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jstone624

nautilus in home aquarium?

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jstone624

I've done some searching online and have not come across very much information on this marine creature (nautilus). I have seen one at the Mystic Aquarium(CT)so it must be possible to keep one in captivity. Does anyone know of someone keeping one in a private (Home) aquarium? I imagine it would not be a "nano" style setup and would require a large tank, as well as special feeding paramaters. Just thought it would be an interesting topic to get some opinions on. Another question is how much would one be if you could get one, I think it would be expensive.

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Tigahboy

hehe. i was wondering the same thing when I saw one of these recently being sold. I hear they will eat anything and everything in the tank, so it might be hard to keep w/ other inhabitants. I don't know much more than that tho.

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Pili4444

A LFS by me had one for a couple months until it died. They said that they need a pressurized tank for it because of the depths at which they live. It was pretty cool though.

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Wobach

yes they need pressurised tanks and im not sure whether they need colder water, i think they do. My local aquarium has a new deep ocean exhibit with them in, next to the giant pacific octopus. Theyre in a deep, dark tall tank with little light and rock land scaping. They were also on tv recently and I believe they said theyre hard to keep, as hard as jellyfih or something along those challenging lines.

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jstone624

That description (Wobach)is like the tank at the aquarium there was very little if no lighting, empty and it was tall. I had thought of the depths at which they live, if the tank would need to be pressurized or not (cold water would make sense also). According to most of the websites I have visted little is know about the nautilus, although some scientist think the chambered shell controls buoyancy. I wonder if it is placed in too shallow a tank if the nautilus would become "stressed" as tangs do when the have lack of swimming area, lack of dive area maybe? Now I have to search for pressurized tanks and see what I come up with. At those depths there are alot of self illuminant animals which I'm sure fall in to the same "special" tank requirements, you would have a very elite home aquarium with some of these in your collection that's for sure.

 

Tigahboy let me say you have some excellent tanks and are very knowledgable in your post, Do you remember how much they where selling the nautilus for? Just and idea how much value they hold (market price?) and the size, the one I saw at the aquarium was roughly 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

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jstone624

Well after some searching of sites (for pressurized aquariums) it seems the going "idea" is they require a tank of 60 degrees or cooler, dark or no light, 4' deep or deeper and feed on crabs and other marine inverts or small fish. Price seems to be around $75 to $100 bucks for a small one. Still not much details on how to go about pressurizing a tank.

just keep searching, just keep searching, searching, searching...lol

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Tigahboy

Thanks for the kind words. The one I saw was around 6-7". I didn't bother asking for pricing tho. Those guys definitely look amazing tho.

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Undertheradar

http://www.tonmo.com/

I would ask the people here for information. The one thing I do know is that they are rather sensitive and need a large calm tank to feel at home. They are also not really tropical...those that keep them do so with big chillers to keep the water at 60degreesF. I would look into a bimac octopus as a good stepping stone ceph.

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ktownhero

I am curious about this concept of "pressurizing" a tank. As far as I know, liquids can't be compressed... period. So I don't know how one would simulate deep-sea pressure without, uh, a deep-sea :)

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ktownhero

Or maybe they meant pressurizing the airspace above the water to create pressure on the water surface?

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Blind Tree Frog

Water compresses, it just takes a lot of effort to compress it.

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jstone624

That is a good site undertheradar I have visted it b4, they do have a wealth of info and several ppl. on that site keep cuddle fish which (for those who havn't seen one) look some what like a nautilus. As stated in my post above yours it seems the concensus is that the water should be less than 60F , therefore for most of us that would require a chiller. To turly get a compressed liquid, look at LPG (Liquified petroleum gas - stuff you use on/with your grill) this has to be compressed to 14 times the atmospheric pressure (1 atmosphere @ sea level is about 14-15psi*) at this point the gas becomes a liquid and is kept in that form as long as it is kept under pressure, no matter what the temp. Now I have found most nautilus live in the 300' -1500' depth range, seeing as the "atmosphere*" compounds around every 33' under sealevel (ie:15@0, 30@33, 60@66, 120@132, etc...)and that water has different properties than lpg, I wonder if you could use Pascal's laws of physics (how hydraulics work) to compress the air above the liquid to compress the liquid. But compression equals heat, heat would turn water into vapor (condensation) the vapor can compress and "sandwich" the air between the liquid and vapor. Much in the way they go about making lpg.(Vacuum distillation makes it possible to bring items to boil to make vapor at lower then normal temps). I dont know theres got to be a easier way. Any science majors out there, I gave up on engineering 2 years ago. I'm in the medical field now and this is giving me a headache.

:)

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newbiecarlz

This is a pretty hard animal to attempt to keep in the home aquarium, especially when you consider that in the wild they make a daily migration from depths of 500-600m up to about 50m to feed, and then decend again (remember 1m = 3ish feet, so 1500+ ft deep).

