Cuttlefish problem: Weak/uncoordinated strike

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Hello, I've been keeping three s.bandensis babies for the last six weeks or so. They were hatched in my care and transitioned to frozen mysis with a week or two of hatching. They've grown to the point where they were consuming a single large PE mysis each daily. Yesterday while trying to feed them, I noticed that they all simultaneously developed weak and uncoordinated strikes at the mysis. The tentacles they strike the food with now have a sweeping motion (from wide to narrow) instead of a straight motion to the target. They definitely seem interested in the food because they start to track it as soon as it is introduced but they just can't seem to grab it. Same story tonight as last night.
I'm worried now because they've gone two days without eating.

Params are: Reef tank w/ numerous softies (babies are in a net breeder) 78 degrees, Alk is 9, CA 450, mag 1300, nitrates 0, Amm 0, nitrite 0, Sal 1.025. All other livestock in the tank shows no sign of distress.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
Mike
 

Thales

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That's tough. Water change, run some carbon, get some live food if possible. It could be anything from environmental factors to something sprayed in the room with the tank to an issue feeding frozen (this is an issue with cephs even though there has been luck with feeding frozen to bandensis - what brand of mysis are you feeding) to anything else we can think of.

I have seen them get uncoordinated when they are starving - quite possibly the one mysis a day isn't enough. Now that I write that, I agree with myself and remember something about a cuttles digestive system being cleared every 6 hours and that they prolly eat quite often in the wild. I feed at least twice a day. As they get bigger, this is even more important.
 
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Thanks for the responses you guys. I'll perform a W/C in a few minutes and see if that helps. Rich, I was feeding PE mysis and giving the cuttlefish the largest ones I could find. The mysis were about 1.5x the cuttlefish body length. They seemed to be satisfied with this because they would refuse all other food offered throughout the day. They also seemed to be growing pretty quickly. If they recover I'll go to smaller mysis offered throughout the day. I hate to think I accidentally starved these guys by offering one large food item per day.

The cuttlefish should be able to grab the mysis with their main (non striking) tentacles, correct? If I push a shrimp right up to one, it will back off about 1/2" and attempt to strike at it but will miss. I'm not sure what to do at this point. I don't know if live food will help because they'll probably strike and miss.
 

Thales

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Mikey Donuts;130794 said:
The cuttlefish should be able to grab the mysis with their main (non striking) tentacles, correct? If I push a shrimp right up to one, it will back off about 1/2" and attempt to strike at it but will miss. I'm not sure what to do at this point. I don't know if live food will help because they'll probably strike and miss.

That should work. A long pair of tweezers will help pushing a mysid against their arms (as opposed to striking tentacles). I call this hand feeding and have kept senescing animals alive for a long time doing it. I would say be patient and think outside the box to get them to get some food in their bellies - assuming we are right about the problem.

Don't beat yourself up about anything. There is way more that we don't know about raising cuttles and how to feed them no live foods than we know.
 
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Thanks a lot Rich. I will try hand feeding these guys in a little bit. I just shot a video of an attempted feeding and will post in a minute. Please let me know what you think and if you've seen this behavior before.
 
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For some reason this vid keeps freezing up. If it does, just manually scroll forward a little bit. There are multiple strikes on this clip.

Also, I tried hand feeding the cuttles but they just jetted away when I put the shrimp near them. Any tips for doing this the right way?
Thanks,
Mike

 

Thales

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Thats weird. Looks like there is some problem with the tentacles - they seem to be shooting out the same way every time. Are all of them doing it? I suggest taking a break from trying till tomorrow.
 
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I can't tell if their eyes look OK since they're so small. They are under a 150w halide but they've got chaeto to hide under all day.

Rich- All three started to do this at the same exact time. They try to grab the food multiple times as shown in the vid but they just can't seem to grab the shrimp. One day they were totally fine, and the next they started this behavior. I'll give it another shot tomorrow. Any tips on hand feeding, Rich?
 

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