Considerations for keeping cuttlefish in tanks; * Cuttlefish could be kept in an aquarium due to their specialized needs however I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone other than an expert level aquarist. However, males may mimic female displays and vice versa, so the only certain method is to observe actual breeding. A single breeder net can be used to hold clutches of eggs or up to six hatchlings. When disturbed, a cuttlefish can eject a cloud of dark ink from an ink sack and like other cephalopods, the cuttlefish is capable of amazing color and skin textural changes. Cuttlefish (not cuddle fish) are classified in the phylum Mollusca, Class Cephalopoda, in the order Sepioidea. Ideally, I would like to see keepers develop a self-sustaining system designed to breed their own cuttlefish. Premature births will typically lead to death. Sepia baxteri and Sepia bartletti are possible synonyms. Be prepared for a large bio-load for they are ferocious and messy eaters. Mysids Predators of the Cuttlefish are sharks, dolphins, seals, fish and other cuttlefish. Salinity should be near 34.5, temperature around 78°F, and pH should be between 8.0 and 8.5. I like to use a small pair of scissors to snip the material that holds the eggs to where they have been laid, taking care to cut as far away from the egg as possible. When your cuttlefish are a month old and have had time to hone their hunting skill on weaker, smaller food, you can try feeding them larger food—even up to foods the same size as the cuttlefish. S. bandensis can be kept in tanks as small as a 20 gallon high, although a 30 gallon high is better for a single animal. Canister filters, turf scrubbers, hang on the backs, wet/drys, fluidized bed filters or whatever the latest flavor of filter is, can all be used on a cuttlefish tank. The hatchlings, conditioned to strike when live food is dropped into their breeder net, will usually snap up the dead mysis as well. These can be bought live online but again, can be costly. I took more than an hour using a dripping airline to gradually add the new aquarium water. Glue or tie a small rock to a piece of fishing line as a sinker. This may very well carry over to cuttlefish for my current system has kept nitrates very low or undetectable. This will also aid topping off water evaporation from your tank. Cephalopods: Octopuses and Cuttlefish for the Home Aquarium. This way, it can share the same equipment, which should keep its water quality stable and will not require any additional maintenance. If you captive breed them, it seems to somehow make the short life of the animal feel less tragic and more meaningful. Unlike the octopus, Sepia bandensis can be kept in groups which make them even more attractive as a pet. Sepia bandensis have no specific lighting requirements and will thrive under simple fluorescent lights or more powerful metal halide lighting. Captive Bred/raised: There is a growing number of enthusiasts that are trying their hand at breeding, resulting in offspring available for purchase. As the baby matures in the egg, the yolk sack, attached at the front of the cuttle where the arms are/will be, shrinks and then finally disappears. Sepia bandensis start off small and get larger quickly, which means their food and space requirements change as they grow. All in all, it is one of the most fascinating animals I have ever had the opportunity to keep in aquaria. A skimmer is a must, not only for the oxygen it puts into the water and the waste it skims out of the tank, but because it also does a great job of removing any cephalopod ink from the water before it has a chance to do any damage to the animals. The most difficult question to answer was what to feed them at what stage of their life. In 2005, my search ironically lead me to Richard Ross of, a fellow cephalopod enthusiast living 20 minutes away. Reefkeeping Magazine™ Reef Central, LLC-Copyright © 2008, 150-gallon Cuttlefish Reef and Breeding System, The Nursery - Hand-made 4-gallon tank that can be divided into sections Flow: Bandensis have been shown to tolerate high levels of flow, but this is not a requirement. I have found that sufficient live rock in an established tank will be sufficient. Their color changing is not fully understood, but can be used for camouflage, communication or hypnotizing their prey! They max out at around 5-6″, with their lifespan being similar to other cephalopods. In previous breeding attempts, the main diet was small shore crabs caught locally. SIZE Tiny pea sized juveniles are best kept in breeding traps or acclimatisation boxes inside a main aquarium. Even more exciting is the success people have had captive-breeding Sepia bandensis, and captive-bred eggs and hatchling cuttles are offered for sale by breeders with increasing regularity. The cuttlefish has one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of any invertebrate, perhaps even larger than that of the octopus. The Octopus News Magazine Online:, TFH Digital URL: Remember to cover your intakes, and be prepared to separate brawls. You may get bored with an empty tank, but this will avoid unnecessary deaths and frustration. Red Fire Dwarf Gourami fish profile. Hatchlings and juveniles can and should be housed in a smaller tank. Even though cuttlefish can tell each other’s sex on sight, it is very difficult for us to accurately sex them if they aren’t actually seen mating. ... pinkies, bloodworms, crab pellets, cuttlefish, and unlucky tank mates. Once dried, the fishing line will be solidly attached to the plastic handle and act as a weight to prevent it from floating around in the tank. There should be some gentle flow in the breeder net or nursery. 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