[Cuttlefish]: FF218's Cuttlefish Reef


Jul 23, 2006
My fascination with cephalopods started about two years ago after I found a few online articles about keeping cephalopods. Soon after, I discovered TONMO.com and started researching cephalopods. I got my first cephalopod, an octopus, about a year and a half ago. He was already very large and I assume he was near the end of his life cycle so he was only with me for about a week. Then, a few months ago I got another octopus. This time he was very small, with his mantle being about the size of a grape and a leg span of only 3-4". Unfortunatly, during a tank switch, he crawled out of his tank and I found him struggling on the floor. It took me a minute or two to finally get him up [slippery little things], and get him in the tank. The next day I found him dead, I assume from the stressful event the previous day. So, after that I gave up on cephalopods, thinking that they must be above my capabilities. Then, months later I found Paradox's 150g. cuttle reef. I dismissed the idea untill I read the whole thread and found that he had eggs and babies currently available! I thought, "Well, I do have a tank that is currently cycling, so its the perfect timing, right?" So, after a talk with my parents and a few emails I am currently on my way to getting dwarf cuttlefish (Sepia Bandensis)!

The Tank:
The tank is a 30g. oceanic cube which is currently still cycling. I want this to double as a reef [and a good one too] so I tried to stick with a setup that is semi-nice for the coral but not overboard for the cuttlefish. My goal is to try and keep the water clean enough for some easier SPS such as some montipora and keep the tank pretty much algea free. For filtration I will have the 10g. sump which will have a refugium section and I will also have a Euro-Reef RS80 which should help a lot with filtration. Then, for additional algea control, I will have a phosban reactor with GFO (Grannular Ferric Oxide) in it. I am also currently looking into a sulfur denitrator to help with nitrates.The return pump is still undecided, but it will be around 300gph and there will be an inline chiller (1/10HP). Flow is still undecided but I dont want something too strong because of the cuttlefish. As for lighting, I am using my old Aqualight which has a 150w MH and 130w of PC.

The ones I am getting are going to be about 3 weeks old and approx 3/4". For the first month they will be on a diet of live amphipods and mysid shrimp. They will each get about 4 amphipods/mysids per day and hopefully I will start to wean them onto frozen mysids during this time. Then after that, once they reach about 1" and are around 1.5 months old I will introduce them to small shore shrimp and Sargassum Shrimp. Most of my food will be ordered from www.aquaculturestore.com and some of it, the sargassum shrimp, will be caught locally.
The Nursery:
Since they are so small and because their future home is still cycling, I have set them up a nursery that will be their home for the first month and a half. This tank consists of a 10g. tank with an Aquaclear 20 with some filter floss that was previously in my 90g. It has a few peices of LR rubble on the bottom and some cheato for filtration. It has an old sunpod 70w MH and a titanium heater. However, they will not be in contact with any of that becuase they will be isolated inside of a small breeder net to monitor their eating and to keep them away from filters, predators, and burning themselves on the heater. :P
The rest of the tank I plan to use as the feeding tank, where I will store all the live food for them to eat.
Here are some pictures of the nursery and my mysids that just came in today! Me and Thales are planning for the cuttles to arrive this wednesday so pics of them on wed.



