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Tank size


Apr 18, 2004
obviously octopus are a more common pet and so it has been hard to find information on the tank size requirements for cuttles.

Having done some more research i have found two species which are around my area.

s. mestus and
s. latimanus

they are both great however the latter grows to around 50cm mantle

sadly latimanus would be much easier to get hold of but being so big i dont think i could accomodate it

how large a tank would it require. i am looking at a 6' by 2' by 2 1/2' though i am fairly sure this is much too small

what would you reccomend? thanks

That would do them for maybe one specimen... i can compare that to sepia officinalis which can reach 45cm n the wild but normally about 30 in captivity... I had one get to nearly that size in a tank of 6'x2"x30"
That's exactly what I'm saying but its not the best way to think about the tank size ratio... difficult to say having not kept one but generally they wont grow as big as wild ones... having said that, some bimacs have gotten bigger!
on the presumtion that it does grow to full size - 50 cm - what tank size would accomodate it - if any.

Maybe i should just settle for the shorter lived sepia mestus!!! haha
I'd have to say 200 gal and above. They may have a 50cm mantle length but from my experience with the tentacles, it still seems rather cramped. A higher tank might also be required, their tentacles can be raised very high up when they doing a threat display.

If you check out the vid gallery of the juvenile cuttle eating the fish, an adult latimanus would look something like that in a 6 ft tank. I would get a 7x2x2 (LxWxH) for a latimanus and thats only for 1 cuttle. Another option would be a fibreglass tank.
Now that we're on the subject, I would like to ask a related question. Most cephalopods require reasonably large tanks, which means a very large weight. To what extent do you all take into account structural considerations i.e. whether the floors can actually carry the weight? The water alone in a 200 gallon tank weigh more than 3/4 of a metric ton, never mind the support, equipment etc. This is not even comparable to an average piano.
Oh, yes, you should take structural considerations into account. Many of us in the US have slab foundations, so by putting a tank on the first floor, it's no problem - or some have their tanks in the basement.

But, if you plan to put it on the second floor or you're in an appartment or in an older house, you need to a make sure that the floor will bear the weight.

Thats one reason I'm not getting a 140 gal so fast, you have to check if your house can take the weight.

Nope, a fibreglass tank isn't clear so you can only view your cuttles from the top, some people cut a bit off the sides and change it with glass panels. But doesn't seem very safe to me.
well fibreglass is out!!

i really want to be able to watch them and study them a bit more than from the top...plus i dont think my family would be too hot on a hude tub sitting downstairs!!!
you would need to check with a structural engineer.

I live on the first floor and have over a tonne of water supported up here... never invite downstairs neighbours upstairs!!!
i was planning on keeping my tank downstairs anyway so thats not a problem - mostly because downstairs stays much cooler and at a regular temp.