Cuttle Fish


New member
I am wondering if cuttlefish is possible in home aquarium? (specie tank)

especially interested in the Euprymna scolopes due to the small size. I understand that it probably needs a strong mechanical filter and skimmer due to diet and inking... but other than that, I'm pretty much clueless... I'm hoping somebody from the board can shred some light on the subject? Thanks =)

PS - I did post on the reef newsgroup, and the general consent seems to be leave them in the ocean... what's the take here?

- Mok-Yi
Yes it is possible to keep cuttlefish. But if you have never kept a cephalopod, its not your best choice for your first one. Second of all. Euprymna scolopes is not a cuttlefish, it is actually in a class called bob tailed squid. They are very neat litte cephs. The sad thing though is that they only live for 6 months in the wild. The other thing is you will never be able to find some place that will sell you or get you one. You would need to go to hawaii and catch one your self and bring it back.
As for any cephalopod you need to have a tank with excellent filtration and water quality that has been aged for about 3 months. If your serious about keeping one, I suggest you read some of the back posts on cephalopods to get a idea of what it takes. Good luck.
E. Scolopes

E. Scolopes

The good news: There is a source for E. Scolopes, they're $45 apiece. These are maricultured specimens.
The bad news: (and it's a doozy) You can't buy unless you are a university level researcher.

So... I've contacted Bob Fenner who has contacts who are Hawai'in fish catchers. Currently I'm awaiting a reply, as Bob is in Hawi'i right now. So hopefully, he'll have some friends who could catch and ship to your LFS if you placed an order. From what I've read on the ceph base, it should be possible to breed them in a home setup. Here's the url for Dr. James Woods' article on keeping cuttlefish:

I'll keep you posted as I find out more.


Heard back from Bob, he's never even seen one, and he's spent a lot of time in Hawai'i. So... I'm going to the ceph list and go fishing there. Maybe someone there will have a source.
Good luck trying to find them on the ceph list. My good friend Jim updates the sources of live cephalopods section on the cephalopod page. There is no known scource of Euprymna scolopes that I know of unless your a scientist. The other problem with Euprymna scolopes is there exta short life cycle. Only about 6 months, about half the life span of other cephs. There cool little critters though. Your dealer who has never seen one probably dosent know what to look for. The litle monsters have a sticky mucus substance they cover their body with and attach sand to it as a camo. They spend most of their time burried in the sand.
They would be cool to have for the short time though if you could get them. There really neat little cephs!
E. scolopes

E. scolopes

Well, Bob's not a dealer anymore, he wrote The Concientious Marine Aquarist, and answers questions off his webpage Worse comes to worse, I'll get the NRCC people to give me info on their husbandry, and breed the things myself if I have to go to Hawai'i to get them. Bob has friends who are liscenced to capture livestock, and going through one of them wouldn't be an issue. Maybe I can get ahold of some of these people myself and let them know there is a demand for these critters, from talking to Dr. James Wood (is that the Jim who maintains the supplier list?) it's not like they're difficult to get, they certainly sound easier to aquire than a lot of the net caught fish I've read about. As for lifespan, if FW enthusiasts can have their killifish, why can't we have our E. scolopes?
:) Definitely; well the question is if it is possible to breed them in home aquarium? Given a large enough tank maybe it's possible to continue the "family line" in the same tank? They sound small, so unless they are extremely terrortorial....
Euprymna are night active little fellas/gals ... they live buried in sand in shallow water along the shoreline during the day and come out at night to feed. There is a similar species called Rossia pacifica that can be found in the Pacific Northwest. Although temperate it may be easier to get and breed by someone living in that region.


IIRC, they're near Olympia, and the tend to live in mud flats, including waters that are hardly pristine. they are a cold water species though, so if you do catch them, remember than you can't keep them unless your tank is setup with a chiller.
hey sir reef alot,
ask your LFS if they can get cuttlefish for you. a LFS here recently started to get cuttlefish in for ~$25 canadian. i would love to get them but dont have the time to set up a species tank for them.

I was talking to about cuttles and mantis shrimp. they would like to carry cuttles but they're having to many shipping fatalaties. I pointed them to Dr. Woods, so hopefully he can help them solve their problems (or show them who can) so they can get back to selling cuttles.