Planning a Cuttle/Squid Tank

Joined
Feb 13, 2017
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The General Plan
  • Cuttlefish or Squid (I think cuttles (s. bandensis) are more realistic)
  • 350-500 Gallons of aquarium(s) - glass
  • 50-100 Gallons of sump
  • Large Protein Skimmer

While I am not new to the aquarium hobby, I am new to cephalopod care. I have been visiting Tonmo for a few years now off and on and have done my best to educate myself on both the care and cost of keeping cephalopods.

I am mainly looking for ideas at this point - things to design into a system, things to avoid. I am also trying to figure out if I want one large display tank, or to split it into a system of tanks (i.e. 5x100 gallon tanks). Any suggestions or ideas would be most helpful.

I expect to have the system planned, built, and cycled by the end of fall/early winter. (it seems like a long way off, but I do not plan on rushing at any step of the way - especially cycling the tank)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
Mike
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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:cuttlehi:I'm afraid I have not experience with such a large tank but wanted to comment so I can follow along. I know @sirreal is struggling with restarting a 300 gallon tank so I am tagging him for comments :sagrin:
 
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Sep 16, 2005
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:shock: How many cuttlefish are you planning on keeping? If you get one big tank you might as well get Sepia officinalis. Sepia bandensis are just going to get lost unless you have 5 100 gallon tanks.

How fun to plan such a big tank.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
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I definitely am planning to have a tank or two for keeping live food. Assuming I will have an ongoing population, I will need to keep the adults and children separate.

The main reason I am talking about a system this large is from my experience with my 180 g. It seemed like a large tank to start, but by the end of my reef-keeping phase I had run out of space.

All in all, I figured if I have the space to go big, why not?
 

sirreal

Vampyroteuthis
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Oct 23, 2012
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Bigger is almost always better. I have to ask. Have you found a 350-500g glass tank? I ask because i have never seen much of anything over 300g "glass". plenty non glass tanks. Let me tell you I have a 300 8' in my garage and the only reason its not up and running is I dont have 8 friends who are willing to ruin there backs. i am guessing it weights just under 1k. Maybe 800lbs but I am not sure. The other issue is being 8' its not going to be easy to get in the door. "Wish i had double doors" Have you ever heard of a 300dd tank?

now the idea the idea of having several hooked together is a great idea. Me personally I would go with 3 150s or if you dont want the 6' then maybe the 120 breeder or combos of any. I would love to see what you have in mind for a skimmer. I have an Itech 400. Its a local made skimmer but built like a tank with 2 tunze hydrofomers on it.
Setting up tanks for cephs is a bit different. I dont use flow pumps only because of octos loosing arms. I know most here do use them but I am not willing to take a chance so my overflow and return systems are way oversized. On my 93 cube I am using a littlegiant pressure pump rated fpr 2000g per hour. I use 2.5" pipe for over flow and 1" for return.

Just some simple things to think about. Good luck
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
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Thanks for the advice!

I do not have a tank picked out yet. I have both the size and weight issues when it comes to a large tank. My workaround if I decide to go 200+ is to construct it in place. Going this large for a single tank is less likely for me, but is still under consideration.

So far, having 5x 95g (48x24x17) tanks in a cascade seems to be the leading design at the moment. I might end up simplifying the design by using standard overflows instead of the cascade.

One question I am not capable of answering is tank depth vs. horizontal space. What do you think is an appropriate depth for an S. Bandensis tank? Will 15" of water be enough, or should I be looking for something taller?
(15" = 17" - substrate - top of tank without water)

Final protein skimmer is still not decided yet. I have been eyeing something like the mr-4 or mr-6 from my reef creations. I have the space for the mr-7, but it would probably be overkill (rated for 1500g).

Thank you for the advice. I will try to keep the thread up to date with progress (and pictures).
 

magnetar68

O. vulgaris
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Feb 25, 2012
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84
I had adult S. Bandendid in a 20G Long which is only about 15" high and they were fine. They aren't swimmers or column risers, then tend to hover in the shade of a rock or a coral.
 

Tentagal

Pygmy Octopus
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Mar 12, 2017
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How exciting! I would recommend either Sepia bandensis or bobtail squid (Euprymna or Rossia), if you can find them. They're both very straightforward for a new ceph keeper. I'm assuming you're interested in culturing them? It would be a good idea, since they dont live that long and if they're happy, they'll be laying eggs anyway!

Multiple tanks is definitely the way to go. Perhaps a few smaller (40-50gal) tanks for eggs, hatchlings, juveniles, and one larger one for the main display? Its best to keep the age classes separate since their diets will be different, also the hatchlings are so small youd lose them in a larger tank. Keep us posted!
 
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Feb 13, 2017
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I guess I'm committed at this point to my current design. Sunday, I picked up a 125 gallon (4'x2'x25") tank.
I will be getting at least two 50 gallon tanks (Zoo-Med 50 gallon breeder) to house the food and possibly two more to raise the little ones. I'm not sure if I'm going to have the two food-tanks overflow into the main tank, or if I will just run them separate of the main system - time will tell.

My live-rock is just starting to finish its ammonia cycle. I will probably try and figure out the final placement for the tanks sometime soon and begin aqua-scaping the 125 in preparation for any additional cycling that may ensue.

Any suggestions on sand (fine vs coarse)?
I know some will swear by bare bottom tanks, but I would like to have some sand in the tank. Not 100% certain if all cuttles hide in sand, but I bumped into this article and would like to give them the option to bury themselves. I am already planning on fixing the liverock to a pvc frame so there can be no accidents if too much sand is moved.

Thanks for all the suggestions! I will try to keep the thread updated when I make more progress.
 

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