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Flamboyant keeping/breeding

Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
656
First off, I am not looking to get flamed here, I am well aware of how hard flamboyants are to keep, and their situation in the wild (one of the reasons I am looking into breeding). What I'm looking to do is get peoples 2 cents, and gather information that experienced ceph keepers may have. Please note, I do not plan on these being my first cephs that I keep, nor do I plan on rushing into this, as it is, I've been taking my time setting up the "perfect" ceph system for the past 9 months and am at least another 3-4 months away from having it completely ready. I still haven't Ironed it out, but it will be either a 5 tank system with 75 display, 60 display, 40 sump, 50 refuge, and 30 RDSB. Or a different 5 tank system with a 75 display, 60 display, another 60 display, 100 refuge and DSB, and 40 sump. It will have a bubblemaster 200 for a skimmer, and if necessary, I will also have a RS80 euroreef to go on as well. In both systems, the refugium will be set up in a way that it will also be suitable for cuttles, and will be perfect for putting net breeders in to raise young cuttles.

One of the tanks will be a bandensis tank, another will be a full blown reef, and depending on the system, I was hoping to use either the other 60, or the refugium to attempt to breed flamboyants.

An LFS near me that I know the owner of (and he'd likely be very helpfull in what I want to do) has a "contact" with a supplier in Japan (you must know that their is INTENSE competition between LFS's in my area, often getting nasty, so this is basically all I know about this Japanese "contact") Any how, when he first made this "contact", he ordered A LOT of rarity's, on this list was: giant cuttlefish (I forgot the scientific name, but the type paradox is now raising), nautilus, flamboyants, and mimics. I of course jumped on this and labeled every single reason he should not get cephs in his store, and to date, not a single ceph has stayed in a tank at his store to my knowledge. Basically, what I mean by saying this, is that I should be able to, at some point down the line, get a reasonable number of flamboyants. It is my understanding that the reason they have not been bred in captivity yet, or at least to my knowledge, is that people have not been able to get multiple flamboyants at one time, or something along those lines???? I believe that I will be able to, so my plan, if you all see that it could work, and agree, is to set up my system, run it for three months and all, get some bandensis eggs, raise them, see what I can do, and how I do at breeding them, then, if all goes well, and I'm able to do the bandensis with reasonable ease and am 100% sure that I will be able to handle somehting 10x harder and more delicate, I will set up one of the tanks to be a flamboyant tank (I was thinking miracle mud, some intersting macro's, minimal live rock, but interesting shapes (tunnels, arches, etc) that it can hide in and what not). And when the opportunity arises that I am able to get either a very small (aka young) flamboyant and slowly buy those until I get a mated pair, or if I can get quite a few flamboyants (say 4-5 in one go) and then try and breed them.

I think it would be awesome if I could manage to breed one of the most beautiful cephs out there and start some sort of chain that hopefully other's could carry on to eventually slow or even hault the collection of flamboyants. Please note that this is all idea's, I am not gung hoe on this and am definetly open to idea's. Please don't flame me for this, I'm looking for opinions and words of wisdom. I'm definetly not the best at relaying my thoughts and what I mean, so please don't try to pick all of this apart.

So, what are all of your opinions, I'm probably missing some things, and would appreciate anyone pointing me in the right direction, or just saying no, don't even try it.

Thanks a lot, sorry for the novel,
Sam
 

Thales

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
3,018
The biggest problem you are going to have is getting multiples. They come in in 1's, even if the supplier your LFS uses sees multiples on the list - I have been trying for 4 years and even ordering 5, sometimes you get none. :biggrin2: Another thing to keep in mind is cost - a single flam wholesales between 150 and 200 bucks (the price on the 'list' doesn't include shipping and customs fees which just went through the roof), so getting a group could cost a whole bunch of money. Another another thing to keep in mind is that even if you are able to get a group, you may get all the same sex which is depressing.

There has been work with M. tullbergi, but the idea of raising multiple generations is still a far off goal due to the reduction of fertility and fecundity in the F1 and F2 (this seems to happen with all cephs BTW).

Another issue is getting genetic diversity. Even if you do breed them, getting other genetic sources runs into the same problem of getting initial stock. Its really hard.

I think your idea of starting with S. bandensis is a good one. Get a bunch of eggs and see if you can raise a couple of generations, then think about flams. Gotta go!
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
527
As for your planned breeding system, I'm sorry, but it sounds like a biosecurity nightmare. You are talking about bringing in wild caught organisms, with no mention of quarantine and putting them in a system that is plumbed to tanks with other wild caught organisms from other parts of the ocean. This type of set up may be fine for display systems, but you are talking trying to breed a rare and difficult to grow out organism. How are you going to control the water quality and spread of potential pathogens between the tanks? Do you know if the water parameters for your reef organisms are acceptable for flamboyants? If you do get flamboyants in that are injured or diseased how and where will you house and medicate them? Do the larvae need to be in a separate system from the broodstock? (often wild caught broodstock are carriers of pathogens that can be fatal to the larval form) I'm sorry if this seems harsh, but these are issues you need to address before you attempt to culture any species.

