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Strontium and cuttlebone and statolith development

Sep 16, 2005
Pittsburgh, PA
I was just reading an article that mentions that strontium is required for normal statolith development in cuttlefish. Some artificial sea water does not contain strontium. Could we be hurting our babies by using a artificial sea water that doesn't contain strontium?

I use Instant Ocean, which is cited in this article as not having strontium. Of course, this article is from 1988 and maybe Instant Ocean has reformulated their product. Any thoughts?

Hanlon, R. T., Bidwell, J. P. and R. Tait. 1989. Strontium is required for statolith development and thus normal swimming behavior in hatchling cephalopods. J. exp. Biol. 141(187-195).

The salt manufacturers tweak their recipes quite a bit. The two recent independent analyses that I'm aware of were done by Dr. Shimek on RC and a later one on reefs.org. I'll try and dig up the links in the morning.

That's a good article. There's so much good information out there in the peer-reviewed literature. We probably re-invent the wheel way too often :smile:

Well, I feel a little bit better... See this article http://saltaquarium.about.com/gi/dy...om/fish2/aqfm/1999/mar/features/1/default.asp

Marlin Atkinson was one of my thesis advisors, so I know that this is sound science. It is a little worrisome that the levels of copper are quite high in some artificial sea water mixes :shock: . Natural sea water has 0.001 micromoles per kilogram and the mixes ranged from 1.8 (Instant Ocean) to 3.0 (HW Marine Mix).
Here's what I think is the most recent analysis at reefs.org

Inland reef aquaria salt study part I

Inland reef aquaria salt study part II

And here's Shimek's independent study that preceded it:

The toxicity of some freshly mixed artificial seawater.

From the reefs.org study it appears that Oceanic salt, which I use, is particularly deficient. I might step up my strontium dosing--my three dead cuttles would spend a lot of time at the surface before they met their fates, and I don't have the impression that's a common behavior for sick cuttles. Obviously no evidence to link that to statolith development (much less establish causality) but an interesting thought nonetheless.

I noticed the copper, too. Elevated concentrations in just about every salt in every study! And not a little, either, always several orders of magnitude.


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