• 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.

Question: Cuttlefish Tank Layout and Possible Roommates


Oct 20, 2004
Hey folks - I'm new to Cuttles, but a vet with reftanks (7 years+). I just ordered a Sepia O from fishsupply.com. I will be placing it in a conditioned 90 gal tank (with prot skimmer, etc).

My original intention was to keep it alone in the tank - but I wanted to ask if anyone has (or has heard of) and marine creatures that can peacefully coexist with a cuttle?

I am also looking for any suggestions on tank layout, etc that would make the cuttle most confortible and also motivate it to alter it's coloring dramatically and often.

Finally - recommendations for food sources for those of us who live inland - both types of food and availibilty (web sites, etc).

Tall order I ask being a newbie here and all, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
:welcome: to TONMO.com!!

Things like fish and crustaeceans don't do well with cephs in general as you would already know, so they're obviously not good co-habitants. The cuttle will eat any fish possible even those that are a bit larger. Even lionfish have bee taken by cuttles. The opposite could happen too if the fish is much larger (when the cuttle is still young).

They can do well with starfish or urchins which make a good cleanup crew as cuttles are rather messy eaters. Snails don't seem to interest cuttles either so they can help control algae. Unfortunately theres not really much that can live with cuttles due to their nature.

A favourite food of cuttles are crabs which you can get from a fish monger, they need not necessarily be alive so they can be kept in a freezer. Fish and shrimp are readily taken too. Its best not to feed cuttles with feeder fish as they might have been treated with copper based medications, copper, even in small amounts are deadly to cephs. Shrimp can be bought and stored the same way as crabs.

A normal reef tank will do great for cuttles, just put a little less rock so they have more swimming space and make sure the rocks have no sharp/jagged edges as cuttles can get cut (butt burn) when they accidentally hit it while it jets. A deeper sand bed is also good as they some times like to half-bury themselves in the sand. Corals can be added as long as they dont sting.

With time you can also interact with the cuttle, they can play tug of war and they might let you stroke it. Hand feeding can also be done but pray it doesnt grab your fingers instead :) . Not recommended but i liked teasing the cuttles by placing toy crabs on the glass and moving them around, you'll get to see a cuttle attack from a crab's eye view ( tentacles besk and all...) :heee:

Feel free to ask if you have other questions and have a great time with your cuttle. Btw- when is it arriving? Do keep us updated and maybe a few pics when it arrives :heee:
Thanks for all the info! I am assuming my liverock is a nono as it is typically riddles with sharp edges and extrusions. Excuse my ignorance here: what is a fishmongor? Lastly = would typical grocery store uncooked shrimp be a good idea for food?
Im pretty sure any ceph keeper uses live rock actaully... Maybe not though. And a fishmonger is someone who sells fish. To eat. But u probally dont have one inland. Maybe u could buy some shrimp at a grocery store.

is there such a thing? I want to be able to use tapwater to change the tank - outside of sea salt, dechloranator and my chem set - i think the only missing link is the fact that tap water is not de-ionized?
You could buy distilled water and use it for making your saltwater and for topping off. Usually there is too much copper and other contaminants in tap water for it to be used as a base for saltwater.

mwexler501 said:
Lastly = would typical grocery store uncooked shrimp be a good idea for food?

well, its not ideal... it has already been cooked and then frozen so all the nutrients it once had are mostly gone... fresh, uncooked shrimps/praws/crayfish would be a much better option

You can still use liverock, just try to make sure they're arranged so that a large piece doesn't suddenly stick out. Its best that r/o or distilled water is used, as Nancy mentioned, tapwater can be full of contaminants.
uh oh

Well the entire tank water supply is based on tap water - and the Cuttle should be on it's way to me now. I did all my usual tests with my chemestry set (NO2, NO3, Copper, PH,Salinity,Phosphates,Ammonia,etc..etc) and all seems well. Guess I'm in a bind since I can't change all the water without having to re-condition the tank. Any suggestions? I'm guessing I should change a 1/3 of it now to r/o - perhaps another 1/3 in a week.
Well if the values are good then the water can't be half bad. If the water seems to be ok i don't see why you'd need to change to r/o now. If you wanna be on the safe side you could change the water slowly over some time.
He's here!

The Cuttle delivery came in 3 hours ago. He has fully acklimated, already eaten once and managed to blend seamlessly with the tank floor (so my tank looks empty now - good times). He only inked 6 times during the acklimation process. Good news: the ink is not as 'fluid' as i thought - it's actually heavy enough to be skimmed right out of the tank with a fine-weave fish net.

I will keep posting news to the journal:

Cuttle seem to settle down pretty quickly, some start eating within a few minutes of their release. 6 times!?? Thats quite alot, the ink comes out pretty thick but it diffuses quickly and can turn your whole tank black.

yeah he's so little though (3 inches maybe) that the amount of ink is inconsiquential in a 90 gal tank. I scoop it out with a net b4 it causes any damage and the protien skimmer does the rest.
Brittle stars = good rommates

Starfish make great roommates. I added 2 brittle stars. One of them is lazy and useless. The other is my cleanup crew - he knows when the cuttle getting fed, scurried over to the cuttle's spot in the tank and patiently waits for fish heads and other crumbs to be dropped by the cuttle, quickly cleaning up the mess.

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