i think im ready for my first octo

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
so i'm still waiting on those lids to get here. gas exchange and lid security are my only real concerns and its hard for me to explain without taking some pictures. so once they get here i will post some pics and we can figure it out from there.

i'm just waiting....and bored......and can't think of anything else i could be doing to prepare for my octo. i've read and re-read all the octo-journals.

sooooo... is there anything else i could be doing?
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
One thing you'll have to deal with, that most of us don't have, is the public. I had a wise grey haired math professor in college that used to say that at any given time, about 5% of the general public are certifiably insane. The older I get, the more I agree with him, and it occurs to me that a big part of your security plan should probably be to keep crazy people out, not just to keep octopuses in. "I wonder if the octopus would like one of my Doritos?" (beer, soda, loose change (copper) whatever). There's only so much you can do to guard against what some idiot might do, but you might want to give some more thought to what can reasonably be done (a canopy with an alarm (mercury switch?) that you can disable from behind the counter?) Do you think that the percent of crazy people walking into a tattoo shop will be higher or lower than the 5% estimate for the general population?
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
tat2spyder;178901 said:
yeah its been running since mid march. 0 ammonia and nitrates.
You might be fully aware of this already, but at the risk of being a PIA...
Just because a tank is "cycled" doesn't mean it has built up a large enough population of bacteria to be able to process the additional amount of waste per week that your new octopus will generate. Are you planning to remove a number of animals from your tank that, collectively, are eating about as much as your octopus will eat? If not, then your octopus will dump more waste into your tank than it is currently able to handle, and your tank may go through a mini (or not so mini) cycle as a way of building up enough new bacteria to handle the increased bio-load. Many people (including me, the first time) "cycle" a new tank, and then let it sit close to empty, being fed little or nothing, for weeks until their octopus arrives. It's much better to keep a bunch of cheap fish that eat as much as a good sized octopus would, per week, and then swap them out (back to the LFS) when your octopus comes, so that your bacteria population hardly notices any increase in the total amount of animal waste per week, and just keeps chugging along.

Are you prepared for whatever size octopus you might get? Is your escape proofing sufficient to keep a really small octopus from slipping out through a small crack, but also secure enough to keep a very strong octopus from disturbing plumbing or busting out? Do you have your feeding, water testing, and water change routine all figured out and ready to go, with sources of each waiting? Have you read about the safest way to acclimate your new arrival to your tank when it arrives?
 

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
joe ceph. you are in no way being a PIA. i am glad that you are helping me to be so thurogh. and i am thankfull that, with your help, im getting more confident about keeping this animal

i totally agree that about 5% of the genral public is crazy. but in a tattoo shop we get WAY more crazies. closer to like 50%. when we first thought about putting an octo in here, that was my first concern. i was so affraid of some a-hole customer tapping on the glass or opening the lids and hurting our animal. but we have had this tank in here for a few months and i have noticed that most customers ignore it. it has an open top right now, and i haven't found anything in there that i didn't put there. i had a clown fish in there for a few weeks, and peolple kinda noticed him. but for the most part people just walk right past it. i am still concerend about it though. we have a reseptionist who sits right in front of the tank, and she is there all day. she will not be happy at all if someone messes with our tank, and she has the right to kick someone out for doing so. but i still want to make the lids as customer proof as possible. i was planning on making it noisy some how, attach a bell or something. so nobody could sneek in when the receptionist isn't looking. i just need my lids to get here so i can start playing around with them.

as far as cycling. i understand that ballancing the micro organisms to what the tank gets fed is very important. for the first 3 weeks it sat empty. then after the initial ammonia spike settled down, we put a few fish in. i have had up to 4 fish in there at a time. i have been moving fish around my tanks at home and used this work tank as qt tank for a bit. so it has had at least 1 fish in it since early april. right now, most of the fish have gone back home. i still have a flasher wrasse in there, a choc chip star, 2 peppermint shrimp, and about 20 or so snails. i feed the wrasse way too much twice a day. i have been doing this on purpose for the exact reason you mentioned. i don't want my messy eating octo to change what the tank is used to. if anything the tank might get a break with only 2 dead fiddlers a day. i get a bit of algea growth and i go in and brush it off by hand when i do water changes. other than that my tank is pretty used to accepting a lot of waste food. if my lids take take to much longer to get here i may bring another fish from home so the wrasse doesn't get lonely.

