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Sepiola Atlantica / Tank Update


Jun 7, 2004
Hi all,

I'm still in the process of converting the reef over to a cuttle tank and have been concentrating on keeping Sepia Officinalis. But having spoke to a friend of Colin's ( :thumbsup: cheers Colin), I'm thinking about Sepiola Atlantica.

Has anyone kept this speices - if so, can I have some basics (length, diet, habitat etc).

Just to update everyone, i only have to re-aquascpae the tank now for the cuttle - Whats ideal? Swimming space obviously, but should i be looking at caves, rockpiles? Soft substrate - sand/aragonite?

Thanks all in advance for your help.

:heart: this site!!

I've never kept any sort of squid, but from the information I have here at hand, Sepiola Atlantica is a very small bobtail squid, with a body up to 1.5cm. It's found in the North-east Atlantic Ocean but not in the Mediterranean, and occurs from coastal waters to the edge of the Continental slope. It has a bacterial light organ.

Don't have any info on how it lives or the food it prefers.

How will you be able to get your little squids for your aquarium?

Don't want to start anything off, so will just say a friend of Colin has spoke to me about them. He sometimes has them available.
Hi Mikey

Glad you got in touch with Keith/Errin... (Nancy, she does spell it with two 'r's. Different from our Erin)

I think that Sepiola would prefer a really soft substrate like fine sand to half cover itself and a few caves to retreat into if need be. I'd avoid all jagged rocks and other tank materials as best as possible.

Watch your temperature doesnt get too high, I'd say about 70 may be tops.. maybe less?

Let me know how you get on
Hey Col,

Keith is a really nice chap - spent about 10 minutes on the phone to him.

From what you say, Atlantica aint the species for me. The tank is sitting at around 22 - 23oC without a chiller, so it seem like Officianlis is the cuttle for me.

Gonna try and build a cave or somewhere for the guy to hide, and maybe a live rock tower to swim round and hide, the rest i'll just pile up - but leave as much swimming space as possible. Soft arag on the tank floor too.

Jagged rocks? :shock: - does that apply to officinalis too? There's no probs with LR though is there? As that's what I will be using as main filtration.

Col - can I aks what you use for water flow? I have powerheads at the moment. Will probably burry the inlet so no arms can get in! Have you used P/H before, any probs?

Thanks again for everyones help - really is much appreciated.
Hi Mikey,

sorry i missed your post earlier :cry:

What size of tank are you going for? Just remember that officinalis gets big so a 4x2x2 and bigger is needed...

watch out for putting too much rock in the tank, sometimes (especially in warm water) they get spooked easily and crash into stuff backwards, i had one with bad butt burn! leave plenty swimming space and i prefer a mix of aragonite and childrens play sand from B&Q

yes, powerheads are fine, i had 4 hagen 402s on a 6x2.5x2 tank and it was okay, the problem isnt arms but with them sticking to them!!! keep them attached to a sponge or similar...

hope that helps :smile:
Hi Colin,

Actually, just finished the aquqscaping about an hour ago!!

I got a 5 footer, and have built 2 caves either end for cover, and a LR tower in the centre, so loads of swimming space.

My tank has settled out at 22oC (around 71oF) without the chiller, and from what I underastand that's around what you runs yours at, so fingers crossed - I just got to get the lilttle guy here!!

Hopefully he will be arriving a week this Friday - getting excited now.

Don't know whether this has any fact whatsoever, but I was told that when feeding some cuttles, some scientists would show a cross on a card to them. Over time they associated the cross with food, and then when the scientists went near to the tank, the cuttles would generate crosses on their body to "beg" for food.

If even half of that is true, i can't wait to give the little guy a new home!
LOL i wouldnt even bother with the cross!!! As soon as they see you 20 feet away they will be begging at the front!!!

So, what are the details? What size is the cuttle? You getting it from Keith?

Low 70s will be fine

Keep us up to date!
Hi Mikey,

Really exciting that you're getting your cuttlefish!

I saw that experiment you mentioned on TV - it was an attempt to see whether the cuttlefish could recognize and reproduce a cross (like a plus sign or an x) and if they did, they were rewarded by food. There were a bunch of cuttlefish in the tank, and they all were able eventually to make crosses (on their backs, as I remember). Some of the crosses were better than others, but they were all recognizable. And the cuttles got their rewards!

Hey Col and Nancy,

I'm excited too - i just hope that he aint too messy cos it's basically a reef tank with no heater!! Live rock, skimmer, carbon and Rowaphos - thats it!! From what i can tell, this is what you do Col (is this right??) so fingers crossed.

He's will be in a five foot tank, two 402 powerheads and a 204 for circulation for live rock only really (hope it's not too strong!), tonnes of LR with two caves and a LR tower in the centre for the guy to swin round and hide behind if need be. Crushed arag as substrate.

I'm not planningto get from keith as when I spoke to him, he is yet to get the eggs in to hatch. May give him a ring though, as the ones from my source (we discussed them on RC col) has a 10CM mantle length. Ideally I would like smaller.

Nancy I caught the programme too - it was way cool!! I think a red crossed cuttle would look fantastic in my tank!! :lol:

Will keep you posted and get some pics up soon,

Best regards all,

Keith and Errin, man I love those people. They sent me the smallest little Curled Octo you have ever seen. I've called her Ellie, sitll got to get her to feed yet but it's only been a couple of days!

Think Keith is away in Ireland for a week's fishing so give them a bell soon and see what they have come up with. I'm after some Stone Crabs (Which brings me to another point,... if you know them t hen where are their 5th legs? Being a crab and therefore a decapod where do they keep them? I really need to know this for an ID label!) from them at the moment, very spiney and very cool!

Speaking to Keith for 10 minutes is nothing, be glad you didn't get through to Errin... that girl can talk for Britain, she is forever getting me in trouble! Hehe. Truely great great people those Todds!

S. atlantica that I have kept have eaten live mysis (Which they also sell for £36 per 1000 shrimp) but i've never managed to keep them for long or to get any from eggs (Unlike bloody S. officinalis which i have comming out my ears at the moment).

We did get some bobtail squid imported from Japan last year but they were exactly the same and considerably more expensive than sepiola... but they did have a lot of bioluminescence. I never saw this from the sepiola that I had but to be honest I was young and not looking for it.

Good luck with the whole project tho mickey, I may be back in Maryport in a few weeks so if i'm around have to have a chat about it all over a beer!

Hey Andy,

Replied to your PM mate :wink:

Totally agree on the Keith and Errin from - they are top folks!

Let me know if you're about in Carlisle and we'll grab that beer!


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