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aggressive baby food

Joined
Mar 30, 2007
Messages
181
I was wondering what kind of food is generally best for baby cuttles. i heard that mysid shrimp were a good fit, but i think that they might pick on the cuttles and i wanted your opinions. i've heard talk of copepods. i looked it up on wikipedia but that didn't tell me anything i didn't already figure out. what exactly are the virtues of a copepod?
 

Thales

Colossal Squid
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Jan 22, 2004
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Small copepods like Tigger pods from Reef Nutrition are only good for the first few days. Live mysids are perfect. Even though I have access to free amhipods, I have decided to buy mysids because they are just a great food that baby cuttles, at least bandensis, take to immediately and with gusto. There is no issue with mysids hurting cuttle babies.

Keeping live mysids can be challenging because they can be cannibalistic, so if you don't have a flow through kind of system to keep them in, try to keep on top of your ordering. There might be a lot to talk about here, but I'm sick right now. :smile:

For wild caught mysids try
www.aquaculturestore.com

For cultured mysids try
http://www.reed-mariculture.com/mysidshrimp/
 

Opcn

GPO
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Mar 4, 2006
Messages
114
I bought live mysis from the auaculture store to culture, tossed them in my unused 12 nanocube and added some sand, Live rock, and some Ulva and amphipods and I've been feeding ground up formula one flakes to them and there population has been stedily large. This species likes to spend its time on open sand bed to keep that in mind. Unfortunately seacrop took bandensis eggs off there site the day I went to order them, so I've been waiting around for them to show up some where, but I have a nice strong culture of at least 300 individuals of different ages going in my little tank. I also got some great little tunicates going in the Ulva too.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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I would like to qualify posting my method by saying that Winkin' and Blinkin' are the first cuttlefish I have tried to raise. They were purchased from Seacrop as new hatches, not eggs, and are now 6 weeks old, growing consistantly and appear healthy.

The first two weeks I fed a combination of new hatched brine shrimp (not over 8 hours hatched, providing egg sack nutrition but no digestion difficulties from shell development), live mysis (minimal quantities), copepods and frozen cyclop-eeze. After 2 weeks I introduced very small shore shrimp and continued with twice a day feedings of the Cyclop-eeze but eliminated the copepods and brine. At 6 weeks, I feed Cyclop-eeze only once a day and as many live small shore shrimp as they will consume in a day (usually 4 but sometimes 6 - I restock daily to ensure 6 in the net at the beginning of the day).

The cyclop-eeze is consumed by both the shrimp and the babies and is gone from the net in no more than 15 minutes (either by consumption or being washed out by the current). So far both my 5 baby Mercatoris and my two Bandensis are growing well with this feeding regime (the Cyclop-eeze remains in the net longer with the octos). There is not enough observation yet to see if the Cyclop-eeze provides true benefit but, so far, survival appears to be positively impacted.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Thales,
Drink some chicken soup (homemade from real chicken)! I have been looking forward to your presentation next week and you are simply not allowed to be ill!
 

Thales

Colossal Squid
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Thanks D - I had a bad day yesterday, but am better today. I fly back home tomorrow and then onto FL on Friday. :biggrin2: Thanks for the kind words, and I wouldn't trust English/Irish chicken soup as far as I could throw it!

On to cuttles -
Did you see the cuttles strike at the Cyclop-eeze and baby brine?
 

Opcn

GPO
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Mar 4, 2006
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114
Thales, looks like I need to split my cultures up then, maybe move one into the 29 gallonI am culturing LR in as well.
 

DWhatley

Kraken
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Thales,
I never saw (see Winkin. Blinkin and Nod in Journals for an "at the time" observation) the cuttles eat anything during the first two weeks. I still don't see them strike at food and I don't think it is because I don't observe the tank often enough. I withdrew the brine and mysis when I saw shrimp disappearing and tails sticking out between the arms though :biggrin2: I believe they intentionally don't eat when I can see them but neither moves away when I squirt Cyclop-eeze in the net, even when I put it right on top of them and I notice the arms twiching. This is particularly significant with Blinkin since he will not stay in direct line of site once he notices me and will ink if I try to observe him from underneath the net. I had used the kitchen sink method (throw a little of everything in the mix) with the baby octos and only lost the one that climbed out of the water (there were only 6 hatchling total and that in it self may be a significant factor). I am coming to believe that a more varied diet might have benefit and that several different sizes of food should be offered, especially with new hatch.

At 6 weeks, I also put in a small amount of frozen mysis (large size from PE but only 3-4) that is enriched with Cyclop-eeze. It disappears but I don't know if it is the cuttles or the live shrimp that consume it (the frozen shrimp are too large to go through the netting).

I was able to catch several new born gulf pipes the last time my male released babies and tried feeding only Cyclop-eeze from the get go but lost all of them the first week. They are very difficult to raise for the first 3 weeks so I can't say the experiment was a total failure without trying it multiple times. I have found that the larger babies are more likely to survive and I will go back to using brine for the first week the next time (my mandarines find them a delightful change in diet so I only have the opportunity to try raising them when I actually see them being born and get there first).
 

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