• 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.

Starting my journey.. Hopefully. Help?

Jun 16, 2017
So, I'm very new to saltwater aquariums, and I could use a few pointers, considering I'd eventually like to own an octopus once my tank is suitable for my own ceph. The biggest problem is actually finding a reliable source. I recently purchased a 75 gallon tank, and I just want to make sure I find a breed that won't outgrow its tank. So, if anyone could give me any pointers as far as a source/availability goes, that would be great. (Ideally looking to purchase within the next 3-4 months)
Sources are alway a problem and pretty much hit or miss. Do note that a new tank needs an absolute minimum of 3 months active cycle time before introducing a high waste producing like a ceph. For the sake of talking to your local fish store (as you will not likely find one that has ceph knowledge), it is comparable to housing a couple of large fish vs the pronouncement that your tank is cycled and ready to start adding a few fish.

All the stickies (yellow threads at the top of the forum) in the Octopus Care Forum will be helpful but I like to recommend new keepers to start their reading from the links in the Posts with Info for New Octo Keepers thread. The "Box of Chocolates" post should give you a good idea about what species are commonly available along with a few notes about each one.
Thank you for the reply! I'm aware that the tank needs to cycle for three months, I've read most everything in the Ceph Care. I'll be building a stand within the next few days. I'll also be getting my tank equipment (skimmer, air pump, etc.), and I just had a question pertaining to that. What are the benefits for sump vs. no sump? I was planning on getting a hangon skimmer, and I just wanted to have things clarified if there's a reason that I shouldn't.
I am a major fan of having a sump.
  1. It keeps the filtration equipment out of the display tank
  2. It makes octo-proofing the tank far easier (especially if you drill the tank -- I prefer a side or back drill to a bottom drill for water control/safety reasons)
  3. It makes changing the filter media, cleaning the skimmer and freshwater top off much easier.
  4. There are fewer hazards (pump impellers) to octo arm proof
  5. It adds more water to the overall system
  6. Charcoal can be placed in a filter sock that pre-filters the water to the sump, allowing the charcoal filter to be more actively exposed.
The Tank Buildouts thread has a list of links to some of the more complete setup threads to give you some ideas and examples.
I am not sure how you would go about octoproofing a hang on and not sure what you mean by "submerged". A hang on would be pretty small and not take much of a skimmer or add much water volume. Most sumps are placed below the display and receive the display water via gravity either with a drilled bulkhead fitting(s) attached to a hose(s) or using a siphon box that then that then feeds the sump the same way. Water is returned to the display via a pump and hose attached to an additional bulkhead or over the display rim. Octoproofing the inlet and outlet(s) is usually done with a wehr/overflow box that limits arm access to the opening. I use a screen over my bulkhead and sponge in the wehr.

If you do not drill the tank then you will need to ensure that the octopus cannot hurt itself with exposed impellers from pumps as well as cannot escape through any opening you will cut in the top to allow the in/out flow of water. Sponge can be used to block these openings but you will have to keep them clean.
When it comes to explaining how saltwater systems work and how to look after your aquarium, pretty much anything by Martin Moe is still quite relevant, even if it is dated (Martin is retired but still actively working with urchin reproduction). Hardware has changed but most of the concepts remain the same. My copy :old: is from 1982 but I notice that this Amazon version was updated in 2009.

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