Interested in Cuttles

Discussion in 'Cuttlefish Care' started by magnetar68, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. magnetar68

    magnetar68 O. vulgaris Registered

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    I have a 125G (48"x24"x24") reef tank that has been maturing since last November. It has five fish (2 mating clowns, 1 firefish, 1 green chromis, and 1 yellow headed sleeper goby) and 2 large skunk cleaner shrimp, plus a bunch of snails and micro hermit crabs. It has only one torch coral and a lot of halimeda macro algae.

    Due a warrantied defect, the tank needs to be replaced (bowing panel), so I have a replacement 120G coming out in the next couple of weeks. I have purposely not been building out this tank because I have been waiting since Q1 for the replacement tank (it seems like it has always been a month or two from being shipped out).

    I am thinking of converting the tank into a cuttle tank. Originally, I was thinking about plumbing in a smaller tank underneath for the cuttles and moving the sump to the closet behind the tank. And this is still an option, but how cool would it be to have 8 or so dwarf cuttles (S. Bandensis) in a 120G tank soft reef tank with a breeding nursery below? So I want to explore that idea further.

    Q1] I assume all of the fish and the coral needs to find other homes but what about the cleaner shrimp? They are rather large. Will they be eaten by an adult S. Bandensis?

    Q2] I read here that 8 adults were OK for a tank this size. Not sure if that is still the conventional wisdom? Perhaps that is too many?

    Q3] When I get to where I have several adults in the 125G display tank, can you just throw in ~200 Palaemontes Vulgaris shrimp? Will they eat this over time at a reasonable clip like pods for a mandarin? or will they gorge themselves and die? or have some other issue with this feeding approach? My thinking is that this could remove the ritual of 2x daily feedings for I assume a week or two at a time.
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I am an octopus keeper so my "wisdom" is from reading only but flood feeding of young animals has been unsuccessful. I don't know if it has been tried with adults.

    ANY shrimp will eventually be food.

    Aggressive corals are dangerous for any young animals (including fish) but unlike octopuses, low aggression corals can be kept with cuttles. Octopuses climb where cuttles "tip-toe" or swim so there are more options.

    The optimum number vs tank size is not set in stone, especially as tanks get larger and can easily handle the waste. Adequate hiding and mating places may help improve or limit fighting but it seems to depend a lot on the sex mix and aggressiveness of the males as they mature.
     
  3. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    +1 on that. Cuttlefish, ranging from hatchlings to adults, can develop "Tank Mate Syndrome". This occurs when the owner flood feeds too much live food. The cuttles see their populous food as tank mates instead of food. This is very easily (disregarding the capture of the live food from the tank) fixed by removing all the food from the tank for about 10 minutes.
    Try to feed no more than 2 at a time per cuttle.

    Crustaceans compose the main diet of a cuttlefish. Any shrimp, crabs, or other similar invertabrates will become food very quickly. It is not recomended to keep non-food intended fish and crustaceans with cuttles because either the cuttle will eat the inhabitant, or the inhabitant will harm/eat the cuttle.

    Some corals are safe for cuttlefish (As D mentioned). Cuttlefish (I'm not sure about octos) have a tendency to avoid dangers like stinging corals, as long in there is plenty of safe areas for them. That being said, I still do not recommend keeping any anemones, or aggressive corals with them. Green star polyps and Zooanthids seem to do very well with cuttlefish.

    Two of the most important things about number of animals to space ratio, is 1) Filtration and 2) Sex. Filtration should not be too big of a problem in a 120g, assuming you have all the necessary equipment required for cephs (skimmer, etc.), but space and sex of the animals you intend to keep is important. Males can be very aggressive toward one another. When keeping multiple cuttles together, I believe you don't want more than one male per two females. If you wanted, you could even do all female (although and laid eggs were be infertile).
    I have never kept multiple adult cuttles together before, so don't precieve this as absolute truth and law, as I do not have experience in this category.
     
  4. magnetar68

    magnetar68 O. vulgaris Registered

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    Thanks for the responses. I will plan on having a secondary system for keeping live shrimp and training them onto frozen if I can. I have nice setup: coast-to-coast overflow and large sump with a big a** skimmer and refugium full of chaeto. I also have a biopellet reactor and a dual BRS media reactor with GAC. I will use the seahorse tank mate guide in terms of which corals are OK.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, octos are likely smarter in our way of thinking but they are lazy. Going around when the path is shorter over is the most likely route so even low sting corals can be problematic (for the coral). Octos do learn to avoid stings but that may be after damage and then the real problem, infection, occurs.
     
  6. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    And as you pointed out earlier, the mode of transportation of cuttles and octos make a huge differece, as the cuttles float or walk, while octos just touch everything! lol
     
  7. magnetar68

    magnetar68 O. vulgaris Registered

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    As I stated above, I currently have a 125G display tank and a sump with a refugium section. What additional equipment should I plan on having to raise from S. Bandensis from eggs? From reading online, it looks a small 10G could serve as a nursery tank. A separate egg station in here and a couple of breeding nets in here as well. I assume another 10G divided with some netted section could serve as live food tank for mysis and shrimp. I am thinkthing about putting another return pump into my sump to feed these two 10Gs and using gravity to go from one 10G to the other and then back to the sump. Any ideas?
     
  8. DeepBlueWonders

    DeepBlueWonders Vampyroteuthis Registered

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