New Cuttlefish Journal

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by TQN, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Hello everyone,
    We recently joined this site and wanted to document our experience of raising cuttles from eggs.
    These are our first cuttles, although both of us have had years of saltwater/reefkeeping experience. Some of our recent/current projects include octopus, mantis shrimp, anglerfish, harlequin shrimp, and banded cat sharks. We also keep/breed many species of reptiles.

    Today we received our first group of 4 cuttle eggs (thanks, Daniel!). When I unpacked them, I was disappointed to see that one had apparently deflated during shipment. Then I took a closer look and realized there was a hatchling cuttlefish cruising around! I did not expect to have a hatchling this soon. But it is super cool and seems to be doing well so far. After acclimating the cuttle and the eggs for several hours, they are now in a net breeder in our main reef tank.
    We have both wanted to get cuttles for years, and we are super excited to have this chance to (hopefully) raise these little guys up to produce babies of their own.
    More updates coming soon!
    Kelly and TQ
     

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  2. Nancy

    Nancy Titanites Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi and welcome to the site!

    We're glad you're going to document your cuttles in a journal. This is interesting for the rest of us to read and we can all learn from your experiences. Your photos are good,especially the one of the little cuttle beside the egg!

    What species of octopuses have you kept? Any photos to post about them?

    Good luck, and looking forward to your future posts.

    Nancy
     
  3. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks, Nancy!
    I have had several octos, but the only one I have been able to conclusively identify is the current one, an aculeatus. She is very shy, so I don't have very many good shots of her. But when I get a chance, maybe I will start a thread just for her :)
     
  4. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome:
     
  5. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Welcome to TONMO and sounds like you're going to fit right in! Glad you found us.
     
  6. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks for the warm welcome, guys!
     
  7. Animal Mother

    Animal Mother Architeuthis Supporter

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    Absolutely. I do love that photo of the baby next to the egg.

    What kind of anglers have you kept if you don't mind me getting a little off subject? I had an L. trisignatus that did great for almost a year and I transferred it to another tank and it died after swimming laps for a couple of hours. It was missing an eyeball and had a nasty sore on its lip when I got it and that healed up well so its death was a real bummer. The other 3 or 4 I've had didn't make it for more than a few weeks, even though they were feeding well. They are by far my favorite fish, especially A. pictus, but I haven't bought another and don't plan on it unless I can get some good solid advice on what I may have done wrong.
     
  8. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks for the kind words for the picture. Our old camera bit the dust a few weeks ago, and I am still trying to figure out the new one ;)
    Cool, another angler fan! In the past I have kept A. hispidus, pictus, and striatus. I have one little guy now that I believe to be a nummifer. Anglers are very cool little beasts, for sure. So far, the one that lasted the longest was the hispidus. I had that one for over 2 years. The others have all been under a year. The newest one, I have only had for a few weeks. But it is feeding well, and doing great so far...
     
  9. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Great pictures! Im looking forward to see how yours turn out!
     
  10. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Thanks again for the eggs, Daniel! I am glad I finally had a chance to get some.

    So for a quick update, babies #2 and #3 hatched last night, within minutes of each other. I was siphoning a few 'pods out of the fuge to feed to #1, and suddenly a new cuttle zoomed in from out of nowhere. A few minutes later, there were suddenly three babies cruising around the net breeder.
    #1 showed no interest yet in the 'pods, but I did get inked at:razz:
    I think he is still just too young to be interested in food just yet. But I have live mysis coming in the morning, so I will try those and see if they make a difference. I plan to keep offering food daily just in case, and they have some 'pods in there in case they do get hungry...
    Number 4 is bouncing around in his egg, so he should be out soon as well...can't wait :)

    Here is a short video clip (please excuse the poor quality) of a baby zooming around and changing color...I can't believe how cool they are now that I finally have some of my own...
     

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  11. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Nice! They prob wont go for food for a while..

    Many of ours are hatching now too. I need to sell some eggs soon or Ill have way too many mouths to feed!
     
  12. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Well, here is a long-needed update to the cuttle project. Lots to catch up on. Some of this is going to be hard for me to write, but I feel it still needs to be documented as part of the process. So here goes--
    The fourth and final hatchling appeared on 12/4. THe next day, I decided to move all 4 babies from the net breeder into a clear plastic breeder instead. I wanted to be able to see and observe them more clearly than the net breeder allowed. I set the plastic breeder up next to where the net breeder was, and added a little bit of fine sand and some chaeto.
    A few hours later, I noticed that the newest hatchling seemed to be having trouble breathing. It died soon after that. All the other babies seemed to be doing fine, so I thought that it must have just been a weaker baby.
    The remaining three seemed to be enjoying their new setup. They were playing in the sand, scooping it up with their tentacles, and jetting at the sand to make it billow up. One of them dumped sand onto its sibling, who went jetting away. So that was cool to watch, and helped cheer me up after the loss of the newest one.
    The next morning I was devastated to find that the remaining 3 cuttles had died in the night. I tested the water, and all parameters were perfect. The reef tank that they are in has been running well for nearly four years. It was frustrating to loose them without even knowing what went wrong. All the other fish/inverts/ corals in that tank were fine, including a small anglerfish. My octopus, in the same room as the cuttles, was also fine. So I am not sure what would affect only the cuttles and nothing else. :cry:
    So after that, I was really discouraged, not knowing if it was just a freak occurrence, or whether I had unknowingly done something wrong.
    After careful consideration, I decided to try again. Luckily, Daniel still had a few eggs left. On 12/10, ten new eggs arrived (well, technically nine eggs, since one had hatched in transit). I acclimated the new ones and placed them in their new net breeders, and hoped for the best.
    The next day, two more babies had hatched, bringing the total up to three. But my heart sank when the oldest of the babies started to have the same difficulty breathing as the first batch. I acclimated it to a different tank just in case it had something to do with the original tank, but it made no difference. It died later that day. Again, water tests showed all was well. Several more babies hatched, bringing it up to 6 hatchlings. But I dreaded watching the same thing happen to the rest of them.
    But now, several days later, all the rest are fine. Already they look and act more lively, and are larger than the first group. So maybe those eggs were stressed during shipping in a way that the second batch were not? Who knows. But I do feel better with these new babies doing so well.
     
