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Baby cuttlefish showing no interest in food


May 6, 2018
This batch of dwarf cuttlefish hatchlings is behaving strangely for me. I've been feeding them gut loaded live mysis for a month and seeing reasonable growth rates then they stopped showing interest in the food.

The hatchlings are currently > 1 cm in length. Last night one died, I am sure it starved to death despite the presence of live age appropriate food.

Anyone ever experience this? Is this something that can be addressed with different foods or feeding methods, or is this just a failure to thrive and nothing we can do about it?

Thanks for any advice.
I had this problem with some flamboyants I had hatched. I discovered that I was keeping them flooded with food and they were losing interest. I had to seperate them out into very sparsely populated groups and feed one mysis to each cuttlefish at a time. And remove any that had not been eaten.... several times a day. It was very labot intensive, but it kept all of them from dying. I have also noticed that heat plays into it. I have mine at 78 degrees. But, I have also experienced a sudden loss in appetite in some of my dwarf cuttles as well. Some I have lost and some have gotten over it. This just happened to two that I am raising now, and some in the past as well. It seems to me like it is a common problem. I am not sure if there are cuttlefish illnesses or what their symptoms are, or how to treat them, but it seems like If I can just get them to eat, they recover and go about their lives as normal.
I hope that helps, and I hope they get their appetites back soon!!!
Thanks for the replies. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has experienced this.

I had considered the flooding with food theory. I've added mysis several times a day with this batch of hatchlings... perhaps thats it. They have been in the presence of live mysis more or less their whole lives.

If the remaining hatchling is alive when the lights come on in the morning I will try removing any remaining mysis and giving him half a day without food around, to see if that stimulates some interest.

My system has a total volume of 60 gallons, with a display tank, hatchling tank, and algal refugium. The display tank is stocked with soft corals and macro algae. Its all been running ~2 years, and I've raised dwarf cuttles in it before.

I keep temp at 25-26°C and salinity stable at 35 ppt. Nutrients are always undetectable because of the amount of macro in the system, and while I do not dose the calcium and alkalinity remain relatively constant (7-9 dKH and 380-420 ppm) because of regular water changes (~10% every 2 weeks or so). I also run a skimmer and carbon filter constantly in this system. Its lit with black box style LEDs, with reasonably high light in the DT (PAR ~ 200) and dim light in the hatchling tank (<40).
It happened very suddenly for me too. They were eating great for about a month, then they suddenly stopped. I dont really know what makes it happen. Its frustrating!!!
Im sorry this is happening, and I am hoping for you and your baby!!!
Quick update: the remaining hatchling is still alive this morning and I don't see any mysis left in the chamber, so I added a few more. Perhaps after his sibling died he realized his error and resumed eating!

By the way, I failed to answer one question earlier. I keep the hatchlings in a small chamber with fine mesh covering the bottom, clipped to the edge of the hatchling tank. So they get the full benefit of the system filtration but are confined to a small volume (~500 ml volume containing the cuttles + food). So theres no challenge spotting the babies and they can easily find their food.
Sadly the final hatchling died too, after a week of little to no interest in live mysis or amphipods.

I tried repeatedly to remove all the food from the chamber and left him alone without food for periods of hours to a full day. After re introducing food I sometimes saw him show interest, but never successful strikes. He showed several unsuccessful strikes, an unusual number (in my experience hatchling may miss once but rarely more than that. he would miss 4-5 times in a row the give up).

So reviewing -- these hatchlings were fed live gut loaded mysis multiple times daily for nearly two months. After ~1 month I started seeing reduced interest in food. Over the past two weeks the hatchlings died.

Enormously frustrating, after 2 months of multiple daily feeding events following what was to my understanding, best practices!

Time for a break from these demanding little critters. Best of luck to you all, I'll be back one day to try again :smile:
:pensive: I'm sorry for your loss. Don't be gone long, even if only to help others seeking support and assistance - you have valuable experience and perspective; I thank you for sharing it!
Im so sorry.
I know how frustrating that can be.
I have experienced this before. I have no idea what causes it.
Maybe they need different foods at different stages of their lives?
My cuttlefish Sugarbear misses several times when she is hunting as well. Luckily she is stable enough that she tries again until she is successful.

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