Cuttlefish System

austin8362

Cuttlefish
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#1
Hey TONMO,

I've lurked here on and off for a few years researching sepia bandensis. I've probably read "Keeping and Breeding the dwarf cuttlefish" a hundred times haha. So I've finally decided to set up my cuttlefish system. I picked up a 40 breeder with 35lbs of live rock, a 1in sandbed, 150w heater, and an eggcrate top with a fluorescent light. I'll probably be adding a skimmer soon as well.
The plan is to order 10 eggs from blue world aquariums, and then order 100-200 live mysids from sachs aquaculture when they hatch. I'm going to put 5 breeder nets in with 2 eggs each to ensure that they are eating in the beginning.. I'll keep the mysids in a smaller aquarium and feed them newly hatched brine shrimp daily.

I do have a few questions....

1. How long can I keep 10 dwarf cuttles peacefully in a 40 gallon aquarium? Assuming all of them hatch and reach maturity, (fingers crossed :smile:) When should I start cycling a second aquarium?

2. How many mysid shrimp should I order 100, 200? and how long will it take for 10ish cuttlefish to burn through 200 mysids? I don't want to order too many just to have them cannibalize each other.

3. What is the best container to store the live mysids? I was thinking either a 10 gallon aquarium or a 16 gallion black round tub.

Is there anything I missed, or that you would do differently? I'm trying to set up an ideal cuttlefish system, so any questions/comments/concerns are greatly appreciated. I'm excited! :biggrin2:
 

CaptFish

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#2
:welcome: to TONMO

I'm not a cuttle expert so I'll let someone else answer your questions. But I hope you Journal your experience here TONMO.
 

DeepBlueWonders

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#4
First things first, A SKIMMER IS A MUST! lol

Second, two cuttles per net breeder isn't really necessary. I've kept them in groups of 6 with no problem with monitoring food consumption. Also, it's good to keep them in groups to establish friendly behaviors in the group. Cuttlefish that have been raised together tend to be more docile to one another.

I wouldn't recommend keeping anymore than 2 adult S. Bandensis in a 40 gallon tank. I'm considering pushing it with 3 (2 females, 1 male), but I'm not sure if it will work out or not. You want to be careful not to overcrowd. I would recommend one cuttle for a 30 gallon, and add one cuttle for each additional 10-15 gallons.

I can't really help with the mysid questions. I live right by Sachs, so I just bought them as I needed them. I never had to worry about culturing or even feeding the mysid. In the beginning, my cuttlefish ate about 3-4 a day. Once my cuttles were about a week old, I had them eating about 10 mysid a day. So I was going through almost 150 mysid per day. However, I've never heard of anyone else having cuttles that ate as much as mine did. I am a believer that you can't overfeed cuttlefish, so the more you feed them, the faster they grow, and the faster they are off mysid shrimp.

Again, storage for the mysid would be different for you than me, as I stored them for temporary (a day or two). I kept them in a 2 gallon cube tank with about 2 inch of water. You would need a much larger container for a long survival time of the mysids, but I'm not sure what size as I have no hands-on experience in this category.

Let us know if you have anymore questions, and keep us updated!
 

DWhatley

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#5
As an octo keeper, I can't add quality to the discussion but there are several good, current threads active in the raising from eggs (DeepBlueWonders' thread among them) right now with discussions on feeding and keeping mysis that are well worth reading.
 

Thales

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#6
DeepBlueWonders;192426 said:
. Also, it's good to keep them in groups to establish friendly behaviors in the group. Cuttlefish that have been raised together tend to be more docile to one another.
I don't think this is true, and would be interested in where the idea came from. Also, how is 'friendly' and 'more docile' determined:biggrin2:

At around 4-5 months, sometimes earlier, I see aggression weather the animals were kept together or not. Up until they start showing aggression I move individuals around with no worry.
 

