Safe tank mates for s.bandensis


1.) I will be soon purchasing my 55gal tank for keeping an s.bandensis, or two. Now my dream would be to have this tank as a soft coral tank too. ie. Would it be possible to keep a cuttle in a tank with zoo's, shrooms etc...

2.) Coming from reefing I am used to having a clean up crew in the tank. As shrimp and other such invertabrates are a staple foodsource for cuttles, what kind of clean up crew will be safe for me to have?

Thanks in advance.


Setting up your tank with corals and inverts should be fine providing there are no stinging corals like anemones, some of the LPS etc. Cuttles do not have protection against these and could be very painful for them should they get stung.

As for clean up crew, my tank orginated from a typical reef, and I have hermits, snails and an urchin. The have never bothered any of the crew at all. You are right though, shrimps may become a tasty snack fro your cuttles.

Good luck!


erich orser

I noticed that the s. officinalis in the big tub at Hopkins Marine Lab was sharing space with a huge anemone. Can anyone else who was there identify the species?


Colossal Squid
Hi Erich, I have seen cephs and anemones in together too, I think the worst was when me and Nancy seen a GPO in with hundreds of anemones in Dallas :(

I think that the tank size is relevant here and perhaps if there is a big tank with plenty space the cuttle can steer clear of the anemone in normal practise but in a smaller tank like in the home the chance sof being stung are much much larger. I'd avoid then in a cephalopod tank.

i kept many species with officinalis. Suitable ones were leather corals, urchins, brittle stars, Linkia, zoos, shrooms, hermits etc etc. Just avoid the shrimps they wont last 10 mins ;)


Colossal Squid
I am considering purchasing a 55 gallon from a guy with mushrooms and zooanthids in it. It also has a maroon clown and three blue damsels. I would set this tank up and when the cuttles get too big for the 30 gallon, move them to the 55 and move the fish to the 30... (as long as I can catch the damsels... ) As far as I can tell, the 'shrooms and zoo's will be OK with the S. bandensis. It's a great deal, with a set up sump and refugium and protein skimmer. His tank has been running for 3 years, the only catch is I have to tear it down myself and move it...

Is it the consensus that these types of soft corals can co-exist with the cuttles?


I have mushrooms, zoos, a crocea clam, and xenia in a 30 with a single bandensis right now. I also have a serpent star, and a spotted mandarin, and a true percula clown (both will be moved out when the cuttle is bigger.)

I had lost 6 cuttles before in breeder nets so I decided to just put one in the tank with tons of food - and it has worked great. I am moving him to ghost shrimp today, as he is fat on pods right now but a little big for them.

The tank is a 30 gallon hex so I vertically stacked the rockwork so that there are tons of hiding spaces and ways to get out of the light. I got a 70w metal halide Sunpod for the coral, but the light is from the top center, so there are lots of shadowy areas and the LEDs work well for him too-lots of dusk and dawn hunting.

I'll see if I can borrow my brothers good digital camera to get some pics.


Sounds like a good plan! With a 55 and a 30 it'll start to look like my living room!

As an aside, I'll share my method for catching damsels: cut a piece of eggcrage to the cross-sectional size of the tank. After you've got most of the rockwork and corals out, slide the piece into the tank, and just push it towards the edge, trapping a damsel. You can usually catch the damsel with a net once it doesn't have room to zoom around.



Haliphron Atlanticus
To be sure I introduce the new inhabitant inside a plastic breeder and leave him in there for a day to observe the behaviour of the cuttles. Once I was sure I dont see any hostile actions, I slowly released them into the tank.

I would advise you to do the same, to ensure that my experiences were not isolated and abnormal.


Colossal Squid
I am going to purchase the 55 gallon, my plan is to just have the cuttles with the mushroom corals and the zooanthids and all of the fish will be in the 30 gallon (I only have two fish in the 30 gallon right now, a tiny percula clown and a six lined wrasse).

Next Friday (July 7th) I am going over to the guy's house and breaking down the tank and resetting it up at my place. The only potentially bad thing is that he used tap water and a conditioner instead of RO/DI. I will be making about 50 gallons beforehand to replace his water... it will be a couple of months before I move the cuttles, they are still too tiny for that tank...

Thanks for all the input!

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