Raising baby cuttles from eggs has its own host of problems and benefits that will be addressed later in this article. If you have never kept a reef tank, I would strongly suggest keeping one before you start on cuttlefish – even if not all husbandry methods are transferable. A little about Cuttle Fish and Corals. Photo, Richard Ross. In the SF Bay area I have never needed one, but if I did need one I would use an IceProbe Micro Chiller DIY’d onto a hang on back filter. However, please remember that cuttlefish are short-lived animals (which has also bolstered the thought that they are difficult animals to keep), so get prepared for your little alien friend that greets you every time you walk into the room to be with you for 13 months or less. If you live near the coast, you can also collect amphipods (Gammarus spp) for baby cuttlefish food, which is actually pretty easy. Make sure you thaw the food completely, and it is a good idea to supplement once in a while with live food. Although non-toxic, the ink produced by Sepia species certainly doesn’t seem to taste very good and is thought to cover taste buds and cause confusion. Top off – over time the water in your tank will evaporate, and will need to be replaced. As you now know, our cephalopod pals are not all that long-lived, with less than 12 months being about the norm for longevity. On opening the box I discovered that I had been sent seven instead of just the five I had ordered; that’s two for good luck! Live saltwater shrimp/crabs from the LFS: Great if you can afford them. Variety is always a good idea, as it covers more nutritional bases and keep the cuttle mind more active. Like its octopus kin, a cuttlefish hides from enemies with camouflage and clouds of ink. Photo, Richard Ross. Needing a custom reef tank, this âadvancedâ level aquatic creature will need consistent aquarium maintenance to ensure its tank is healthy and safe. Otherwise, ghost shrimp are eaten with gusto by cuttlefish, as are small fiddler crabs or very small crawfish. A cuttlefish in an aquarium at the local fish shop is more than likely to be a Sepia bandensis. Large fish, sharks and even other cuttlefishesâsometimes of the same species!âare the most common cuttlefish predators. Lots of pictures have been posted in online forums displaying newly purchased cuttlefish that unfortunately showed the purchased species to be sexually mature adults. This is not to say that there isn’t info out there – The Octopus News Magazine Online (www.TONMO.com ), which recently held its first cephalopod convention in Monterey CA, and The Cephalopod Page, currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary (http://is.dal.ca/~ceph/TCP/index.html), both have much good information and I use them often; this article is intended to supplement those resources. I prefer to go to a gravelly area that gets exposed at low tide, find a rock about the size of a dinner plate, flip it over and scoop the revealed gravel into a bucket with some tank water. They are also known for the amazing chromatophores, leucophores and iridophores that change the color of their skin (photos 3 and 4). They will eat a lot more than once a day, but it does seem like it is possible to over feed them. Live freshwater crabs/shrimp: It is questionable if freshwater animals make good food source for saltwater animals – there may be missing nutrients or may have incompatible amino acids. She is in a 5.5 gallon tank with a male crown tail Betta. After breeding, I separate the two to prevent fighting. It’s maybe not such a bad thing, as they grow so big and are not a tropical species. Two wild-caught cuttles I currently have took to frozen food almost immediately with almost no work on my part, while other cuttles I have had would never even look at it. Some people will use enriched small brine shrimp but only in a pinch – it is thought that long term, brine are not an adequate cuttlefish food. Captive-bred specimens are becoming far more common, and I wholeheartedly suggest that you track these down if you want to give cuttlefish a try. The average cost of a saltwater tank with a reef system averages about $30 to $35 per gallon, and experts highly recommend a tank at least 100 to 200 gallons at a minimum. HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? Keep a gentle water flow over the eggs and remove any eggs that fail to mature. . Reef and Saltwater Fish Info | TFH Magazine, Dwarf Cuttlefish Husbandry and Breeding | TFH Magazine, Raising Sepia bandensis | Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine. In an aquarium setting, the species of cuttlefish will determine what temperature, pH, salinity, and other factors you need to maintain. Mar 22, 2013 - Explore RACHEL JENSEN's board "CUTTLEFISH", followed by 102 people on Pinterest. Marks at the bottom of the frame are 1/8 inch apart. I suspect that S. bandensis would be easy to breed with a group of 10 or so as long as they were in a 300 gallon tub with plenty of macro algae for hiding. Keeping cephalopods, and especially cuttlefish, in home aquariums is still in its infancy, so I thought I would write an article with all the information I would have wanted when I started keeping them. Bloomington, Indiana. ©2020 TFH Magazine, a Central Garden & Pet Company. Cuttlefish are fantastic animals, and I am still amazed that I have them in my home. I built movable partitions in a 100 gallon tank, each with a removable door that can be either be transparent or opaque. It is important to note that I am not a cuttlefish ‘guru’ and that I expect that some of my ideas regarding cuttlefish husbandry will change as more people start keeping these animals successfully. ‘filler’ and one wholesaler told me they feed them to fish at his facility! 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