Rearing Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Severine

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
28
Hello all,

I am new to TONMO and I am excited that I found somewhere where I can exchange ideas and gain feedback from those who are very experienced with cephalopods.

A little about my background: I care professionally for a Giant Pacific Octopus, Chambered Nautilus and Flamboyant Cuttlefish. Of the three, the last is the newest to me and why I am reaching out. I have had a fairly positive experience learning all I can from my adults, but my struggle is with rearing their young. My females have been laying eggs for months now, but I have been struggling keeping the babies alive. This is also my first time attempting to rear them.

I am feeding both 3 day and 7 day old mysids. The 7 day old mysids are being ate by a slightly older baby (about a month-month and a half) while I am feeding the 3 day old mysids to my 2-3 week old/newly hatched cuttles. The older baby I have began targeting and is eating quite well. The younger babies I am struggling with.

Some observations I have seen include the babies hatching prematurely and not eating (some wave their arms around but don't actually go after the prey). There is just this hump that I can't seem to get them over.

What has been successful for you in rearing these magnificent animals?

Thank you so much for your input. I am excited for your response.
 

gjbarord

Sepia elegans
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
904
Welcome!

Cool that you have all those cephs. I'm interested in your nautiluses... Do you have an email I can send you some questions about your system?

Greg
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
4
Hey Severine,

My name is Bret Grasse. I'm an aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and and manage our cephalopod collection. I've been fortunate enough to raise metasepia for about 5 years now and I can absolutely empathize with your frustrations. They are just a difficult species, no doubt about it. Please ready my D&C article for some helpful information. http://drumandcroaker.org/pdf/2014.pdf You are off to a good start by offering smaller mysid size class. It's important to make sure to increase the size of the mysid as your hatchlings grow. As a generic guideline, the prey should be about the width of the cuttlefish's head. It's also important that you don't overfeed. Make sure that the mysid are consumed before adding more. If prey remains in the hatchling tank throughout the day, the cuttlefish's predatory instinct is suppressed and they wont eat. It's almost like they get overwhelmed with too much prey. Hatchling tank walls should be non-transparent for improved prey recognition. Similarly, prey items should be fed prior to feeding them to the cuttlefish. This will make them non-transparent for easier detection and make them more nutritious. It's normal for baby meta to not eat for the first day or two after hatching, so try not to overfeed in these first few days. Premature hatching is a big problem, you need to start off on the right foot with a healthy fully developed hatchling if possible. I've used batadine baths and a solution called Revive that I would highly recommend for the eggs. Revive is made for corals and it irritates copepods, flatworms etc. When you use it on cephalopod eggs, it does the same thing. Without all that biofouling, the egg's external tunic is preserved for longer and allows for full development before hatching. I perform these baths every 4-5 days. Correct artificial incubation is also important to prevent premature hatching. So adjusting your incubators also may help.

Hope this information is helpful. Good luck!
bg
 

Severine

Cuttlefish
Registered
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
28
Hey Severine,

My name is Bret Grasse. I'm an aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and and manage our cephalopod collection. I've been fortunate enough to raise metasepia for about 5 years now and I can absolutely empathize with your frustrations. They are just a difficult species, no doubt about it. Please ready my D&C article for some helpful information. http://drumandcroaker.org/pdf/2014.pdf You are off to a good start by offering smaller mysid size class. It's important to make sure to increase the size of the mysid as your hatchlings grow. As a generic guideline, the prey should be about the width of the cuttlefish's head. It's also important that you don't overfeed. Make sure that the mysid are consumed before adding more. If prey remains in the hatchling tank throughout the day, the cuttlefish's predatory instinct is suppressed and they wont eat. It's almost like they get overwhelmed with too much prey. Hatchling tank walls should be non-transparent for improved prey recognition. Similarly, prey items should be fed prior to feeding them to the cuttlefish. This will make them non-transparent for easier detection and make them more nutritious. It's normal for baby meta to not eat for the first day or two after hatching, so try not to overfeed in these first few days. Premature hatching is a big problem, you need to start off on the right foot with a healthy fully developed hatchling if possible. I've used batadine baths and a solution called Revive that I would highly recommend for the eggs. Revive is made for corals and it irritates copepods, flatworms etc. When you use it on cephalopod eggs, it does the same thing. Without all that biofouling, the egg's external tunic is preserved for longer and allows for full development before hatching. I perform these baths every 4-5 days. Correct artificial incubation is also important to prevent premature hatching. So adjusting your incubators also may help.

Hope this information is helpful. Good luck!
bg


Thank you so much! My team has tried reaching out to other aquariums for help and this is by far the most help we have received within the past two months. I really appreciate it. So far all the advice we have been told was "don't overfeed", "they are just difficult" and my personal favorite "some live, some don't". Really?? While we understand all of this, it has been hard to quantify how much is too much, how do we prevent premature hatching, etc. My aquarium is new at taking on a task such as this and we are all invested in seeing it come to fruition.

So again, thank you so much!
 

Latest Posts


Top