[Cuttlefish Eggs]: They Have Hatched

Note on feeding mysis. I had no luck keeping them alive until I experimented. One of the things I found that I know helped was feeding them frozen Daphnia twice a day (I just happened to have cubes in the freezer so I tried them). Way easier and more successful than brine and I did not feed anything else. The other things I did (I was able to keep some alive over a month where my past experiences were less than a week - same supplier) was to NOT change their water, used live rock (from my tank) only for filtration (probably gave hiding places), used a circular tank (bio-orb) and a VERY gentle circular curtain of air (like this). Outside the twice a day feeding of Daphnia, I am not sure how much impact the set up made but I would definitely do it again this way.
Well my Mysis arrived, and well I have only lost 1 baby during the "No Mysids" time. They really didn't like amphipods and BBS. Since they where really hungry when I put the Mysids in I decided to film it a bit. So here is the raw video, as I'm still learning this editing thing.
I filmed it in 4K so that I can zoom and crop later in 1080, once I figure out how to do it.

I had BBS waiting for when my Mysids landed and within 30 minutes of being released I can see little red spots on their tummies, so they are definitely eating the BBS. Starting this weekend I'm going to try and decapsulate, in order to not have to worry about removing the egg casings as well as removing the chance of getting hydroids in my Mysid tank.
A Long overdue update. I still have 5 cuttles, 3 from the orginal batch, 2 from a different clutch that are 3 weeks younger. Last week I moved them out of my breeder and into a 5 gallon section that I use to grow out Mollie Fry, key word is I used to grow out Mollie fry in there, as the little predators devoured 35 new born Mollies over night, and started to make a dent in the 1" long group... They still get live Mysids, as well as live Cherry Shrimp when I'm culling, but I have finally reached a mile stone. All Five will take PE Mysis off of a "Stealth Stick," and my largest will even take frozen Mysids off of the bottom of the tank.

This mile stone will take much pressure off of my Mysid tanks, as I have eggs arriving next week in an attempt to get my breeding project off to a diverse start, I also have 100 fiddler crabs arriving so we will see how those go.

I am in talks with a wholesaler to get setup so I can bring in ghost shrimp as feeders, as I haven't been able to find one retailer who imports the into Canada, and well trying to find the truly saltwater grass shrimp is completely impossible up here. In my talks with FedEx it appears as long as it is produced in the US it is fish and wildlife excempt, and they will ship to me, but most vendors don't want to take this risk. I am even considering setting up a tank just to rear peppermint shrimp, as they are available up here and their larval stages aren't too difficult to get to settle.

Ive been in talks with livebrineshirmp to get her shrimp and micro crabs but so far I can only get them as far as Montana, so I may be looking at a 16 hr round trip, trip, to get some good food for my little guys. If I can get the tank cleaned up a bit I'll probably take a video tomorrow of them feeding, but since it has just been used for Grow out, and is hooked into my larger system, its pretty scummy.
What is a "micro crab" (the only thing I find under that common name are freshwater inverts) and can you provide a direct link to livebrineshrimp's page? Small saltwater crabs are always of interest.
What is a "micro crab" (the only thing I find under that common name are freshwater inverts) and can you provide a direct link to livebrineshrimp's page? Small saltwater crabs are always of interest.

Well Looks like I quoted the name of the crab incorrectly, they call them mud crabs, shell size between a nickle and a dime.... they appear to be a fiddler species Ocypodidae Uca -pugnax, though starting at 3.00 per dozen plus shipping they would be a good deal for us land locked ceph keepers.www.livebrineshrimp.com
So another update, The five are doing very well. I had one of the medium sized ones escape over the overflow into the tank, so I then moved all 5 of them into the compartment. It is the catch area that I have for Mollie babies, so its about 10 gallons, with small sponges on the overflows to keep everyone safe. I did find out that my Cuttles do appreciate fresh baby Mollies as they wiped out over 30 of them over night.

They have since been weaned onto Frozen PE Mysis, 4 of them even taking it from the water column and bottom of the tank, only needing a feeding stick for the smallest one. I'm using 40lb fishing line for my "stealth stick" but threading frozen Mysids on it is a pain, I'm literally splitting half of them in half trying to get them threaded on.

I also had my LFS bring in 100 "colourful fiddlers" from Cebu, and the three largest cuttles take them with gusto, though at 2 dollars each they are an expensive snack. I am working with 2 wholesalers to get in box lots of ghost shrimp, as feeder shrimp are not carried by any stores in Canada, too expensive to import, but they are the cheapest option I have found. I am also looking at bringing in some of the Golden Fiddler crabs that are commonly kept in freshewater, as they are cheaper and smaller then the Red ones I have now.

So even with the success of getting this current group onto frozen foods, I am a glutton for punishment. As on the same Cebu order that brought me the cuttlefish, I received 3 units of cuttle eggs. Normally there are about 20 eggs in a batch, 10 viable if I am lucky.... well with these three batches I received over 120 eggs, and well after sorting them out I feel that 80 are viable.... lets just say I'm really trying to get my Mysid breeding into high gear, as when these buggers start to hatch I'm going to need a crazy amount of food.

