Pygmy Atlantic Octopus care

pkilian

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Hmm this is a tough one. I don't have as intimate knowledge of your setup as you do so my suggestions may not be very helpful, but maybe you could glue one edge of the mesh down using coral frag glue (I like IC Gel) it can be applied underwater and cures underwater as well. Then maybe you can attach the other side of your mesh with suction cups (if the other side is under water) or velcro (if you can find an attachment point that's outside of the water). Then, you could undo the suction cups or velcro and fold the screen over so that you can work on the overflow.

This is a rough suggestion that hopefully you can refine. Also, if you use larger size mesh you probably wont need to remove it as often. Alternatively, is there a way you can glue the mesh to the overflow so that you can service the overflow without having to remove the mesh?
 

DWhatley

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Instead of mesh, if you can find open cell sponge or other plastic filtering material (I have some that came from an air filter but don't know where to find it), you can put this to block the overflow from inquisitive arms but still allow the water to flow. I found some that I planned to use at Home Depot but it was treated with anti-mildew chemicals so it found another use but wanted to warn that you need to be sure anything you do use is tank safe.
 

B_Walsh

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Instead of mesh, if you can find open cell sponge or other plastic filtering material (I have some that came from an air filter but don't know where to find it), you can put this to block the overflow from inquisitive arms but still allow the water to flow. I found some that I planned to use at Home Depot but it was treated with anti-mildew chemicals so it found another use but wanted to warn that you need to be sure anything you do use is tank safe.

You can certainly buy an Aquaclear 110 sponge and cut it to fit that slot as well and see if that works. Maybe cut it slightly larger than you need so it's snug in place and less chance of it being maneuvered by tiny arms. Pkilian's suggestion for securing the mesh sounds great too.
 

Hannahhhh

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Instead of mesh, if you can find open cell sponge or other plastic filtering material (I have some that came from an air filter but don't know where to find it), you can put this to block the overflow from inquisitive arms but still allow the water to flow. I found some that I planned to use at Home Depot but it was treated with anti-mildew chemicals so it found another use but wanted to warn that you need to be sure anything you do use is tank safe.
How did you attach the sponge?
 

DWhatley

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Most overflows have a box (weir) where you can place the sponge. If not or if it is too deep (as is the case with one of my tanks), a bamboo skewer, thick sponge or make shift ties (like shoe laces) might work to keep it in place.
 

Hannahhhh

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Those of you with small tanks, how do you deal with water changes after your octopus inks? Everything I’ve read says that necessitates a full water change, but I’ve never done a full water change since I would worry about loosing too much beneficial bacteria.
Also what are your best tips to avoid inking?
 

DWhatley

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Your bacteria will be in your substrate and none that matters in the water HOWEVER, changing the water WILL change the temperature, salinity and PH to some extent and can be disastrous. Fortunately, O. mercatoris almost never ink and when they do it is relatively easy to suck out with a turkey baster. They are not likely to ink without a lot of provocation so it is not common to worry about it if you are away. That being said, if you can fit a small protein skimmer into your setup, it would be very beneficial for ink clean up.
 

pkilian

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DWhatley is right with these tips. A skimmer goes a long way towards improving water clarity with ceph tanks even without inking events. I also agree that usually for most small inking events they can be cleaned up with a turkey baster or a careful siphon. The best thing to do if you are concerned about taking water out of the tank, would be to have a sump or reservoir underneath the tank that you can use to top off the tank if you remove some water from it. This way you can be sure that you aren't changing pH and temp and salinity etc.

A note about water changes- generally its good practice to not remove more than about 10% of your system volume in one water change. Also, when you do a water change, the water that you add will need to be slowly added back to the system to ensure you prevent things like wild swings in pH or temperature. If you are more curious about the mechanics of water changes I can go into more detail if you'd like.

A tip about preventing inking events: When you interact with the animal, move slowly. The majority of times I have made an octo ink was because I was moving too quickly inside the tank or I scared the animal by walking by too fast etc. The other time that I've had an octopus ink is when I am moving it from tank to tank. You probably won't be doing this much, but if you ever do have to move your octopus with a net, make sure to support the net from the bottom with your hand as you move the octopus (eg. one hand on the net handle, one hand underneath the net supporting the weight of the octopus). This is because octopuses don't have any internal support structure (like our bones) and they lose the ability to support themselves when they are out of the water. Supporting the animal inside the net is a good way to keep them comfortable when moving the animal from tank to tank.
 

Hannahhhh

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DWhatley is right with these tips. A skimmer goes a long way towards improving water clarity with ceph tanks even without inking events. I also agree that usually for most small inking events they can be cleaned up with a turkey baster or a careful siphon. The best thing to do if you are concerned about taking water out of the tank, would be to have a sump or reservoir underneath the tank that you can use to top off the tank if you remove some water from it. This way you can be sure that you aren't changing pH and temp and salinity etc.

A note about water changes- generally its good practice to not remove more than about 10% of your system volume in one water change. Also, when you do a water change, the water that you add will need to be slowly added back to the system to ensure you prevent things like wild swings in pH or temperature. If you are more curious about the mechanics of water changes I can go into more detail if you'd like.

A tip about preventing inking events: When you interact with the animal, move slowly. The majority of times I have made an octo ink was because I was moving too quickly inside the tank or I scared the animal by walking by too fast etc. The other time that I've had an octopus ink is when I am moving it from tank to tank. You probably won't be doing this much, but if you ever do have to move your octopus with a net, make sure to support the net from the bottom with your hand as you move the octopus (eg. one hand on the net handle, one hand underneath the net supporting the weight of the octopus). This is because octopuses don't have any internal support structure (like our bones) and they lose the ability to support themselves when they are out of the water. Supporting the animal inside the net is a good way to keep them comfortable when moving the animal from tank to tank.


Thank you, all of that is super helpful information. Do they tend to get startled when you turn the room lights on, or is that ok? I don’t have dimmers in that room, so I can’t bring the lights up slowly.
 

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