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new octo

thats what i do except i put the line on a peice of clear tape/scotch tape so that if i need to remove the line and put it somewhere else, i can.. lol.....
is it ok if my salinity is at 1.023 instead of 1.026 like the care sheet reccomends?

also, my test showed readings of small amounts of nitrites in the water so I followed what it said by cleaning the sand on the bottom and doing a 5% water change. is there any other methods I should take to get them back to 0? it also reccommended extra aeration.

thanks for your help guys :smile:

You'll probably have to rely on water changes to keep your water parameters good.

Yes, 1.023 is OK, but you might aim for 1.024-1.025.

Nitrite, like ammonia, means a cycle issue. That means the colony of bacteria that process the tank's waste isn't entirely up to the task. The question is how close is it: A) is the system incapable of handling an octopus's waste; or B) there's a big colony of the good bacteria, but the new octopus overwhelmed them slightly and its taking a day or two to overcome.

In another thread another octo-keeper is reporting very high levels of ammonia. He's probably experiencing letter A above and his octopus is in trouble. You seem to only have a very small amount of nitrite, which can make us hopeful for situation B. How can you know for sure? Check your ammonia. If there's any ammonia its bad news and you might consider letting the octo go. If there's no (or only a trace) of ammonia then check both parameters again tomorrow and see if there's less.

A note about testing: These kits aren't that precise. If you're using one of the plastic swing-arm boxes to test the salinity, chances are it has a wide margin of error, so you shouldn't worry too much about the difference between 1.023 and 1.026. The same goes for the color-change chemical test kits. Sometimes they're really tough to read, and some of them will take a perfectly clean water sample and give it enough color tint to suggest it has some ammonia or nitrite when it really doesn't. You might test some fresh, clean water to make sure you know what zero really looks like.

Good luck,

yeah I am going to test for high levels of ammonia. Since it was ocean water I am going to presume that it was letter B and that the water just had a slight shock though since ocean water already has a good colony of bacteria. yeah the test was a VERY light amount of pink which was a warning of nitrite so there could be none at all due to its innacuracy.

I am going to do another water change too just in case. and also I have been feeding him hermit crabs and small cleaner shrimp but since he is wild does he need a bigger variety of foods? Should i catch all of them or are there some I can just buy since going every day is a pain.

thanks again :smile:
marineboy;82332 said:
Since it was ocean water I am going to presume that it was letter B and that the water just had a slight shock though since ocean water already has a good colony of bacteria.

This is a common, but bad assumption. While there is some bacteria floating free in the water, there isn't nearly enough to process all the ammonia your tank makes. Your system's bio-filter is like a farm field for the bacteria, and the amount of bacteria in the water is no more than a seed. It takes time to grow the "crop" from the "seed." That's why the tank needs to cycle for a number of weeks no matter where the water comes from, be it from the tap (purified of course), the ocean, or the reef tank in the next room. The cycle is basically just giving the handful of bacteria in the water time to find the filter and then be fruitful and multiply.

Run the ammonia test before you do the water change so we're comparing apples to apples.

hmmm, what your saying is a bit shocking since before everybody has told me that if I use fresh ocean water I can knock out the long cycling period that is usually required.

does that mean I should let him go and cycle the tank? he seems to be doing great to me though.

by the way, has kraken been added to our list of octopus?

Do you recall which thread/post someone told you that using fresh seawater would mean you didn't have to cycle? It wasn't the locked thread started by alexfevry, was it?

Some public aquariums and science labs have "flow-through" systems where fresh seawater is constantly being pumped into the tanks and old water is pumped out. These don't need to cycle because they don't have bio-filters: all the ammonia that is produced by the animals gets pumped out into the ocean before it can hurt them. Perhaps you were confusing this with getting seawater for a home tank?

How long has your tank been set up? Is this the system that you've only had set up for a week or two or is it your old tank?

Here's what I'd do. Test ammonia and nitrite every day. If the values of either are more than a trace for more than a day you should really let the octo go for its own health.

When something like this happens, the first instinct is to do water changes. Obviously, it will get rid of some of the ammonia and make the water safer for the animal. This is kind of a mixed bag though, because when the tank is still cycling water changes will make the cycle take longer. The choice is between a shorter, bigger ammonia spike (which will probably kill the animal) or a long, drawn out period of lesser amounts of ammonia (which is cruel to the animal--take the lid off a bottle of ammonia cleaner and take a big whiff if you don't believe me). You're lucky because you can catch and release as you please. If your tank isn't ready and your ammonia/nitrite start rising your octo doesn't have to be punished. Others though might have paid big $$$ for their octo and if they were unprepared the animal can die (This happened to someone over the summer).

If the tank has been set up for a couple weeks you might get lucky and the cycle is nearing its end. The cycle usually only takes a few weeks, we recommend 6-8 weeks only because there are other less critical things going on in the background. Since you're reading nitrite but not ammonia I have a hunch this might be what's happening. You might hold tight for now, then keep testing those two parameters and see if they start rising. If they do, let him go and catch another in a few weeks. If they don't, then you can breathe a sigh of relief :smile:


(and by the way, you probably shouldn't try breathing the ammonia. It might do really really really bad things to your brain and your lungs!)
nitrite is fine now and I am getting an ammonia test kit today.

If the ammonia reads high then I will reslease him.

Also the tank has been up for a week.
oh boy, ammonia is at a little less than 1.0 ppm!

should I let him go?

also, I have an extra bio filter. Should I put that on? It would be a real dissapointment if I had to let him go.....

please comment soon! thanks.


PS: I fed him two ghost shrimp today in which he greatly enjoyed.
Yup, when in doubt, water change! Haha.

10% is good. Maybe a little more if you can.

You might try testing the water before you add it to the tank, so you know what you're putting into the tank. Depending on where you get it, it seems possible to me the "fresh" water you're adding could contain a bit of nitrites, nitrates, or ammonia. Just my 2 cents.

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