Cuttlefish diet

Discussion in 'Cuttlefish Care' started by reef-maharani, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. reef-maharani

    reef-maharani Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I am currently having a discussion with another cuttlefish keeper about the appropriate diet for them, this person claims that frozen shrimp alone is perfectly sufficient for long term health and growth. I know that in the wild these guys would certainly not eat shrimp every meal, every day. I was of the opinion that giving them a varied diet of shrimp, clams, and marine fish would be more advantageous. Ideally these frozen foods would of course be a supplement to live crabs and shrimp. We can agree that live foods are preferred, however, they still believe that the frozen shrimp alone is enough. I was wondering if anyone could point me to any really good reference works on the subject. Personal experience is great as well, however it does not have the convincing power of the printed word. I would love to find some really in depth scientific articles or detailed books that I might be able to get access to. Your help would be much appreciated! :mrgreen:
     
  2. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't know if you are going to find the study you are looking for. I would be interested in reading it though!

    Live foods are only as good as the facility they are kept in or the area in which they are collected. I am moving from live foods to frozen because I am worried about the quality of the live food I have been collecting.

    As a side note, my two new w.c. bandensis took to thawed frozen krill from day two - they started begging behavior the same day. Amazing.
     
  3. reef-maharani

    reef-maharani Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The dead foods are readily taken and with fervor. The live foods would be from local sources as we live on the beach, ie. collecting, bait shops. All live foods are routinely enriched first with nauplii, spirulina, and whatever else I can find. However, our main point of contention has been the feeding of one food item for every meal. It has generated some concern that the only food item is frozen shrimp and it seems the cuttles eat more of the shrimp and certainly seem to excrete more....so some folks suggested that perhaps the other foods were meeting more nutritional requirements, thereby generating less waste. Everything I have read seems to suggest a varied diet, I am wondering however, if there is some nutritional information I have missed somewhere. There are several people involved in the discussion so we all want to find the most healthful and appropriate diet. So, just thought I would throw this one at everybody and see what the consensus is. Again, any good reference if it exists would be ideal... :grin:
     
  4. marinebio_guy

    marinebio_guy Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    You can keep cuttlefish in good health on frozen shrimp, I raise them on live food (mysids, shrimp) untile they are about 4 in long and then switch them to frozen food. Of corse live food is best (shrimp, crabs, fish),but a lot of people can not get live food year round. I have done some studies on the difference in growth between a diet of live fish compared to a diet of live shrimp and it seams that shrimp is better. Although I am about to start a new study that should be published some time next year.
     
  5. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    BTW, what species of cuttle?
     
  6. Mikey

    Mikey Wonderpus Registered

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    Slowy moving mine over to dead food, using the shrimp I have caught after feeding them.

    Managed to get all but 2 to feed on them tonight.

    Suppose the beauty of gettting them ont dead food by the stick, is that you can vary their diets, which I am sure makes healthier cuttles.
     
  7. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Good quality frozen, should be OK but I would still occasionally feed live, these are intelligent animals and hunting is a behavioural enrichment for them

    J
     
  8. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    A few years back we quit using locally collected live crabs and snails to feed our cephalopods and stomatopods because I became convinced that heavly metals and/or other pollutants were being concentrated in our animals and causing a variety of health problems. I mentioned this to Roland Anderson who was having similar problems with their GPO's. If memory serves me correctly, he has some of the prey they were using analyzed and found them to be contaminated.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't use live prey, but if you do, they should come from non-polluted waters.

    Roy
     
  9. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Too true, I guess that's where we're lucky down here in NZ (particularly in the South) the water quality is pretty, jolly good! In fact both the aquarium and lab just pump seawater from the harbour, through sand filters to the tanks...no problem. Any sedimentary pollution we have is spot pollution and the sources have mainly been removed and the sediments are coming right again........no heavy industry!!!!

    But we still do water and sediment checks regularly and also check water samples for toxic algaes etc.....you can't be too careful!

    J
     
  10. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Hey Roy,

    What were the problems you were experiencing?

    Rich
     
  11. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    My original S officinalis were fed almost entirely on live or locally collected food. And the small Sepia I have just now are also going to get the same treatment for the time being. I often collected and froze food on the same day.

    I also think that variety is important and have fed cuttlefish a few different items, anything in moderation is ideal.

    This has included... Live, 3 species of crab, hermit crabs - deshelled, squat lobsters, 3 or 4 species of prawn and fish.

    dead, prawns, squid, fish and crabs.

    I never had much luck getting them to take mussels, clams or scallops

    Once, I fed them squid. Next day I lost one cuttle to cannibalism and the normal little tussels over food became more serious with chunks being taken... never used squid again. I guessed that cuttlefish and squid must taste quite similar? LOL

    So to recap, I don't think even enriched shrimps is a good staple diet, they need variety and feeder animals themselves are only as nutritious as their last meal. Just now I catch several shrimps, put them in a tub with a good quality aquarium fish flake for an hour or two and then immediately feed them to the cuttles
     
  12. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I must admit we NEVER feed frozen only live......plus we don't actually get the large cuttles here so we don't keep them only the wee sepiolids!

