A few questions on raising baby cuttles

Discussion in 'Cuttlefish Care' started by Pea-brain, Jul 2, 2007.

  1. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hi! I am plannin to set up my 30 gallon acrylic in the next few months and have it running by October. I hope to set it up with a common sump with my 3 ten gallons and I'm toying around with the idea of setting up a 50 gallon octo tank to also be plumbed into the common tank. Anywas, I hope to get cuttle eggs. But I have some questions so I can get a good idea of what I'm getting into. First I'd like to ask how many cuttles I can keep in the 30 gallon assuming optimum water conditions (no ammonia, no nitrites, less than 25 ppm nitrate)? I've heard mixed things, but it seems that as long as I don't get 2 males it should be fine. Just wanted to check. Anyways questions

    1: are eggs usually viable? What I mean is if I get 2 eggs wil I most likely get 2 babies?

    2: Mortality rates? do you have high mortality rates on your hatchling from disease, unknkowns etc.

    I have more questions but I'm only allowed so many characters In each text box, so I'll ask some more in next post. Thanks!'

    Dan
     
  2. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hmmm... I'm already a pygmy! I was a larval mass not too long ago :D

    3: How many mysids should I expect to feed each day? I want to keep mysids in the 30 gallon while the cuttles are in the net, but I expect I'll have to keep reordering them even if I feed them brine shrimp every day.

    4: I've read of people feeding pods to newvborns. Is this necessary or can they go for mysids immediatly?

    5: seawaterexpress.com sells 1000 1/4-1/2 inch saltwater ghost shrimp for about 140$. what age would the cuttles be able to handle these small shrimp? I figured they would make a good food after mysid stage. also they sell mysid sized shrimp larvae which might add variety.

    7: If I dumped a whole bunch of prey in at once, would they pig out all at once or pace themselves? It would be nice to throw some in and let them hunt naturally. and would allow a temp CUC

    Thats all I have for NOW, but I'll post more if I think of them. As always, thank you and I searched a bit before I posted. sry if I missed something though.

    Dan
     
  3. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    I don't think I made this clear enough, so in the first post I meant I will get the tank running in a few months and have it cycled and ready for cuttles by october, and in the second I meant feed the brine shrimp to the mysids so they don't eat eachother, not the cuttles except for variety once and a while, after being enriched with selcon of course. Also maybe add a few plastic screen for more surface area for mysids? Again thanks. This place has been really helpful so far just from the articles and browsing forums!

    Dan
     
  4. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I would suggest no more than one adult cuttle in a 30 gallon tank. More are fine when they are small, but when they start mating (around 6 months) or get big, a 30 is going to be small for more than one.

    1 & 2) Sometimes the eggs are viable, sometimes they aren't. Sometimes they are viable but you lose some of the babies for various reasons. Welcome to the wonderful world of trying to plan cuttles!

    3) Depends on how big they are. As they grow, they will eat more. I have watched my current batch catch 4 mysids in minutes. So, expect the feeding to ramp up over 2-3 months depending. I like to feed them a lot so they grow quicker so I can get them off mysids as soon as possible.

    4) They can go straight to mysids. They may not eat for the first few days anyway.

    5) Its not really an age thing, its a size thing. When you think they are big enough, you try a batch of a bigger feed and see how it goes. As the cuttles get bigger and more 'confident' they can start to take food as large or larger than their bodies. See pic below of a 2 month old trying to eat something big.

    aquaculturestore.com/swinverts.html sells lots of small shore shrimp and livebrineshrimp.com sells a 'feeder' shrimp. Of the three, I like aquaculturestore.com because shipping is included in the price and they use no styrofoam in their shipping.

    7) I am not a fan of the big dump mainly because it leaves you no way to judge which animals are eating and which aren't. You also have no way of knowing if they food actually gets eaten by the cuttles. Also, sometimes they will pig out, sometimes they will pace, but worse sometimes they will catch and kill food, but let it drop to the bottom to be forgotten when something else tasty looking comes along.
     
  5. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I would feed cyplop-eeze to the mysids. Cheaper and easier. :grin:
     
  6. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    Hmmm..thanks for the link to aquaculturestore. They are alot cheaper. Of course with the place I had they culture them, and I talked to the guy who does it and it is a pain! they need to give them surgery to make them breed more often, they take more than a year to grow, they need to mess with lunar/light and wave cycles. Heh. Oh well cheap is good. What you said is a bit unsettling though. I was hoping that 2 would fit in my 30 because A) it increases chances of breeding and B) if one egg isn't viable or another dies or something I'll have another. So if I get one and it dies, what'll I do? If I get more and they all survive, I have to find someone who'll take it (prolly not too hard here though lol!) anyways thanks. I'm sure I'll have some more questions soon, but I'm kinda wired from not sleeping last night...Hmmm..thanks for the link to aquaculturestore. They are alot cheaper. Of course with the place I had they culture them, and I talked to the guy who does it and it is a pain! they need to give them surgery to make them breed more often, they take more than a year to grow, they need to mess with lunar/light and wave cycles. Heh. Oh well cheap is good. What you said is a bit unsettling though. I was hoping that 2 would fit in my 30 because A) it increases chances of breeding and B) if one egg isn't viable or another dies or something I'll have another. So if I get one and it dies, what'll I do? If I get more and they all survive, I have to find someone who'll take it (prolly not too hard here though lol!) anyways thanks. I'm sure I'll have some more questions soon, but I'm kinda wired from not sleeping last night...:P

