Winkin, Blinkin and Nod


Staff member
Moderator (Staff)
Sep 4, 2006
Cape Coral, FL
I got my three little cuttles last week and Winkin and Blinkin seem to be doing fine but Nod just disappeared. I found possible traces of arms and maybe a cuttle bone but I am not sure. Winkin and Blinkin don't seem to bother each other so Nod may have died naturally and then become food.

Since the baby Mercs have survived 7 weeks by throwing in the kitchen sink, I am doing the same for the cuttles and liberally feeding cyclopese, new hatch brine, mysis (live), pods and occassional small pieces of frozen mysis or krill. So far, I have not seen them eat but everything but the frozen disappears. Unfortunately, most of it may leave the net and get filtered out. I have 4 live shore shrimp with eggs in the outer tank and am hoping the fry will find its way into the net but am afraid to put the adult shrimp directly in the net at this point.

Good luck spotting them in the rocks :wink:


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Winkin and Blinkin seem to be doing fine and may need to be renamed Tubby and Chubby. I am not 100 percent sure what they are eating but it is obvious that they are. I have small shore shrimp and baby Sailfin Mollies in their net at all times (I have seen one with a shrimp in its mouth but do not think they have eaten any fish) and feed cyclopese twice a day. I knew that they had grown but looking at the post pictures, they appear to have doubled in size.
After 5 weeks Winkin and Blinkin are still Tubby and Chubby and living in their large breeder net. I continue feeding Cyclop-eeze and live shore shrimp. They have stepped up their consumption of the shrimp and I replentish their 6 count almost daily. The water flow through their net makes picture taking impossible but I will try again when I turn the filter off to change the media.

Winkin stays visible most of the time and rarely changes from the white of the plastic frame and net. Blinkin stays camoflaged to LR colors and does not like to be seen. He (arbitrary call) will duck under the live rock (it really is a nice sized net) if he sees anyone looking in the tank. If he feels you can still see him when he takes shelter he does not hesitate to ink repeatedly.

I have considered freeing them into their first tank (15 gallon hex) but have decided to wait until after TONMOCON before initiating daily heart attachs brought on by trying to locate them in the multi caved rock.
6 week slide show

Actually yo can't see much size difference and the eggs are not Winkin and Blinkin but I decided to try a slide show style gif with the miserable photos I had. Hopefully I will get better shots when they are in the tank and out of the net.


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First Tank

I put Winkin and Blinkin in their first tank (15 gallon hex) today. They were probably ready to leave the breeder net last week but I waited until after TONMOCON II so that my son could easily monitor the food supply.

Winkin and Blinking continue to show very different personalities. I removed the live rock and tipped the net on its side so that the opening was underwater. Winkin casually went to the opening and stood at the edge for a minute or two then slowly swam into the tank. She spotted something (too small for me to see, maybe a pod) and I finally got to see the famous Cuttlefish slurp. Blinkin nerveously vacummed the net bottom (was the side) and ignored the opening for five or six minutes. Eventually he hovered to mid net and backed into the tank, squirting a tiny amount of ink during his exit.

Initially they both stayed to the back of the tank but as soon as the ambient light was less than the light in the tank, Winkin came to the front and stayed their most of the evening. Blinkin remained in the back but would venture out to the first bend after Winkin abandoned him. Both have been eating well but ignored the shrimp wandering in the tank, even when the shrimp would investigate them.

I took some pictures and left them alone later in the evening. As you will see in one of the pictures, there are numerous shrimp swimming casually near them. I was working on another tank to the left of the cuttle tank for something in excess of 30 minutes. When I next looked into the tank, both cuttles were on the left side (they had not ventured there before) as if they had been watching me and ALL of the shrimp magically vanished :hmm:

The first picture is the tank with Blinkin in the front and maybe Winkin in the back right corner.

The second is Blinkin with near a large peppermint shrimp (as well as ignored food) at the front of the tank.

The third is Winkin at the back of the tank with a mythrix crab.


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More Photos

Winkin was showing a nice red color in a place that I thought I could photographer her so I ran for the camera. She withdrew into the cave but returned when I aimed the camera her way and showed off a bit.

I also "spotted" Blinkin in the larger cave and took about 8 shots before I got suspisious and realized I was taking pictures of yet another out cropping of live rock that disguises itself as a cuttlefish:hmm: I finally really did find him and the third picture shows a camoflaged cuttle, not a camoflaged rock.


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Dwhatley, your pictures have a great deal of noise in them, what camera are you using and what speed is your sensor on?
Answering my own questions with a Minolta Dimage Z1 you should try dropping your ISO to 100 would probably help, also if you move to flash on instead of auto flash when you know the light is relatively low you might be able to handle the decreased focal length (because your camera will be faster) of going to an f stop of 2.8 instead of 3.2 That is unless you were zoomed in a bit and couldn't do f 2.8 I don't really know whereto look in the Exif data to find the optical zoom.
Good pictures though.
Some of the noise may be trying to shoot through old, imperfectly cleaned acrylic using a flash but unfortunately, I am usually one of those automatic setting users. Not that I haven't tried using some of the manual overrides but I find that most of the time the automagic setting is less frustrating and I gave away my light meter years ago. I think if I would remember to set it to close-up I will get the 2.8 f stop but I am not sure I have an "on" setting for the flash. To my knowledge, I have either red-eye reduction or automatic on the flash and the last thing I want is the preflash (the cuttles seem OK with the flash but the octos often react and I don't believe there is any difference in the actual picture sync).

It won't hurt to try full manual with your recommended film speed of 100 and a 2.8 shutter next time though and I can compare the pics to see what happens with both ambient and flash - electonic film is cheap :cool2:

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