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New tank setup help


Aug 3, 2007
Ok, I know I am definately the rookie here. I have read so many different threads and info that it is making my head spin. So here is what I have so far: 60gal long, some live sand mixed with regular and shells, some rocks(not live), decorations, and some hiding places. In all the articles I have read it looks like a Bimac would be my best bet(not as much nocturnal and interactive). I have had my tank set up for about a week now so I still have almost 3 months till I can even aquire the octo. I have had 10 damsels(2 dominoes-seem to be passive, 3 green schoolers, and 5 blues, way too aggressive) that the LFS said would be good to cycle the tank. I am just finishing my Alk spike and all the other readings are looking good(salinity 1.026, ph 8.0, nitrate 10ppm), the temp is a little warm at 74 deg. I am using an undergravel filter, fluval 450, and a jebo reef style protein skimmer 180 with power head.
Any and all info and suggestions would be greatly appreciated as well as suggestions for compatible fish.
ps. Thanks to Animal Mother and Monty for your help so far on the other thread!!

Live rock would benefit you greatly. Even if you can get ~60 lbs like you should for that size tank, at least get some. Live rock is good because it provides extra filteration, gives your octopus a more natural feel to the tank so he is less shy, and provides wonderful hiding places. I would get at least get 10 lbs + rubble for your Fluval in place of the bio media.
Really? I have a friend who worked in the Baltimore Aq and she said they use some type of undergravel filter with everything they have there. Obviously if I dont need it I can get rid of it but if it helps at all then I might as well keep it?
Yes, don't bother with the undergravel filter. You don't need it, and experience has shown that octopuses sometimes live beneath undergravel filters, which isn't desirable.

Ok, thanks Nancy, I will start working on that today on removing the filter as well as some of the other pieces so I can redo with live rock. Any suggestions on the fish and the temp?
Fish aren't needed if you have live rock in there. If you are going to catch them I would do it before you put in the LR because they can be a pain to catch. Temperature for a Bimac needs to be as cold as you can get it if you want him to live longer.
Thanks Shipposhack! As far as the temp though, I have heard room temp, also have heard you dont need a chiller but mine stays about 74-75 now(hot summer) and will drop as soon as our 95deg days are gone, well by the time I get him. I figure I will need something by next summer but not yet?
You can keep them at tropical temperatures. The colder your tank is the longer they will last. It causes them to grow slower. Also how many times you feed factors into how long the octo will live. Temps should not go below 55 though. Fifty-five would be hard to manage unless you bought a mega-chiller. Many people have Bimacs without chillers.
They really should be kept at lower temperatures than tropical, which is about 78 degrees. Room temperature is usually lower. Try for the lower 70's, which can be achieved by a fan on the sump and other methods other than a chiller. It's true, some have kept bimacs successfully at room temperature and some of our home aquarists have the tank as low as 65 degrees.

Thank you shipposhack and nancy. It seems like I have a bit of flexibility here. I think I have some time then because it would stay in that range until next july/august.. By that point I can either get a chiller or some smaller version of that process like the fan you mention. Another question I have-- how about these led "moon" lights that I have seen? I have heard that they help with the natural light cycle-- with an octo is that nec?
No, moonlights are never necessary. They are so you can view your tank at night. Copying the lunar cycles would be difficult unless you get something electronic to run it. Also it is not at all needed in an octo tank. If you want moonlights they must be Red LEDs and not Blue.