Octopus Supplies Help

Jasper

Pygmy Octopus
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Hello everyone,
I have a 55 gallon tank set up with an Aquaclear 110 running (also 2 clownfish). My plan was to get a divider, and have ~1/2-2/3 of the tank for the octopus, and the rest for assorted saltwater fish. I was wondering, what exactly do I need to get my tank octo-ready, especially in terms of filtration (is my current filter + a protein skimmer enough?), as well as anything else I might need.
Thanks in advance,
-Jasper
(ps, name suggestions for the two clownfish would also be greatly appreciated)
 

pkilian

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Hi Jasper,

Unfortunately an aquaclear 110 will not be adequate enough filtration for an octopus. You will need some biological filtration in addition to the mechanical filtration you have with the aquaclear and the skimmer. An easy way to solve this is to get a canister sump instead of a hang-on-the-back filter. EHEIM makes pretty good models here but there are other options available depending on your budget. This is necessary because octopuses produce much more ammonia than the animals you have in your tank at the moment, and you will need the biological media to deal with the increased ammonia levels.

How do you plan on dividing the tank? Will you use a piece of perforated plastic or something else?
 

Jasper

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I was planning on using acrylic with holes drilled in or perforated plastic. Do you know any places that sell octopus-proof dividers?
 

pkilian

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Amazon sells sheets of perf plate in various sizes which should work well (heres an example). Ideally you'd be able to drain your tank and silicone the divider into it but if that't not a possibility then you may be able to secure it with some reef-safe glue or some different method by using supports attached to the walls of the tank to prevent the plate from sliding around or something. It will need to be pretty secure (not just pressure fit) otherwise the octopus will be able to push it out of the way and get to the stuff in the other side of the tank (especially if there are tasty animals on the other side).
 

pkilian

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I would imagine they have the same concerns as I do about the setup. Unfortunately, a hang-on-the-back filter is just not robust enough to be able to handle the waste that an octopus produces. You will need at least something like what I linked in my earlier response here:
EHEIM makes pretty good models here but there are other options available depending on your budget.
 

Jasper

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I would imagine they have the same concerns as I do about the setup. Unfortunately, a hang-on-the-back filter is just not robust enough to be able to handle the waste that an octopus produces. You will need at least something like what I linked in my earlier response here:
Thank you for clarifying. I was planning on upgrading my filtration, but just didn't know if there's any specific equipment I need to get.
 

pkilian

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The main thing you are missing is a way to process the biological waste (ammonia) that the octopus produces. Most often, this is in the form of biological filtration or "biomedia" which is small, often plastic, pieces in your sump that have very high surface area which allow for beneficial bacteria to grow. These bacteria consume the ammonia and turn it into nitrites and nitrates which, while still harmful, can be present in your aquarium at much higher concentrations than ammonia can before it will start to harm your animals.

The mini sump that I linked to you has biomedia in it. As with all biomedia, it will first need to be seeded with the appropriate bacteria before it will be ready to handle any animals. If you want more specific information I can guide you to some posts on this site that detail how to set up and cycle an aquarium to promote the growth of beneficial nitrifying bacteria.

Please let me know if you have more questions!
 

Jasper

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My current (updated) plan is to move my clownfish into a smaller tank, and have my 55 gallon tank be only for the octopus. My current tank is able to handle the ammonia from my two (small-ish) clownfish. I would greatly appreciate it if you could link the posts that go through cycling to prepare for an octopus.
I appreciate all the help!
(also, do you know any places in the Boston area that have the Eheim sumps? The website isn't shipping at the moment)
 

pkilian

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Here is a link to a section on our forum that has "key links" to popular and well thought-out threads with great information on a wide variety of topics. Take a look through some of these and if you have more specific questions that aren't answered there I'll be happy to help.

It looks like amazon has some EHEIM sumps, and I'm sure you can find a similar product if you call your local fish shop and ask if they have any all-in-one sumps for 55 gallon aquariums. You may also want a protein skimmer for your tank but I have less experience with octopuses on small systems so I am unsure if it is necessary.

@DWhatley @Nancy Do you have any advice for an octopus on a 55 gal system in regards to protein skimmers? Do you recommend one or do you think they will be okay without?
 

Nancy

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Yes, you do need a protein skimmer for an octopus in a 55 gallon tank.
Octopuses are messy eaters, much more than clownfish, and the protein skimmer will help with the water quality.

Nancy
 

DWhatley

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Do you have any advice for an octopus on a 55 gal system in regards to protein skimmers? Do you recommend one or do you think they will be okay without?
Agree with @Nancy , a skimmer is highly desirable -- in a sump. For reasonably priced, hobbyist efficient designs look a the Coralife brand. For other brands, always buy double the rated capacity, with the Coralife you can get away with 1.5 (or even slightly less) x the gallon rating.
 
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