• 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.

Squid care


Feb 3, 2005
I am very interested in native marine fish, and last summer on a collecting trip I caught two small squid, about 3" long, mostly transparent. I brought them home and put them in a 15 gallon quarantine tank, and they were hanging near the back, so I turned of all the lights and left them alone. The next morning, both were dead, although it really got my curiosity going. I collected them behind the barrier islands of virginia, full strenght salt water (usually 1.025-1.026, ecxept after a hard rain). Any idea what they could be? I don't know much about them, but they were fascinating animals to watch. In reading some of this forum, I've seen how they are intolerant of cooper. That particular tank used to be a freshwater tank that I did medicate, so that could have been the reason they died so quickly. Also, I cought them in a seine net, so there might have been some trauma due to that.

Does anybody keep any kind of squid? What size tanks could you recomend for this size? I've got a 37 tall and a 55 that are both empty, never been medicated and ready to set up for marines. The 37 would be better if that fits the squids needs.

Thanks for your help.
Mr. z
Even small squids, like Loligo, are super hard to care for in tanks under the thousand gallon mark...problem being, what does a squid do when it moves??? It jets...right into the tank sides...there has been some speculation (lots last summer) among some of the tonmo forum members about using an outdoor pool, the kind with the inflateable top ring and soft sides, to house squids...you can pick those up at most general stores (walmart, target, etc) for about 60 bucks...I bought one last year to raise up some baby cichlids, and it worked out great !
The tanks you have are too small for cuttlefish even...but the 55 would be a great bimac tank!

Squid are particularily difficult to keep (Just ask Steve :twisted:). If the medications you used contained copper (even as a trace) that would've done for the squid. Also they need a LOT of food, it's possible they may have starved. I've also observed that unless you are SUPER careful capture trauma seems to play a large part in the demise of squid.

For example, one of the research students here caught some baby Nototodarus sloanii in a light trap, he knew I'd be interested and so stuck them in a holding tank (which should've been waaaaay big enough) with some krill (which the squid would've eaten) but there were two problems

1) the tank was in direct sunlight
2) it was square

The squid do best I believe, in reduced light and a cylindrical tank.


We keep the bay squid form Galveston in a oval tank about 10ft long, they require live food usually silversides. But like all cephalopods they have a sort life span and the ones you catch would be probably live for 6 months or less. As far a collecting them goes I've used short pulls with a seine net and they seem to not to have too much trauma.
I guess I probably should have tried to research alittle bit, but the squid weren't wasted, they just fed the other fishes and crabs.
As far as bimac's go, I don't purchase any fish or inverts anymore, mostly because of the completely amoral things i've observed in petstores ( I used to work in one). I also like to catch my own critters, and would like to try a local octo, but they live very far offshore and would require a chiller. Best to just observe them until I can get the needed equipment.
The ultimate source for captive-bred bimacs appears to be octopets.com. I get the impression that they conduct themselves rather professionally: with cephs being so picky as to their living conditions, if they were being mistreated by Octopets I don't think they would be breeding so succesfully. I wouldn't be at all worried that an octopets purchase was supporting the mistreatment of animals.

Some of our members have even visited Octopets and had nothing but good to report back. Also, Octopets has had success in shipping their little bimacs.


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