Starting an octo build, can I get some advice?

cadre

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Hi there, I'm new to tonmo but you guys have a lot of great info on Cephalopods so I'm hoping to get some advice. I have been keeping tanks since I was a kid and I made the jump to saltwater about three years ago. I have started working at an lfs a few days a week and we currently have what I believe is an abdopus that I have been caring for. I currently have a custom 18g ADA tank that has housed all types of corals as well as a dragonet and a wrasse. It's a beautiful tank and I'll be sad to see it go but I'm only allowed one tank at a time right now. I had considered turning this into a merc tank but it would be a challenge to make it octo friendly. So I picked up a new tank. This is where the fun starts.

I picked up a 55g for dirt cheap so I am thinking I may build this out. The idea is to make it into an all-in-one peninsula tank with a protein skimmer and all the other equipment safely out of reach in the back chamber. I may also add an ice probe or maybe two for cooling. Does anyone use these? I know they can't do much but I'm hoping they can at least keep the tank a few degrees below room temp.

I plan to use LED lighting so I can save on electricity and heat. I want enough light to grow macro algaes and some soft corals, will that much light stress an octo? I use LEDs in my current tank to grow sps but I probably won't use the same fixtures.

I also have a vortech mp10 that I would like to use for flow but I've been told they're not safe. Is this true? I can downgrade to Koralias if that would be better.

I was thinking that I would like to get abdopus (acleatus?) but I really just want an active, curious and diurnal animal. Any other species suggestions? I cannot do a bimac since my water will not be cold enough so I'm thinking something from warmer waters.

Sorry for the long post, I've been lurking but I haven't quite found all the answers yet. Sorry if these questions have been asked before. Thanks in advance for the help, I'll keep you guys updated on my progress!
 
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If you're getting your animal from the dread LFS, get a picture of the animal so we can identify it for you so you can make sure it's not a vulgaris or a mercatoris. Octopus vulgaris requires about 200 gallons and Octopus mercatoris is nocturnal. Where are you planning to get the octopus?

It is generally not a good idea to keep an octopus in the same tank as other animals.
 

cadre

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neurobadger;178293 said:
If you're getting your animal from the dread LFS, get a picture of the animal so we can identify it for you so you can make sure it's not a vulgaris or a mercatoris. Octopus vulgaris requires about 200 gallons and Octopus mercatoris is nocturnal. Where are you planning to get the octopus?

It is generally not a good idea to keep an octopus in the same tank as other animals.

Why is an LFS dreaded? Did you miss the part where I said I work there? And I will not be getting this animal as it was ordered for a customer. I'm fairly positive it is an a. acleatus (sp?) but that is not the point really since it is already spoken for. The guy who's getting it seems to know his stuff so when he comes in he should be able to identify it.

Anyways, one of the other stores will probably order my octopus for me. They're pretty certain that they can get a specific species and my discount at my store hasn't kicked in anyways. Plus I trust them to work with me if it ends up being the wrong species or something.

And I realize that octos are not community animals, not to be rude but I don't think that I said I would be putting an octopus with anything other than macros and sorties.
 

DWhatley

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Diurnals are tough but if you could find a male hummelincki, I suspect you would be pleased. Hummelincki is, more or less, the Caribbean equivalent of the Pacific bimac in basic look and personality. Most come in from Haiti and if female usually will brood within the first two weeks but the males seem to do quite well. Hummelincki is a small egg species so there is no hope of raising hatchlings. Check out the List of Our Octopuses 20xx for links to journals of the various species (CaptFish has two hummelinckis at the moment).

I have used an Ice Probe on an 8 gallon and found that it would cool too much if the probe happened to come out of the water :roll: If you can put it in the back chamber (I am assuming you are going to set it up as an all in one with some kind of mini built in sump partition (See Diablo's tank buildout for what I think you basically have in mind), it might do the trick (keeping the tank at ambient) but it is prone to cold spots and needs good circulation that will not rewarm the water (Koralia would likely be good for this).

