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Octoproofing my tank - checklist


Dec 13, 2013
New York City
Hi all.

I've read through many many posts and sites to do my research properly before getting my octo. One of the most important things is proofing the tank so the animal can not escape.

I'd like to share my plans and check if I am missing anything, or if any suggestions could be made.

My plans at the moment:
  • Attach velcro to the lid tank. Easy for humans to lift, not so for an octopus. I've read of other people using velcro to good effect.
  • Encase the overflow in something like enkamat, to prevent the octopus squeezing through.
  • Powerheads are Koralia brand, and will be encased in a media mesh zip bag.
  • 1 inch of astroturh around the top of the tank. I've read Octopuses do not like put their tentacles on this, so this should be further discouragement.
  • Smaller pieces of LR will be glued together to avoid the octopus rearranging too much, and potentially causing damage.
  • I have some Hawaiian live sand (the black stuff) in my tank, which upon further reading may be too harsh for the octo, which I may end up adding a softer sand on top to mitigate.
  • No dangerous animals or corals in the tank. Just a CUC, serpent and bristle star, starfish, peppermint shrimp and decorator crab. Corals added will be non stinging.
  • Flow is currently two powerheads, one 850gph and one 1150gph, but these will not be active during the times the octopus will be active.
  • Lighting is currently a sole 17 watt T8, but will be switching to a programmable LED that will gradually increase to VHO during the day for corals when octopus is not active, and then dim down before switching to red light.
Does the return line where water comes out need to be protected at all? I'm guessing not as the flow would be too strong, but don't want to miss anything!

That's about it. Is there anything else I should check? Are there perhaps better solutions to what I've suggested above?

I'm hoping to get one perhaps at the end of August before they become unavailable for several months.

As a side question, the tank is currently in my living room...with my home theater system. I know they can be sensitive to sound...should I worry about the volume levels?

So far, I've done my research, and I should hopefully have an ideal tank for my Octopus when I get it.
I would belay the astroturf, it gets nasty. If you can lower your tank water ~ 2" below the top (sometimes not possible) this is probably as helpful. IMO velcro is a pain in the gazoo. I have hinged lids (customer but similar to commercially available) and use hasp style locks (secured with automotive tape) to lock down the tank. My loss of Margay was not a failure of the lock style (they are useless if not engaged). The tape needs to be replaced after a year or two but is nicely secure for this purpose. Finding a proper pin is the most difficult part. I use the thicker style bamboo skewers as I have not found a properly sized acrylic (they are designed for a pad lock).

The course sponge, plastic weave can go directly inside the overflow, now around it. I use a bulkhead strainer (available in slip or threaded (your bulk head will be one or the other) alone for the larger animals but small ones still need additional dissuasion. With Shiitake, I place a bright light over the overflow area but it is a compartment in the side of the tank that is light blocked from the main display.

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