AM meant how often do you clean the tank, do a water change, check the water chemistry. Surely you don't mean you do those things only TWICE A YEAR?!?! For any salt water tank, this should be done every couple of weeks, with an octo it is religious once a week maintenance. It doesn't mean breaking down the whole tank, but exchanging 10% of the water and cleaning out debris must be a regularly scheduled part of care for ANY TANK!
The inactivity could be greatly due to the temperature. 70 is cold for a Caribbean animal but with the small tank I am not sure how much you dare raise it. I would not exceed 75 if you decide to experiment. This seems to be the time of year where a larger number of Caribbean Octopuses are reaching the end of thier lives and brooding new young. It may be that your is beginning into senescence.
I am also at the setting up stage of a tank that will be for our local O. bimac. One idea I have been considering is to set my overflow about 15 cm below the lid. It would allow the tank to look like a tide pool; some rocks could be above water level for shore crabs (food). The main thing is it would be nearly (I never say always about an octopus) impossible to escape from the top. The overflow will have to be correctly done. But otherwise it seems like this will greatly simplify a number of issues, hot lights, escape...escape.
Have any of you tried this approach?
I've sent our last poster on this thread a pm asking him to please repost in Tank Talk. I didn't notice that so many posts were being added to this thread, which is really just a thread to introduce the forum. After the last thread (by gmcbride) is reposted, I will lock this thread.
Please try to start new threads when topics change - this helps people find your very valuable posts when searching for a topic.
I'll post a new, updated introduction to the forum, too,
At the top of the home page, right under the Tonmo logo there is a gray bar with the word articles. Click on that , and the first several Articles listed are all under the general heading of ceph care. Read those articles and you will start to get a better understanding about what is involved in keeping a ceph. It is strongly recommended that you do not start with an octopus or a cuttlefish, because they are much more difficult than most other aquarium animals. They are also very expensive to keep, and unless you have very generous parents, it's probably a good idea to wait until you can afford to feed them what they need. Many cephs will only eat live food and that can get to be extremely expensive. Please read those articles, and if you have more questions after that, there are knowledgeable people here who will be able to answer your specific questions.
No saltwater tank is easy to take care of if you are looking for low maintenance. There is a major difference between fresh and salt water aquariums and our first recommendation is to learn to take care of a saltwater tank before trying the more difficult critters. An octopus will require tank modifications that are not needed for a cuttle and you can have more of a reef setup (still being careful of what you keep in the tank). The best recommendation I can give would be to set up a 55 gallon tank and keep softies for a year (it will take several months to age your tank before anything can go in it and that counts toward my time recommendation). Once you get your hands wet, so to speak, and your tank is well established, you will be ready for critters. If you keep both animals in mind when you build out your set up, you will be able to have either critter. Both are short lived and you may want to alternate each year.
i have a stupid question. i am into the hobby. i have had small salt water aquariums but nothing crazy. i am thinking about an octopus. what would be the best starter octopus? which on is the hardiest? i was thinking a Bimac. i have friends that are into salt water so they can help. i was just trying to figure out what im getting myself into before i do it. thank you for any help you can provide
Normally, I would direct you to the articles section for and evening of education and reading, however, TONMO is updating to a more robust format and some of our typical resources are not yet available. One of the best reads you CAN find is to pick up a copy of Nancy and Colin's (both TONMO Staff) book, Cephalopods Octopuses and Cuttlefishes for the Home Aquarium.
For first hand observations with the typical home aquarium species (bimac, hummelincki/filosis, briareus, aculeateus, mercatoris), look at the List of Our Octopuses for both 2008 and 2009 (Forums->Journals and Photos). These two lists show the known or suspected species name and contain links to the full journals.
For ideas on how to set up your aquarium (if you are acquiring a new one plan for a 55 or larger 65 for a briareus) expect to mature the tank for a minimum of 3 months. Budget for good live rock, skimmer and a sump (if possible). The sump not only adds water volume but also makes securing the tank top a simpler process. Our Tank Talk forum has a lot of discussion on tanks with entries and photos of build outs, lid design and skimmer preferences.
Once you wander through the forums and have some specific questions, ask away.