Raising on Frozen vs Live Food


O. vulgaris
Feb 25, 2012
Reading Thales' account here, I began thinking on his idea of a study "...to determine the relationship between fresh and frozen food on fecundity of S. bandensis." I currently do not have the resources to raise one clutch of cuttles, let alone multiple; but if I did, I was thinking about how I would do this.

Here is one approach. I would set up three tanks sharing the same water and filtration with nearly similar lighting and aquascaping/tank mates. This would eliminate and differences in fecundity from water chemistry or environmental factors. I would start with a group of eggs all from the same parent group. This may be hard, as you probably want to raise a large number of eggs in each tank so the sample size is high enough. But given that Thales got 600 eggs over a 4 month period, it is concievable to raise 30+ eggs in each of the tanks.

Tank #1 would receive a variety of live foods as described by Thales in his work, but tank #2 would be weaned onto frozen mysids as quickly as possible. These two tanks should provide the answers to at least two questions: (1) the survival rate of hatchlings on the two different diets; and (2) whether fecundity is affected by diet during rearing and mating.

In the tank #3, I would raise the hatchlings on frozen foods as soon as they would take them as in tank #2, but switch to live foods as they reached sexual maturity. This would determine whether the diet during mating was the primary determiner of fecundity and not the diet during rearing.

If I could setup a tank #4, I would wean the animals onto frozen foods as soon as possible as in tank #2, but I would try to enrich the frozen foods with something live Vibrance from Seahorses.com (actually, I have no idea if that is the right supplement, so I would need to research that; perhaps Selco or Super Selco is better). This tank would try to help determine if there are enrichment regiments that would provide the same outcome as live food.

Perhaps a study like this has already been done (I am not a marine biologist or student so I don't have easy access to research papers on the topic), but I think it would bode well for hobbyists if a frozen only diet with the proper enrichments provided good yields as well as a fecundity similar to live only diets.

Maybe there are some budding researchers reading TONMO looking for a research topic? :smile:


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