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how to clean up cuttle ink


Apr 19, 2003
I have 3 juvenile (2") cuttles in a 75 gallon tank. They are quite calm most of the time, but occasionally ink. I've learned that if they ink just a little you WALK AWAY FROM THE TANK. The one time I tried to fish a piece of food out of the tank after the first inking, the second inking was stunningly copious. The water was not clear for at least 12 hours after that event.

My question is whether there are any specific things that can be done to eliminate the ink once created. I have a cannister filter (Fluval), some activated charcoal, and a protein skimmer already. Short of the typical good practices (the above plus water changes), does anyone know of things that help specifically with ink?

Thanks for your input.

I'm not an expet on cuttles, but I have heard someone here designed a net made out of pantyhose and scooped the ink out. Don't know if this might startle them again though.

There are two kinds of ink - or perhaps two ways the ink is deployed. One is a small stickly blob that can be picked up with a pantyhose net. The other is a heavy smoke screen of ink that turns the water black. The net is no use against this type - a protein skimmer will remove it and a water change helps, too. It will take some hours for the tank to completely clear.

Hi Jon

When my male cutttle was just under a foot long he could really let rip when he inked! But i had a big skimmer and although i maybe couldnt see into the tank for a few hours no real harm seemed to come to the cuttle or other inhabitants which included corals...

Just wait until your cuttles get BIG :) Then you will know ink! LOL

PS when the last cuttle died he inked everything he had and it took 3 days for an AquaMedic 5000 to clear all the ink out of the tank!

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