Any power head that has an intake to an impeller must be securely covered (Diego - bimac - managed to pull off the cap on a PVC pipe this week so securing the intake is a challenge in itself) . In addition to octoproofing, the problem with trying to do this is the debris that collects at the intake. Your 18 would make a nice sump ... just sayin' :wink:

Of the water movement options I have tried, the small (but not nano) Koralias seem to work best. They can still take off an arm tip but I have only had this happen with the larger ones.
 

cadre

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Thank you for the help! And no, I will not be using my beautiful ADA as a sump, that just isn't right. Haha. But I have someone who wants to buy my entire set up so if we can agree on a price I'll be good to go.

For the 55g I was thinking about doing a false wall that goes all the way to the top of the tank so my lid will rest on it. Behind that I'll have just two chambers really. One with the skimmer, airstone and carbon and then another with the ato and the return pump. I would have a bubble trap between them and the ice probe(s) would sit over the first chamber. Would that provide enough water movement for them to be effective?

Also, does anyone know if feather dusters would get eaten or destroyed? I'd like to have some life in the tank other than the octo but I know my options are limited.

I may use pond foam and dry rocks to make some rock work, has anyone had problems with that for octopuses?

Thank you again!
 
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I think "peninsula" means that it is viewable through both long sides, and one end, but it sounds like your partition will cover one long side, so not a peninsula, right? I'm assuming you'll be using live rock for filtration, and that the cold part of the ice probe will be completely submerged. If so it all sounds good. You'll need to cover the overflow so that the octopus can't get through, but also so it won't clog up. It's too bad that the slits in the cover of the Vortec are so large because those things are great, and are air cooled so they don't add any heat to the water. Maybe you could use it, but rig the front half of a Koralia cover over it, stuck to the glass, for safety. Remember that your "Partition" will need to be as strong as the side of the tank, because it is holding back just as much water pressure. You can use thinner glass but only if you install support pieces that run between the original tank wall and the partition. Silicone doesn't stick to acrylic, so using acrylic for the partition would be tricky (although "E6000 Adhesive" sticks to both glass and acrylic, and may be aquarium safe (probably is, but no one knows for sure)).

LFS's are "dreaded" because they often don't know how to care for the octopus they order, or worse give out inaccurate information about it, and are often willing to sell them to people who aren't ready to care for them. They are also notorious for misidentifying octopus. It's really a crap shoot to buy an octopus from a LFS, or any other distributor, in terms of what species you'll get, no matter what they say you'll get. It's just really hard to id these things, and few, if any, in the industry are expert enough to do it accurately. That's why it's hard to plan your setup.

Ideally you'll get a Hummelincki, but after you install the partition in your 55, I wonder if it will be large enough even for that. A 55 gal tank is 48" x 13" x 20" tall and only really holds about 47 gallons. The inside front to back distance is only 12.25", and assuming 3/8" thick glass, and a 3" wide rear section, the tank will end up being only 8 7/8" from front to back inside, and only hold 34 gallons of water (plus whatever is in the rear "sump"). That's tight and doesn't give the octopus much space to stretch out in more then one direction. If it were me, I'd partition off one end of the tank, not the back, and actually make it a peninsula. The 3" wide space would be hard to service, and require a large piece of glass. You could partition one end, say 8" x 12.25", which would be easy to service, allow the tank to be viewed from both sides, require a smaller piece of glass, have a much more comfortable floor dimension for the octopus, and leave 39 gallons in the main tank. If you can go 6" x 12.25", you'll leave 41 gallons in the main tank (88% of the original volume of the "55" gallon)
 
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I would say that a 55 gallon tank is too small for an O. Hummelincki just because I had mine in one for a short time. It's fine up until the end. My animal could stretch out to almost 22" and then some. It is do-able, but I'm just saying it wont give an adult much room. a 75 gallon would be much better if you could swing it.
 
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DWhatley;178318 said:
Diurnals are tough but if you could find a male hummelincki, I suspect you would be pleased. Hummelincki is, more or less, the Caribbean equivalent of the Pacific bimac in basic look and personality. Most come in from Haiti and if female usually will brood within the first two weeks but the males seem to do quite well.

