Effects of Metals on Cephalopods | The Octopus News Magazine Online
  • Thanks for visiting! TONMO is the world's greatest online cephalopod enthusiast community, with interactive content going back to May of 2000, and a biennial conference. If you'd like to join in on the fun, become a TONMO member -- it's easy and free. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more cephy goodness.

Effects of Metals on Cephalopods

DeepBlueWonders

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
286
#1
Im not sure if this is where this belongs, but here goes.

I've read everywhere that copper is fatal for cephs. Is this true for all metals? The reason I ask is that I have just learned (by the mouth of my Chemistry instructor, not an official, scholarly source) that the waterway I have collected all my live food from has been contaminaed with heavy amounts of lead, possibly leading to numorous stillborn manatees in this area, for the past few decades. I have been feeding cuttlefish hatchlings with live shore shrimp from this water source for just over a month now. The cuttles I have been raising are in excellent health condition (to the eye). I have had a 100% survival rate with incredible growth rates.
If there is lead in the water (and passed on to the shore shrimp), what would be the effects on the cuttlefish? Death? I have witnessed no ill effects so far. Is it possible that some trace metals enhance the health of cephs?
It is most probable, in my opinion, that I received false information about the lead contents in the water (as I expect there would be ill effects from lead), but regardless of my situation, I am still curious as to the effects of any metal on cephs, and why this effect takes place.
 

magnetar68

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
84
#2
one thing you could try is to test the water. there is a $20 non-specific heavy metal test called SenSafe. i am not sure how accurate or reliable it is. Maybe you could ask on the reefchemistry fourm on reefcentral? if this was a decent test, you may fine you have nothing to worry about. if you do have an issue, you could find alternate food. also, if there is indeed an issue i would think some agency has the test results (maybe the local water company?).
 

CaptFish

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 9, 2009
Messages
2,833
Location
South Florida
#3
I'm not a cuttle expert and I know even less about the effects of lead on them but I think if there was a problem you would be seeing signs of something.
 

magnetar68

O. vulgaris
Registered
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Messages
84
#5
I used Google's scholar search engine (http://scholar.google.com/) to poke around. There is a lot of research into the bioaccumulation of lead and other heavy metals in cephalopods (because of the concern about those toxins moving up the food chain), but little on the specific toxicity of heavy metals to cuttles. I can only read the abstracts, but it is clear that both cuttles and octopus appear to accumulate higher levels of these heavy metals in their tissue than other organisms in the same polluted water. One study did look at whether the parents passed them to the eggs (which did not appear to be the case). Another looked at whether the eggs allowed the heavy metals through to the hatchlings (which they did not).
 

DeepBlueWonders

Vampyroteuthis
Registered
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
286
#6
Thanks for that input and research! I would "like" if I could, but I haven't become a supporter yet (absolutely in my plans though). Hopefully someone else will for me.
It's just something that got me thinking.
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,007
Location
Gainesville, GA
#7
If you can't find more on cephs, you might see what is available on mollusks, particularly oysters since they are a human food and studied for toxicity. It is only a starting point but there may be more in the literature on this subject and there is likely a relationship.
 

Neogonodactylus

Haliphron Atlanticus
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Messages
662
#8
Several years ago we had to quit using crabs and snails from San Francisco Bay to feed our octopus and stomatopods because of heavy metal contamination. If memory serves me correctly, when I posted this Roland added that they had had the same problem with GPO's.

Roy
 

DWhatley

Certified Ceph Head For Life
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 4, 2006
Messages
20,007
Location
Gainesville, GA
#10
If I remember Roy's original post, they were losing cephs and narrowed it down to the food.
 

Members online

No members online now.

Monty Awards

TONMOCON IV: Terri
TONMOCON V: Jean
TONMOCON VI: Taollan
TONMOCON VII: ekocak

About the Monty Awards