• Looking to buy a cephalopod? Check out Tomh's Cephs Forum, and this post in particular shares important info about our policies as it relates to responsible ceph-keeping.


I find a lot of crappy rock is actually beneficial and beautiful. I assume this is your first salt water tank. It is a learning experience and usually ends up being a very expensive (and addictive) hobby.

Also, I hope you were not planning on having seahorses and an octopus in the same tank. This will not work out well.

I would HIGHLY suggest buying more live rock and a canister filter. It sounds like you don't even have a protein skimmer - if not, get one.
cthulhu77 said:
Can you say Anaerobic Decay ? With a sand bed that deep, you would at least smell it !
I would say, start over from scratch, and just cycle the tank with mollies or damsels the old fashioned way.

I'm afraid I would also have to agree, however, it may not be as bad or slow as a completely new setup. Mollies would be my first choice, damsels are :evil: creatures, and hard to catch.

Good luck!

I'm a believer in DSB for reefs, but I don't think its the way to go for ceph tanks. For one, even with an under-gravel plate halfway down, an octo would find his way under it, and the last thing he or she needs is a big gulp of ammonia, hydrogen sulfide or any other reduction products :smile: I also wouldn't rely on a DSB for primary filtration. I think you should call a spade a spade and use a DSB for nitrate reduction.

The other thing is a reef tank is a slow, long-term nitrate generator--its a closer allegory to the natural environment. A ceph tank is very episodic: Lets say you get a small octopus, little filtration needed. It slowly grows and as it does your bacterial colony grows with it as they have more and more food available. In 6 months the octopus dies and all those bacteria starve to death. Essentially you're going to have irregular nitrate boom and bust cycles. I don't think this is well suited for the deep sand bed (and also keep in mind the dsb needs to cycle as well, remember those are bacteria that do the reducing, too).

I remember Colin once said that he thinks you should re-cycle between cephs, and I believe this is why.

If you are interested in experimenting with DSB, there is an easy way. If you go to ReefCentral and check out Anthony Calfo's forum, there's a thread about the "Deep Sand Bed in a Bucket." The idea is you plumb two small bulkheads through the top of a bucket, fill it with sand, and run water through with a powerhead. Flow has to be fast enough that detritus doesn't setttle. Easy to add, easy to remove.

mystic_january said:
well the canadian dollar would put what to an american is only 5$ up to 10$ canadian. :frown: i definately dont want to start over again. i already had to start over again once, and im getting impatient. i thought it was 1lb of live rock per 10 gallons, i also red it was 1 lb per 5 gallons, so maybe if i get 3 more pounds it will work??

Hmmm. I've always used at least a pound per gallon.

Ceph tanks can be simple, until you start to throw wrenches into the mix...remember, they like to move stuff around, totally unlike a reef tank(where the inhabitants are much calmer)...so a can filter and a thin bed of sand is typically the best.
okay i realize this is a octopus website but I AM NOT GETTING AN OCTOPUS, my tank is too small for one :frown: all i want is a couple seahorses. can anyone give me advice for seahorses??? do they even like live rock?? because my tank is small i dont have alot of room for both rock and hitching posts, i dont want a reef tank, i just want a couple seahorses. im going to get a starfish and a golbie or w/e for waste clean up. an undergravel filter ive been told will do fine for them.
i dont have a skimmer because i dont think im really going to have that much waste and if there is i will hook up my second filter. if i absolutely need 30lbs of rock, is there a different method to cycle the tank without taking the rock that I already have out? i have a little sea-worm thingy living on one of my rocks lol i enjoy watching it move its little arms around, and i dont want to get rid of it.
I think an undergravel filter would do ok, I've never had much faith in ther, OTOH an 1 1/2" of sand should be able to house more than enough bacteria to carry out the nitro-cycle. How about the greener type filters, i.e., live plants? I'm not sure on the particulars, but I've heard from a couple guys into reefs how they are little miracles. Can anyone else confirm this? What kind are you looking at getting? Kudas are the most popular, as far as I can tell. I assume thiss, because of availability. Well, I'll leave the rest up to the experts.

"I reject your reality, and substitute my own!" :biggrin2:
I have seen under gravel filters on sea horse tanks and they were doing well. Everyone here generally don't reccommend them for octos- but for seahorses who wont dig in sand and dont require premium water quality they do the job.

You dont need to take the existing rock out, when you are cycling a tank with no inhabitants you can do what you want - as nothing's gonna die. But things like adding new rock will stir the cycle as everything re-adjusts.

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.