    J

    PS well the cephs and seahorses get live ........the other fish get frozen!
     
  13. reef-maharani

    reef-maharani Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thank you so much for the responses everyone! One of the main concerns about the frozen shrimp only diet was that the shrimp are partially cooked. As I was talking to some others about this they were not sure if the shrimp were already cooked before freezing or if they had become that way during thawing....I was not present as this was another persons cuttles, but that did seem an issue to me. I was also wondering if the frozen shrimp only diet might have any effect on their life span...just postulating, but I was wondering if we REALLY know how a diet affects a cuttle. Perhaps an 8 month life span is cut short by a month due to some yet unkown nutritional issue. Granted a month is not long, however when they only live a few months to begin with it seems more pertinent. Mine are Sepia pharaonis. All of the live food is enriched, however I had asked someone if there was any way to enrich the frozen shrimp and was told that there was not. Does anyone else know of a way to maybe add some sort of vitamins, or something to the frozen shrimp? I have also wondered about giving them vitamin pills of some sort...anyone had any experience?
     
  14. Jean

    Jean Colossal Squid Supporter

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    I would say partially cooked shrimp is not a great idea, many nutrients get cooked out! As for enriching frozen food you could try soaking them in a vitamin solution (checking of course that there is no copper :smile: ) Something like selcon, maybe. I guess if you can get live food from a clean area or reputable dealer ...it's always going to be the best option.

    Even when we feed frozen fish to the aquarium inhabitants it's always export quality!



    J
     
  15. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Yes, i agree with Jean here and that pre-cooked then frozen foods are bound to have a lot of the nutrients missing from them that fresh food has.

    Yesterday while out grocery shopping I stocked up on some raw fresh tiger prawn tails (from ASDA Mikey) and have got them frozen. Tried a wee bit of them on the baby cuttles last night but they didn't recognise them as food. Point is they were in the section for stuff just about to go out of its best before date and I got two big tubs for pennies.

    Also froze a lot of the large Palemon shrimps that I caught on Saturday. They will be ideal for using later when they grow a bit or use bits of their tails when they don't have to reply on food looking like shrimps.

    The cuttles only eat the same part we do so buying raw tails is perfect.

    When i am feeding other animals like my amphibians or fish i quite often hide 'good fo them' foods inside the dead food item, EG Reptomin food sticks inside a dead mouse for my large frogs but that only probably works for feeding animals that eat something whole... never tried it with cephalopods
     
  16. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting discussion - I've done a lot of reading on this subject, but for humans! However, the same concerns exist.

    The best quality seafood with the most nutrients is either very fresh or quickly frozen and rushed to you. Ideally it should be kept well frozen and never allowed to thaw, then freeze again - you pay more for seafood that's been properly handled.

    I used to go early in the morning to the best seafood shop in town where they had gulf shrimp caught the day before, frozen on the shrimp boat and rushed to Dallas. The store unfroze the 5-pound block of ice and shrimp early in the morning. I was able to buy shimp that was still partially frozen and rush it home on ice. I used it that day, maybe the next, but no longer. That seemed to work very well. It was also quite expensive ($16-$22/pound).

    Also, if you catch your own food along the seashore, the question of water quality and pollution comes up. I don't imagine this is an issue for Colin in Scotland, but it's something to consider along some of the US coastlines.

    I've read of cephs rejecting food that's too old, such as a frozen shrimp thawed out several days before.

    It's an interesting point about the food affecting the lifespan - there's so much we still don't know.

    Nancy
     
  17. reef-maharani

    reef-maharani Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I knew that food cooked and then frozen would definitely lose nutrients, but what do you guys think if the food was partially cooking during the thawing process?..also I have access to selcon, how long should the shrimp soak and what keeps the selcon from being mostly lost when it hits the water?....it would be very easy to slip these guys some vitamins, food sticks, or anything else in their food, so any ideas on what would be best to sneak to them?
     
  18. oscar

    oscar Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    collin, did you say you have more cuttles at last?
     
  19. Colin

    Colin Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Hi Oscar

    yeah I got half a dozen of Mike's wee babies :)

    They are doing fine. Still in a nursery tank as I havn't quite finished my new fish room project, but its getting there.

    They are still on live Crangon shrimps and tiny shore crabs at the moment, hope they will move onto dead food soon

    cheers
    Colin
     
  20. oscar

    oscar Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    sounds good - i bet you'll be glad to be back into it after all that time! And the fish room sounds like you managed to persuade the other half... how are the salamanders and that going by the way? any new additions?
     

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