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The Dollars and "Sense" of Raising Cuttles


O. vulgaris
Feb 25, 2012
I have been tracking how much I have been spending on raising these cuttles. The bottom line is that for the first 3.5 months (14 weeks), it has cost a little more than $1 per day per cuttle. I am raising 8 cuttles which is a lot of cuttles. I am sure this would be cheaper with only a few cuttles. As you start to need more and more food, the shipping costs go way up because of the volume and weight of the water required to ship the larger number of creatures.

The cost details are below. I have not been supplementing with food I caught myself and I have been a little over zealous feeding them. I also have raised them almost entirely on live foods (instead of frozen) that must be shipped via overnight/2 day air, so these shipping costs are included. If I decide to raise another batch, I plan to try some ways to offset the costs a bit, so I would consider what I have below a worse case scenario.

$129.78 11/29/2012 Eggs
$96.63 11/29/2012 250 Mysids
(1-day shipping)
$126.39 12/18/2012 500 Mysids
(1-day shipping)
$126.39 1/8/2013 500 Mysids
(1-day shipping)
$148.50 1/18/2013 250 P. Vulgaris (2-day shipping)
$137.26 2/7/2013 200 P. Vulgaris (2-day shipping)
$137.26 3/1/2013 200 P. Vulgaris (2-day shipping)
$166.33 3/15/2013 200 P. Vulgaris (1-day shipping)
4/5/2013 (Assuming 3 weeks Supply from 3/15 order)

$1,068.54 Total Cost
126 Total Days
$8.48 Cost/Day
$1.06 Cost/Day/Cuttle (8 cuttles)
EXCELLENT POST! I have made it a sticky so that it will stay at the top of the forum and hope others will keep and post similar records to the thread. FYI, your numbers look well in-line with others over the years (for quantities, shipping prices have risen). We have yet to find a successful alternate to live mysid during the first month+ after hatching. Fiddlers may be an alternate to the P. Vulgaris and are cheaper (can be shipped 2 day USPS) but cannot be used initially. Frozen is also a later alternative but live seems to produce the highest overall success at least in the initial few months.
I thought I posted on this yesterday, but it must have disappeared into cyberspace... this is probably what I paid, but I only had three - I started to add it up one time and then decided it was better to remain ignorant of the actual cost...
YIKES! i'm seting up to raise some cuttles and i did NOT want to see that all totaled up. ill be breeding mysids for another month at least before i order eggs and hopfuly i won't have to buy any and in the spring ill start looking for semi local places to catch shrimp and mabie some crabs, i know all the grass shrimp sold at local boston and RI stores are localy cought so i just need to find a place i can colect them leagly
First time poster - apologies in advance.

I've actually been having great success rearing newly hatched sepia bandensis off live amphipods, after a lot of frustration (mostly from my wife) regarding the cost of live mysis. The amphipods are obviously much easier to culture than mysis.

I have a CPR In-Tank Refugium, which I have glued netting across the sides (to prevent cuttles from escaping into the main tank), a small amount of live sand and a halimeda plant. I have the powerhead set to a fairly low setting - the netting actually slows the flow of the water enough that it almost manages to overflow the refugium (a good way to lose all your live food!).

Anyway, I move the newly hatched cuttles to this setup and keep it stocked with amphipods daily. So far they're just as happy and healthy as any I have ever raised off mysis. And, much less expensive.
ngdo, Please consider journaling your cuttles and include some notes on the food properties (size being important as well as where you find and how you raise them). A repeatably successful alternate food for new hatchlings would be most welcomed. Did you initially raise this group on mysis? If so when did you switch?
2013 A Better Bubbler (DIY cuttlefish incubator) Monterey Bay Aquarium

How do you incubate cuttlefish eggs behind the scenes in preparation for our forthcoming “Tentacles” special exhibition? You could, at a cost of hundreds of dollars, buy commercial incubators. But that would be too easy. Plus, Aquarist Bret Grasse figured he could create something just as good as the store-bought jobs.

For $2.50 and “a day in the life of one volunteer,” he makes a better bubbler out of soda bottles, plastic tubing and silicone glue. It looks like mad science, but it works. To date, he’s produced hundreds of baby cuttlefish for exhibit using the system...