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Flamboyant cuttlefish

Decay

Blue Ring
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Oct 19, 2008
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at the moment, i have a spare 3 ft tank and have been planning to stock it with feeders for my octopus, as well as a seahorse or two and maybe something else. i have seriously considered a cuttlefish before, but at the time i didnt have room for it.

now that i do, im reconsidering the idea. my set up is a 6 foot tank for my octopus, a 4 ft tank for some macro algae and some extra things, and then a 3 foot tank i have left over from when my giant centipede died all running together. it seemed like a good place to keep some live prey animals for my cyanea, when it finally arrives, but i just learned that flamboyant cuttlefish only grow to 6-8cm, which should be a good size in a 3 ft tank (if im wrong someone let me know).

im just wondering what everyone thinks of them as pets, and if it would be worth giving up the feeder tank for one. i live on the coast of qld, so the travel time from the ocean to my house is probably about 10 mins, and i would probably be able to get a fairly small one as long as i dont mind waiting for it to be found.

the other issue is the poison in their flesh. if it died in the tank and i didnt notice for a day would it be released into the entire system and kill everything? obviously if that was a possiblity i would give up the idea very quickly.

are there any special requirements for the species im not aware of, or fatal flaws in my setup that i need to address? thanks.
 

monty

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I moved this thread to exotics, since flamboyants are on the list of species we prefer to discuss here.

In general, we don't recommend these animals, both because we know very little about their toxicity (the research Mark Norman refers to in a TV documentary has not, as far as we can tell, been published in detail anywhere) and because they're so exotic and colorful, yet seem to be relatively rare in the wild, that we're afraid that if there is a demand for them, they'll be overcollected. For such animals, as sad as it is, it may be best for the species as a whole to boycott them even when they are already here, since LFS sales lead to collector demand lead to overcollection.

All that said, we see them pop up occasionally in the trade. Thales kept one briefly (I believe he arranged for the wholesaler to ask the collector never to send any more, to address the above problem) and, while it had some interesting displays, I seem to recall that he recommends bandensis over Metasepia for general enjoyment and personality, and they're approximately the same size. But hopefully he'll speak up and correct my details.
 

Decay

Blue Ring
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thanks for the info. i wasnt sure wether to post this here or in the general care section, because although it was an exotic species it was also a captive care related question.

it sounds like something to avoid, at least until more is known about them. does anybody happen to know if bandensis is available around qld, or possibly another cuttlefish of similar size? ive recently gotten in contact with a licenced collector so after a lifelong desire to have a ceph, i finally have a few options.
 

monty

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I don't know if any of the breeders in the U.S. could ship to Aus safely, but you might be able to get eggs (either wild-caught or from some of the Tonmo members) which ship better. As far as I know, Bandensis is your best bet for reasonably small size, even in Aus, although if you find another local species that does will in medium-sized tanks, we'd love to know about it.

I wonder if there are local Aussie divers that collect cephs that we don't know about, akin to divertom here in the U.S.... I know there are a lot more protected areas around Australia, but I imagine there are some areas where non-threatened octo and cuttle species could be collected for sale, and buyers could get them straight from the collector rather than a dubious international supply chain... Of course, you'd want a diver who can ID cephs, since a baby Sepia apama would not stay a good size for a bandensis tank for very long!
 

Tintenfisch

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Hi there,

There is a smallish species of cuttlefish, Sepia plangon (the mourning cuttlefish), endemic to the east coast of Australia - a woman at the last Marine Sciences conference was studying them in Sydney Harbour. There seems to be surprisingly little information on them online; the most I could find was this. No idea if they are kept as pets, collected for any commercial purpose, or even whether much is known about them (evidently not?)... but it's a start.
 

Decay

Blue Ring
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i know there are a fair few around the area, i see alot of cuttlebones washed up on the beach from time to time. the size of the mourning cuttlefish seems consistant with what i find so its probably a good bet thats the species. ill ask my collector next time i see him but hes never had anyone ask him about any ceph before so the best i can hope for is a description. ill let you know how i go though, if for no other reason than to give any other australian an idea of whats out there. its been very difficult to find any info about whats available around here.
 

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