In The Hesistant State


O. vulgaris
Apr 12, 2007
right now i am at a crossroads with persuin the ceph hobby:confused: :cry:. i dont know what to do. i dont know what size tank to get, what kind of filter, or skimmer, or sand, or lighting. i don't know if i need a sump, or even how to set up a sump. i don't know how to use a test kit, or how much salt is too much or too little. i really need help. is there a book that is based on cuttlefish bandensis as pets. I AM SO FRUSTRATED, IT IS TOO OVERWHELMING, HELP!!!!!:confused: :mad: :cry: :-/ :sad::evil: :banghead: :bugout: :yelling: :boohoo:
For a cuttle you can do a 30 gallon tank. You will most likely not find one that small with an overflow, therefore eliminating the sump option. You must have a skimmer, the fish store I work at sells Red Sea brand which would probably work for you, since 30 is small and the skimmers are made for smaller tanks. As for filter I would go with a canister. Fluval is a good brand; probably the 305 would be best for a 30. You need a very fine sand, whatever is the finest you can find. For lighting you just need regular flourescents, which should come with any fixture you get. Salt concentration I believe is 1.024, which can be measured with a Hydrometer. And your LFS can do water tests, and there are instructions with the tests when you buy them. You will also need about 30 lbs live rock for that size tank.
Aaron, you have to chill out some, please, and please go easy on those emoticons, and on the keyboard. For old folks like us it's a bit much to keep up with (it sends us into old-folk shock, and that just gives us a headache).

You really should check out here first, where you will find a tremendous amount of information that will be of interest and value to you.

As you'll be around for quite a while you may as well start practicing 'good posting' protocol, the RTQ's of R = Research (do this yourself), T = Think, and when you have done your Research and Thinking you can start with your Q, your Question. If you try hard with your RTQ's then we'll try extra-special hard to help answer your Q's.

first off you have really helped shipposhack, ALOT. second steve o' shea, though you were funny you did not help that much, but i know you wanted. i have seen those articles and i have R,researched, them on my own, then i got to T, start thinking about them, and became, F, frustrated and made this thread. shipposhack did what i was really looking for, he gave exact instructions and specifications. i thank you steve o' shea for trying to help, and i thank you alot shipposhack. i became more frustrated with the setup and the sump is something i would rather not have, but there is one more qustion if you havent already stopped reading this long post, would i need a sump if i have a 55 galllon tank with 3 cuttlefish?
First of all, while I realize you are frustrated that you are not receiving all the answers to your questions, you need to realize that everyone on this board (staff included), have other things in their lives besides responding to posts. The staff is volunteer, meaning that they have a full time job in addition to other obligations. Some, like, Dr. Steve O'Shea, are actually professional squid biologists. Out of the goodness of his heart, he belongs to this board and shares his research with us.

I think the reason you are frustrated is that you need answers on how to set up a salt water aquarium and you don't even know where to start. I would recommend finding a local fish store. Setting up an aquarium for Sepia bandensis would be the same as setting up an aquarium for delicate salt water animals. The fish store can help you do this. They will also have books on setting up a salt water aquarium. You do not need a specific book for Sepia bandensis.

I would still recommend a 55 gallon for Sepia bandensis. Mine started out as babies in a 29 gallon tank, but they quickly outgrew that tank. I already had a cycled 55 gallon to put them in. I would recommend starting out with the 55 gallon and then you would only need one tank. You do not need to have a sump, it is really only another smaller tank underneath your 55 gallon. It adds more water volume and a place to hide all the unsightly gear you are going to need. I would say you should have a protein skimmer though.

Also, make sure that you have at least $30-$50 per week to spend on live food for your animals. It may not cost that much near the end of their lives, if you can convince them to eat frozen, but it will definitely cost that much when they are babies!!!
I think the problem here is that you're proceeding far too quickly. It should take you a couple of months of studying and planning, then after you actually get tank and live rock, three more months for the tank to cycle. Only then can you actually have a ceph.

We've actually given you a lot of good advice, and you can build on that. As I mentioned to you in a private message, you need to get a book on salt water tanks, read past posts, etc - you won't be able to absorb all of this in a few days. That's why you are still confused.

So think of this as a longer-term project and you'll eventually get to the point where you can keep a ceph.

