Salt Water feeder fish *WARNING*

Discussion in 'Sources for Cephalopods and Food' started by Kerrick, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Kerrick

    Kerrick GPO Registered

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    About a month or so ago I had all of my cuttles die off somewhat mysteriously. I couldnt trace the cause so I got two juvenile Cuttles shipped to me. They had been doing well, untill yesterday, one of them died.

    I can't be 100% sure but I think that the cause was salt water feeder fish that I got from Paul Sacchs. The first dieoff occured about a week or two after I added the saltwater feeders. First one cuttle died. Then another, then the rest. I was out of town and came back to a skunked tank and only one fish left and two cuttles. One cuttle died a day later but the other Cuttle lasted for a week or so untill she ate a fish.

    Now, I've had these two new Cuttles for about a month or so and they have been doing great untill the last fish I had in the tank from that batch was eaten about 2 days ago. I noticed because I was hand feeding the fish flake in the mornings and all of a suden he wasnt there anymore. The next day a Cuttle was dead. No signs of fighting or injury. Just dead in the bottom of the tank.


    Anyway. I wanted to warn everyone about this and share my experience and hypothesis.


    I now believe live shrimp and fiddlers to be the best bet for food for Cuttles. Atleast with other inverts you can quarentine for a couple of days to make sure they aren't poisened with heavy metals or copper that could kill your cuttle.
     
  2. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    What was your full feeding schedule? Are you sure the fish was eaten?
     
  3. Kerrick

    Kerrick GPO Registered

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    I fed shore shrimp and ghost shrimp at a rate of about 3-4 per Cuttle per day. The fish I tossed in to be eaten whenever they were caught.

    I didnt really put two and two together untill this fish went missing. It had been going strong in the tank for over two months. Like I said I was hand feeding it flake. I have since searched the tank and overflow box and it is nowhere to be found.

    I know that my female who died over a month ago ate a fish for a fact because the head of the fish was sitting beside her when I checked on her in the morning. After she ate that fish it was really down hill from there. She couldn't hit shrimp with her feeding tenticles easily. She kept missing. Then a week later she was dead.

    She was also much larger then the cuttle that just died. Maybe double the size. Like I said, I can't say for certain that this was the cause. I've ordered tons of shrimp from Paul and had no problem. But the series of events with my Cuttles has led me to believe that these fish had something wrong with them. I don't know much about Cuttle physiology. But I do know that copper is toxic and I assume other heavy metals are as well. Who knows where he caught these fish. If they were caught beside a boat dock they may well have been contaminated with heavy metals.


    Anyway, just a warning to anyone with Cuttles or Octos. Its nice to give them different things to hunt, however, I wish I'd stuck with shrimp and crabs alone.
     
  4. Neogonodactylus

    Neogonodactylus Haliphron Atlanticus Staff Member Moderator

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    Did you check with the fish supplier to see if he might use copper to keep down disease?

    Roy
     
  5. Kerrick

    Kerrick GPO Registered

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    Yeah, they are wild caught. It has been a couple months since they were shipped so I doubt if he'd know where he picked them up but I may call and ask. Either way. I now am back to square one. I have one healthy female cuttlefish but no companion for her. I called around today and no one has any adults in stock. I would get a clutch and raise them as I had good luck untill the tank crash but I think I will wait and see if I can't find a male for her.

    Anyways. Thanks for the thoughts. I will let you know if I find out anything more about how the fish were attained.
     
  6. Supernoob

    Supernoob O. bimaculoides Registered

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    I had a small tank that I housed my bobtail squid. They both mysteriously died even though I did water changes every other day. After reading this post I realized that they both died within two days of putting live feeder fish in the tank. Before I introduced the fish they seemed perfectly healthy. Hmm...
     
  7. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    ANY fish bought from an LSF WILL have had copper treatment if they were bought from a wholesaler. Either the wholesaler and/or the LSF will have treated the fish. Paul catches his own so the wholesaler part can be discounted but an email to him will answer the question. I bought a breeding pair of sailfin mollies from him once to provide fry but that was for seahorses and I don't think I asked about what treatments he might use to keep the wc animals healthy. It would be worth the effort to know. Paul should not take offense if asked informationally without challenge as this is common practice but can be deadly for the cephs.

    edit: OK, I PMed Paul to ask since I think it is important to know.
     
  8. esquid

    esquid Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Supernoob- Why were you doing water changes every other day? Was there a test value that you were adjusting for?
     
  9. iAlex

    iAlex Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    He said it was a small tank, could of just wanted to stay on top of the nitrates.
     
  10. Supernoob

    Supernoob O. bimaculoides Registered

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    Exactly. I used water from my more established tank. Small water changes. 25% or less.
     
  11. esquid

    esquid Haliphron Atlanticus Supporter

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    Small is a relative term. Where I work the small tanks are 40 gallons. That still doesn't answer the question of were you doing water changes based upon test results.
     
  12. Supernoob

    Supernoob O. bimaculoides Registered

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    No. Just being cautious I guess. I test my 250 gallon tanks water once a week and supplement my smaller tank with it's water to keep it stable. Is this not a good practice?
     
  13. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I wrote Paul Sachs to inquire about the use of copper in the WC fish he offers and this was his reply:

     
  14. Thales

    Thales Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I once fed some S. latimanus, in two separate tanks, silversides and then experienced some unexplainable deaths the next day. They ate a lot of silversides. On necropsy, there seemed to be nothing obviously wrong with any of their organs. Fish from the same package silversides had been fed previously with no ill effects. Perhaps there is some compound in fish besides copper that too much of it ingested causes health issues? Seems weak, but why not bring it up? :grin:
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Another antecdotal food for thought I have pondered is that we have seen octopuses only eat the belly out of some of the live fish they have chosed for dinner. This would be soft and squishy like a clam without anything that might lodge in their brains like bones.
     

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