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Protein and Fat - crawfish vs lobster vs crab vs shrimp


Blue Ring
Sep 21, 2011
Cool thread! This is something that is rather interesting to me. I know a bit about how the human body processes most of this stuff but I imagine a carnivorous invertebrate is a whole nother ball game. Carnivores don't have to produce as much of what their bodies need as omnivores. It's really easy for them to lose some enzymes here and there so long as what they eat can make the stuff for them! Cats for example need vitamin A in the form of retinol (the fat soluble form). Dogs and people can get their vitamin A from carrots(beta carotene). Cat foods have retinol and dog foods have beta carotene. About EFAs, they aren't actually the only fats our bodies require, we can just make the rest (as far as we know). I think cats aren't able to synthesize Omega-9 either.

About Fat to Protein ratio, why would this really matter? I would imagine that cephalopods, like people, have to turn it all into ATP before it's any good anyway? The individual fats and proteins would need different enzymes to digest, in some cases bacteria can help out here however. Lactose(not a fat or protein but a sugar) intolerance is the lack of lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose. If you don't have it, bacteria in your intestine obliges itself and well, it's not very fun. Almost all mammals quit producing lactase after youth. I for one am glad to have lactase! If you are lactose intolerant I'm sorry, not meaning to flaunt. :P Maybe you should go get some lactose free milk (it's not actually lactose free they just add lactase from what I understand).

My line of thinking is that all these things get synthesized somewhere. And though I'm not really of the opinion that natural is better, in this case I think it's safer until more information is available. I think the more steps in the predatory ladder you can replicate the better your chances. Whether you are feeding plankton to a freshwater feeder or feeding corn meal to a saltwater feeder it's probably better than a wc freshwater feeder. Another question along this line is how much variability is there in locales? Depending on local life from the immediate feeder down to the plankton, I imagine that octopuses (or other cephalopods) would be required to produce varying compounds (and they will only produce what they need to, genetic adaption works backwards a whole lot better than it works forwards).

Another thought is how much variety should the feeders be fed, can any one staple provide everything that needs to be passed on to the cephalopod? If shrimp, crab and fish produce nothing essential to the cephalopod, they are just a vessel and only carry what they eat. And a varied diet for the feeder would be much more important than that of your predator. This is probably an extreme and the more variation the safer is likely the actual case.

In regard to the "it works until it doesn't" case with tank mates and especially, cannibalism, I have often wondered if it wasn't due to some deficiency. I would imagine that as they age their body would change in demands and they may look beyond their staple food for a source when it isn't being met.

Though it is quite fascinating that some cephalopods have been raised for an entire generation on a freshwater feeder I don't think it's by any means an end-all, "this is all they need, want, desire, fantasize about".

I didn't mean to go on so much about all that but in my mind this discussion is much more to the core of giving our colorful invertebrate friends a good quality of life than roaming room. Also I think this is probably the biggest barrier of successful and prolific captive breeding.

Lastly, if you are still reading... I'm sorry.