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Cuttle/Octo food


Jun 7, 2004
Hi all,

Quick question about food.

I'm in the UK, and live quite close to the coast. I am able to collect crabs (peelers i think) to use a food, aswell as native clams.

Can anyone:

1) advise if it is safe to feed (parasites, pollution etc)
2) Give any instructions on keeping alive and any cleansing process that would need to be observed.

Many thanks in advance guys!

How big are your crabs? I've kept fiddler crabs (maybe 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches alive for some time in a bowl with about one inch of water and some rocks and shells for whem to climb on. They'd probably like sand, but it's hard to maintain.

Hi Mikey.... all my cephs were fed on food caught just 100 miles or so up the coast from you and i had no problems. About half of the crabs i collected each trip were frozen and i found that an easier way to keep them :smile: But the rest were kept like nancy said :smile:
I used to take crabs from the Solway when I lived up there and they all seem to be pretty good quality!

The crabs you will be describing will be Common Shore Crabs. They are refered to as peelers at the time of year when they are comming up to moult when they are highly saught after by fishermen for using to catch cod and things like that.

Not so much calcium in the soft crabs I wouldn't have thought, I think they take this from the water when they make their calcified shell!
Cheers again Andy (seem to be thanking you all the time recently lol).

Thats what I was looking for really, making sure the solway was pretty safe.

Thanks all again for the replies - I'm actually going crab hunting tomorrow to get some food in advance of my new arrival!
when you are at it....

get a couple of the small soldier hermit crabs for your tank, the cuttle cant eat them and they help tidy up... fun to watch too.

also, if you find them, the cuttle will eat squat lobsters as well as crabs.

Have a happy day hunting and ripping your finger tips on barnacles :smile: LOL
I suppose I should give you a speach about safe rockpooling as well shouldn't I!!!

After telling you it's safe, i'd hate you to get eaten by the sea or something!

So here is something I wrote for the kiddies a long time back!

10 Tips to Good Rockpooling

1: Take great care to know what the local tides are like and what time they are high and low. It is far too easy to get cut off in areas you are unfamiliar with.

2: Take care in extreme weather conditions, Alge and Seaweeds can be very slippery after it has rained or just after a high tide. Combine this with sharp rocks and there is a lot of trouble to be had!

3: Use short handled nets rather than long handled ones as you have much more control over them.

4: Do not leave litter on the beach when you leave, certain items can be hazardous to the environment or can be swallowed and choke larger animals and birds

5: To get the most from your rockpooling experience you should take a good ID guide to help you identify the creatures and seeweeds you will find!

6: Do not pick up any animal that you are unsure of as some contain venom or sharp spines. Brightly coloured animals may use this as a warning!!

7: Always handle rockpool animals with wet hands.

8: Always return rocks and seaweed to where they were found as things will be living on the underside

9: Return all creatures to the position where they were found after as short a time out as possible, remember most of these animals need to be underwater to breath!

10: Lastly and most importantly never go rockpooling on your own, the beach is a dangerous place. Always ensure that someone knows where you are at all time and when you will be back!


Hehe, have fun man.

Winkles and dog whelks are also good for keeping alge off rocks and glass if you see them!
Andy what are you like :P ?? But very important info there too.

Since I've been close to the sea most of my life, all that stuff has kinda been drummed into me from an early age.

Winkles and Dog Whelfs eh?? Interesting.

Cheers guys - you're all stars!
Well, just got back from the coast with about 30, inch or so sized crabs.

Does this size sound about ok for a 15cm (full length, 10 cm mantle length) cuttle?

Also, i have collected some sea water to go with them, but thinking about mixing this half and have with synthetic salt water - anyone see any problems with this?
perfect, its better to use sunthetic salt water as sea water has a lot of plankton etc that will die quickly in a tank poluting the water... best use a 100% synth mix.

That will keep a cuttle quite happy for a week or so :smile:

Have you got the cuttle yet? (this friday?)
Can someone please tell me about the mechanics of feeding a crab please!!

I take it i chuck the crab in live, the cuttle catches it, then what happens??

The beak cracks the shell and eats the inside? It just cruches through the whole lot - shall and all?

What gets left - do I remove it? etc etc.
the cuttle injects venom into the soft joint of a crab and kills it... if it a small crab it will just get munched, put your ear to the tank for some pretty nasty bone crunching noises LOL

The cuttles are quite wastefull, they eat the soft part in the carapace and most else get spat out, that why you need a good clean up crew and you should also remove uneaten food as soon as you can, left over ood will polute the tank quick and carapaces left in for a while increases the phosphate levels in the tank...

also, dont panic if you see the cuttle blwing out little disks at an time, they shed the skin of their suckers quite often
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