Octopus or Cuttlefish starter


O. vulgaris
I'm still doing my research and talking to both my local fish stores. One informed me that they could easily order in a cuttlefish egg for me.
As a to be beginner ceph owner (granted I plan to get more familiar with salt tanks and care before my first ceph) is one more recommended to start with than the other?- a dwarf octopus vs a dwarf cuttlefish? Or is it roughly the same.
I've taken time and read all the pros/cons with each and an curious to see what those whom have kept them think.


Staff member
Hi @KD5054 -- if @Thales is around, he has kept both, and may have a preference. I think octopuses are less prone to things like butt burn, and therefore may be more "manageable" ... but I do not have experience beyond reading these forums. Hopefully some of our resident experts will weigh in.


Staff member
Members have a very good hatch rate with cuttlefish but the cost of keeping them alive until they can eat reasonably priced food is almost always a shock. Cuttlefish eggs are reasonably easy to source, dwarf (or any octopus) are much harder to find and you are never sure what species will show up. A pair of adult bandensis cuttlefish can be housed in a 40 gallon tank with sump but a 55 is recommended. A dwarf octopus can be housed in something as small as a 20 with good filtration. Cuttlefish tanks do not need to be "octoproofed" and can include a few corals, octo tankmates are few but the Caribbean O. mercatoris can sometimes be kept in pairs (caveat, the known successes are with animals that were captured together or known siblings). Bandensis may interact slightly with human food slaves, O. mercatoris is rarely social with humans (there are rare exceptions).

The experiences are really not comparable but if you design you tank to house an octopus, it will be suitable for bandensis. Keep in mind that neither live more than about a year so you will have the option to try both over the life of the tank.

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