As long as I successfully rear some young from this next group of eggs I'm probably going to be done with wild eggs until next spring... as this should give me a very diverse genetic group to work with.
It is my understanding that fiddler crabs are actually fresh/brackish water animals. I know the ones we get from FL can live in either fresh or saltwater so I am guessing the "golden" fiddlers will survive quite long enough in the tank even if they do not live near the ocean. Crayfish (freshwater) survive in saltwater long enough for octopuses so the impact is not immediate but they cannot be trained to saltwater like mollies.
Well its a sad day, last night for Canada Day we where out with friends so we didn't get home until late last night, as a result the evening meal was missed. I went down to feed the critters this morning and could only find the 3 larger cuttlefish, I searched high and low until I found the cuttle bones of the two smaller ones. Missing just one meal was enough to trigger cannibalism, which is a big shame as the two that were 3 weeks younger where from a different clutch, so most likely different parents.

On a brighter note, I have over 40+ babies from my last Cebu order. The previous shipment had a horrible hatch rate so I ordered more eggs then usual. Well turns out these were in much better shape, as my hatch rate is well above 70 percent. I will probably be thinning them out as we go, as even with 5 breeder boxes its going to be difficult to control cannibalism as well as they are probably going to crash my Mysid colony. I have found a semi local supply of ghost shrimp, but they are .65 each, so while cheaper then fiddlers, and hopefully smaller, they still are not a viable long term food, I'm just hoping they come in very tiny so to take some pressure off of the Mysid colony.
Looks like my three cuttles are reaching adult hood.

The largest one and one of the medium ones have been doing aggressive displays towards each other, going very dark, waving tentacles at each other, while the third one just looks on.

The third one is also the only one that is allowed to share a cave with the largest one.

I'm hoping this means that the third one is a female.

I guess I'm going to have to move them from the grow out tank into something bigger and more permanent, as the largest is pushing 3" long now, and they are in a compartment approximately 10 gallonish.
Another update: A good one

I run a small "nano" tank parallel with my main system, this is about 40ish gallons, but with in tank filtration and the over flows it really is 4 5 gallon compartments. Normally I use this tank to acclimate new coral, as well as heal up frags as well as its used for my mushroom propagation. I recently sold quite a few mushrooms to a local retailer and this left me with an empty compartment. Now this is a sponge filter only, no fish ever compartment... it has some minor bubble algae issues at the moment, but it is full of every variety of pod imaginable, Isopods, Amphipods, Copepods, even Mysids of some sorts. Since I really don't have any shrooms I want to cut up right now, I added 10 of my current group of babies to this tank. Within moments there was a complete feeding frenzy as they had more food then they knew what to do with. If they do well over the next couple days I will probably be clearing out another compartment to place another 10 or more into. I will still leave some in the breeder boxes, as I know that method works.

I'm hoping withing the next week to have a larger tank ready for my bigger cuttles, as they are big enough now I don't want to keep them hid back in a utility closet off of my fish room, its time for them to join the show tanks.
Be sure to keep posting on how the baby cuttles do with an overabundance of food. There have been anecdotal observations that too much food confuses them and they don't eat. Since getting cuttles to eat as soon as possible seems to be a factor in their survival, the observation may not be a cause and effect incident so reporting your survival rate (also, please include the age when placed in the mega food container. Also the approximate length and width of the containing compartment) will help validate or negate the concern.
Okay, so a bit more details.... the 10 I placed are approximately 3 weeks old. The compartment they are in is approximately 12"w 14"d and 6" tall, it has black sand and some mixed rubble in it along with a small clump of Cheato Morpha and pieces of Ulva Lacta. It is filtered by a Hamberg Matten style sponge filter with a dual outlet DIY Jet Lifter. The tank is part of a larger multiple compartment tank that is plumbed into my larger system. It is lit by a Maxspect Glaive, turned up all the way but dialed to produce a spectrum that showcases the many mushrooms in another compartment in the tank.

As of this morning, the next day, I only observed 6 of the 10, but with the abundance of hiding places I'm not worried, I will check this evening at lights out, as then usually all the babies are out hunting. The 6 I saw are still actively hunting, though I can't tell if there is a preference for one critter or another. You can tell when they grab a larger Amphipod as there is a bit of a struggle, but when they take smaller life its just the typical snatch and grab.

In my hang on back breeder tanks, I do tend to over feed a bit in order to ensure everyone gets something, since there where 50+ cuttles in one tank. I have been using a mix of 2 week old brine shrimp as well as one week old Mysids. I also harvest Ulva Lacta from my refugium and place it in the tanks for some "wild game," which they appear to relish. I also do not clean the sides of the breeder boxes, as this provides food for the prey organisms, and may give the cuttles a sense of security, as this time around I did not black out the nursery box.
Here we go, another update, but this time with video. My original 3 cuttles continue to grow and are starting to display more adult behaviours. This has me questioning whether I have 3 males or 2 males and a female.

Now my largest one I know is male, as he was the first to show the very black male display, and now a second one is doing it, but the smallest one, I've never seen go, full dark and broody, but has done a half and half display... now is the half and half only done by males or will a female do it to tell one male to "bugger off" while telling the other one "hey baby." I didn't capture the half and half display on camera, and the glass is dirty as I had just fed them this morning, and one crab tried to get away so there was some splashing on my part.

Its a sad night.... I came home from a Movie to find that the larger male had literally ripped the smaller male in half.

Lets hope that the smallest one is a female as otherwise I'm going to have a to wait a few months for the second group to mature. In the mean time I still am going forward and building the larger tank for them. This is just give me a longer time to let things mature, and well 120+ gallons for 2 cuttles will be plenty of space
Sorry, they can be aggressive. What was the space that they were in? And 120 gallons does sound good for two cuttles. I had three in a 55 gallon and I sometimes felt that was a little small when they were swimming around with the live rock.

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