    Dan
     
  7. Opcn

    Opcn GPO Supporter

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    If you get too many you can spread them out in your tanks, they will clear up that pesky mantis shrimp for you.
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Pea-Brain,
    I am trying to chronicle my first pair in the Journals forum under Winkin, Blinkin and Nod:
    http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/7656/

    It might help give you an idea of timing and mistakes to avoid :oops:. I purchased 3 babies (I tried eggs once before with no success at even seeing the first signs of development). One died the first week but the other two are doing very well. They went into their first real tank yesterday. Cuttlegirl warned me that even in a 15 gallon I would be having heart attacks finding them and I have my first today (much to my son's amusement since he had already located both of them and had to point Winkin out to me :grin:
     
  9. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    Wow! thse are tiny! About how long are they and how big are the shore shrimp they are being fed? I would be scared putting those in with shrimp and crabs bigger than them! and they are so tiny! how could you possibly keep track of them? Anyways the new plan is to order 3 eggs, and if any extra survive sell all but the one I like the most to fellow board members. How is that for a bit of fried gold? (yeeeahhh booii!)

    Dan
     
  10. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    Good luck finding the mysids in the 30 gallon after you release them :grin:. I kept mine in a large insulated cooler with about an inch or so of water (to have a large surface area for oxygen exchange). They are extremely cannabilistic no matter how much you feed them. I had to reorder mysids every 4-7 days in the beginning. Once they went to shore shrimp, life was much easier.

    I have to recommend the aquaculture store also. I used the aquaculturestore.com for all of my shrimp and have been pleased with their service.
     
  11. Opcn

    Opcn GPO Supporter

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    Its a great idea to pre seed your tank with mysids in order to get a starter population in the tank , give them a day or two worth of food in case the mail is slowed down.
     
  12. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    So lotsa small orders is better than a few large orders which will make themselves small through cannabalism? Assuming lots of feeding how long should I expect to have to deal with these dang mysids? They seem like a pain in the cuttlebone. (
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The body behind the head is about 1/2 inch long (approx 3/4 inch including the head without extending the arms) and maybe 1/4 inch wide. After they eat a shrimp it seems to grow width wise by another 1/8 inch. I request tiny shrimp and most are 1/2 inch long but skinny. I was able to feed them 1/4 inch shrimp after about 1.5 weeks (probably putting them at 2 weeks old) and eliminated the mysis but continue even now to include cyclop-eeze in their diet. The cyclop-eeze is somewhat in question but I see them crawling and feeling around where it is placed (I use a plastic, squeeze bulb pipette) and I know the shrimp eat it so I feel it enriches their diet either way. My baby Mercatoris consume a lot of Cyclop-eeze nightly and don't yet eat a quantity of shrimp. The cuttles are eating about 6 shrimp daily each.

    The 15 gallon hex seems just about right for them at this point and I expect to put them in a 45 tall later. One of the advantages of my 15 is the shape and they seem to make use of the almost circular swimming area already. After seeing the circular tank at mote (see TONMOCON photos), I may have to rethink the 45 but I am not sure where I would put another tank!
     
  14. Pea-brain

    Pea-brain Cuttlefish Registered

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    I'll take your tank if you need to make room :D Anyways i remember seeing a like 50-75 (I can't remember what it was. Mighta been small as 45) hexagon tank and it looked kinda small. They are more tall than large so they don't take up much space. My worry with a hex tank is that it wouldn't give enough vertical swimming space and they might not like swimming in circles.....Anyways I have another question not so much about raising them, but still significant. I was thinking making the tank caulerpa and other macroalgae dominated, with less rocks (still a few arches, but less than the usual 1 pound per gallon). I remember reading somewhere that S. bandensis usually lives near a lot of algae in the wild. And alot of caulerpa would make a good bio filter.....

    Dan
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Dan,
    I lucked out with this little 15, partially because it is about as wide as it is tall. I am at least its third owner (eBay) but it was a very good tank to begin with (much stronger and scratch resistent than current acrylics). There was no top and no base so I bought an undergravel filter and made a small base and a hex shaped concrete stepping stone form and made a top. An outdoor light, skelter skimmer/filter (because it was the only filter/skimmer that would fit) and a hack saw actually provided a decent looking, very practical table top tank that actually has more usable room than a rectangular one.

    I can't speak to the idea of a macro algae "planted" tank though. I only keep shaving brushes and panseys when I have macro at all. I have never seen the "reduction in nitrates" that is so often mentioned but I have seen a lot of green algae covered macro. Panseys and shaving brushes don't suffer from this malady but don't add filtration either. I keep them as food for my urchins in the octo tank (also an older acrylic hex but a 45) since the low light does not provide enough algae for their diet.
     

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