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Old 06-04-2011, 02:31 AM   #1
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Cuttlefish?

I'm thinking about getting a cuttlefish or blue ringed octopus, my LFS can get both, and both are tank raised. Which should I get? I'm thinking cuttlefish because I can keep a CUC and some corals with it. Maybe put some seagrass in the tank as well.
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Old 06-04-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
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Have you done any research on either of these?

Before you buy a cuttlefish...
The drawbacks with Sepia officinalis...

They get big! You are looking at an animal with the potential of about 45cm (18") An aquarium of about 200 gallons is needed.

It can be very expensive to buy all the necessary equipment. They need large tanks with large filters and large protein skimmers!

Its not just one tank either! You will probably have to set up another tank with necessary equipment for keeping their food alive too.

Live food is a necessity, especially when they are young. Even when large it should make up the bulk of their diet.

They need space to swim and move about. A lot of their time is spent hovering at the front glass watching you; typical reef tanks are not suitable.

They are not a tropical species; tropical temperatures make them more skittish and can greatly decrease life expectancy.

If they get a fright and jet off backwards into a rock or the side of an aquarium they will damage themselves! It's called 'butt burn' and basically involves the cuttlebone being exposed right through their back end! Nasty! Lots of space and no sudden frights will prevent this.

If they get a fright and ink; a large individual will eject so much ink that you cant see one inch into the tank, hence the large skimmer is needed with plenty carbon.

They eat a lot of food. An individual that is half grown will eat two 5cm (2") wide crabs per day and more on top of that. 12mm long babies can and will eat up to five 12mm (1/2") long shrimps each day. This also necessitates the big filters, skimmers and suitable clean up crew.

It can be very expensive to source and provide a suitable diet. They eat a lot of shrimps and crabs. Fresh is preferred over frozen and live fish (goldfish) is not a suitable substitute.

If you keep several together you'll obviously need an even bigger tank. They will fight over food and occasionally spook each other; it is quite common to see bite marks and two cuttlefish normally end a minor dispute by spraying ink everywhere! (Note this can also include the wall behind your tank!!!)

Baby S. officinalis will not accept dead food until they are about 5 - 7.5cm long (2-3")

Just like an octopus, don't try and keep a cuttlefish with fish, shrimps or other similar animals. Some animals you can include in a cuttlefish tank are hermits, brittlestars and possibly some polyps.

Cannibalism can be a possibility. Don't feed squid if you are keeping several together as cuttlefish seems to taste like squid to another cuttlefish! It can encourage them to 'taste' each other. Often with disastrous consequences.

They can spit water out the top of their tank by using their siphon. Worth considering where you keep all your associated electrical equipment.

So why should you NOT buy a blue-ringed octopus? - The Cephalopod Page
THESE ANIMALS CAN KILL YOU! And more importantly, even if you are knowledgeable of the risk and take all the necessary precautions, if they don't kill you, they could kill your daughter, grandson, or the neighbor kid down the street. Inquiring hands get into tanks, and octopuses get out of tanks. An octopus will push through the smallest crack to escape, so a typical aquarium canopy will not contain them. Even with "escape-proof" tanks that we have designed specifically for small octopus, they can and do get out. A major concern in our laboratory is that a blue-ring will escape onto the floor and someone unfamiliar with the danger will take pity on it and pick it up using bare hands. Another risk stems from the fact that a blue-ring will crawl into the tiniest nook or cranny in a tank and remain there for days. More than once, even after the most thorough search, I have concluded that an animal had escaped, only to have it reappear, sometimes in my hands, while I was breaking down the tank.

There is too great a risk of someone dying to warrant keeping these animals just so you can have the prettiest, most deadly octopus on the block. I was lucky once and avoided tragedy at the arms of a blue-ringed octopus. Please learn from my experience and pass on buying one next time you see a blue-ringed octopus for sale.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
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Yes I've done my research. And there is a cuttlefish you can keep in a 55, my LFS had one for about 2 years in a 35g with corals and a cuc.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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Yes to Sepia Bandensis, no to blue-ring octo. I LOVE cephs, but getting a blue ring is just dumb (sorry).
Edit: This is assuming you have done a ton of research, not just some. If I were to ever get a ceph, I would have to consider myself an expert before acquiring one.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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What's the species name? I'd figure it out before purchasing so you know specific care. If it's not Sepia Bandensis skip it, and make sure he knows or I wouldn't buy. I highly doubt that CUC wasn't hunted by the cuttles, it's what they eat in the wild. They also don't live too long, 2 years MAX.

Blue ringed I wouldn't even think about buying, an animal that could easily kill you is not one I'd mess with, no matter how cool or how small they stay.

IMO both should only be kept by expert aquarists (If kept at all), they are highly intelligent animals that need the utmost care.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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Well my cousin works at a zoo and we are building an octopus escape free tank, they have one where he works and he has the blueprints for it.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:07 PM   #7
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The problem with a blue-ring isn't escaping the tank, it's the fact that they're venomous. Why can't you get some other small species of octo?
Also, make sure you can identify the species without help from the LFS. Cephs are frequently mislabeled.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:10 PM   #8
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I THRIVE to live with dangerous animals, see how they act and stuff. My first fish was a lion fish. My first pet was a dart frog I got from some black market pet store.
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
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There's no antivenin for a blue ringed octo and it would likely kill you before you even could call for help.

There's a difference between dangerous animals and animals that can seriously kill you while you just attempt to clean the tank.
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Old 06-04-2011, 01:04 PM   #10
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Yes I know! I've done my research.
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