  13. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    There are now 8 hatchlings and two eggs with visible babies inside. So now my question is, where did the extra baby come from? I received 10 eggs and lost one hatchling, so there should only be 9 remaining. Hmmm.....twins, maybe? That is the only explanation I can think of....
    I moved the three oldest babies from the net breeder into the plastic breeder, and they started playing in the sand the way the first group did, picking it up and blowing it around. I offered them a couple live mysis, but so far, none of the babies seem interested. But the mysis are there, just in case...
     

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  14. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Just a couple more pics of the new batch...
    these first two were taken just a second apart, and they show how instant and drastic their color changes can be. (You can see the reason for the color change in the second pic--a sibling jetting in from the left).
     

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  15. bläckis

    bläckis O. vulgaris Registered

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    nice cuttles
     
  16. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Hey there, sorry to hear about the deaths. This does happen and its difficult to say what the cause is. I can definitely understand the frustration of having deaths and not being able to determine the reasons for it. This often occurs when all parameters seem perfect. There may very well be some other area in which we do not normally test for that is involved. The fact is, there is still much that we do not know. Your writing about the experiences even if they may be heartbreaking is the best thing to do for it just adds more information to work on.

    You probably have an extra cuttle because I threw an extra egg in there because there was one that looked very questionable to me that was attached in the cluster. So the questionable egg probably turned out to be viable.

    Good luck with the rest of your group! They probably will not eat for a few days, so remember to feed your mysids, to reduce canabolism!
     
  17. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Nice, that explains the extra egg! Thanks for throwing an extra one in. It must have been almost totally deflated when it arrived, and then bounced back. Upon arrival, there were obviously 10 fully inflated eggs, so I did not pay much attention to the deflated ones. Although this morning when I checked on them, I noticed that the extra egg is partially deflated, and I could not see any movement from inside. The other remaining egg is very full and has a very visible live baby moving around in there. I can't see any yolk left, so it should be hatching very soon as well. But I will keep the other one around for a bit just in case...
    All the babies look great, and in the plastic breeder with the three larger babies, I found a partially eaten mysid...although that is probably just the work of the other two mysids in there...
    Speaking of the mysis, I have them set up all by themselves in a 45 gal with live rock and macroalgae, so there is plenty of room and hiding places for them. I have tried a couple different foods, and they the one they seem to like the best is Ocean Nutrition's Prime Reef flakes. They literally go into a feeding frenzy as soon as it hits the water. So hopefully that will help keep cannabalism down long enough to keep the baby cuttles fed. If I am lucky, maybe they will actually start to breed faster than they cannibalize. That would be great to have a self-renewing source of mysis handy for baby cuttles.
     
  18. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Another update--we have 7 babies alive and well. The two remaining eggs ended up not hatching, although at one point I could see babies moving in both of them. A day or two after my last update, both eggs deflated and went bad. After it was clear that the babies inside were no longer living, I opened up both eggs and found some white matter, along with 2 tiny cuttlebones. :cry:
    One of the babies died from unknown causes soon after that, leaving 7 that are doing well.
    I have them set up in two groups in plastic breeder containers, with a thin layer of fine sand on the bottom and several types of macroalgae to hide in. I had been making sure that there are 2-3 live mysids in each container, and monitoring them to see if the babies were eating yet. But no mysids seemed to be disappearing.
    Then, last night after lights out, I watched them hunting for the first time! I saw two babies eating mysids, and another two hunting and striking without catching anything. They have an interesting hunting technique--they slowly creep along close to the ground, using two tentacles to "walk". They stretch out two of their upper tentacles and hold them close together, sticking straight out, then slowly wave them around. They do a pretty good imitation of a tiny nassarius snail crawling along the ground. They use this technique to get close enough to the mysids to strike (although some of them need to work on their aim :rolleyes:).
    In the videos I have watched of other peoples' cuttles hunting, even the babies seem to hover around and chase their prey. Has anyone else noticed their hatchlings using this possible snail mimicry to stalk their prey? It is definitely an interesting behavior anyhow. Tonight I will try to get some pics or video, although I don't know if they will start hunting with the lights on. And without the lights, I may not be able to get a clear image of them. But we will see...

    Just for fun, here is a pic of one of the little guys perched in the macroalgae.
     

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  19. Paradox

    Paradox Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Ive seen this behaviour,but they dont seem to do this anymore after a couple weeks are they are larger/confident enough to just grab whatever is moving. Never thought about how it resembles a snail, but your right..it does!

    Not sure why you are having these losses. Do you run carbon?
     
  20. TQN

    TQN O. bimaculoides Registered

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    That is cool about the "snail" behavior...although I can't wait for them to start cruising around and hunting!

    Yes, I do run carbon on the tank, just in case...

    I am not sure about the losses either...I have been racking my brain for possible causes, and I can't come up with anything. I don't know what would cause some to thrive and others right next to them to die. I had assumed that there was probably a pretty high mortality rate with these guys, as with many species that produce large numbers of eggs.

    I am just glad that 7 of them have made it this far, and have finally begun to feed...They have really increased in size over the past couple days. So hopefully now that they are eating and growing, it will be smooth sailing from here on out...
     

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