Also, you seemed to have overlooked that the primary explanations for growout moralities in published studies on ceph culture are water quality and nutrition, not lack of broodstock.
 
Joined
Dec 14, 2007
Messages
656
Thales;131741 said:
The biggest problem you are going to have is getting multiples. They come in in 1's, even if the supplier your LFS uses sees multiples on the list - I have been trying for 4 years and even ordering 5, sometimes you get none. :biggrin2: Another thing to keep in mind is cost - a single flam wholesales between 150 and 200 bucks (the price on the 'list' doesn't include shipping and customs fees which just went through the roof), so getting a group could cost a whole bunch of money. Another another thing to keep in mind is that even if you are able to get a group, you may get all the same sex which is depressing.

There has been work with M. tullbergi, but the idea of raising multiple generations is still a far off goal due to the reduction of fertility and fecundity in the F1 and F2 (this seems to happen with all cephs BTW).

Another issue is getting genetic diversity. Even if you do breed them, getting other genetic sources runs into the same problem of getting initial stock. Its really hard.

I think your idea of starting with S. bandensis is a good one. Get a bunch of eggs and see if you can raise a couple of generations, then think about flams. Gotta go!

I had read that there had been some success with the tullbergi's, but I don't know much about it. Is it known why there would be a reduction of fertility in the F1 and F2? Or is it just one of those things that happens when they are brought into captivity? As for the money, I was expecting that if I were to go ahead with this, I would have to pay around $200 an animal, but if I do decide to go with this, I'll figure out a way. :roll:, I've also got some tricks up my sleeve for working this out locally. With the suppliers, is it that they can't or don't send more than one, or what? Sorry for all the questions, I'm obviously new to looking into this.


esquid;131755 said:
As for your planned breeding system, I'm sorry, but it sounds like a biosecurity nightmare. You are talking about bringing in wild caught organisms, with no mention of quarantine and putting them in a system that is plumbed to tanks with other wild caught organisms from other parts of the ocean. This type of set up may be fine for display systems, but you are talking trying to breed a rare and difficult to grow out organism. How are you going to control the water quality and spread of potential pathogens between the tanks? Do you know if the water parameters for your reef organisms are acceptable for flamboyants? If you do get flamboyants in that are injured or diseased how and where will you house and medicate them? Do the larvae need to be in a separate system from the broodstock? (often wild caught broodstock are carriers of pathogens that can be fatal to the larval form) I'm sorry if this seems harsh, but these are issues you need to address before you attempt to culture any species.

Also, you seemed to have overlooked that the primary explanations for growout moralities in published studies on ceph culture are water quality and nutrition, not lack of broodstock.

Sorry, typical me, I forgot to mention that I do plan on using a vigorous quarantining regimen on EVERYTHING that goes into any of the tanks- that's at least 5-6 weeks on everything macro's, zoa's, xenia- to sps, fish, etc. Also, I do not plan on being able to control the water quality and spread of pathogens between the tanks. I don't see how. I plan on having a nice size UV somewhere in the mix, and a well implemented quarantine. This should keep any pathogens out. As for the water quality. This system is a ceph system, so the cephs are the primary things I'm focusing on in this. That means that if they have to be kept at 50 degrees, I'll keep stuff in my "reef" tank that lives at 50 degrees, the same if they need to be kept at 150 degrees... You bring up a good point however, and something I was looking to find out through this thread, what temperature do they need to be kept at exactly? As for taking care of injured animals or young, as I stated, I will have a refugium that will be outfitted to be able to hold animals or multiple net breeders, etc. I will also have a separate quarantine tank if necessary, but what you've said also makes me think I'm going to want to set up another "quarantine" tank that's separate from the main and other quarantine tank in case of certain cases or emergencies. I don't believe flamboyants will "come out" in larval form from looking at Thale's and Paradox's threads on raising bandensis, if that's anything to go by... Maybe I'm missing something here?

It doesn't seem harsh at all, just remember, I made this thread to answer all of those questions myself. I was talking about the lack of broodstock in terms of being able to continue this project if I do get it started. If I don't have a large enough broodstock, I won't be able to breed captive bred flamboyants with other captive bred flamboyants, sort of on the lines of what Thales was saying about difficulty of getting flamboyants in numbers and what not above, and the same problem he's encountered with breeding O. chierchiae (sp?). For water quality, please don't think for a second that I would try this without having perfect water chemistry, and take every precaution to keep it that way. For example, in my first tank, it seemed there was simply no way to keep nitrates below 5-10 ppm, I even tried feeding once a week, nitrate removing chems, pretty much everything, there was just no way, it seemed. And I have found in some other peoples tanks, that in some systems, that's just how it is: it's impossible to control certain aspects of water quality... If my tank turns out to be that tank, I most certainly won't try this project, nor will I end up getting any other ceph, I think. As for nutrition, I hope to glean information from the other ceph breeder's on tonmo as far as this goes...

Thanks for the suggestions and points to consider!
 

Thales

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
3,018
Oh - just a little more about the Japanese supplier. They ship Metasepia for part of the year, and they are usually only old males.
 
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