Dwarf Cuttle help...

SteveMcKay

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
#1
First time post...

Quick background. I have had freshwater tanks since I was 13 but decided to go saltwater for the sole purpose of having Cephalopods. Besides Ceph's being the coolest animals in the sea... I am also involved in AI development and want to observe them for work purposes.

With that said I have a healthy 55g tank started 4 months ago just for Cuttles and I ordered 6 eggs three weeks ago (expecting a 50% mortality).. well I received 12 eggs and all of them hatched in the last 3 days.

TO top this off the Mysids I ordered turned out to be Grass Shrimp that seem to scare the little aliens. I ordered Mysids from another source but they won't be here until Tuesday. No one sells live brine shrimp around here so I bought some eggs today.

I have read contradicting sources saying they don't eat for up to a week and others saying provide Mysid's from day one.

So my questions are...can they wait to eat for 4~6 days and if not are the grass shrimp or brine shrimp a better choice?
 

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CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#2
First...:welcome: to TONMO

second.....Deep breath!

Ok, lol, I am not a cuttle expert but I have read a number of times that it is ok for them to not have foods for the first few days. Your not the first person to have shipping issues and be waiting for mysid after their cuttles have hatched.

As per the other food options, Thales, our resident cuttle expert, has mentioned that for first foods mysid are really the best option if not the only option. So, i would hold off on the grass and brine shrimp. If I'm wrong I'm sure one our cuttle experts will chime in and correct me.
 

magnetar68

O. vulgaris
Registered
#3
you could try to get some smaller amphipods from some local reef club members. they will be living in chaeto or similar macro algae. I shake them out into my seahorse tank every once in a while.

I read somewhere hat the youngest cuttles can have trouble with amphipods, but this article concluded that gammarids are an acceptable alternative to mysids. http://personal.us.es/jmguerra/pdfs/pdf92.pdf
 

DeepBlueWonders

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#4
The grass shrimp are healthy for the cuttles, but they are not considered THE first food because most of the time, the cuttles are not yet big enough to catch them.
Do not feed them brine! Brine shrimp have almost no nutritional value, and do more harm than good when feeding to hatchling cuttles.
You may be ok waiting a few days for the mysid, but I would recommend trying to aquire some amphipods from a LFS.
Most people try to have mysid on hand right before a hatch, to avoid these issues.
In the future, plan a head and make sure you have mysid on hand in time.
 

squishy1

Blue Ring
Registered
#5
I'm not sure if you have their end up tank up and running for them yet, but what I always do in a pinch is take a 5 gallon bucket and fill it with water from the tank, then take live rock from the tank and shake it off in the bucket. i threw mysis in my sump a long time ago, so there's colonies of mysis, along with amphipods in there. i always get a couple dozen of each that fall off the rocks and into the bucket to use as food. or if you have friends with tanks you can ask if you can try to scavenge some from their sump/refugium. if they have a large refugium they will have tons of small critters that make good food to start them out on.

another option is newly hatched cherry shrimp. i have two 29 gallon tanks with hundreds of them on hand just in case a shipment of mysis doesn't arrive as expected.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#6
Squishy,
When you say "cherry" shrimp are these the Red Hawaiian shrimp? I just ordered some to try to start/keep a culture so any hints would be most welcomed.
 

squishy1

Blue Ring
Registered
#7
no i thought about the hawaiian shrimp since my lfs had some (for $10 each), but after checkking the tank every week I was there I never saw any signs of reproduction. so i stuck with the freshwater cherry shrimp, the bright red ones (or orange, or yellow, or one of the other colors they come in). they breed very regularly and you can get a good colony going in a few months. when they start breeding you end up with shrimp in lots of different sizes. from new born shrimp, up to full size cherry shrimp. they also make a good bargaining chip for a trade in for ghost shrimp at the lfs.
 

DeepBlueWonders

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#8
I believe the main concern about that, is that they are FRESHWATER shrimp. It is questionable whether freshwater feeds are acceptable to saltwater animals. I read somewhere saying that freshwater and saltwater "ingredients" such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats aren't compatible with each other. For instance, the proteins required by a cuttlefish, could not be satisfied with freshwater proteins. And are instead, rejected and not received as proteins.
 

squishy1

Blue Ring
Registered
#9
I understand that, and it was one of my concerns, so I didn't rely solely on cherry shrimp (or freshwater ghost shrimp). Maybe once a week i used the cherry shrimp in between mysis shrimp shipments and I had no issues. I also fed baby guppies for a few of the feedings as a last resort and didn't have any losses because of that. The only deaths I had were more recent, and from what I could tell, due to mating. There were numerous suction marks all over the dead cuttles.
 

magnetar68

O. vulgaris
Registered
#12
hi D, i keep 25 volcano shrimp in a 5 gallon. i got them for about $1 a piece from seahorses.com. i have had mine since April and they dont breed quickly. i read that conditions have to be perfect in terms of salinity (something like 1.014 SG) for them to breed. each shrimp will have only a few offspring (maybe 6) and only a few times per year. otherwise they would be a great feeder shrimp. i squirt a little phytofeast into the tank once a week and they just keep on ticking.
 

DeepBlueWonders

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#13
squishy1;193268 said:
What's considered long term for something that only lives a year? I'm just over 4 months so that's 1/3 of their lifespan.
If freshwater foods composed the majority of their diet, I believe it would take months off their expected life span.
 

Thales

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
#14
The longest I have had and S. bandensis was 18 months.
There is an article by Rob Toonen linked on TONMO several times but I cant find it right now, that shows the nutritional profile of freshwater fish is very different from saltwater fish, but not very different with freshwater crustaceans vs saltwater crustaceans. I feed a lot of gutloaded freshwater ghost shirmp to cephs with no noticeable problems, except perhaps for fecundity, but there is no real data on that - just a feeling.
 

DeepBlueWonders

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
#15
Thanks for the input on that Thales. That may have been the article I read, but I guess I missed the exception to crustaceans. I didn't realize freshwater ghost shrimp were acceptable for cephs. Good to know!
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#16
Magnetar,
Thanks for the input. Another member found them on Ebay shipped for about the same price and I ordered 40 of them when she had a 30+10 sale. She (assuming female from the name but not sure as Leslie could be either) raises them herself, ships and packs with great care is was helpful with suggestions. I will need to lower my SG some, add a little more live rock to the tank and buy some Spirulina when I am out this week I was aware of the low off-spring count when I bought them as food for my seahorses but I made no attempt to raise them at that time. However, they are very hardy and are know to produce offspring that survive in aquariums vs the more prolific SW shrimp whose offspring never seem to survive. My hope is to keep a culture and not use them as the only food. I don't have an octo that will be producing hatchlings right now even though I have two females so it may be as long a year before I have the opportunity again.
 

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