[Cuttlefish Eggs]: Sepia bandensis for Sedna...

sedna

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6 babies today, 3 in each net. I think I only have 2 more eggs left to hatch out. The "older" ones look so much bigger than the new babies, I can't believe the difference a few days makes! Now on to the food problem... None of the web sites have any listed for sale on line, but a few of the places have a number to call- so that is tomorrow's chore. That, and deciding how to do a very scaled down version of a way to culture mysids. In the mean time, going to try feeding frozen w/ a pipette with the older babes. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
 

DWhatley

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Paul Sachs always has mysid (be sure you get mysid - saltwater - and not mysis - freshwater - Paul has both but the link is to the mysid). I found that keeping them in my Bio-Orb with only an air wand (circled at the bottom of the tank so no high pressure) allowed me to keep them alive for 3 times (or more) longer than in a rectangular container (tried all kinds but the round 8 gallon with NO filtration was the only successful setup).
 

sedna

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Well, thanks to Reed Mariculture for saving the day!!! The Belle Isle curator- Richard Kik- also recommended Sachs, but something is weird with their website and I couldn't order anything from them. I was able to get through Reed on the phone yesterday and explain my situation- at least one 2 week old cuttle and 7 more (yes, up to 8 now) with NO appropriate food- and they had mysids to me by 10:30 this morning! They will be able to supply me with small mysids until they are ready for something bigger, so one less worry on my mind.

I put the shrimp a rectangular 10 gal because it's what I had sitting around. I think I'll take your advice, D, and pick up a Bio-orb tomorrow. Not so much worried about culturing them as much as just keeping them alive. If they grow too big for the cuttles, I can feed them to the sea horses. I also ordered Tahitian Blend, Nannochloropsis and SELCO from Brine Shrimp Direct- again, at the recommendation of R.Kik. I was worried that the only thing I had for them eat was brine shrimp, Kik suggested that at least supplementing them would be better than nothing. Kik's only experience with marine breeding is the dwarf sea horses at the aquarium, so we are just throwing out ideas at each other. Guess now I'll add it to the tigger pods I'm culturing to feed the shrimp.

Boy, this is really turning out to be a project... Good thing they're so damn cute! They range in age from 2 weeks to 1 day old. I only have one more egg that might possibly hatch out, but I'm kind of glad because it seems like a lot of cuttles! I didn't expect to have this many hatch out, but I'm expecting to have loss before all is done. The 2 week old must have eaten something that I've offered it (brine, mysids & tigger pods over the last 2 weeks), but I have yet to see it actually eat. I can't tell the larger ones apart anymore, either. Right now they are spread out among 3 nets, with 3,3 & 2 in each. I have another net, so I could break them up into pairs if that'd be better.
 

DWhatley

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If you can't find a used Bio-Orb you might even try an old fashioned, large goldfish bowl. I think the round, the gentle air flow (I also had live rock rubble in the setup) were the major impacts on success. Size may also be important but I tried a ten gallon several times without success (my Bio-Org is 8 gallons).
 

sedna

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5 fat babies swimming around in their nets. John estimates their lengths to be between 6-8 mm. Have no idea if that largest one is a Paradise Pets or Blue Zoo baby, but at this point it doesn't matter much- they are who they are! They do seem to congregate close to each other.

Of course, now both nets have mysid shrimp swimming around freely... I tried to avoid "flood feeding" them, but I was so worried that they were going to die off, that I put a net full of mysids into each breeder net. That, and I have no idea what I'm doing. Last night and today I poured off the melt water from frozen mysids into their nets so they could get the odor, and tried tempting them with a piece of frozen mysid in a pipette. One looked mildly interested, but none of them took the bait.

I see icky brownish stuff floating in their nets no and again. Don't know if it's dead shrimp matter or if they ink in there... How often do people clean out the nets? You know, moving the cuttles to a new net as you turn the current ones inside- out to get all of the detritus out. I've been sucking off any detritus I find daily, ands have been cleaning their nets out a couple of time a week. Not sure if my methods are the best...
 

sedna

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Still have 5! I have a regular shipment of shrimp coming from Reed Mariculture, so I'm not worried about food anymore. I have seen hunting/ feeding behavior from all of them now. They are large enough to see clearly through the netting, and I have seen them "walking" around the bottom of their pens.

The next project is to get them weaned onto frozen food...
 

sedna

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For some reason one of the nets always seems dirtier than the other. I have taken to cleaning it out with the turkey baster (never actually used on food, like all the other ones I've ever owned), and use the same baster for feeding shrimp. I guess I've never used it to clean the other net, only for feeding. Today, without thinking I began to poke around with the baster in the "cleaner" net, and one of the cuttles swam right over to it looking for fresh shrimp! Little guys are learning already- maybe weaning onto frozen won't be so hard after all...
 

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