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Help and Advice needed.....

Gilligan

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
10
#1
Hi All,

To begin with, Im new!! Never kept anything even similar to what most you guys have but have always been facinated with it. To be honest i never even really thought it was possible until i came accross this site.

Anyway, After reading through the huge amount of useful information on this site im going to try and avoid asking questions that have already been covered a thousand times.

I have a red sea max 250, its been up and running now for 6 weeks using just live rock and live sand, Yesterday i added a couple of hermits and so far everything is fine including params. I went to my lfs in the uk and saw the flamboyant cuttles, i was amazed by them and pretty much decided there and then that i would like to keep one or at the very least another type of cuttle. Right, after doing my research I decided that a flamboyant wouldnt be the best option so after doing some research it seemed that S Bandensis would be more suitable. I have sourced some eggs but am reluctant to pick them up as i know my tank is fairly new and would like it to mature as much as possible before adding them.

So here are my questions

When I add them am i better to use a breeding net/holder to begin with?

Would people recomend getting one single egg or should i try to house 2 - 3 cuttles in my 55g?

Final question, how often (once settled) do you see you cuttle change colour/texture etc? Are they quite active or do they spend huge amounts of time hiding in the rock?


Any advice or help much appreciated.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
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Sep 4, 2006
Messages
19,809
Location
Gainesville, GA
#3
I am an octo, not cuttle keeper so hopefully you will get some details from our "other" side :grin:. As a quicky from our journals:

You would probably enjoy keeping 2-3 cuttles over a single and can do so in the 55. You may want to start with 5 eggs but be prepared to find a home for the extras if they all succeed (you will have time before they outgrow the tank and start fighting).

Breeder nets are always used initially to ensure the hatchlings eat. Getting them to eat well is the biggest hurdle. Keepers often include a clump of macro algae to allow them to hide.

You will need to source live mysis for the first month or so until they eat frozen. Many other things have been tried (over and over) the only consistent successes (almost the only successes) have been with live mysis. FORGET using brine shrimp (just in case that has been recommended elsewhere). Thales has been successful using ghost shrimp after they start eating on their own and they are a cheaper alternative to most other live foods. Fiddler crabs seem to be well taken as a change/alternate (as well as small saltwater shrimp) when they are large enough. Frozen mysis are the standard frozen.

Bendensis will give interesting displays but don't expect Flamboyant colors.
 

Gilligan

Pygmy Octopus
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Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
10
#4
Thanks for the reply. I managed to source some eggs, and so far have only managed to find one supplier of live mysis although they are roughly 1cm in length so abit worried that the hatchlings wont be able to take them, maybe im wrong?

Also, how long from being laid will the eggs hatch, all of mine are a dark colour but have started to go slightly transparent. I hope they all survive, im not sure what the mortality rate is from egg to hatchling, this will be a learning curve.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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Messages
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Gainesville, GA
#5
Look over some of the bendensis threads and note the acquisition to hatching times. I think you will find the most wild caught hatch quite soon after arrival (often during shipping). I have only tried eggs once, captive bred from a TONMO member and they did not hatch so I don't have a feel for timing (I do much better with octos :grin:). Normally members see the cuttles moving in the eggs before hatching. It is always helpful to post a clear photo for other keepers to look at to try to get an idea of how far along the incubation has progressed.
 

Gilligan

Pygmy Octopus
Registered
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
10
#6
Thanks for the help, I can quite clearly see them swimming about inside the eggs at the moment so can only assume they are fairly near to hatching. I am just trying to source some live mysis although they are around 1cm in length so not sure they will be suitable, im just trying to prevent having to feed them brine as from my research they are far from ideal. If anyone can give me any additional info regarding feeding newly hatched cuttles that would be great. I know that variety is a must and that i need to try and get them onto frozen asap.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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Gainesville, GA
#7
Forget the brine altogether, they will eat it and they will starve. We have seen this over and over, there is not enough nutrition to feed the animals.
 

Gilligan

Pygmy Octopus
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Mar 19, 2012
Messages
10
#8
DWhatley;187816 said:
Forget the brine altogether, they will eat it and they will starve. We have seen this over and over, there is not enough nutrition to feed the animals.
What are the best alternatives? Will they take live mysis that are up to 1cm in length? Also what about copepods will these be ok?

If you can list me a few alternative foods that will suffice then i can do my best to source them, I want to be able to get a variety of foods for them.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
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#9
Unfortunately, there are not a lot of alternate first foods that have proven successful. Hopefully Thales will chime in if he has come up with other possibilities since my experience is limited and primarily from reading the posts.
 

Gilligan

Pygmy Octopus
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Mar 19, 2012
Messages
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#10
Well im 18 days in, they seem to be doing ok although i havent seen any of them feed. I have tried them with live mysis but soon ran out so had no choice but to try artemia and brine. They seem fairly active and have even tried them on frozen, although again not seen them take it, is it too early for frozen mysis? I have tried moving it around in front of them but they dont seem interested. Have also tried them with frozen red plankton, they must be eating something otherwise they wouldnt have survived this long im sure. Can anyone give me any advice on how to proceed? I will be ordering some more mysis shortly but they dont seem to live very long in my tank, can anyone shed any light on how i can keep them alive for longer?
 

Mark Forster

Cuttlefish
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Mar 14, 2012
Messages
22
#11
I understand they live for a period of time on their yolk sack. But soon need to eat live mysis. A seller named Fablan sells them off Ebay. He will set up regular shipment for you if you want. The source of live food for the first month is the hardest part. BUT you can ween them onto frozen Mysis on a feeder line or stick with patience.
 

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