Hello from Huntsville

You do have to take into consideration how different cephs are from fish. They locate (at least cuttles and squid, less so with octopuses and nautilus) by sight. They smell by touch using their suckers (texture may also be involved). They eat using a beak to break off pieces and a radula to file it down to small bits to fit through their brain surrounded esophagus. Movement rather than smell appears to play a very important role with new hatchlings. Getting all this to work with bits and pieces will be a challenge.

I highly suggest splitting your first hatchlings if you want to try dead food when they first hatch. Live mysis shrimp have been the only consistently eaten food for the first month or so. There has been some minor successes with various pods and small shrimp but most attempts with other than live mysis have failed with no success with any form of dead offerings.

Another bit of undocumented and untested observation seems to indicate that second generation success my require live food. This is anecdotal and might be interesting to test while you are experimenting.
I am mainly interested in trying it with adults at this point. Keep in mind many fish fry require live foods for a few weeks. The active live food triggers that hardwired predatory response. I am aware that Ceph's are much smarter than fish. However this fact may work to our advantage if presenting a dead food that smells like the real thing and they realize its an easy meal. I am not at all surprised that nobody has had success feeding a starch based pellet. I don't mean to sound arrogant but my food is very different in a good way. As you can see from my example earlier all ingredients have a purpose. I don't extrude the food that I make. It is dehydrated on a sheet and comes off in pieces roughly 1/8" thick. I will look around and see if I can find a crab shaped cookie cutter.

I plan to eventually get some eggs from Blue Zoo so it would be possible to set up separate hatching nets. What size Mysid are suitable for newly hatched cuttlefish? From what I have read I am assuming adult mysids are ok. If Mysid are carnivorous I could gut load them with what I call Grow powdered before feeding.

I think the chance of getting tank raised specimens to eat my food is decent. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised either way. The odds are not good with wild caught specimens but its worth a shot.
Keeping cephs is an ongoing experiment and we still have a lot to learn but only a few years ago, few aquariums, let alone hobbyists were successful (saltwater aquariums with artificial salt is still a very young industry). My comments are to help you find info on what has done before and decide how to alter the failures for your own and not meant to sound negative.

That being said, you won't find many (if any at this point since the eggs have been more successful and way less expensive for suppliers) juveniles/adults so you will have to grow them from eggs. The downside, as you have probably guessed, of working with eggs is the first month cost. Finding cheaper food is also an ongoing experiment and there are a few successes with something other than mysis but they have been small crustaceans in a keeper's tank and not something commonly available (ie not typical amphipods or copepods). My best luck with keeping mysis alive was to put them in a round tank (bio-orb), live rock as the only filter, loop a VERY gentle air tube around the bottom and feed them frozen daphnia at least twice a day and not changing the water. Prior to that approach, they would not last a week.

You will definitely want movement for the food and an air line is often used to wean them to frozen (also mixing frozen with live and keeping it all moving seems to be helpful. Once they understand they have their food slave trained, don't be surprised if at least one will shoot its tentacles out of the water at your hand when you go to feed. Keep in mind the multi-reports of eyes needing to be on the frozen, you may want to add some kind of black marking. Once they readily take frozen, feeding stops being an issue and you may want to take the traditional route until they reach this stage and then try offering your mix.

After the first couple of weeks, typical pods can (and probably should) be added. Pretty much any size mysis works for the first few weeks but they will continually look for larger prey as they grow and will eventually take down crustaceans their own size. Cheato is almost always used with new hatchlings, possibly to help attract the mysis/pods away from the breeder net sides and make them easier to hunt.

Typical, second food is usually very small shore shrimp, then larger shore shrimp (freshwater glass shrimp can also be used if you find them locally) then small crabs and continuing the shore shrimp. As adults weaned to frozen, they can eat pieces of table shrimp as well as the larger frozen mysis (I found the table shrimp more suitable).

There are quite a few journals for you to review that discuss feeding success and failures to help get a feel for what to expect. You might also checkout some of the MBARI pages on their cuttle raising program for some ideas. Here is a really good video with @Bret Grasse MBA (TONMO member and one of our speakers last weekend). We have a whole thread on some of the animals exhibited in the MBARI tentacles exhibit. This Advanced Aquarist article, Keeping and Breeding the dwarf cuttlefish Sepia bandensis
by @Thales (staff member Richard Ross) is probably the most extensive reading by a successful keeper that you will find but examine the yellow stickies at the top of the Cuttlefish Care forum for others.
I appreciate your input. I welcome the challenge of getting Cehp's to eat something besides live or frozen food. It gives me something new to work on. I find these animals interesting enough to spend some time working on it.

I have been studying the nutrient profiles of shrimp and crab in an effort to replicate them in a dry diet. High protein, very little fat and a decent amount of minerals sums it up for both. I have watched several videos on tumbling the cuttlefish eggs and its very similar to hatching a mouth brooding Cichlid's eggs. I have a lot of experience tumbling those, the cuttlefish eggs are simply larger. Thanks for the tip on the mysid shrimp.

Will definitely go the mysid route with most of the eggs. My inquisitive nature is getting the best of me in trying my grow food on a few. Its worth a try with the grow food on the chance that it works. May have to have a back up plan (read another tank) in case it does. The food will have shrimp eyes in it, where they will be I can't say.

I have read the article by Richard Ross. It was very good. I have also read some of the yellow stickies that you mentioned. I will check out the others. Thanks for the links!

I do appreciate you input. Thanks again!
I have watched the video with Bret Grasse in my searching for cuttlefish videos. It was well worth watching again. Has anyone working with these animals used a water driven egg tumbler? They are much easier to control the tumbling rate than air driven tumblers and you don't have to move the eggs from one system to another.
I messed with trying to tumble the eggs after reading Bret's article but did not make the soda pop tumbler. Since bandensis eggs are typically laid in the deepest, darkest, most hard to reach area (@cuttlegirl 's words but no one will dispute them) tumbling is likely not necessary for this species. I asked Bret if he had tried the soda bottle technique with bandensis and he confirmed success using it but also mentioned that other successful methods likely worked as well for the "stumpy" cuttles. Where the soda bottle incubator seems to have shown the most dramatic success has probably been with the flamboyants. The first page of my journal shares my incubator adventure (the first post has a link to the MBARI technique).
I'm not sure of the size difference (I have only seen flamboyant images) but I believe flamboyant eggs are about half the size of bandensis and I know they are harder to grow out. If you become very good with the bandensis, it would be great to see you attempt flamboyants
I have only heard of one commercial flamboyant breeder (I fall to recall the name) and they were using Live Aquaria as their selling platform. I don't think the production went well as LA never seems to have them available. @Thales is familiar with the attempt and may know their current status. There are several aquariums working with them (we got to see several on display and several others in a breeding system last weekend during TONMOcon VI at Mote) but any excess is shared with other aquariums and not made available to the public. Obtaining a brood stock is extremely difficult, will likely be unsexed wild caught and pricey.
IF I remember correctly, upwards of $300 for one but I may have the confused with the $399 cost of a bendensis pair. Never mind, I found the MACNA video and the expected cost for the flamboyant was $1000 each. I don't think they were ever actually offered though.

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