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Cuttlefish care questions

Mar 27, 2003
Hey all, for those of you who know about caring for cuttles... I want to ask if aragonite is okay for juvenile cuttles and if cuttlefish would prefer the less vast yet natural environment of a reeftank or the vastness of an empty tank environment. I'm also wondering if aiptasia could harm them in any way... Anyone able to provide info? Any info. is greatly appreciated.

I have had 3 cuttlefish up to 2 inches long in 15 English gallon tank, at room temperature (circa 20 C). When young they have a tendency to play hide & seek (One could carefully peek round a column of algae, moving to remain hidden from me!) so I like natural decorations. I use coral sand as a base, deep enough to bury themselves in. The bigger the tank the better as they grow, I have never grown them more than about 100mm mantle length in 12 cubic ft of water, but it was almost that size when I put it in & quite old, tank was tropical (24+ C) temperature.
Hi Matt,
Welcome to TONMO.com

Firstly, if you are in the States like most of the people here then getting cuttles in the first instance is going to be a real pain. If you read back some posts in this forum you'll see what problems other people have had. The species most commonly sold in the USA is Sepia bandensis and not entirely suitable for the home aquarium. It is normally imported as an adult at three - four inches and doesnt travel well. Many people think they are cyanide caught too. So either way many dont live more than a few weeks.

Luckily for Mike and I, in the UK s. officinalis is reasonably easy to get.

So, here's your questions....

I want to ask if aragonite is okay for juvenile cuttles and if cuttlefish would prefer the less vast yet natural environment of a reeftank or the vastness of an empty tank environment

Well, aragonite is fine for a cuttle tank. However, as Mike says, they do like to bury themselves, especially when young. So i use a mix of 50/50 fine aquarium silver sand and either aragonite/calciumplus/aragonite to help stabalise the pH. this fine sand prevents any harming of their delicate skin.

The size issue is the real issue here and always will be with cuttles when trying to figure out reef or bare tank.

I have done both, if you look at these pics of a tank i had then you will see that they (7 of them) shared their home with corals etc. However, that was a system of just over 200 gals (UK) So i had a bit of space to play around with decor. Once the cuttles got to over 6" long even that was too cramped for them and i had to whittle the numbers down to 2. When the last male was by himself in the tank at over 10" i feel that even a 200 gal tank was too small for him. So your question about how many cuttles to keep in a 40 gal tank is somewhere between none and one. Thats asuming that the species is officinalis of course as a couple of bandensis would be okay in a tank that siz or officinalis up to about 3 inches.

Their is not to omuch other info available in books or on the web about keeping cuttles but several people here have so its probably the best place to ask any more questions in the future.

Thanks for your questions and here is a link to my cuttle pics Yahoo | Mail, Weather, Search, Politics, News, Finance, Sports & Videos

Well, a 40G tank I have is 36"x18"x16" where these dimensions are measured by length x width x height. Half of the volume in the tank is currently occupied by base and live rock, as well as some corals. I used to keep a large O. vulgaris with this setup... however, I wonder if it is suitable for cuttles (2-4 of them). There is not much substrate (which is aragonite & crushed coral) area for the cuttles to burry at all. I would like to know if this setup is alright for cuttles (especially regarding the lack of substrate areas for burrowing). Please give any advice.
The cuttles wont appreciate so much stuff in the tank. And as mentioned will ocassionally hurt themselves on the rock.

This is because keeping more than one means that they will sometimes squabble or even if they get a fright from outside the tank they are likely to shoot off backwards and injure their backend. So removing a lot of the rock is the best idea.

It would only be suitale for a small species of cuttle or for a species liek officinalis for about 3 months at most..

Depends what species.

Officinalis can double their weight almost weekly and so dont stay 2" for long.

If you are associated with a uni you could probably get them from the NRCC
What is the scale you are using for the copper test.

It should be zero so check your water supply carefully


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