I have a few questions on my filtration and flow...
First off, I was thinking maybe I should use my old Coralife Super Skimmer 65 and then in addition get one of these (which a local member highly reccomends, used with good results) AquaRiPure.com is for sale | HugeDomains ...it is somewhat like a sulfur denitrator but works a little differently. This way I have a weaker skimmer to get any ink etc. and then my nitrates will be taken care of by the denitrator and my phosphates will be taken care of by the phosphate reactor. ( I would also get rid of the refugium with this set up as well). What is your opinions on this?
Next question is, does anyone have a suggestion for powerheads with the cuttlefish. Im worried about them getting a) sucked to the intake of the powerhead or b) getting their arms inside and getting torn up on the propellers.
I was thinking maybe a Hydor Koralia 3 or maybe 2 Korlia 2's?
opinions? What do you use with your cuttlefish?
I can't speak for the cuttles but Octane does very well with the Koralia 3 and I am planning on either two 3's or two 4's (I bought the 4's but they may be too strong and will switch them with with others I have if I have too much current). I did have a small problem with the 3 in my one tanks containing a Condy anemone but found that covering it loosely with live rock solved the problem. Love these things!
I'll posts pics a little bit later. They are a lot bigger then I thought they would be. They wont be on mysid for much longer :smile: (Yay! no cannibalistic food!!!) Thanks Thales for dealing with the copious amounts of emails that I sent and for very nice, large cuttles!
They were right on time, but the bag was punctured. Luckily, there was still enough water in the bag for them. I am currently drip acclimating them and they are starting to get a little more active!
Thanks again Thales!
The Cuttlefish:
They arrived today at around 10 o'clock, and I drip acclimated them for 2.5 hours. When I opened the box the bag was punctured but luckily most of the water was still in the bag! They are a lot larger then I expected and I will need to order some grass shrimp in the next day or so. They are about the size of a large grape so about 1". I think they are ready to move from mysis too shore shrimp, so I ordered 50 shore shrimp today. Anyway here are the pictures:
When I opened the package:



Color Change:

Size Comparison of the two:

In the net breeder:

Hope you guys enjoy!
Looking good!

I havent had a chance to go through everythin in your post in detail, but saw you were thinking of using a lesser skimmer because you want to rely more on the phosban reator and a denitrator.

In my opinion, the skimmer should be the main filtration and the reactor and denitrator are supliments to a skimmer. A good skimmer should remove the waste before it converts to phosphates or nitrates. I would add a good skimmer and wait till later to see how the tank matures. Down the line if you start seeing nitrates creep up and youve looked at all possible reasons and still cant control it, I would look into denitrating options. Phosban reactors are cheap and very efficient. If you are going for a reef as well and have this installed from the get go, you may see that your corals will be faded. Your water will be too clean. There needs to be a balance with the correct amount of nutrients in the system to get good colors. Too much you'll have problems. Too little you will have problems. Because of the low nutrients of a new system, I didnt add my phosban reactor until 6 months in. The same goes with carbon.

Im sure with the cuttles, a low nutrient tank is fine, but with corals, you will need to ease into it and find the balance for your system.
thanks for the incite paradox!
I just figured that the cuttlefish would be a pretty high bioload on the little 35g-40g system. On my 90g. reef tank I have a Euro Reef and I love it so maybe it is smart to just go with a strong skimmer and a phosphate reactor and hold off on the denitrator. I figure the cuttlefish will have a large bioload so I doubt my corals will become that pastel/pasty/faded look, especially if I dont have the denitrator.

The cuttlefish both ate a ghost shrimp today that was roughly the same size as them. For now they are getting about 10+ mysids a day and gut loaded ghost shrimp until my shore shrimp come in from aquaculturestore.com
here are some new pictures and a video of them eating! Pictures are hard to get because of the blue lighting and the net breeder, all of the frontal shots are actually taken through the net which makes the pictures faded but oh well. Enjoy!




Well today was a big day at the cuttlefish reef :smile:. The cuttlefish have been named by my friends; the big one is Walker and the small one is Texas Ranger. Texas Ranger seems to be the more social one who isn't really afraid of the camera or me. He tends to stay up towards the front while Walker (who happens to walk a lot :biggrin2:) stays toward the back. Anyway, I decided that today I was going to do a water change. While I was doing a water change I noticed that I only had about 25 SW ghost shrimp left :o. Since Walker has grown so much in the past few weeks of having him I decided that I would collect all of the ghost shrimp out of the tank. Once I caught them all I released Walker and Texas Ranger into the ten gallon and then put the shrimp into the net breeder. Of course, it was a very stressful event and whilst doing this whole thing I managed to suck out every single bristle worm! I hate those things with a passion. I also managed to get some pictures edited and uploaded, so here they are:
Texas Ranger:

Texas Ranger eating a ghost shrimp:

Texas Ranger:

Walker [pissed off at me, and eating simultaneously]

Walker stalking a ghost shrimp:

Hope you guys enjoyed!
P.S. they have eaten frozen mysis, a dead crab, and dead ghost shrimp so I'm hoping they will take to frozen well.

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