Aaron, as I think I mentioned in one of your other threads, there is a lot to understand regarding a saltwater tank, and it can take time to understand it.
I think you should relax and take some time and do some reading so you really understand what you are getting into before you spend any money. I don't think you need a book on bandensis, rather a book about saltwater tanks in general. 'The complete idiots guide to understanding saltwater aquariums' is a great place to start because it goes over the absolute basics of saltwater husbandry. Once you have that under your belt, the discussion of specific requirements for bandensis or octos will make more sense.
The thing that is going to get you even more frustrated is that there is no 'right way' to do things, and I think the key to having a successful saltwater aquarium is understanding the why's behind peoples choices.
I know its frustrating now, and I think if you try to jump in without a sound understanding of the processes involved in basic saltwater husbandry you will become even more frustrated.
I would suggest in your specific case, getting a 33 gallon tank, with glass tops, an ac500 that will be kept with just a nylon filled with activated charcoal, an 800 gph powerhead protected with a sponge prefilter, a remora HOB style skimmer with another powerhead with sponge prefilter, 30lbs of live rock, a 24"-36" flourescent light and a well-protected 200watt heater. After three weeks of this running empty, put 3 chromis in it, a 5 trochus snails, and a handfull of zebra hermit crabs. Let that run for 6 months while you learn the ins and outs of saltwater tanks. Get a refractometer, and don't be cheap with the brand of salt you use. These will both save you much grief. Then after that six months is up, it will be a simple process to make the tank octopus friendly.

Hope that is of some help.
ok, thanks everyone, after reading all of this advice, and insulting a squid biologist. it makes me feel really stupid and like i am in an intervention. i was really trying to do things fast. i guess i can't, and i realize this now, we're done here.
Aaron, I am frustrated for you. You seem to be all in a big hurry, and there just aren't any simple answers in this hobby.
Like you, I'm new to the saltwater reef hobby, and there is a LOT to learn. Luckilly, especially since you plan to eventually keep Cephs, you've found this site.

There are TONS of articles, old threads, etc on this site, and linked to from this site. It may take a while to find the answers you're looking for, but that's part of this hobby; if you're looking for a 5-minute solution to all your Ceph keeping questions, there isn't one...And for good reason. If you don't have the patience to take the time to learn all there is out there to learn about this hobby, you likely don't have the patience required for keeping these animals.

For instance, I may be going about this using an even longer time table than necessary, but I figure I'm about a year away from my first Ceph purchase. I still need to decide exactly what my setup is going to be comprised of, purchase the equipment, etc, and build and begin cycling the tank. I may keep a few fish, etc in there with the live rock, etc, but the tank won't be stable enough for them for some time, and I've got to be certain I can maintain the tank in a stable state before I'm even going to consider buying Cuttles or an Octo.

As another newbie like you, I STRONGLY recommend you use the search function and read the articles listed above the forums, visit a local aquarium shop (and ask them LOTS of questions) and buy a book...Then, after you know the difference between trickle filtering and canister filtering, and the benefits and downfalls to each, you come in and ask questions.

I've tried very hard not to come in and ask 100 questions here I know every newbie asks everytime a new show about Cephs comes on TV, and so far, when I have had to break down and just plainly ask something, I've gotten very polite, very complete replies. But that has to in part be because I'm not simply thinking of a question and blindly posting it without doing some research of my own first.

For instance; I still have little idea how to properly set up a sump, or whether I want to include a trickle filter in mine or just a canister filter, or both, etc...But I'm reading the book I got, and the articles listed above, instead of asking the age-old questions here.

Don't misunderstand, there are good questions worth asking here, and they may start great conversations on certain topics, but if you blindly post without researching (or thinking, thanks Steve) your posts may eventually get ignored. Not because people are mean, but because (like CuttleGirl said) people here have other things to do and can't hold the hands of all us new people everytime Nova runs a special.

I wish you were closer to me; I'm about done with my book and it answers most of the (non Ceph specific) questions you've asked regarding tank setup and I'd love to let you borrow it. Maybe you can find it when you go to the fish store. It's "The New Marine Aquarium" by Michael Paletta, and it's been terrific.


The only thing it doesn't seem to cover is the sump itself, so once I'm done with it, I'll look for a more advanced Aquarist's book, and learn all I can about sump setup options there.

Now, once I've done that and I'm considering specific educated options, then I might post my potential ideas and see what pitfalls others have already experienced with the setups I'm considering, but I'm not going to post and simply ask what a sump is, what does it do and why do I need one...I know there are a million possible answers, none of them wrong, and it's all been asked 100 times here before.

I hope all this helps a little...I do wish you the very best of luck with you research and planning.
Just go to your LFS and ask them questions about their sumps. They should have premade, pretty much ready to install sumps for people to buy, and will probably plumb it for you too, for a fee. You just have to get someone that knows about them and they should explain everything for you.

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