• 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.

comeing back to ceph husbandry..


Pygmy Octopus
Jul 9, 2007
Hello everyone.. I was refered to this site from reef central. Its been a while since i've searched forums, anyways...
Several years ago I was deep in propagating corals, raising Bimac octopi. playing with mantis shrimp, the works. Well after haveing to break all the tanks down, to afford to finish my last couple of years of college, and becoming a father, I have since been drooling for the day that I could get back into this beutiful science and hobby. Well after doing some summer cleaning, I decided to move my 180gal back into the house!
I have pretty much all my hardware a reefer could ever want aswell as some now dead- liverock, that I didnt sell, fresh water feeders are cheap from a fish hatchery down the street, and I have a nice discount on saltwater feeders from a marine aquarium store I use to work at. Anyways I've been looking through the forums. I dont think I can afford to go full blown reef tank at this time as far as upkeep expenses go, and cost of frags. So my first intention was todo a ceph tank.
Can anyone suggest which cuttlefish's species I should look into. I'd love todo a group. I believe in my brief reading so far that they can be kept in groups aslong as they are well fed and grouped young plus if I decide to throw some corals in at some point, it wouldne be a problem which is great. How large are adults? If not cuttlefish I wouldnt mind carring for an octopus. If I go this route which species other than perhaps a Bimaculoid would be suggested? I Loved keeping my Bimac, are they still the all around favorite? I would love something with a little bit more size to it than a Bimac, to better fill a 180gal, but i guess the more room for the better. Its gonna be a while yet to get the tank running and cycling... so The venture of reading begins!
Can anyone suggest reliable retailers for these species aswell.

Thanks, Swann

anyother resources I can look into other than ... Octopus, Squid, Cuttlefish, and Nautilus - The Cephalopod Page ?

I just read the sticky notes/threads at the beginning of the forum. Was alot of great info. Cephalopod Care.

Does anyone keep Sepia officinalis... and have picture of their tank I can check out? Guess I'll be goin over to tank setup forum..to make sure my overflows are fine.

For a cuttlefish on a tank that size, I would suggest S. Officinalis or S. Pharonis. Paradox just finished setting up his 150 (I believe) tank that he hopes to house Officinalis in. Both these species aren't common in aqauria; mostly due to their size. They will probably be semi-difficult to find.

If you go with an octopus I you should be able to fit 2 Bimacs in a tank that large, maybe more. Or you could also house O. Vulgaris, a species that ceph owners have seemed to lose interest in. This is also probably due to the large tank that they require.

Cuttles will do fine with coral, but if you do an octopus I would't put any corals in. They could be harassed by the octopus, and the octo won't like the bright lights needed for coral health.
In a large tank 2 octopuses can usually be housed together. If you get two males, it is likely they will fight, but will most likely stick to their own territory. If you get a male and a female that are close to the same age there is a good chance that they will spawn before they die. This should only be done in a large tank or if you are sure one is a male and the other is female. Still they need to go in a bigger tank than recommended because of the bio load of 2 octopuses.
Other than Size why has O. Vulgaris popularity gone down? if for any other reason. When I had a bimac, he was great, easy to care for and fun to watch. I am just looking into something different than a bimac just to epand expierance.
Are Vulgaris more escape artists, or more inclinde to try too? Once I get my 180 cycled i think im gonna aim for a cuttle, but after looking at everyones octo's..if cuttles are scarse i may be swayed back.

thanks Swann
I don't really know why the popularity of O. Vulgaris has gone down. My assumption is the tank size we have found they need. People used to think keeping them in a 75 gallon was fine; since they were bigger than bimacs. People realized that they get a good amount bigger than a bimac or any other species that a 55-75 gallon tank would make comfortable. I think they came up with 125 gallons as the new minimum.

From what I know they are good pets. They will live a little bit longer than a bimac due to their size. Try searching for information on here with the term "vulgaris". You should stumble upon some old threads.

Anyone else with more knowledge on this species please post.
ok, well today I went out and started buying plumbing and supplies to restain the stand/hood... gettting ready to put everything together over the next 2 weeks. Im looking over my tank hardware thats been seting around in storage from when I propogated corals out of the 180gal. And am deciding what Im going to be using. I am planing on carring for a Vulgaris octo. or hopefully a S. Pharonis cuttlefish. In my head what I have is overkill, can anyone confirm and advize.
What I've pulled out to use and what I'm thinking....

-tank= 180gal acrylic 72"x24"x24", 2 internal overflows which i will make octo proof wither I get one or not.
-Main Pump= Dolphin Amp master 3000.
-lighting: 3 X 110watt VHO (used for atinic lighting)
-3 X 400watt Metal halide (have 10k and 20k bulbs)
-cooling=I have a Chiller...somewhere
-Sump=going to use a 75gal sump(itll fit under the stand, oppose to the 150gal rubber maid vat)
-Protien skimmer= 2 X Aqua C EV 180's
-geo calcium reactor
-Bunch of at one time, coraline covered Fiji live rock..now dead and sitting in stagnint water at some unknown salinity.
-Lots of sand once alive but now dead and dry.
-RO/Di filter unit

I am planning on putting this altogether... Filling, rinsing and draining the tank, rock and Deep sand Bed very well, and cycling from scratch. My questions are I suppose...Cuttles do not tolerate high flow rates, do they? My pump turns my tank over atleast 8 times per hour when accounting for plumbing resistance and actual water volume, and My 3 halides are 400watt, 10k's that are bright! will toneing down the white light with 20k's (changeing kelvin rating) giving a more blue atinic suffice. Or are tis the wattage really going to stress the cuttles or octos to much. I am thinking maybe using just one of the 20k halides and 2 atinics.. giveing a deep blue sea look. S. Pheronis Is a warm water cuttlefish, I read 30deg celcius , thats 80 + deg F... Really? I dont have a problem reaching that temp with these lights at all :) If I do go with a cool/deep water species... what cold temperature ranges am I looking at? Can anyone link pictures of large tank/ Rock arrangements. When I had my reef setup and or lbs of rocks they use.. I used over 250 lbs of live rock in the tank when it was a reef, all placed on pvs stands about 1" above the DSB. I know that cuttles like shelves.. but I am thinking swimming room is important with the size of a pharonis or S S. Officinalis so how much rock/swimming space.. for something this big.

After righting all this.. ive concluded that alot of this isnt a straight forward science...and that I'll probably get the answers of wheither or not I have 2 much rock or 2 bright of lights or to high of flow rate... when I actually set this thing up. Im going to submit this post though, since Ive already written this much.

sorry for the diary entry above, Swann
I don't know lots about cuttles but those lights are much too bright for any octopus. They like very low light levels but do enjoy 10k's. Blue lights are not liked by them.

I don't know a lot about equipment either, so I'll leave the other questions to someone else.

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