FINALLY got my cuttlefish, but now I'm having issues! Help please!

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I had my cuttlefish arrive here yesterday afternoon from California. They were packed well but only had a 12 hr heat pack so were pretty cold when they made it here. There were three bags, two with a bunch of eggs in each, and one that had two cuttles that had hatched before shipping. Five eggs hatched in shipping in each bag. One of the bags was very cloudy and mercy and none of the cuttlefish were looking good off the back. I think a few of them must have inked or one of the undeveloped eggs could have popped, spewing yolk everywhere. Anyways, I slowly acclimated and split everything between two net breeders. The cuttlefish/eggs from the bad bag in one breeder, and the cuttlefish from the bag that was fine, and the two that had hatched before shipping in the other. By yesterday night, 2 of the cuttlefish from the bad bag had died. Tonight, 4 of the cuttles from the bad bag are dead, so only one remains. From the good bag/already hatched net breeder, five have died, leaving two. I've now put all three together in one net breeder and put a bunch of mysis in there for them. As for the eggs, I can clearly see live cuttlefish in five if not six eggs so we'll see how they turn out when they hatch.

My problem is that I've now had nine die and I'm not sure what from. It becomes obvious that they are going to die because I am able to clearly see the cuttlebone inside of them when I shine a flashlight at them. This is because it seems like the skin with any pigmentation/ chromatophores is coming off leaving just a white, milky covering behind. What could be happening? I'd really like to save the rest of these as they weren't cheap and it took me a LONG time to track them down and purchase them.
 

MAKOOKAM

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Gee, that sucks! :(

I would assume it would have been from stress and poor water quality. I would keep them as stress free as possible, put in macro algae or rubble for them to hide in and keep lights out or very low and would avoid flashing them at all. If you have them in a large enough tank space outside of the nets, dont worry about taking out the ones you are going to lose if they arent going to pollute the system by letting them sit. I would really just keep the stress levels at a minimum and not even worry about feeding the hatchlings unless you are certain they have been out for more than 4 or 5 days. Just my opinion.

GOOD LUCK!
 

davelin315

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Feeling Sam's pain... he stopped by to drain off mysids and gammarus amphipods from my reef again and we discussed how this looked very similar to what happened to the octopuses that I failed to properly temperature acclimate. Hopefully with these being young or in the egg, they will tolerate the shipping swings in temperature better than the octopuses did.
 

Thales

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L8 2 RISE;151093 said:
I had my cuttlefish arrive here yesterday afternoon from California. They were packed well but only had a 12 hr heat pack so were pretty cold when they made it here.[/quyote]

Where did you get them from and did you call them.
I would guess this is the root of all your problems - very cold during shipping.

I think a few of them must have inked or one of the undeveloped eggs could have popped, spewing yolk everywhere.
Maybe the ink, but the yolk doesn't/can't do that - its attached to the cuttle. Bacterial action in a closed bag can be fast and can account for the murkyness.

My problem is that I've now had nine die and I'm not sure what from.
Check with the vendor. A 12 hour heat pack this time of year is unacceptable.

It becomes obvious that they are going to die because I am able to clearly see the cuttlebone inside of them when I shine a flashlight at them. This is because it seems like the skin with any pigmentation/ chromatophores is coming off leaving just a white, milky covering behind.
I doubt this is true. It is normal to see the cuttlebone in hatchlings - especially with a flash light. .

What could be happening? I'd really like to save the rest of these as they weren't cheap and it took me a LONG time to track them down and purchase them.
I would say they were shipped on a very cold rainy day with insufficient heat packs. Sorry you have to deal with it, but if you paid with a cc, you could stop payment. Also, if you bought 'tank raised cuttles' from a vendor, not a hobbyist, odds are they weren't fed correctly, so if they have been around for a while, that could contribute to your situation. Who was the vendor?
 
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MAKOOKAM;151095 said:
Gee, that sucks! :(

I would assume it would have been from stress and poor water quality. I would keep them as stress free as possible, put in macro algae or rubble for them to hide in and keep lights out or very low and would avoid flashing them at all. If you have them in a large enough tank space outside of the nets, dont worry about taking out the ones you are going to lose if they arent going to pollute the system by letting them sit. I would really just keep the stress levels at a minimum and not even worry about feeding the hatchlings unless you are certain they have been out for more than 4 or 5 days. Just my opinion.

GOOD LUCK!
Ok, that's what I've been doing, thanks!

Thales;151104 said:
Where did you get them from and did you call them.
I would guess this is the root of all your problems - very cold during shipping.
I got them from an LFS in California called The Mystic Reef. I was told about them by a fellow tonmoer and have been speaking to them 1-2 times a week for about a month and a half.

