View Full Version : Sepia Bandensis Setup & Equipment

08/27/2012, 08:40 AM
I am thinking about setting up a Sepia Bandensis tank. My main inspiration is Richard Ross' (Thales) success and his S. Bandensis tank at the California Academy of Sciences. WOW! If you ever get a chance to go to San Fran, I highly recommend checking it out (of course, all of the tanks are amazing). Here is a video that does not do it justice (not my video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJYeiBNhGZw

I have read Danial Pons article in ReefKeeping (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-10/feature/index.php), Richard Ross' article (http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/Sepiabandensis.php) (found in several other locations including TONMO, and Dr. Wood's article series (http://www.thecephalopodpage.org/cuttle1.php) as well as other online information (especially here and on TONMO). These are very informative, but I have some more detailed questions about how to turn my particular setup into a cuttle friendly setup.

These articles are encouraging, but from reading various threads here and on TONMO, it looks like very few people have longer term success. I could do a more accurate statistical survey from these threads but my impression is that some people don't get much beyond hatching and few seem to get past a month or so. My untested assumption is that there are four primary factors affecting success:

1) Egg Quality and Handling: there seems to be a lot of variability around the chain of custody and handling of the eggs (e.g., flow, water quality, temperature, shipping at different stages of development etc.)
2) Equipment: there also seems to be a lot of variability around hobbyist setups -- not all of which are ideally setup for rearing cuttles.
3) Experience: perhaps some hobbyists are not quite experienced enough for what is probably not an endeavor for a beginner to the hobby.
4) Cost: not everyone has the resources to attain the necessary quantities of live foods within a reasonable budget which can lead to poor nutrition.

Obviously, these observations are casual and not clearly supported by specific evidence, but threads here and there on a wide range of websites have given me the impression that these are issues for one attempt or another to keep cuttles. I would like to try to improve my chances by addressing issues before starting my attempt. Despite trying to line everything up in favor of success, I expect it will take at least a few attempts to get to a breeding pair. As long as I have the time, I am hoping being prepared for the fact this will not be easy will toughen my resolve.

For (1), egg quality, it would be great if there was a reliable source of S. Bandensis eggs from an aquaculture facility, but it does not seem like that exists. My impression is that most eggs are coming through the normal chains of custody from divers in the Philippines/Indonesia to whole salers, to LFS/online retailers to hobbyists. My hope is to find one of the successful hobbyists with a breeding pair to get some proven eggs earlier in the hatching cycle. If not, then I will need to accept the variability of the most available sources. It seems like NY Aquatics is one of the more reliable.

For (3), experience, I am probably of the verge of being ready to tackle this. I have been in the hobby for 3 years. I have two tanks, a 34G seahorse tank with a breeding pair, and a 125G LPS reeftank that has a pair of breeding A. Ocellaris. I have not reared any of the offspring, however. But I do keep a 5G with live feeder shrimp for the seahorses.

For (4), while I am prepared to spend some money, my wife is probably not :-). We'll see, but I have warned her about my little project.

For (2), I think I have a good foundation, but I need to add some tanks to the setup. My DT is 125G (48"x24"x24"). The tank has been setup since last Nov and has spot on params (SG 1.026, Temp 78F, NO3 0, PO4 0.00, Alk 8 Dhk, Ca 440). The system has a 36"x16"x18" sump with an oversized ATB 840 v2 cone skimmer and a refugium section with Chaeto. I want to plump at least two more tanks: one for rearing (from eggs) and one for live food.

What would you recommend?

I assume I need live mysis for the first (few?) weeks and then Palaemontes Vulgaris and then larger shrimp. Depending on cost, I plan to order the Live Mysis from Reef Nutrition and Palaemontes Vulgaris from www.livebrineshrimp.com. I am hoping to have the live food tank to be big enough to store a couple/few weeks worth but I understand the cannabalistic nature of these shrimp means they can only be kept so long.

What would you recommend for these tanks? Is two enought? Can I get away with two 10Gs and a Hang on Breeder and some nets?

03/16/2013, 03:15 PM
No replies in all this time?

03/16/2013, 05:54 PM
No replies in all this time?

I got answers on Tonmo and my main thread is there. I now have 8 cuttles that are 14 weeks post hatch and transferred to my 120G display tank.