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  1. cuttlefish
    by cigliano/bu-bio.bu.edu (John Cigliano) (3 Sep 92)

cuttlefish

by cigliano/bu-bio.bu.edu (John Cigliano)
Date: 3 Sep 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <1992Sep3.162047.24197-at-cs.ucla.edu> frazier-at-kona.cs.ucla.edu (Gregory Frazier) writes:
>Class 110B Student (110b18-at-physics.ucla.edu) wrote:
>: I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with cuttlefish. I've
>: never seen one in any store, and was curious as to if they are available,
>: and if they're hard to keep, etc.
>: 
>
>There was an article in FAMA earlier this summer on keeping cuttlefish.
>If my sieve-like brain can recollect this, I'll try to find it tonight.
>--
>"They thought to use and shame me but I win out by nature, because a true
>freak cannot be made.  A true freak must be born." - Geek Love
>
>Greg Frazier	frazier-at-CS.UCLA.EDU	!{ucbvax,rutgers}!ucla-cs!frazier

I don't have direct experience with keeping cuttlefish but I spent some time
at a lab that does so I'll pass on what I learned. Cuttlefish probably are
the easiest of the cephalopods to keep (squids being the most difficuly).
They aren't as mobile as octopuses so they won't escape and they will eat
frozen prey such as fish, shrim and crabs (and probably many other things). 
However, they are champions when it comes to inking. I've seen _Sepia
officinalis_ (the common cuttlefish found in the mediterraneum and eastern
atlantic) project ink out of its tank and hit a wall over 10 m away. 
The amount of ink is enough to turn water in the largest tanks black. You
would need a heavy duty protein skimmer and a very good filtration system
to remove the ink. As to where to get cuttlefish, I don't know. I've never
seen one in a pet store. The research labs that have cuttlefish either
collect them themselves or get them from other labs. Also be aware that 
some cuttlefish are large (_S. officinalis_ weigh over a kilogram and can
get up to a half a meter) and live for only 1 to 2 years.

I would be happy to answer any other questions on cephalopods.

John Cigliano


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