• 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.

Where are the sqiuds?


Jul 10, 2005
Sorry if this is in the wrong place, (im new).
I've been looking into keeping an octopus and this sites definately the best one around, but how come there don't seem to be any squid keepers? I would have presumed a squid to be a fascinating pet, so Im geussing there's a problem with keeping them?
I'm undecided which I would prefere to keep, but would like to give the squid a try. Ive seen seen baby squid (6cm long) caught in a light trap and the colour changing is amazing to watch.

Also, has anyone kept and octopus maroum? What other species of octopus would be easy to get here in New Zealand?
And would and NZ octopus tolerate room temperature water or would they need a refridgeration system to keep the temp at ~12C?

Im trying to sus out what I need, and I might build a chiller if ones required.

Thanks for any help

You hit the nail on the head, squid can be exceptionally difficult to keep! At work (the Portobello Marine Lab in Dunedin) we've kept Arrow squid alive for 3 or 4 days in a LARGE pond. Steve O' has had more success but he'll tell you of Looooooooooooooooooong hours catching food getting, tanks right and then having the ungrateful wretches die (....right Steve?!!).

Where abouts in NZ are you?

In our public aquarium we keep what used to be called Octopus maorum it's now Pinnoctopus cordiformis and I'd venture that it's too big for a home aquarium (plus it's an escape artist...we've misplaced Hannibal he's gone for a walk somewhere!) They can reach pretty big sizes (not quite the size of a GPO but big) I'm talking arm spreads of nearly 2m and a weight of ~10Kg!! And they can eat upto 15 or more live paddle/cancer crabs a day. You may be better off with one of the midget octi complex.

As for Temp how warm are you talking? a chiller may be the way to go. ours are kept at ambient seatemp. Remember the warmer they are the faster they grow and mature and the sooner you'll lose them.


is there a online reference guide about cephs that's free?

About keeping squid, our local aquarium seems to be doing ok, I could try and pester the for more info though...I'll try and take pics the next time I go there, (which is more like in the next decade or so.)
Hi Jean, are there any of the bob tail, bottle tail or similar species found down in the NZ area that might be a contender for captive keeping?
I live in Christchurch, and im studing at Canterbury. I would say up to 20C? in the summer.
Are there any other suitable NZ Octo species? I would prefer a smaller species, but I would have no idea about where to get anying other than "Pinnoctopus cordiformis". Are there any diurnal species? Its quite hard to find info on stuff like this.
First , yes Colin here are bob/bottle tailed ....whatever.....we call them cuttlefish down here (even tho' they're not!) We get Sepioloidea pacifica not the most active of critters but easy to keep. Problem is you need to do a bottom trawl to get them! Occasionally we see paralarvae in the plankton but not often.

2) Feelers as far as I know most of our octis are either nocturnal or crepuscular (active at dawn & dusk) you might want to try potting (use a coke can or similar!) for Octopus warringa it's a small spp (but be warned ...it BITES!) Put your trap out near rocky outcrops etc and wait! also read up on keeping them. The info on setting up tanks etc on this site are excellent and apply regardless of species. Octopus are difficult to keep. You'll also need a good supply of live food (shore crabs are great) as not of the NZ spp I've handled can be trained to take dead food.

3) Chrono, I'd hazard a guess that your aquarium is holding squids of family Loliginidae (Market /Reef squids etc) they seem to be more amenable to captivity than family Ommastrephidae (Flying Squids incl Arrow squid) unfortunately the latter are more common in Southern NZ

As for an online guide try Tree of Life and put squid or whatever into it's search engine.



We are keeping about 75 Caribbean Reef Squid here at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research. They are held in the largest fiberglass tanks I could find. The sides of the tanks are lined with plastic tarps kept off the sides with pool noodles to prevent damage from collisions with the hard sides of the tank. Lights are turned off and on slowly. We move slowly around the tanks, especially with newly collected squid. The area is off limits to everyone not from our lab and unescorted to keep sudden changes that stress the squid to a minimum. All tanks have screen covers to prevent the squid from jumping out which they may do if stressed but also while attacking fish (silversides) that are as big as they are!

If you think octopus and cuttlefish don’t ship well, you have another thing coming if you try to transport live squid! We travel short distances (45 min or less in my car), keep them in large volumes of water (15 gal containers, small squid) and have someone with a baster ready to suck out any ink during transit.

I was surprised at how quickly the squid learned where the food comes from. Within days even the baby squid (1 gram) lined up and faced the surface for amphipods. I’m working with smaller squid than I ever have this year; the little guys seem to transport and adapt to captivity better.

We offer our squid a diverse diet including all they can eat silversides, plus amphipods, small crustaceans (crabs, shrimp) and other fish (bream, sergeant majors, etc). The squid are 1 to 10 grams but boy can they eat. We (I currently have 3 interns, plus other helpers) are going out with a seine net at least 2-3 times a week just for silversides alone. You can almost see the squid grow; I haven’t measured them yet but I wouldn’t at all be surprised if they double their weight each week.

The squid are size sorted into four lrge tanks. Despite this and a diverse diet with food constantly available, the only major remaining problem is cannibalism. I think that this is a "natural" behavior, many species of squid are known to eat other squid in both the lab and in the wild.

These squid are being kept for an experiment on signaling and an experiment to see if or tagging method affects their growth rate. Caitlin Gregg and Kim Zeeh are summer interns here at BBSR working with me on this.

Although these cephalopods are absolutely incredible to watch (predation, schooling, visual communication, etc) I do not recommend any species of true squid for home aquariums. We will be returning ours to the wild in time as they will outgrow even our large tanks (and also our ability to provide enough food!).

Dr. James B. Wood
Octomush said:
Dont the bobtail squid rise to the surface at night? Thats when I captured one.

hmmmm yes sometimes, so I guess a night snorkle or a light trap would be a way to try

James what species are your Carribean reef squid? Are they Loliginids??? Our lab manager and I have this dream to try to keep
Nototodarus sloanii alive, we have caught juveniles off our wharf so transport was just walking them from the wharf up the stairs to a tank............but they still totally stressed out and died 48 hours later. We're having a rethink now!

I agree through there is no way I'd have squid at home!

Hmmmm, thought I'd dig this ol' thread up (my very first post oh the memories :biggrin2:) , and was thinking is keeping squid totally out of reach of the hobbyist?

I was thinking about squid cam, and Dr S,O'S's setup. Firstly - a round tank. Well, this would be really expensive, but I was thinking about possibly a hex tank? The squid seem to know where the walls are, and a hex tank might stop them getting caught in the corners. I suppose you could even get an octotank (not pun intended) to cut down on the angle between each peice.

Next, well, getting a chiller is easy. (just expensive :biggrin2:).
Skimmer, biofiltration ect as per usual, appart from not keeping th LR in the tank - maybe just a big bioball tower.

So next theres the food. And I have no idea on that, I do know that culturing phyto to curlture rotifers isnt too hard , but I dont know what fish you would need or how to get them.

I am unaware of water movement requirements perhaps just the return would be enough.
Anyone know their tolerances to things like nitrates ect? I'm geussing they have the same parameter requirements as octos - perhaps being a little less forgiving.

I think way off in the future I'd like to give it a go, after I'm a student and after I've got a few octos under my belt. Just some food for thought. :smile:
Loliginids like Sepioteuthis australis seem to be a little hardier than say the Ommastrephids, although I think Steve and co have kept Nototodarus for a bit???????????????????

One day tho' I'd love to give it a go!


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