• 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.

Questions on cuttlefish care.


Nov 20, 2003
1st off, hello all. I'm new to the site but am really glad I found it as I've been interested in cephalapods for a very long time. I wish to maintain a cuttlefish tank and have a lot of questions. 1)Are cuttlefish available? I once asked at a LARGE LFS and was told they never see them on their lists and if they got one, they would be bought by the store personnel before ever going in display tanks. 2)Can more than one be kept together? 3)Would the 75gallon I now have available be sufficient?4)Average lifespan? 5)Are there any other lifeforms suitable as tankmates? 6)Proper lighting for cuttlefish? 7)If available, where would I obtain cuttlefish? 8)Any other info from experienced keepers greatly appreciated. THANKS!!
Why not have a look back at some of the cuttlefish posts here on TONMO.com? There is a lot of personal adventures and a lot of good info about people who have tried to keep them.

Cuttlefish are not going to be easily kept in the USA until they are being captive bred… in 2 years I know of only one that survived longer than a few days after being imported and as they generally cost upwards of $50, its no fun for either party… I’d say to not waste money and lives on cuttlefish, especially Sepia bandensis that is frequently imported as a full grown adult at the end of its lifespan.

If you live in Europe getting a cuttle is much easier but to answer your questions…

1) Yes, from time to time they get offered, but even this week we have an example of one being bought that looked in perfect condition and died. I personally think that they are too much of a risk to buy from a LFS. Try keeping a captive bred octopus… in the suture cuttles will be more reliably sold.
2) That depends on the size of your tank. I had seven baby sepia officinalis in a 200 gal tank and it was too small for them at ~5”. They set up territories and fight amongst themselves. At 10” it was too small for 2 and again too small for one large adult male in the end. Also, depends on species as not all get as big as S. officinalis do but getting them alive is the issue.
3) Yes but maybe not… see above. Depends on species and their size. Remember that most importers can’t ID the species they supply! What would happen if you got a species that gets to 3 foot long?
4) ~18 months at most. (3 days after importation it seems)
5) yes, all sessile inverts that don’t have bad stings.
6) Subdued, not bright reef lights… simple fluro tube would suffice.
7) Octopets is apparently working on breeding species for sale to the public.. I’m sure that it will be posted here when they are available.
Eight) To date there are only a couple of us that have had a cuttlefish for any length of time on this site… it’s only a matter of time until they are more easily available and I, and others find, that once they settle in they are quite easy to keep healthy. I do however, predict many problems with people keeping them in tanks that are far too small for the species… think minimum 200gal for a single adult officinalis.

Feel free to ask more questions!!!
Thanks guys. After poring over this site and the others sugg

I have seen the futility of the cuttlefish project (for now). I shall work on an octopus tank (equally as facinating). It would appear that the bimaculoides are the most adaptable as well as the most readily available so I will set up my tank with that in mind. I assume a 75 gallon aquarium (48x18x21) will be sufficient. I've had this tank for quite awhile and can't be sure of it's history. Would just filling it up with water and then checking for copper/heavy metals be sufficient?
Yeah that's big enough and the copper test would do fine too.
A quick visual test is to look at the silicone round the tank... if its blue it may have had a copper based medication used in it

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