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low temp, low light coarl advice for a bimac


Oct 26, 2005
I am hoping someone can give me a little advise about some low light corals for a future bimac tank. I’m planning on starting a 75 gallon bimac tank. I was thinking of having it as a low light 72 degree reef tank for about 6 months, or more, first. I know the bimac can destroy the corals, but I would like to try. I am hoping someone will sugest some corals, and a some lighting advise for the coral, with bimac in mind. If you think trying any corals with the bimac are a bad idea I would just like to know why. I have experience with reef tanks, but having a low temp is completely new to me. Any advice about a clean up crew would be great too. I realize the bimac will destroy the clean up crew, but some posts say the can be brought back when the bimac out grows them as food.
I'm hoping to plant some corals into my tank too. I'm the same as you just starting with octo tanks.

To my understanding its dangerous to have corals because the octo will move rocks around, crushing, or in some minor cases upsetting the corals. Meaning they might not like their new placement and would suffer health from it. I plan to use very large rocks that I put my corals on, rocks the the bimac couldnt possibly move by himself. Although there is an element of risk involved, it should be interesting to find out, and I'll post results, sadly wont have them for another 3 months or so.

I propogate xenia, leathers, and mushrooms for local fish stores for profit, so its not too much of a big deal to me if he decides to kill one, lesson learned :p
I have several soft corals in my tank with the ocotopus. There have been no problems. Corals can always be attached using underwater epoxy if you're worried. I think the concern is that sps and certain LPS corals like euphyllia species as well as anenomes pack a relatively powerful nematocyst punch and could in fact hurt the octopus. I have only soft corals known for their low levels of alleopathy (release of toxic chemicals into water). Keep activated carbon, protein skimming going and limit yourself to only soft corals and you should have no problems. Good luck.
Hi Tony,

I think you've got a 'Catch 22' situation in a number of different ways.

Temperature: 72F is at the high end of acceptable temps for a bimac. At that temp your octo will age much faster than it would at a lower temp (60 to 65F) and may actually reach senescence at less than one year of age. OTOH: Assuming that the corals you're interested in are the one's generally sold to the reefer community 72F is quite a low temp. I won't claim any expertise about keeping corals but I'm pretty sure that in the 5 years that I've been reading R.A.M.R. I've never seen a temp recommendation of less than 78F. If the temp is lower than optimal your corals will be less able to grow, repair injuries, or regenerate nematocysts. [Cnidarians use nematocysts in their digestive process as well as in prey capture.]

Light: Your bimac certainly doesn't need much light and would probably be much more happy and secure in a dimly lit environment. OTOH: Tropical corals depend on plenty of light to keep their zooanthellae busy churning out sugars for their host. If the light is insufficient the coral will bleach out and will die unless you provide extra food. BTW: There's no guarantee that extra food will fix the problem.

Compatibility: Not all corals require light. An example is the tube dwelling Cerianthus genus. The thing is that cnidarians that need to get ALL their nutrition from outside sources (IOW: by eating) tend to have more powerful nematocysts. It has been mentioned on this thread that you don't want the corals and the octo to hurt/damage each other. IMHO: Anemone or coral stings aren't that big a hazard to an octo since they are acutely aware of their surroundings and more than smart enough to learn from their mistakes. That, however, is very much a minority opinion on this forum. If you agree with everybody else then you wouldn't want to select a cnidarian that is a pure predator for your octo tank.

All is not lost though! If you are primarily looking for things to beautify your tank for when the octo is hiding, here are a few suggestions for animals that are native to the same waters as the bimac:

Cnidarians with "weak" nematocysts -
Abietinaria spp. - hydroid
Aglaophenia struthionides - Ostrich Plume hydroid
Corymorpha spp. - hydroid
Ectopleura spp. - hydroid
Stylaster venustus - Pink Hydrocoral
Clavularia spp. - Pale Soft Coral
Balanophyllia elegans - Orange Cup Coral
Paracyathus stearnsi - Tan Cup Coral
Corynactis califorica - Strawberry Anemone
Metridium spp. - Plumose Anemone
Epiactis prolifera - Brooding or Proliferating Anemone

Sedentary Polychates -
Dodecceria fewkesi - Fringed Tube Worm
Sabellaria cementarium - Cemented Tube Worm
Serpula vermicularis - Calcareous Tube Worm
Salmacina tribranchiata - Orange Tube Worm
Pista elongata - Fibre-tube worm

Yossarianly yours,

There's a problem with stinging corals, even those that aren't harmful enough to kill your octo. He does learn to avoid them, like he does out in the ocean. But the tanks we provide are relatively small - if your octo is avoiding stinging things, that gives him even less room to move about naturally.

Ah yea now that I think about it temperature will really be an issue...

Mushrooms really the best candidate... But those little things take so long to propogate >.
what??? mushroom take long to prop!!! no way man just take a razor blade to the thing like a pizza and youll have like 50 in no time and do well in colder temps so do leathers and zoos but dont put zoos in
haha, yea I havnt had the best of luck with them so far, I've been focussing on xenias. Those things grow like weeds, pretty pink weeds.

I have a few species of finger leathers, I wish I could track down what genus,species it really is.

I'll probly cut a mushroom up into itty bitty pieces and scater it into my octo tank before he arrives... hopefully they survive in those conditions, I'll keep you posted :) But it wont happen for another month or so.

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