Culturing Cuttlefish!

Col. Cuttlefish

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#1
Hello all

I am working in a lab and we have decided that it would be beneficial to culture cuttlefish. I have been given the responsibility of caring for them and maintaining the tank. We have a consultant coming in to set up the tank so that issue is taken care of, however any tips on caring for the cuttles and maintaining the tank would be very helpful! I have done a lot of research but there is always more information to be learned.

I will keep you guys updated on the progress of the cuttlefish when the time comes. We will be culturing the dwarf cuttlefish, Sepia bandensis. I understand that the food is expensive, but any tips to conserve cash there would be very helpful as well.

Thanks for the help!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#6
You will need far more substrate (porous rock, preferably live rock) to build and maintain the needed bacteria. You will also need something more robust than grass shrimp to continue the cycle. With what you have you will likely show no ammonia or nitrite but you will not have cycled the tank.
 

Col. Cuttlefish

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#7
You will need far more substrate (porous rock, preferably live rock) to build and maintain the needed bacteria. You will also need something more robust than grass shrimp to continue the cycle. With what you have you will likely show no ammonia or nitrite but you will not have cycled the tank.
Hmm, my consultant is pretty confident this works, but I will raise the question with him anyway. Thanks for the heads up
 

Col. Cuttlefish

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#8
So my understanding is that the substrate we used is live substrate and that should work well for the nitrogen cycle. Thanks for the concern though :thumbsup: it is better for me to learn these things now rather than later
 

tonmo

Titanites
Staff member
Webmaster
Moderator
#9
Cool! ...what is the live substrate? And, how's this project coming along?
 

robyn

Vampyroteuthis
Supporter
#10
Hello Col. Cuttlefish!

I culture S. bandensis (along with euprymna and some other species) in my lab in San Francisco. We feed them live food only (mysids and grass shrimp), which we get from Aquatic Indicators in Florida - they are a super vendor and highly reliable. We buy Sepia eggs as needed from wholesalers, but our adults also lay eggs in our tanks. We have two systems (450 gallons and 600 gallons), and we keep about 80 animals at a time. Out of interest, how many are you planning to keep in that tank system? It looks a little on the small side but if you are only planning on keeping juveniles, it's fine.

If live sand is your source of cycle, did it come from a bag (I see one one the pic) or from an established system with the same temp and pH parameters? The 'live sand' from the bag is questionable for establishing a cycle. I also think the shrimps are probably not enough biomass to generate a solid cycle that will cope with the intro of cephs - they are very dirty! I would buy some uncured live rock and let it die off in your tank for 1 month to establish your cycle, but opinions on cycles vary widely...

Do you have a skimmer? You will need one to remove the slime and ink from the water. No need to set it up during the cycle though.



Good luck with your cuttles!
 

Col. Cuttlefish

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#11
Thanks for the interest! The cycle is progressing, had the ammonia spike but no nitrate spike yet. I am not sure what exactly the live substrate is but it is sand and did come from an established ceph tank. The bag at the bottom is some extra that I'm storing. Picking out some items for the future cuttles now (cave, coral, etc.) so any suggestions are welcome.
 

Col. Cuttlefish

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#12
Hello Col. Cuttlefish!

I culture S. bandensis (along with euprymna and some other species) in my lab in San Francisco. We feed them live food only (mysids and grass shrimp), which we get from Aquatic Indicators in Florida - they are a super vendor and highly reliable. We buy Sepia eggs as needed from wholesalers, but our adults also lay eggs in our tanks. We have two systems (450 gallons and 600 gallons), and we keep about 80 animals at a time. Out of interest, how many are you planning to keep in that tank system? It looks a little on the small side but if you are only planning on keeping juveniles, it's fine.

If live sand is your source of cycle, did it come from a bag (I see one one the pic) or from an established system with the same temp and pH parameters? The 'live sand' from the bag is questionable for establishing a cycle. I also think the shrimps are probably not enough biomass to generate a solid cycle that will cope with the intro of cephs - they are very dirty! I would buy some uncured live rock and let it die off in your tank for 1 month to establish your cycle, but opinions on cycles vary widely...

Do you have a skimmer? You will need one to remove the slime and ink from the water. No need to set it up during the cycle though.



Good luck with your cuttles!
We are only planning on keeping a handful, we will probably use the eggs for most studies. Thanks for the recommendation, finding solid vendors has been a bit of a struggle. The tanks are all connected and there is a filter with filter floss, activated carbon, and a biofilter. Do you think that will be enough or do you recommend a skimmer also?
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#13
Protein skimmers are often debated in the marine hobby but not for cephalopods. No other filtration method cleans up the ink as well.
 

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