Random bits of info on S. bandensis....

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#1
With the increase in popularity of Sepia Bandensis, I thought i would share some information that Ive aquired from my own experiences. This information is a little less available online, so I thought it may be helpful. Much of this was discovered the hard way. That is from losing a cuttle. Hopefully I can aid in preventing this frustration and heart ache with future Bandensis keepers.


-They can jump out of no-lipped/uncovered tanks and holding spaces. This happened to me once and may be a freak occurance.

-They are compatible and can live with other inhabitants. So far I have introduced a yellow tang and a seahorse. To be sure, I introduced these creatures in a clear breeder divider suspended in the tank and observed the cuttles for any signs of aggression. When none were seen I released them. They have lived without any problems with each other for 3 months now.

-With captive bred sepia bandensis, you can mix groups that have never had previous contact and are different ages. I introduced 3 four month year old juveniles to a tank of 4 eight month year old bandensis. Thats a size difference of 3/4 inch to 2 1.2 inches. There was no problems with this. Again, I used a clear breeder to introduce them. (Wild caught specimens may fight and kill each other)

-Powerheads and other sources of suction/water intake can harm or kill bandensis.Even with the suplied strainer shield, the suction can be too much. My experiences are with maxijet 1200s. I added a plastic strainer to cover the existing strainer and Ive had no problems since. (This might not have been the initial cause of the problem. The cuttles may have been weak from something else and then got stuck)

-Ive kept many kinds of coral species with bandensis including stinging aggressive lps like a hammer coral. The bandensis do not seemed bothered by them at all. But too many still may not be a good idea.

-Ive had 2 mysterious deaths on seperate occassions the day after feeding live guppies.

-Levels of canabolism differed drastically with new borns from different batches of eggs. One batch, canobolism was 0 while another batch showed extreme amounts where each baby needed to be seperated individually.

-The longest I was able to keep a Bandensis from an egg was 11 months. My first generation of cuttles started randomely dying at around 9+ months. Im still trying to determine the cause. I suspect local shore crabs or perhaps water temp. Signs of weakness and white coloring began the day before death.

-Any eggs Ive had so far have been infertile.

-Higher amounts of lighting seem to make them less active. I use a cycle with 96 watts of 50/50 powercompact is on 8 hours a day. A 175 watt mh 20k bulb goes on for 3 hours a day. If I turn on a 2nd 175 watt hallide, it seems it becomes too bright for them. This is over a 50 gallon display tank.


My tank and setup can be seen in the link in my sig, but to summarise, it is...

50 gallon display tank
20 gallon sump
~20 gallon for refugium and juvenile cuttle sections
Water parameters are all 0
Temp 74-76 in winter
76-80 in summer
Food - mostly shore caught crabs or pods for new borns



Feel free to add your own experiences so we can all learn from each other!
 

kinetic

Blue Ring
Registered
#2
I was reading that bandensis come from waters 78-80 degrees as in the Phillipines? Wouldn't 74 be on the low side? Just curious.

Thanks for that information!
 

kinetic

Blue Ring
Registered
#4
hmm... temp could be it. I know that animals like catalina gobies can be kept in reef temperatures, but usually die pretty quickly compared to if they were kept in cooler waters.

I have a pretty good setup which will keep temperature to 1 degree (if I wanted to spend such money on electricity costs), but I"m only letting it fluctuate by 2 degrees (+-1) just to cut down on heater / chiller electricity consumption costs.

what would be optimal heat? I'm planning to keep my temps at 79 degrees F at all times.

And why are they more active in dimmer lighting? Are they more nocturnal animals?
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#5
Im unsure of the optimal temp. Richards artical says 59-77 degrees. I was actually thinking that my higher temps might have been the cause of shorter lifespan. This is something seen in octopuses as well.

