Yesterday, after 4 months of preparing a cuttlefish aquarium, my order of 5 Dwarf Cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis) eggs arrived. The package came around 10:23 in the morning and had been overnighted from California.
I opened the package up, and it was packed really well. Thick styrofoam with a little care package that included acclimation instructions (although it was generic for fish and corals, nothing in there on tiny cephalopods) and some airline tubing, some seachem, a sample of fish food and a suction cup.
I set to work acclimating the bag. I resisted the urge to peek much, but I could tell there were 5 dark spheres at the bottom. I set the tubing up to drip about 1-2 drops a second and came back in about two hours to put the eggs into the special breeder nets I had waiting for them in my 40 gallon tank.
Right away, I could see that 2 of the eggs were deflated. That’s not good. I looked in the net and to my dismay I found 2, white, lifeless baby cuttles that must have hatched in transit prematurely and died. I knew this was a real possibility going in, though, which is why I ordered 5 eggs. The 3 remaining eggs were about half to 3/4 the size of grapes.
Since I had 2 nets, I put the 2 “dead” cuttles in my first net with the algae.
Even though I knew survival rate was likely to be less than 100%, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed. I tried to focus on the positive: the other eggs seemed in good shape. I left the tank alone the rest of the day, aside from the occasional peeking.
In the evening, I noticed that one of the “dead” cuttles had moved, and changed color. At first, I assumed it was being jostled/was decomposing or something. But then, I watched it move with my own eyes! I also realized the smaller dead one was now missing. (I still haven’t located it).
Now, most people who have hatched cuttles, usually don’t have much luck with cuttles with yolks still attached. However, Lazarus here managed to free himself of his yolk sac right after I shot that video, so here’s hoping.
I check in on him this morning, and he’s resting on the bottom of the net but occasionally moves and changes colors. As of right now, he’s alive and kicking.
I’ll be updating this whole adventure as I go along, so be sure to check back. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to tell the difference between a live cuttlefish and a dead one