To be honest, everything in this tank came from the same place- which is also where the octopus came from. It was our original intention to design a tank where everything came from KP aquatics, to commemorate a trip we took last year when we cycled from Key Largo to Key West.The heat generated from a chiller is leading me to go the briareus route, even though I had my heart set on a Bimac. Upside is I should be able to put some low maintenance SPS and softies in their since presumably a caribbean octopus can deal with corals. The 80 gallon (display) tank will start cycling next week, and I have a buddy who has 100% clean rock that he's kept seeded with bacteria for a year in dark trashcans so it shouldn't take too long to cycle, assuming we don't lose all the bacteria during the aquascaping (I am seeing with Dr. Tim's anyway).
I figured optimal temperature would be 72 or so, but am encouraged by 76 - 80 as this makes the corals easier to manage. I googled Key West water temps and it says 87 right now. Warmer than I thought. I'd think something right at 76 or so (hoping to slow growth) would be ideal, just as you figured.
Any issues with the corals? I worry about tentacles being stung by late night sweepers, but am choosing the friendliest corals I can to avoid that.
We happened to get Kestra while Anya was still brooding eggs, so she had to go into our “Keys Tank.” I don’t know if that makes any difference or not, that all of the livestock (including ALL of the live rock) is from the same place, Kestra is just accustomed to the corals? But I do purposely stick with mild corals because I don’t want anything to get hurt!