• 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.

Changed My Mind!

Oct 13, 2005
I have decided against an octopus for a few reasons...

1) They are very short lived.
2) They are fairly hard to identify.
3) Few CB species available.
4) Large tank requirements.

I have decided FOR a few cuttlefish for a few reasons...

1) They seem more active than most octopods.
2) There are only 2 species regularly available in aquariums.
3) The species I am getting (sepia bandensis of course) get only 4 inches.
4) They will live after breeding.

Now...I have a question...

How many do you think I could keep in a 40 gallon tank? This is a 40 gallon long. It is very long, and very tall, but not very wide. I plan on getting a good amount of tonga branch live rock for them to play in, like a jungle gym, along with various macros, mostly reds. I might want to try some nice zoanthids, and some mushrooms, if I can get a decent light on the tank. I was thinking around 4 or so cuttles, but i'm not sure how many would be recommended, and I am sorry if 4 sounds completely ridiculous. Thanks for your help!

Brock Fluharty
Brock, how much tank space does each cuttle need and how big do they get? We have a 60 gallon long freshwater tank and that's one of the considerations we had to take into account when getting fish for it. Basically there is a formula (not sure what it is for salt tanks) that each fish gets x amount of space. Something to consider when making your decision.

By the way, when you get the cuttles, we want pictures pictures pictures!!! :biggrin2:
Ok, I looked it up in my saltwater aquarium book -- they are recommending the 1 inch of fish to 4 gallons of water for the first six months. Gradually increase fish density to 1 inch per 2 gallons. "For example a 40 gallon aquarium should contain no more than 10 inches of fish for the first six months... After six months additional fish may be added gradually to increase the total number of inches to 20."

So I guess it depends on how big the you choose cuttles will likely get.
Well, sepia bandensis get up to 4 inches, so 2 for the first 6 months, and 4 for the later 6 months? I want to get eggs from someone, since they ship better than ones that are already hatched. They would also (I assume) be cheaper, although I know that the babies are hard to feed, I am in good with all of my LFS's, so I can get fiddler crabs, ghost shrimp, guppies, you name it. I am going to use LOA liighting fixtures, supplemented with actinics to make them less ugly, for the corals, and macro/stargrass. Anybody know of anyone who currently has too many eggs to handle or anyone who breeds in general?
Seeing as cuttlefish have higher metabolism and generally secrete more ammonia than a fish, have a more bulbous shape and as such more volume of flesh per unit length than a fish, and often swim faster than fish in a direction in which they can't see, those rules probably aren't very applicable :smile:

Ok. I will just stick with two if everyone thinks that would be a good amount. I want eggs because I want to figure out which are males and females, and keep one of each for myself (if I can successfully raise them of course) and sell the rest off.
I'm sorry if I'm being a little hard on you--I still have quite a few hours work to do on my proposal tonight and am feeling a bit sarcastic.

If you haven't already, read Righty's article about Sepia bandensis. Hit the "Articles" button at the top of the screen then "Ceph Care" and scroll down to the bottom. He talks about a lot of the things you're wondering about.

Dan is exactly right. The article is excellent. Definitely a 1st read for anyone setting up a tank or even considering cuttles of any species.

One major point...cephs metabolize as if 3-4x their weight in fish, so 3-4 fish would equal 1 cuttle. That is why everyone rants about skimmers all the time, and to filter as 3-4x the tank volume.
When considering lighting don't go with something too bright. When I've seen them out during the day they've always been deeper than about 20m. Even in clear waters light is a little dim down there.
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