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Baby cuttlefish, probably bandensis. Questions...


Apr 28, 2011
I found a cuttlefish egg at my LFS a couple of weeks ago, and after doing a little research, I decided I was up for it and I bought it. It's hatched since and is 10 days old today. I have some questions, but first, my tank stats:

Salinity - 1.025
Temp - 78-79 degrees
pH - 8.3
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 0

First of all, I am not exactly sure on what species it is. The egg he hatched from was small, round and black. He is very small, though in the last ten days his growth has been obvious (IMO). His colors can range from sandy colors to reds and purples sometimes. I have mysis shrimp on order, but so far he is the sole resident of a reef tank I have had for quite a while.

So, questions:

Based on the color and shape of the egg, any idea what it could be? Im hoping its a bandensis...

I did not keep him in a breeder, he roams around the tank freely (a 30 gal biocube. i modified the filter intake parts so that he would not get caught in them). I have seen him chase stuff around, it seems like he has been eating pods. I am concerned tho, because he doesnt seem to eat that much, also, he tends to stay in one place a lot during the day and doesnt move much. At night, when the lights are off, he comes out a little but again, he tends to keep to one area of the tank per night. Is it normal for him to be fairly shy? Should I be concerned?
I am an octo, not a cuttle keeper so I can't help a lot but can direct you to some reading. At the top of the Cuttlefish care forum there is a sticky, List of Our Cuttlefishes 2009-2011 that contains a link to each of the referenced cuttle experiences. Reading through the journals should give you a good feeling for what to expect in the first weeks.
Hey Mark, I think everything you've seen so far sounds normal. My cuttles are alot more active at night. Any updates? Did you just dump your mysis in your tank? I accidentally dropped a few mysis in my tank and now have a run away population so I would assume you only need to order a 100 or so and they will breed in the tank.

Sooooo.... PICTURES~! FINALLY!!!


At this point, he is 3weeks and a day old. He is mostly active at night but I see him sleeping in different places during the day.

I must say, I regret not keeping it in a breeder in my tank because I dont see him as much as I'd like to and sometimes I worry about how much he is eating. That being said, he's grown a lot and its been lots of fun seeing his quirky behavior.
He seems to like the nassarius snails that share the tank with him. He sometimes imitates them, positioning his body at an angle and waving a tentacle up and down just like the snails wave their "trunk". Watching it hunt has been awesome too.

Do cuttlefish eat snails? Everything I have read seems to say they usually dont, however, my tank is sort of infested by these really tiny snails that I have seen the cuttlefish latch on to and pull off the glass... so I am assuming maybe he is eating them.

As far as food goes, I put the 100 mysids I bought into the tank with him in hopes that they will breed. I see lots of em running around everywhere, but their numbers certainly seem smaller with each passing day... so I will be getting another 100 this coming week.

Will post more pics as we go... can't wait till he's bigger and more comfortable swimming around!!
Hey Mark, Thanks for the update. Do you have any cleaner shrimp/peppermints in there with him? If so... Do they pay him any attention? What about hermit crabs.

Great pics! I'm looking at releasing some of my cuttles in the tank pretty soon.

My cuttle currently lives with a sexy shrimp, an emerald crab, a black long spine urchin, and some coral. Used to have a bumblebee shrimp in there too, but he had to go as he was constantly trying to devour the urchin.

Nothing pays any attention to the cuttle and he doesn't seem interested in any of his neighbors either. Once him and the sexy shrimp crossed paths but they both went on about their business, whatever that may be.

Since were on the subject, I obviously intend to remove the sexy shrimp before cuttlefish is big enough to eat him... but... is it safe for me to keep the urchin in there with him? I do worry about the cuttlefish getting stabbed... Also, considering replacing the urchin with a seahare at some point. Are sea hares cuttlefish-safe?... (I figure they must be, but cant hurt to ask)
Urchin may sting the cuttle, according to other posts. The cuttle has nowhere to hide from it, and they will eventually collide.
asid61;177450 said:
Urchin may sting the cuttle, according to other posts. The cuttle has nowhere to hide from it, and they will eventually collide.

hmm... guess the urchin will be either traded in or transferred to another tank...

Also yay~! more mysis come in today, hopefully I can take pics of the cuttlefish hunting them.
Nope, no luck on that... i think he is eating them rather quickly, OR I havent seen any today at least and I introduced 100 on saturday.
Will be purchasing 200 this weekend, tho, hoping that'll help them get established. I am assuming in the mean time, that he is eating mostly amphipods in my tank, as I have tons or rather large ones.
Yeah mine seemed to prefer amphipods after the first week. Unfortunately catching them and putting them in the net breeder was tough.
Make sure you drip acclimate the mysis. They are probably sent to you at 1.015 ppm. Most will survive either way... just allways good practice.
yeah I can't imagine catching amphipods to put into the little breeder net... those buggers are fast!! Fortunately my tank is crawling with them. Ive been acclimating my mysis in the manner described by (I think it was) Thales somewhere else on the site (adding a cupful of tank water every (i forget how many) minutes.... tho its not a guide for mysis specifically I figure it works.

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