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Setting up my 55g for an Octopus


Dec 19, 2005
Hey guys. I have been reading around here and decided to drop my reef plans and set up my 55g tank for an Octopus. My questions are:

Should I get LR? How much LR should I get?

What type of Octopus should I get?

What type of equipment will I need?

What should I feed it?

What temp does it like the water to be?

Do I need any lighting? What type?

How do you properly acclimate it?

Where should I order it from? My LFS doesnt carry them.

How should the tank be set-up?

Sorry I have soo many questions, but I just want to get this info before hand. Thanks for any help!!!
answers to most, if not all, of those questions can be found in the articles under the "ceph care" tab above... you may want to start there...
First of all yes live rock is very important the mor the better it makes the octo feel more at home!

I think you should get a bimac but thats just my opinion!

You will need low to medium light levels, proper filtration, skimmer ect.

You should feed him live fiddler crabs if ya can get them, live or frozen shrimp well check the article what are you
feeding your octopus! that will give you a better understanding of the feeding!

Water should be around 76 degrees!

Again low to medium light levels.

Acclimation should be done using the drip method!

If you want a bimac I recomend WWW.OCTOPETS.COM!

Finally it should be setup with proper equptment and should be cycled at a minimum of 3 months!

If ya have anymore questions feel free to ask me or any of the other tonmoers! Oh and I almost forgot, WELCOME TO TONMO
That article helped alot. Thanks for that. Where can I get fiddler crabs? Also, on www.octopets.com, the Octopus package comes with clams. Can I just keep buying those maybe? Do I need a sump to keep everything in? I bet it would be alot easier. Can I hand feed it from the start? About the lighting, I have an old normal output flourecent freshwater lamp. Will that do OK? Or should I get a saltwater lamp? Am I going to need a powerhead or 2? If so, what should I use to cover the openings up? Thanks soooo much!!!
Octos dont really have lighting requirements - just use a bulb that you think looks good, aslong as it isnt blinding it should be fine. You dont need power heads, they can be dangerous and the octo doesnt need current like corals do.
I decided to go with a sump, and I realised it has made things much easier - apart from dealing with octo proofing the overflows and return piping. Im gonna use my sump to house all my feeders-, but most go with a seperate tank for that altogether.

I think (although not sure) that the clams are good food while the octo is small, but as he gets bigger you will need to sus out bigger food.

Here's a link to a thread about food ect.
What are you feeding your octopus?
I think I am going to go with a sump. I have a 10-15g tank laying around that I will use. I will put everything in there. What foods are better when they get bigger? Where can I get them? I think I will do what you do, and store the live feeders in the sump. And about the powerheads... isnt it bad to not have one curculating the water? The water will basically just sit there without a powerhead. Thanks
Well if you are running a sump you will need a return pump - which will give some water movement. I havent really heard if relativly dead water is a problem for the octo - other than having less oxygen ect.

Have you got your skimmer sorted? You will need live rock too.

For my sump, I have water from the overflows split via a T junction with a ball valve - the majority of water goes to the skimmer(left section),

With the retun pump in the middle, and the right section is the refugium for the food and a DSB(in my case :biggrin2:)
There are baffles between the skimmer and return to get rid of microbubbles.
Some good advice here from Feelers. One thing you want to make sure of though, that the old tank that was laying around has never had any copper medication used in it...the copper will seep out, and kill the ceph very quickly.
Using a sumped system is by far the easiest way to go, many, many advantages.
You might want to read more about the bimac's food requirements, and make sure you can provide an ample supple of fresh crab meat or the like...luckily, with places like shrimpstuff.com (shameless plug here), fresh food is only an email away ! Many of our members have been able to coax their bimacs into eating frozen bits of lobster and crab too...just be sure to vary the diet often, so they don't get bored.
Do I need baffles? I am acually thinking about just getting this wet/dry Petco: Pet Supplies, Pet Food, & Pet Products and using the sump area for my skimmer and return pump. Maybe throw a little mechanical filter in the sump also. Is this a good choice? Lets say I bought this right now... what else will I need exactly to have it running?

OR should I just use my extra 10g tank as a sump. Can I keep the live feeders in the sump area in the wet/dry I showed you above? I am just confused as to use the sump or the wet/dry + sump. I want to keep live feeders in the sump but with the wet/dry, im not sure if its OK. Thanks!
Well, that looks like a nice sump. Kind of pricey, but workable. I would definitely recommend getting a canister filter of some sort to run the water through, as the amount of waste that a ceph produces is quite substantial.
As far as the "baffles" go, that would be up to you and how you want to set up the filter...probably would not be a bad idea, though.
The thing with this wet/dry and sump is that it has all types of filter media and such. And I can place any type of filter media in the drawers. I may put a little power filter in the sump but nothing much. Do you think it will be OK to put feeders in the sump area (crabs, clams, maybe some shrimp, ect)? or do you think they will just dirty up the water and die in there. Please help! Thanks
I would personally recommend against that particular overflow and wet/dry. Kind of flimsy. I own the overflow part of it, and it wouldn't hold siphon right out of the box (!) and had to be re-siliconed.

I personally recommend drilling the tank for the overflow. You can get a diamond-coated holesaw for glass cutting off eBay for $10 shipped. If you don't trust yourself some LFS and glass shops will do it for a bit more. If you don't want to drill it, use a siphon overflow with a "u-tube," basically a curved cylinder. The long skinny siphons used in CPR and Marineland overflows like to trap bubbles.

Here are a few sources for quality U-tube overflows:

Lifereef Filter Systems - Trickle Filter - Berlin System - Venturi Skimmer - Protein Skimmer - Acrylic Aquariums - Euro-brace - Euro-rim - wet/dry filter - downdraft - needle-wheel - calcium reactor

Both of these places sell wet/dry filters, too. Notice the Marineland wet/dry in your link is just a plastic tub. Most you will find are actually acrylic boxes, quite a bit more rugged.

If you want to save money find used equipment. Its a little more risky (copper) but you can save a fortune. My 29 gallon sump cost me $10. The Aquamedic TF1000 skimmer inside it cost me $5 :smile:. Also check out eBay: I have 5 gallons of bioballs being shipped to me for $15.

I hope this helps, I've just been through the equipment wringer :smile:


Edit: I just remembered the thread is about a 55 gallon tank. Older 55s are usually made with all tempered glass, and very bad things happen when you try to drill these. Just to let you know that you should check it out in case you do decide to drill it or have it drilled.
Do you think it will be OK to put feeders in the sump area (crabs, clams, maybe some shrimp, ect)? or do you think they will just dirty up the water and die in there. Please help! Thanks

This is why most people go with a seperate tank - I'm gonna give it a go though - its just easier for me given my situation. Its probably a good idea to keep it seperate - but I wanna have a few other animals in the system.
I see. I think what I am going to do is connect my 10g tank to the wet/dry and use the sump for my live feeders and maybe just 1 more power filter. Does anyone have any ides on how this can be done?
Do you have a return pump?
Also I dont think you'll need a power filter, it will clog up fast, require constant cleaning, and provide little filtration. Let your w/d handle that. You could put carbon or something in it though.

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