Tank Requirements for Nautilus Macromphalus

Decay

Blue Ring
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Oct 19, 2008
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i have been semi interested in keeping a nautilus for a while now but i dont know how much money i want to devote to getting one. a local species (also the smallest in the world) is N. Macromphalus and it reaches a size of 16cm (aprox 6 inches). i doubt anyone has any experience with this species, but can someone give me a ballpark figure of tank size and more specifically depth based on the needs of the larger and more common nautiluses?

any other information would be very useful. thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
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For one nuatilus the tank has to be at least 3ft. long 18 inches wide and 2 ft. deep. if you wish to keep a group you need a much bigger tank. Nautlilus's mostly stay sunctioned to the sides of the tank but they do sometimes jet around so you'll need a good size tank to keep it from bumping into the sides of the tank. A cicular tank is best or a custom built extra wide tank. You definitely need a chiller. The temp should be between 50F-70F. if you keep a group and want to breed than you can make it more natural by keeping the tank cooler by the day and gradually increase the temp. you should do that even if you dont want to breed because it replicates the nautilus's natural environment. For food you want to give them food high in calcium to slow down the blackening of the shell.
They will readily take crustacean molts from your hand. or you could leave several molts on the bottom for them to eat as they please. Filtration is just like any other ceph. you might also want to invest in a UV sterilizer to get rid of pathogens from wild specimens. Usually keeping nautilus' is frowned upon but if you do your research you can keep a healthy animal for many years. Personally i would leave them in the wild or be kept by aquariums and research institutes. not too be a stick in the mud but i would go for something easier for your first ceph. also nautilus' are really dull just floating in the aquarium because they usually have bouyancy problems in captivity. But if you have your heart set on a nautilus do your research and talk to other people who have successfully kept them Good Luck =)
 

gjbarord

Sepia elegans
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Feb 1, 2007
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I would say that if you are wavering on spending the money on the nautilus, you should probably spend the money on something else. The setup alone is very expensive as are the animals to purchase so you either have to be all in or all out.

If you are all in, I suggest looking into a TFH article on nautilus husbandry. It provides the principles involved in maintaining nautilus in captivity. There are also a few papers on the subject if you can track them down.

Greg
 

Decay

Blue Ring
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Oct 19, 2008
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thanks for the info. it will be a long time before i seriously consider it, i was just going to do some pricing to see what side of the fence id fall on. i really wanted a nautilus at one point in time but after some research i decided id be far happier with an octopus, so if i do ever get one it will be more of a curiosity piece than for my main tank. a kind of living art rather than an animal to interact with.

given their size i thought i might be able to save a bit on tank size, and subsequently the chiller. once im experienced enough i will look into doing it right and decide if its worth it or not.
 

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