You just need to get them small enough. Speaking of which, my LFS got in a male and a female O. Hummelincki in about a month ago. I was going to get both of them and try to breed them, but I don't have the space.
 

cadre

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Joe-Ceph;178355 said:
I think "peninsula" means that it is viewable through both long sides, and one end, but it sounds like your partition will cover one long side, so not a peninsula, right? I'm assuming you'll be using live rock for filtration, and that the cold part of the ice probe will be completely submerged. If so it all sounds good. You'll need to cover the overflow so that the octopus can't get through, but also so it won't clog up. It's too bad that the slits in the cover of the Vortec are so large because those things are great, and are air cooled so they don't add any heat to the water. Maybe you could use it, but rig the front half of a Koralia cover over it, stuck to the glass, for safety. Remember that your "Partition" will need to be as strong as the side of the tank, because it is holding back just as much water pressure. You can use thinner glass but only if you install support pieces that run between the original tank wall and the partition. Silicone doesn't stick to acrylic, so using acrylic for the partition would be tricky (although "E6000 Adhesive" sticks to both glass and acrylic, and may be aquarium safe (probably is, but no one knows for sure)).

LFS's are "dreaded" because they often don't know how to care for the octopus they order, or worse give out inaccurate information about it, and are often willing to sell them to people who aren't ready to care for them. They are also notorious for misidentifying octopus. It's really a crap shoot to buy an octopus from a LFS, or any other distributor, in terms of what species you'll get, no matter what they say you'll get. It's just really hard to id these things, and few, if any, in the industry are expert enough to do it accurately. That's why it's hard to plan your setup.

Ideally you'll get a Hummelincki, but after you install the partition in your 55, I wonder if it will be large enough even for that. A 55 gal tank is 48" x 13" x 20" tall and only really holds about 47 gallons. The inside front to back distance is only 12.25", and assuming 3/8" thick glass, and a 3" wide rear section, the tank will end up being only 8 7/8" from front to back inside, and only hold 34 gallons of water (plus whatever is in the rear "sump"). That's tight and doesn't give the octopus much space to stretch out in more then one direction. If it were me, I'd partition off one end of the tank, not the back, and actually make it a peninsula. The 3" wide space would be hard to service, and require a large piece of glass. You could partition one end, say 8" x 12.25", which would be easy to service, allow the tank to be viewed from both sides, require a smaller piece of glass, have a much more comfortable floor dimension for the octopus, and leave 39 gallons in the main tank. If you can go 6" x 12.25", you'll leave 41 gallons in the main tank (88% of the original volume of the "55" gallon)
I was planning to build the false wall on the small end like you describe. I agree that if I did it the oterway things might be a bit cramped. The 55g will probably be cramped as it is, they have the most awkward dimensions. Th problem is my apartment isn't that large and I'm worried about putting that much weight on the second floor. I'm not supposed to have anything over 20 gallons too.

I understand that LFS aren't the greatest places for animals like octopuses but the ones I frequent are pretty good. They won't get an octopus unless someone orders it but yeah, most employees there know nothing about them. It seems like the distributors are the same. Most of us will talk someone out getting an animal that isn't appropriate for them though. I understand that most stores aren't like that though.

skywindsurfer;178357 said:
I would say that a 55 gallon tank is too small for an O. Hummelincki just because I had mine in one for a short time. It's fine up until the end. My animal could stretch out to almost 22" and then some. It is do-able, but I'm just saying it wont give an adult much room. a 75 gallon would be much better if you could swing it.
I would like to do a 75g but it will be much more expensive and I have weight and space concerns. Are there any slightly smaller diurnal species?
 

DWhatley

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A. aculeatus is usually smaller than O.hummelincki but life span after capture is dismally short (noting that any wild caught animal can be well into maturity) where we often see decent time with wc male hummelincki. Regardless of which you start with, keep in mind as you build out the tank that it will house a number of animals (cuttlefish are another option that may interest you as some point) because of their naturally short life span even if you are lucky enough to start with a very young animal (and even then the year passes too quickly, especially since they don't appear to be social until they are about 5 months old).

I have been fortunate to have kept two more or less daytime dwarfs (one unknown and one crepuscular joubini) but the experience is not repeatable. I am finding the joubini to be an excellent aquarium animal but we only see the much more reclusive and nocturnal O. mercatoris sold under this ID. Octopuses are just not mainstream aquarium animals so it is catch as catch can I am afraid (unless, like Joe-Ceph and a few others, you can do your own catching).
 

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