Im unsure why dimmer lights make them less active. Its just something I obeserved in mine...
 

kinetic

Blue Ring
Registered
#6
ah, i'll probably setup my aquacontroller down to 76 degrees. I have about 100 gallons of system water in the basement anyway, which is usually about 10 degrees cooler than outside temp.

thanks!! I think I missed that temperature part in rich's article.
 

chalcosoma

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#10
"-Powerheads and other sources of suction/water intake can harm or kill bandensis.Even with the suplied strainer shield, the suction can be too much. My experiences are with maxijet 1200s. I added a plastic strainer to cover the existing strainer and Ive had no problems since. (This might not have been the initial cause of the problem. The cuttles may have been weak from something else and then got stuck)"

Paradox, I lost one S. bandensis this way too - a female tried to lay eggs ON the intake for the canister filter. Its arms got sucked it even through the narrow grill.

I didn't know about the jumping though! Had another species that actually jumped out and never recovered.

Regarding keeping them with other creatures, mine co-existed with a hermit crab and horseshow crabs no problem. I think different species of cuttle could potentially co-exist together as well.

- Michael
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#11
chalcosoma said:
Paradox, I lost one S. bandensis this way too - a female tried to lay eggs ON the intake for the canister filter. Its arms got sucked it even through the narrow grill.

Thats exactly what happened to mine...The arms were stuck inside. In one case, I actually saved the bandensis. After freeing it, it looked near death. Barely able to swim. I placed him in a seperate container and 2 days later he was fine.

Were you ever able to get fertile eggs? Also, how long did yours live untill?
 

kinetic

Blue Ring
Registered
#12
I have a 3600+ gph closed loop, but I will be using two 2" intakes from the tank with strainers. Will that be enough? Or should I use really long spray bar intake pvc's instead to even out the intake concentration even more?
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#13
I would probably add another strainer that is further out from the existing strainer. That is, to add a strainer that is 2-3 inches (or more) or so away from the 1st one. The added distance will make the suction at that point less.

Not sure if I described that well...

Also, you will need to keep the babies out of the main tank or in a divider for a few months...I wouldnt release them into the main tank until at least 3-4 months because of their size.
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#16
So each of those strainers would be pulling 1300+ gph.. Which would make them stronger then a maxijet..

I would construct something that will spread the area of suction, so its not a single strong source where the cuttles can be trapped. Even if you make a spraybar, I would still wrap it with a type of mesh. You will probably need to clean this often though...

I dont have a picture at the moment, but at a local dollar store, I found these plastic mesh sock like items used to attach to a faucet and hold small items and strain water through it. I just rolled these over the strainer intake of the maxijet. This puts about 1/2 inch of mesh over the strainer.
 

chalcosoma

O. bimaculoides
Registered
#17
Fertile Eggs

Paradox, I did get some fertile eggs from one of the batches laid by a female a couple of weeks after I got it. It had mated before I got it though.

I lost a number of eggs to predatory worms, at least three different kinds, including spaghetti worms. Beware!

One egg managed to hatch. This batch was inside a plastic breeder trap with an airstone nearby for oxygenation and current. The eggs were suspended by fishing line from the top of the breeder. Unfortunately this was exactly as I was leaving the country for a few days. I left the tank in someone else's care and the baby did not survive. After that the tank started to have water quality issues and a serious electrical issue (it was a locally made system never really properly made for marine use). I donated the remaining adult cuttles to a local aquarist who still has them.

I really learned a lot about kind of what NOT to do with Sepia bandensis, such as:

- Do NOT leave the eggs on the rock where they were laid (at least not if you've got voracious worms living in the liverock)
- Do NOT introduce several S.bandensis adults into the same tank if they weren't raised together
- Do NOT have exposed intakes in the tank, even with grills on them.
- Do NOT feed crabs that are too large-clawed, or have long sharp legs (they should be "disarmed" first)

Some day I'll try it all again. Like when I retire!
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#20
chalcosoma said:
- Do NOT introduce several S.bandensis adults into the same tank if they weren't raised together
Were these wild caught or tank raised? I mixed a group of 4 nine month olds with 4 four month olds and they did fine... Both groups were raised seperately and from eggs. I still dont see any signs of what sex the 4 month year olds are yet, so maybe they were all just females.
 

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