Thales

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#7
austin8362;192423 said:
1. How long can I keep 10 dwarf cuttles peacefully in a 40 gallon aquarium? Assuming all of them hatch and reach maturity, (fingers crossed :smile:) When should I start cycling a second aquarium?
I would start to get nervous around month 4. If it were me, I would make sure the second aquarium (is it big enough for adults? How many?) at month 3.

2. How many mysid shrimp should I order 100, 200? and how long will it take for 10ish cuttlefish to burn through 200 mysids? I don't want to order too many just to have them cannibalize each other.
That is going to depend on a lot of factors. IF all goes well and you are feeding 4/cuttle/day, that will be 5 days. More of a concern for me is having enough mysids around to handle a mysid die off.

3. What is the best container to store the live mysids? I was thinking either a 10 gallon aquarium or a 16 gallion black round tub.
There is no best. :biggrin2: They would do fine in either, so I like the more gallons option.
 

DeepBlueWonders

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#8
Thales;192443 said:
I don't think this is true, and would be interested in where the idea came from. Also, how is 'friendly' and 'more docile' determined:biggrin2:
My apologies, I should have noted that much was anecdotal information that I originally thought came from one of your articles Thales, although I can't remeber which one.
 

Thales

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#9
DeepBlueWonders;192448 said:
My apologies, I should have noted that much was anecdotal information that I originally thought came from one of your articles Thales, although I can't remeber which one.
Ah - thanks! If you ever happen to come across what sparked that, please let me know so I can clarify it! Thanks! :mrgreen:
 

austin8362

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#11
Thanks for the advice Thales and DeepBlueWonders! So it looks like I realistically should only start with 3 cuttles. I'm looking at NY aquatics now because they offer smaller quantities. I see that they offer both eggs and 1/4 in babies. Which are better to start with? I'm assuming eggs ship better. The only upside I see of ordering babies is less time eating expensive live mysids. Should I split the mysids into two tanks for some redundancy in case something kills one set? I've also read about people feeding rotifers to their mysids, would they be a better option than brine? I'll probably be starting rotifers for clownfish soon so I'll have a steady supply.
 

DeepBlueWonders

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#12
I would absolutely order eggs over the babies. The eggs ship much better as new born hatchlings are very fragile.
With my multiple experiences with NYAquatic, they tend to send more than three eggs when you order 3. If you purchase 3 eggs, you will probably end up recieving 6-10.
My last purchase through NYAquatic was 6 cuttlefish eggs. I recieved 12, with a 100% hatch and survival rate so far.
 

austin8362

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#13
Ok. The tank is up. :smile: and I should be ordering eggs next week. I work at a LFS, so I'm just going to add it to our order from ERI. I'm also going to experiment with mysid culture at the Central Campus Marine Science lab, so hopefully I won't have to order too many.
 

DWhatley

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#14
Unless you are using materials from a well cycled tank, you need to actively cycle the tank for 3 months (by active I mean feeding it to continually grow bacteria). The initial cycle recommended (essentially when you see no ammonia or nitrite after the first spike) is too soon to establish enough bacteria to handle ceph waste. Even starting with eggs (which can hatch very quickly), I would want to start with a fully cycled tank. If all your substrate is from a well cycled environment, the new cycle time can be minimized but even then I wait and feed the tank for at least two weeks.
 

DeepBlueWonders

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#15
Cycling is a definite must! I believe my lack of proper cycle with my first batch of eggs is what caused my problems. Problems such as cuttles not eating and acting strangely by spending a lot of time spinning in circles and darting all over the net breeder.
 

austin8362

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#16
I now have the opportunity to raise the eggs in a aquarium science/marine bio lab, with much more resources than I have in my apartment. :smile: The system I'm raising them in is a 300g+ clownfish growout system that has been well established for 3 years. The tank I just established at home is the original 40 breeder that I'm currently cycling with clownfish, that will eventually only have two adults in a few months.
 

austin8362

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#20
Time for an update. I came home on Sunday to 3 hatchlings. I ordered mysids on Monday, and received them today. Unfortunately, I lost two of them last night. :sad: The remaining one is still not very active, only slightly moving and flashing colors when a mysid runs into him.
 

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