i am hoping that i don't get the little nocternal cousin of A.aculeatus. but if i do, i am prepared for it. the lids are being machined to within 1/16" tolerance. i also have a tube of sylicone to plug any holes that are too big. and i also found this cool red led strip i can mount on top for nightime viewing.

as far as my tank mantanence. i do weekly water changes of about 5 gallons. i get the water from my own 5 stage ro/di unit at home and i mix it with instant ocean. i have a 5 gal bucket that sits at the shop with clean SW mix in it. and every week i use that for the water change and replace the bucket. so i always have 5g on hand just in case. i don't test the water that often any more cuz it's always zero. but i have the test kits here at work. i will be testing more once the octo gets here and im keeping a close eye on tank permaeters. mainly testing ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, ph, and phosphates. im not too worried about calcium and magnesium cuz theres no coral in there.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
It sounds like you've got this well thought out, and are preparing well.
tat2spyder;179046 said:
the lids are being machined to within 1/16" tolerance.
That's great for holes in the top made for plumbing, but if the whole lid needs to slip down into a groove, you will want a little bit of extra room for the top. If the cuts are 1/16" under, you're okay (1/8" would be better), but if they're dead on, or 1/16th over, you could have a problem. When I build my acrylic lid I made it to fit exactly into the channel in the factory plastic rim on the tank. I wish I'd made my lid 1/8"-3/16" smaller, for two reasons:
1) My lid had nice sharp 90 degree edges, but the edges at the bottom of the channel were a little rounded, so my lid didn't fit all the way down.
2) Acrylic absorbs a very tiny amount of water, and expands a very tiny bit, so if your new lid starts out "almost too tight", it might become "a little too tight" after a few days on your tank. I'm only talking about a few thousandths of an inch, but that's not zero, so it's a good idea to design in a little wiggle room.

I had to get some sand paper and take a little off the edges of my top, so the next one will be designed to be maybe 1/8" too small. My top has multiple pieces that are connected by hinges, and I wish I'd left about 1/32" between the hinged pieces. Between the small amount of swelling, and/or a little salt creep into the space between the two hinged pieces, the lid sometimes only closes 99%, and the latch doesn't always engage by itself. That also puts a lot of stress on the hinges, which might crack some day.

It's great that your acrylic top will be 1/2" thick. Acrylic tops seem to often bow, wither because the bottom absorbs more water than the top (theory) or because of hot lights on top (guess). 1/2" thick acrylic is likely to stay flat.

Also, keep in mind that it is easy to drill holes and even tap threads into acrylic. Nylon bolts can be used to modify the top, hold it down, hold things to it, make a latch, or whatever.
 

tat2spyder

Blue Ring
Registered
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Messages
43
yeah once these lids get here im prob gonna have to modify them a bit. i got my dremel tool all warmed up and ready. i did go with the 1/2" cuz i was planning on stacking bricks on top, and i had the same theory about the lights heating up the acrylic and causing it to warp. im thinking maybe i should drill a bunch of little 1/16" holes all over the top. that way i won't be so stressed over gas exchange.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,983
Even 1/2 inch will warp a little. I have found that securing the edges minimizes most of the warping even in thinner acrylic if the edges are secured at all times (regardless of the need for keeping an animal inside). Where I have only had LED lights that sit about 8" off the top of the tank, I have not had the warping (Diego's tank) so I am staying with the temperature difference theory :biggrin2:
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
563
I've found that it I put a piece of wood under the acrylic when I drill holes in it, and drill a bit into the wood, I don't chip the exit end of the hole in the acrylic. You need to worry about the drill bit getting hot and melting the acrylic, so use a sharp drill bit, slow speed, and maybe run a little water on the acrylic, or drill through a little puddle, to wet/cool the bit. The acrylic will dull the bit fast, so maybe buy extra hard bits, and/or sharpen or swap them out when they get dull. I'd go with 1/8" holes unless the octopus is likely to be really small.
Since drilling holes is such a pain, and may not be enough to solve the gas exchange problem anyway, I'd plan to use a sump, or have a large enough open Hang On Back type device to allow for gas exchange. Circulating the water through an open bucket of bio-balls would do the trick (my tank is totally sealed on top, but I have a wet/dry trickle filter which easily handles the gas exchange
 

Latest Posts


Top