Sepia Bandensis - First Round

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Hi there!
Wanted to share my first Sepia bandensis experience, and will probably have some questions as well.

I was fortunate enough to get some cuttlefish Sunday evening. Huge special thanks to Rick of New England Aquarium Service and The University of New England.
I will keep a log book and hopefully be able to gain and share any knowledge regarding rearing and raising these. Likely species is Sepia bandensis (Dwarf Cuttlefish) but that will have to be determined as I believe these eggs were wild caught.

Started with 3 hatchlings and a small clutch of eggs in Biddeford, ME this evening. When I got home and acclimating, 2 more hatched, and as you can see in a picture, there is at least 1 more visible inside the egg.

I used a 2.5 gal tank and installed a 1" bulkhead in one end, 1/2" of aged, sw rinsed sand and macro algae, and set the tank inside the sump on a stable, 130g system, with:
temp. of 78'
Alk 8.8dkh
Ca 360 ppm
pH 8.2
NO3 0 ppm
Tank is fed water via the Carbon reactor outlet at a very low rate.

Drip acclimated cuttlefish for about 1 hour. In bag and during acclimation they were somewhat active and a couple were changing color - white / clear to red or rust color. Color changes were nearly instant and somewhat pulsating. After they were in their tank, they settled down and appear to be pretty inactive at the moment.

For first foods, there are about 20 - 1/16" - 3/8" amphipods, 50 or so 1/8" isopods, and maybe 200 Tigger Pods. I started a new batch of bbs - for the pods to munch on and ordered 100 mysis (small species - up to 1/4") from Sachs Aquaculture. I hope to be able to produce enough bbs to feed the mysids and get them on their 14 day breeding cycle and to keep separating the young to keep these going. Basic plan is to wean off of live mysis to frozen / PE mysis by putting in a few live ones along with dead ones and as dead ones tumble slightly they will be eaten.
 

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I'm pretty excited to see 3 of the 6 eat this evening. When I got home today, I shook 2 chaeto clumps in a bucket with 3" of water in it, sieved out the pods - mostly amphipods, and put them in the tank. Then I got comfortable on the floor and just stared at them for 20 - 30 minutes. The adult pods seem way too big and the cuttles just move out of their way when contact is made. The really small amphi's and adult iso's must be perfect size as I watched the cuttle rear up, color up, then strike. The first two strikes were misses, then the same two had successful catches. I was beaming! Right after the catch, they would remain a dark red color for a few minutes. One of the same nabbed an isopod up against the glass, then a 3rd cuttle caught a very small amphipod. Their catching tentacles are about as long as their body and pretty fast.
I went to a 40b w/ sump and pulled the chaeto ball out of that and rinsed in a bucket, and this was like hitting the jackpot for iso's and amphi's. I put all the adult amphi's back and put the rest in cuttle tank, so there should be plenty of food for a little while (should have live mysids tomorrow evening)
The foods they are taking right now are 1/16" or less and they seem to ignore anything bigger. I added a small portion of bbs in attempt to possibly give pods something nutritious to eat. I've also set up a bbs (cookie jar) for feeding the mysids and been stocking that as well. One person on TONMO didn't get his mysids alive / in time, and fed a few adult bs while adding frozen mysis and got his on frozen foods that way, so I might as well have them on hand.
 
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So here is one question I have. Are the eggs all fertilized at the same time? Any reason why there are still a few that have not hatched? The one I can see through the egg looks to be fully developed. Should I attempt a manual extraction (C- Section), or just leave it be?

Thank you,

Joe
 
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The eggs might not have been laid at the same time (or even by the same female). My female laid eggs over a period of months and often laid them in the same place in my tank, so you could have variation in the eggs. Just hang in there, it is best to leave it be.
 
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Thank you,

Will do.
Only a couple eggs left look inflated, the others are somewhat shriveled or wrinkled.
Another question I have that I could not readily find an answer to - What should be my target Alkalinity in dKH, and Calcium levels? Sunday I measured 8.8dKH and 360ppm Ca.

Joe
 

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