• 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.

Some starter questions


Sep 9, 2007
hey i just started getting interested in building a salt tank and was really interested in getting an octi for it.

I work at one of the larger chain pet stores and ive been there for about 2 1/2 years with about 1 1/2 to 2 years experance in the fish department. I'm pretty much self taught as far as care and maintenance comes due to lack of any formal training. But like any responsible pet owner should i devoted alot of time to research before i make a decision to start buying everything.

Im lucky to live in southern California just southwest of LA along the coast. You can find almost anything you can imagine here...for a price anyway. There's 4+ reef/tropical fish stores 3-4 chain stores and several smaller pet stores within a 15 minute drive from where i live.

Now with that said i just wanted to get some input from some knowledgeable people who have actually kept octi's as pets. Im leaning towards a bimac i want something that i can interact with. Also since they're sup post to be native to the area and i can always drive down to the tide pools for some fresh food.

My budget is going to be around 450-900 depending on the tank size and setup. But being younger with out a "real" job makes money a bit tight atm.

I already have a brand new 40g breeder tank 36x18x7 and i got a quote from a lfs for a 60g glass 48x18x17(?) with a custom overflow dual returns and black acrylic background for about 310( reasonable ?)

Would the 40g with 20-30 lbs live rock a canister filter
and maybe a sea clone 150 work ?

or should I

Buy the custom 60 with maybe 40 lbs live rock and then build/buy a sump maybe w/ a refugion. then add a skimmer and chiller if needed later.

For the sump/refugion how hard is the construction and maintenance? we have marine land biowheel sumps at my work we have to replace the media often but thats mostly due to overstocked tanks. Ive been trying to find just the biowheel and filter units out of the sumps with no luck exept for the tidepool versions.

Can anyone suggest a good reasonably priced (150-250) skimmer ?

Im trying to keep it cheap but i dont want to cut any major corners. Any advice or input will be apprecated
:welcome: to TONMO!

Make sure to check out the ceph care articles under the ARTICLES button at the top if you haven't already... most of your specific questions are better answered by the experienced octo-keepers, so I'll leave those, but as you're in SoCal, you might be interested in our plans for a SoCal get-together in a few weeks... see

SoCal meeting

if you're interested...
Alright, I'll bite.
I would say that a price range of about $800 is very reasonable especially since you dont need any fancy lights!
I would go with the custom 60g. and have them make it octo proof [with locking lid!]
For $200 there is some reasonable skimmers... I personally like the Coralife Super Skimmer 65 b/c for me it takes out alot for the price and as long as you clean it and set it up properly.

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