Maybe the ink, but the yolk doesn't/can't do that - its attached to the cuttle. Bacterial action in a closed bag can be fast and can account for the murkyness.
As for the yolk, I figured it was maybe an unfertalized egg or something that popped open, so there was never any actual cuttlefish in there, but maybe that's not possible... If you think it could have been the bacteria then maybe it was that, either way it doesn't matter, the bag was just very murky so there was obviously somehting in there that wasn't right.

Check with the vendor. A 12 hour heat pack this time of year is unacceptable.
For the shipping, I agree, there should have been more heat packs in there, but it was a mis-communication and I didn't realize that it was that little. Are there 24 hr heat packs? Or what could they have used?

I doubt this is true. It is normal to see the cuttlebone in hatchlings - especially with a flash light. .
Apparently I didn't explain correctly. I'm sure everyone here has seen what happens to the outer layer of skin (or whatever it is) on ceph's when they die. The colored part peels off and you're just left with this white, milky stuff. See this pic of a giant squid, for example: http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200707/r159355_581058.jpg The skin is usually reddish but in this pic of a dead one, it's peeled off. That's what happened to all of the ones that ultimately died so you could see the cuttlebone VERY easily. With the (apparently) healthy ones, you can still see it, but it's not as obvious.

I would say they were shipped on a very cold rainy day with insufficient heat packs. Sorry you have to deal with it, but if you paid with a cc, you could stop payment. Also, if you bought 'tank raised cuttles' from a vendor, not a hobbyist, odds are they weren't fed correctly, so if they have been around for a while, that could contribute to your situation. Who was the vendor?
They only sent me eggs apart from two that had hatched the day before shipping. Five eggs in each bag hatched during shipping which is why I immediately had babies. So I recieved 12 hatched cuttlefish, nine of which, died in the way described above. I'm not going to screw around with money with these guys because they were VERY helpful and went out of their way to get these eggs for me, a guy that had never been in their store and lived on the other side of the country. I'm sure that if I end up losing all of these cuttlefish in the end, they will help me out and give me a good deal for some more.

So in summary you think they probably just couldn't adapt to such a severe temperature change and that's why they croaked? What about the one's still in the eggs? What's the odds of those doing better than the one's that hatched? Thanks a lot for the help, I really appreciate it!



As of now I have four hatchlings. Three of these were the one's that survived shipping, and one hatched last night. All look very healthy and aren't losing skin like the one's that died before. I'm definitely hopeful that the rest will make it. For those that have had these, how do they tend to act? Mine just squat in one spot and stay there, sometimes for a whole day. Does that sound right?

Thanks again!
 
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Most places use at least a 30 or 40hr heatpack incase the package is delayed. I was shocked to find a heatpack still hot 2 days after I had recieved some mysids but that was most likely a defective pack that just lasted super long.

How many adults are you planning for? You might be okay with the number you have if you don't lose anymore. I agree there is no point getting mad at the store when they are basically doing you a favor, but still explain. If you are planning on getting more see if they can ship them faster. I don't know if they are holding them too long or if their supplier is or I they are simply being collected too late but I've always had to wait about 2 weeks for my eggs to hatch and I've had 2 or 3 bundles.

Don't be discouraged you still have some. When you have a large group of babies the cost of feeding them is extemely high. At least now you can go through less mysids.
 
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Where could I get one of those heat packs? I'm planning on 4-6 in my main display and maybe a few others in other tanks just for breeding purposes. The price of feeding isn't an issue for me, thankfully, just for Dave Lin because he'll see more and more of me :biggrin2:.
 

davelin315

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Sam, I'm going to have to start charging you admission to the zoo.

Oh, and grab some sponge filter and bring it by, I'll toss it in the system so it can get filled with various critters again. If you've got some dry rubble, we can also toss that into a container and submerge it into the sump so it gets populated and then you can take it back, kind of like rotating food farms.
 
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haha, will do!

I now have eight hatchlings and I have been able to get better stock on the eggs I have left. I can see fully developed cuttlefish in three eggs, so those should come out any day now. In one egg I have what may be a live cuttlefish, but it still has it's arms in the yolk sack (I don't know about in, but I'm sure those of you that have experience with this know the stage I mean). The rest of the eggs are relatively small and a few look deflated so I'm not thinking they will hatch, but we'll see. Things are definitely looking up and I'm a lot more optimistic. I have mysis in with the cuttlefish but have yet to see them all disappear and I haven't seen the cuttles eat at all.
 

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