 72*-78*, i'm currently running my tanks at 76*. Depending on what else you have in the tank you dont need very bright lights. I have simple a simple marine florescent on mine.
 

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
i have just some crapy florescents over it. its just eneugh light for me to see in the tank, without generating heat, or possibly stressing the octo. i also have a heater in the tank as well. i can't afford a chiller so i made sure to look for warm water species. the tank has been sitting around 75* but it can climb up to the low 80s on a hot day. from what i read, aculeatus's natural environment can get up to 90* so i should be good to go.
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
2,833
the tank has been sitting around 75* but it can climb up to the low 80s on a hot day. from what i read, aculeatus's natural environment can get up to 90* so i should be good to go.

Yeah it should be fine then. if the the tank is naturally warmer I would set the temp around 78* so you don't have too much fluctuation.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,986
You mentioned a skimmer and fuge but not a sump so I have a little concern about air exchange. Does the fuge have an above water return to allow the CO2 to escape? Are you using live rock for the primary filtration?
 

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
no i am not using a sump. the tank is all tempered glass so i can't drill in an overflow. so have to keep everything HOB. i made the fuge from an old freshwater filter. it has an open top with water flowing over the lip back in to the tank. gas exchange was something i was a little concerened about too. is there a way to test my o2 and co2 saturation? i was thinking about puting an airstone in the fuge as well. Im not a fan of microbubbles. but if its safer for my little 8 legged friend i can live with em.
yes i have about 50 lbs of really nice live rock in there. and about 20 lbs of sand. both were already live before i set the tank up.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
You are showing uncommon prudence and thoroughness by asking Tonmo people to help you with a pre-launch check. With that kind of attitude, I expect you'll be quite successful with you octopus.

If you end up with a species that is found in tide pools, you might not need to worry much about the occasional day/night temperature change, but if not, the octopus might be sensitive to that. Gas exchange can be an issue with octopus, given that they need high O2 saturation (their blood can't efficiently carry O2) and we tend to completely cover our tanks, for escape reasons. I've read that protein skimmers don't do a very good job of promoting gas exchange, so keep your eye on it, and watch out for a build up of CO2, which can cause low PH. My tank is completely covered, and I have no sump, but my filtration is handled by the equivalent of a hang-on wet/dry trickle filter, which, when left uncovered itself, easily provides enough gas exchange.

How are you planning to secure the holes in the top that the HOB devices return water to the tank through? How will you keep your octopus from escaping through there, especially when the pumps are turned off?

Also, give extra thought to the intakes inside the tank. Your octopus might be rather small when it arrives, and if the holes/slits in the intakes are too large, or two few, causing high suction pressure, they could pose a hazard. Coarse open cell foam (like that used in AquaClear filters) is bulky, but can help solve such problems.

What kind of office lobby is this going into? when I proposed setting up my bimac tank in the living room, my wife's reaction was hesitant, because while "fish tanks" were beautiful, she thought that an octopus was a little creepy (I know, but I didn't think to ask about octopus in the living room when we were dating, and now it's too late :smile:) Just about every woman I surveyed had a similar opinion, despite the obvious fact that octopus are totally cool. My wife let me go ahead and do it, and before long she really liked having "Lefty" in the living room, but he had to charm her. So if this is a dentist's or pediatrician's office, you might not get the public reception you are expecting (although the kids would love it).
 

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
I am having lids custom made. they are 1/2 acrylic. cut by a CNC machine to fit within 1/16" to all of my in and out plumbing. i also have floss(sponge like materiel) that i can stuff into any cracks that we missed. all of the intakes have mesh covers over them and all the returns are falling through slits that will have floss blocking them. we plan to put bricks on top to hold it all down. i am waiting to get the lids some time this week, and once i do i can post a picture or two. its kinda hard for me to describe what i have going on, but im pretty confident that its escape proof.

