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Tank is operational!!

DWhatley

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I love cucs but am leary of trying to keep them with octopuses. I do keep a cowrie with Cassy and have not had a major sliming issue (yet). You might try googling: cucumber sight:tonmo.com and see if there are any journalled issues but I don't remember anyone reporting problems. Like octopuses, though, the species is likely to matter (mostly the toxicity if it dies or spits out its insides because it is molested) and I suspect the concerns are less with cuttles than my sand digging buddies.
 

Cephdoc

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The tank as of today. I need input on ways to cycle, methods and advice that will help and be the best route to go... I have started the process already by adding old bioballs and water and lava rock from other tank. Also Salinity for Cephs like Octopus and Cuttlefish is between 1.024-1.026 correct?
 

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Sep 25, 2006
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It looks like you are running a wet/dry trickle filter, a skimmer, and live rock. Is that your filtration system? I run a wet/dry and skimmer for my bimac, and I found that nitrates would build up too fast (I was feeding the tank a lot, and it's only got 50 gallons of water). I added a deep sand bed, and that helped reduce nitrates a lot. I would highly recommend installing a Remote Deep Sand Bed instead (RDSB) to reduce nitrates. They are easy to set up and literally dirt cheap.
One word of warning about using a trickle filter - if you don't filter all the particles out of the water before it goes into the wet/dry, then detritus will build up in the bio-balls, and that detritus will become a large source of nitrates. Judging from how long it took to clear the dust, you don't have a fine enough pre-filter. I use polyester filter floss (actually "batting" from the fabric store, used to maek quilts) but a filter sock would work too. Since the purpose of the pre-filter is to remove particles before they have a chance to break down into ammonia, etc. you must replace or wash the filter often (every other day?).

Cephdoc;167385 said:
I need input on ways to cycle, methods and advice that will help and be the best route to go... I have started the process already by adding old bioballs and water and lava rock from other tank.
You can go online and find recommendations about how to cycle your tank, but most of them don't explain how cycling works, so it makes it easy to do it wrong. Here are a few tips:
The purpose of "cycling" your tank is to grow a population of denitrifying bacteria that is sufficiently large to consume the amount of ammonia per day that your tank inhabitants will produce. The result you are after is NOT simply to get the measurements of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate to rise and then fall back to zero. You must grow a population of bacteria (on your live rock and bio balls) that is large enough to consume the amount of waste that your animals will produce. That means that you must provide two things (at least): living space and food.
1) Enough live rock and bio balls to provide enough places for the bacteria to live.
2) Increasing amounts of "food" for the bacteria (ammonia/animal waste). As the amount of food increases, the size of the bacteria population will increase (assuming there is enough living space). The "Cycle" is over when you are feeding your tank about as much food (or ammonia) as you will be feeding it when it is fully stocked, and your test results regularly show 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrate that never gets above 10 ppm between water changes.

It makes sense to "seed" your tank with bio balls and live rock from an established tank, but doing that only makes sense if at the same time you also add more living space (fresh bio balls and live rock) and if you feed the tank more than enough to keep the "seed" bacteria alive, and to feed the (hoped for) increasing population of bacteria.

The methods of feeding the tank that I've read about are:
1) Keep a few tough and inexpensive fish, and feed them, letting their waste feed the bacteria. Gradually increase the population of fish (weekly?) until they are collectively eating about the same amount of food per day as you expect to be feeding your tank when you stock it for real. At that point, and when the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are okay, swap out the fish and swap in your live stock.

2) Add daily measured, gradually increasing doses of ammonia (Ammonium Chloride, or even household ammonia). This method is described here.

3) Just put some flake food or a small piece of shrimp in the tank, and let it start to rot (decompose into ammonia). Slowly add a little more per day.

I like method number 2 best, followed by method number 1. I'm not a big fan of method #3, but it will work.


The warmer the water is ( up to a point) the faster the bacteria will grow, and it will also speed things up if you seed the tank with a culture of living bacteria, but a few of the bacteria are always present in the air, so "if you build it, they will come" (but it might take longer).

I think it's best if you seed the tank twice: once when you start, and once again after the initially ammonia spike (because different species of bacteria eat different chemicals, and while the high ammonia level feeds the ammonia eaters, it kills the nitrite eaters, so seeding a 2nd time with nitrite eaters will speed things along).
 

Cephdoc

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Thanks Joe ceph. The Wet dry is rated for a 120 gallon system on a 75 gallon tank. I understand where you are coing from and was aware of this from the previous setup with the reef, but ive never had a problem. Also is connected to a refugium.
 

DWhatley

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I just ordered 4 new ones because they are supposed to run at half the electricity of my existing. I found a great price at Big Al's so I could not resist. When I went to post a link, the price had doubled so I wonder if my pricing was in error and I got them at cost. I knew it was an excellent deal and decided to jump on it ($22 for the 1050's and today they are 44.99) and they seem to have shipped them but it never occurred to me until just now that the price may have been in error (shipping was free as well). If I actually get them for that price I will be reconvinced there is a Santa Claus.
 

Cephdoc

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After stirring up the tank, i awoke to the damsels dead. I am thinking this was due to the sediment and their gills. They were doing fine before i stirred the tank up. I realy need to clean it up, i just see it causing problems in the future. Ive been running the sock filter and filter fiber in the wet/dry. It is pulling alot out but im afraid thats not good enough. I am going to have to do a water change and syphon th gravel.
 

Cephdoc

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Why would the ammonia be spiked? Ive done nothing to the tank. The bioballs arent even in the wet/dry. I havent started to add any of the seeding bacteria. I only had the fish for 3 days.. I have never had a problem with this before :frown: I hope something isnt wrong
 

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