Octopus Advice

Octo RWU

Pygmy Octopus
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Apr 10, 2009
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7
Hello all

A friend and I work in the wetlab of our university, and are trying to gather as much information as possible to submit a proposal for research on behavior in octopuses. We've been doing tons of reading and found that California two-spots would workout the best for us. Our problem is that the big guy in charge wants us to use Atlantic Pygmies. We've read that these are shy and nocturnal.

Any setup suggestions for us, and opinions on which species to go for would be helpful.

Our current setup ideas would include 55 gallon tanks for each of 4 octopuses and either a 20 or 35 gallon sump tank (hopefully 35) for each tank. We will probably be designing the sytems ourselves as a bonus project from the aquarium systems design classes.

Keep in mind we are very early into this project, and have experience taking care of a variety of spieces except octopuses. Many people in this forum seem to know a lot about the subject, so any and all opinions would be great.

Thanks!
Tom and Tyler
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
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:welcome: I second what cuttlegirl asked, plus, I don't know that your going to be able to get any info about behavior from a pygmy unless you spend lots of late nights, get lucky on which octo(s) you get, and are extremely sneeky. Don't expect for them to interact with you at all. Also, for that size system with that many octo's, you're going to want a MEGA skimmer. I would suggest something rated for around 4-500 gallons. Let us know what your research shows as choices for skimmers and we'll tell you which one... Also, lots of LR, don't skimp on that or the cycling. Also, I'm interested in what uni you go to?
 

Shkuey

Blue Ring
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Feb 2, 2009
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I would speculate by their handle it is Roger Williams in RI, and that an atlantic octopus may be more easily aquired in that area? I'm sure you could setup webcams to study their behavior at night.
 

Octo RWU

Pygmy Octopus
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The professor does have connections on where to get the Atlantic pygmies, our guess is that is why he wants to get them. Also that they are smaller. He kind of likes to hog the lab. Anyway Shkuey Roger Williams University is correct.

L8 2 RISE, what do you mean by LR and cycling? Do you mean live rock and the rate that the water is filtered? If you mean Live Rock, we found at the lab that putting less live rock in the tank itself, and most of it in the sump is better for water quality. Don't worry though, the octopuses will have plenty of other rock to hide in that is less expensive.

We really want the California Two-spot because of their hardiness over other species and that they are more prone to interract with their caretakers.

We know that the National Resource Center for Cephalopods deals in bimacs, they are in texas. Does anyone know any other places that deal with them?

Thanks for the speculation!
We will get back about the skimmer ASAP
Tom and Tyler
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
656
Octo RWU;135759 said:
The professor does have connections on where to get the Atlantic pygmies, our guess is that is why he wants to get them. Also that they are smaller. He kind of likes to hog the lab. Anyway Shkuey Roger Williams University is correct.

L8 2 RISE, what do you mean by LR and cycling? Do you mean live rock and the rate that the water is filtered? If you mean Live Rock, we found at the lab that putting less live rock in the tank itself, and most of it in the sump is better for water quality. Don't worry though, the octopuses will have plenty of other rock to hide in that is less expensive.

We really want the California Two-spot because of their hardiness over other species and that they are more prone to interract with their caretakers.

We know that the National Resource Center for Cephalopods deals in bimacs, they are in texas. Does anyone know any other places that deal with them?

Thanks for the speculation!
We will get back about the skimmer ASAP
Tom and Tyler

Yep, I meant live rock, and I didn't necessarily mean in the displays, but if you're going to be keeping that many cephs in one system, you'll need lots of filtration: skimmer and live rock. At least a pound a gallon would be ideal.. I was going to suggest the NRCC, but you guys have apparently already found it. Would they not ship? Also, for bimacs, you'll need a chiller. You might be able to look through some old threads of people that have collected bimacs in cali and PM them. If I remember right, there was someone a couple months ago that had a thread about collecting them and what not....
 

Nancy

Titanites
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I would strongly suggest that you read the articles (Click on Articles above, and look at the Ceph Care articles that cover tank setup and octopus care). Our book (available from Amazon through the link on the home page) would give you more detailed information. There is also a lot of care information in the Ceph Care forums.

I don't believe the NRCC has bimacs at the moment.

Nancy
 

Octo RWU

Pygmy Octopus
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Yeah we already found the NRCC. We were referred to them by another professor here. As of nowwe are just gathering every ounce of information we can so that we can write up grants and our proposals. We have to submit those in the fall of 2009, and set up the system as soon as we can. We know we will need to mature it for quite a while so we arent expecting to try to get the bimacs until the spring of 2010. Hopefully. So we havent contacted the NRCC yet about them. We know that they are available through them seasonally, but we couldnt find which season? The systems we want to set up would be 2 seperate systems with 2 tanks on each. This seemed the best way to cut costs and avoid as much contamination risk as possible. It would be cheaper to buy 2 larger skimmers and filters than 4 smaller ones. For the skimmer we would also rather have an in-sump skimmer because we want to make sure there are as few escape routes as possible, and we heard they work better that way anyway.

Size, and brand are our question now. You mentioned a 400-500 gallon skimmer for all 4 tanks but what about just 2 at a time? could we go with a 2-250? Also, would it fit into a 35 gallon sump tank? or to cut costs even further a plastic tub?

Thanks for all the help!
Tom and Tyler,
wannabe octopus guys
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
656
I personally would go for an all in one system... It'll be cheaper in terms of filtration: for example, you would have to go for two ATI 160's, (total of $1000), or, you could go for one system with a 250 with a total of $840, however you bring up a good point about contamination...

Anywho, if you want to go for two systems... two 55s and a sump, your looking at two 150 gallon setups...
Good skimmers:
ATI Bubble Master 160
recirc/gate valve modded Euro-reef RS-135s (the mods make it basically the same as a RC-135... just hundreds of dollars cheaper...)
Bubble King Mini 180 would be amazing, however some argue that they are way overpriced... I honestly think that they are maybe slightly overpriced because they are 100% without a doubt, the best skimmers out there.
Deltecs are good, however way overpriced. If you want to go down this route, look for Deltec skimmers rated for 150-200 gallons.


I put these in the order of what I would do. If you can afford it though, I'd definetly push the ATI 160s to 200s since you will have two octos in one system, and the euroreefs I'd still mod, but push to an RS180.

In terms of price, I'd go for the euro-reefs as long as you mod them (if you need help with this LMK, I've helped a guy mod his (my guinea pig :smile:) And I'm about to mod my RS 80 which is on my 50 gallon reef... I like to over do my skimming though.).

With both price and performance considered, I'd go bubblemaster: by far my favorite skimmers. I have a 200. Super easy, super efficient, super quiet, super everything.

In terms of performance, it's bubbleking, hands down.

If you want to go with another skimmer type (and by all means, at least look, there's tons to choose from), shoot for something rated in the 2-300 gallon range, if not 250-300 gallon range. And if you're not sure, ask :biggrin2:.

Hope this helps...
 

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