Effects of Nautilus in prolonged captivity

Discussion in 'Nautilidae' started by chrono_war01, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. chrono_war01

    chrono_war01 Colossal Squid Supporter

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    The Aquarium staff is wondering about their Nautilus exhibit, their Nautiluses are feeling a bit moody lately and not really eating.

    They're wondering how much do they actually do need to feed them, the vet says twice a day, a diet of deshelled shrimp and fish. However, the guys at a aquarium in Beijing says we should feed the crabs while a website (Don't remember which) suggests that they be fed once a month.
    There's also some worrying black patches appearing on the shell, is this because they're falling ill or some other reason? They've tried scrubbing the shell gently with a toothbrush but the black patches are still there and a golden powder starting appearing. What is this?

    Also, we're looking to ID the species (will provide photos later at some point)

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Try PMing Robyn if she does not see this, I remember her posting on both feeding and the black spots but the search feature is not very happy right not.
     
  3. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    What is the temperature of their water? They should not be deshelling the shrimp - Nautilus need the skeleton of the shrimp for calcium. Feeding twice a day seems like a lot for Nautilus. The black patches happen often in captivity (but it's not a good thing).
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    I think Greg B has mentioned doing some work to figure out what the black stuff is; I forget the results, though. In Greg and Adam's article in TFH, they say:

    and

    Unfortunately, their article doesn't appear to be archived on the web; it's from Tropical Fish Hobbyist June 2007 vol LV Number 10 #615. It's a pretty short article, though, so you can probably get all the info in it from asking here...
     
  5. chrono_war01

    chrono_war01 Colossal Squid Supporter

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    Thanks guys, I'll be heading off to work and then dutifully reporting this to my boss.
     
  6. robyn

    robyn Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    I concur with all the advice offered here: Nautilus is an opportunistic scavenger with a low metabolic rate - they really don't need to be fed so frequently. I fed mine on one unpeeled, de-headed shrimp every four days or so. Even when the food was dropped (we hand-fed) it often wasn't eaten, so I doubt I was under-feeding. What is the water temperature? Warmer temps probably mean more frequent feeding may be needed. My tanks were at 15-17 degrees C.

    Are the black patches you mention radiating back from the growing edge of the shell? In my experience this blackened new growth can result from overfeeding or from feeding a suboptimal diet. (the shell advances forward rapidly before it thickens, and begins to crack and splinter.) Are the fish being used as food a marine species? Freshwater fish are not as good as marine. Definitely see if you can switch their diet to shrimp with shells on - they need the calcium for proper shell formation.

    The gold dust you mention may be very fine shell splinters or, more likely from your description, some of the periostracum that covers the shell. This is a natural part of the shell and shouldn't need to be removed, but I don't think removing it would do any damage. Others might have more info on that though.

    Can we see pictures? I love seeing Nautilus pics! And maybe we can help with an id, too.
     
  7. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    +1
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Understanding irregular shell formation of Nautilus in aquaria: Chemical composition and structural analysis
    Mehdi Moini, Aoife O'Halloran, Alan M. Peters, Christine A.M. France, Edward P. Vicenzi, Tamsen G. DeWitt, Esther Langan, Tim Walsh, Robert J. Speakman 2014 (subscription)

     
  9. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting paper. It's a good starting point!

    Greg
     

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