the tank is in the lobby of the tattoo shop that i manage. (figure the octopus uses ink, and we use ink. so it works). i would say there is close to 100 people in and out of the lobby every day. we keep a close eye on the tank, and unless some A hole gets sneaky about it, nobody has a chance to tap on the glass or anything. that was taken into account with our lid plans. we didn't want any chance for a customer to slip anything into the tank. i also plan to keep an extra 5 or 10g of water on hand to do a quick water change in case it does ink. we do realize that the tank will be boring most of the time. and most of our customers will prob never see the octo. but i don't care. im keeping this tank so all the employees have something to stare at on the slow days. and we will have a set feeding time i should get a chance to bond with it every day. i really spend more time at work than i do at home.

so gas exchange is my main concern. right? when i get the lids. should i just run the tank as is. and check my ph twice a day. if my ph stays around 8.3 (where its at right now). is that an indicator that my o2 saturation is sufficent. or should i just put the airstone in. i know that can change my ph as well. also testing now won't do me any good untill i get the animal in the tank consuming the o2. right? ergh!

sooo pretty much. im just going to keep an airstone on hand and monitor my ph. if it drops after installing the lids, ill put in the airstone. if it stays the same until after putting the animal into the tank. than i should be fine without an airstone. right? does that sound like the safest aproach? or should i just put the airstone in anyway?

thanks a lot for all your help. you guys are the experts and im glad you guys are so nice and willing to share your knowledge.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
An octopus in a tattoo shop is about as perfect a match as I can think of. What might be "creepy" in a dentist's office is "edgy" in a tattoo shop, plus the whole ink connection.

There are lots of things that can drop (or raise?) your ph, and poor gas exchange (specifically too much CO2 in the water) is just one of them. If you find low PH, an easy test is to run an air stone in a cup of tank water for a few minutes, and then test the water in the cup. If after running the airstone the water in the cup shows a higher PH than the tank water, then the low PH was caused (at least in part) by poor gas exchange. If after running the air stone the water in the cup has the same PH as it did before running the air stone, the the low PH is not caused by poor gas exchange. The next question is: can you have low oxygen without low PH? I don't know, but someone does, so keep asking.

I'm not a big fan of using the weight of a rock to keep a top on. Some day you'll forget to put the rock back, or someone will move it. It also makes it that much easier for some unauthorized person to put something in or take something out, and rocks around glass tanks (and the crazy public) make me nervous. On the other hand, I keep bimacs, which get big and strong, and might be able to move a heavy lid, so I worry about it. A small octopus would probably have trouble just lifting the weight of 1/2" thick acrylic, so maybe I'm being paranoid. My tank has a plastic rim around the top, so it was easy for me to just drill holes in the acrylic top, and in the rim, tap the holes in the rim and bolt the top down with nylon bolts. Part of the lid I attached with an acrylic hinge (to the bolted down part of the lid) and made a latch so that I can get in easily, but even a super strong, smart, and determined octopus can't get out. I used to build snake cages for snakes I caught as a kid, and after a few escapes the design evolved into one where gravity alone was enough to close and latch the lid, so that I wouldn't need to remember to insert a pin, turn a latch, or replace a rock (eventually I know I would forget, and once is all it takes (at least with snakes)) I wrote up the lid design and posted pictures HERE if you are interested.

The filter floss over the slits where the water returns to the tank probably won't help keep the octopus in (couldn't it just push the floss out of the way from underneath?), so if the slits are large enough for it to get through (wider than it's eye ball ?) then you probably need another plan. Even if the floss is held rigidly in place, won't you need an alternate path designed in for water to flow if the floss becomes clogged? Neglect, or maybe a good inking, can do that, so the alternate water path would need to be secure too. I've thought about using the plastic mesh with square holes, used for doing counted-cross-stitch (decorative embroidery?). It has squares that are 1/8th, or even 1/16th inch, and I can cut it and sew it together by hand with fishing line as needed to make box or trough shapes. I haven't done it yet, but that's my plan if I need to use a hand on back device - for what it's worth.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,986
As a slight asside, Diego (bimac caught by Joe-Ceph) is the strongest of the octos we have kept. He has removed a cap on his return pipe (something none of the others have done - not a problem fortunately because the top of the pipe if filled with Gorilla glue and the cap is just an esthetic but I did not remember that we had done that until I found the cap in the aquarium). When he decides to pull on my fingers, it pops my thumb joint and hurts! Diego is only half the size of my briareus but I think he is twice as strong.
 

Latest Posts


Top