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Should I?


Nov 3, 2007
Hi! Semi new to this forum, mostly been a lurker.

I am in need of some advice. I just saw the link for Sepia Bandensis eggs for sale and I've always wanted one. I am a high school senior now and as a senior I have to do a senior presentation of sorts and I was going to do it on the dwarf cuttlefish. So my parents are willing to pay for all expenses on feeding and equipment, so money isn't a problem.

I went to a local san diego forum and asked for some advice, but I was mostly told that a 20 gallon aquarium is way too small for a cuttlefish and that I should go with the mantis shrimp idea (which was my backup if cuttlefish didn't turn out by the end of december). But now they're available but hearing people tell me that 20 gallons is way too small makes me rethink the whole thing.

The 20 gallon's been cycled and running for about a year now with a few corals, not much to rave about and a bicolor damsel that I would try to catch and give away for free or let it become cuttle food. It has no protein skimmer but I will definitely buy one if I am going to go with the cuttlefish route. At the moment it has an Aquaclear 50 (the old 200) as a little chaeto fuge with little powerheads for water flow that I'll need to cover up.

So please throw me your advice! This will be the ultimate deciding factor. Thank you!!!

Edit: oh it's a 20 gallon high.
Oct 7, 2004
I personally haven't kept a cuttlefish before, but from what I remember and read on these forums, 20 gallons is rather small.

I'm sure other members here will be glad to give you a more in-depth explaination and answer your questions. Welcome to TONMO and enjoy your stay.


TONMO Supporter
Mar 15, 2003
The problem with keeping cephalopods is that they put out a lot more waste than a similar sized fish or crustacean, hence the need for more water, no matter how big the filtering system is.

In regards to cuttlefish, in a small tank, they will jet into the glass sides (they do love to jet around) and ram the cuttlebone through their skin when they impact. A standard 55 (4' long) is really about as small as I would try to keep one in. I am sure you can pick up a new tank (don't buy used) for a song right now.

Best of luck,


Colossal Squid
Staff member
Jan 22, 2004
A 20 is too small for an entire animals lifespan. The jetting Greg mentions has really only been an issue in bigger species, and I have yet to see an instance of 'butt burn' in S. bandensis.

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