 

obviously you cant replicate much of this, even in a pressurised tank. i understand that most of the animals we keep in captivity can thrive even though they are in very different conditions to their natural habitat, but because nautilus are so highly adapted to these pressure changes you would have to wonder how well they do in the absence of this part of their ecology/physiology (they control their buoyancy by changing the osmotic gradient in their tissues to alter the volume of fluid in each chamber and then letting gas diffuse out of their blood to create the level of desired buoyancy). they are an amazing animal thats for sure, but one that might not be ideally suited to captive life IMO.

 

of course,(ethics aside) experimentation is the only way we learn new ways to do things, so if you are seriously considering the whole pressurised tank etc than go for it.. im sure any aquariums that keep these animals would be able to provide you with their system specs (if you ask real nicely) :)

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Kogut

What baffles me is how you have a creature needing a pressurized tank, but it's transported to you... :| Wouldn't the stress of travel and being in a non-pressurized environment be too much for it? It would have to be de-pressurized at some point... :

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gpjoe

My lfs actually had one about a couple months ago. They were selling him for $90. He was roughly a foot long by about 4-5 in. in diameter. He was awesome looking. I went back a week later and he was gone. Never did ask what happened to him. He was very interesting looking to say the least.

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jstone624

Im happy with my reef setup, but am just curious about the "idea" of having one kept in a home "aquarium" (the word aquarium is used lightly in this case)not so much as taking on the responsabilites of keeping one myself. I have also mentioned in this posts if the animal would get stressed by having to cope with less pressure, I imagine this would affect its control of buoyancy confusing it's abilites to "swim". I agree with you newbiecarlz I don't think it would be fair to a animal used to diving and surfacing 100s of feet to have to live in a tank 3-5 feet deep. As for your reply Kogut, IMO I think due to them being harvested for thier shells (which in the practice they do not care if the animal dies or lives)the few that live end up in lfs and the like. At least thats my guess.

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Rmcm2424

I have seen some for sale in stores. They are extremely hard to keep. ou need a huge tank and I would like to say they almost assuredly die in captivity. The last one I was at an LFS would not eat and it died...I saw one at the National Zoo in D.C. a couple of weeks ago. It was on the same system as a biug octopus, and the tank was about 300+ gallon and he was the only thing in there if I remember right. No lights and the water was definitely being chilled.

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jstone624

Rmcm2424 how big was the marine section of the dc zoo? I am going to Tampa in 2 weeks and I plan on going to the Fl aquarium and trying the reef dive/snorkle thing they have. Later this year I would also like to try the "swim with sharks " thing they have in NJ. I love visting stuff like that and am curious about dc and chicago and what they have to offer. I did the baluga whale touch program at the mystic aquarium also, very worth the 160pp. to do it. well dont wont to stray to far off topic thanks for your input.

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Rmcm2424

The zoo doesn't have a big marine tsection. They have a few cool reef tanks and a few special items (like the octopus) but it's no aquarium or anything. The cool thing is tt's a part of the smithsonian so it's free. ThIf you're in D.C. I'd recommend going just to see the zoo though if you like animals it's really cool, there are all kinds of cool things and it's free. I haven't made it to Baltimore yet (I'm in D.C. for the summer doing an internship) but I know they have a huge aquarium there and I hear it's really nice. If you just want to see aquariums and you're in the DC area I'd go to the aquarium in Baltimore. I've been to the aquarium in Tampa and it's really cool. They have a lot of sharks. And if I'm not mistaken they have a huge open top tank with stingrays and you can touch them and stuff (more of a kids thing) but it's cool anyway.

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redneckvampire

I don't believe there is anyway you can have a pressurized tank or at least one that you'll be able to see what's inside of it. In dealing with water well reservoirs there are usually 2 types of pressure, but with different properties. You either have a tank with a volume of air in it. The water pump kicks on and starts pumping in more water into an airtight container. This just compresses the air not the water. Sometimes you have to de-waterlog the pump. IE drain some of the water out since only the air will compress...no air, no water pressure. Another way is to pump water up into a large reservoir on a tower. This results in head pressure. IE the weight of the water pushing towards the ground. More water, more head pressure.

 

I believe head pressure would mimic the conditions of the deep ocean; however I don't see a way that either of them can be used practically in an aquarium.

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reef-luva

They are pretty hardy. I have seen these bad boys raised in a tank, I know of several in the Waikiki Aquarium. They migrate to shallow waters to feed and spawn. In a tank, they need dim lighting, chilled water (65 degrees)and when they say "pressurized", they mean a taller tank over a shorter. With more water over them, they do fine.

They will eat everything and anything...even each other. They grow quickly, depending on their diet. They do not do well in smaller tanks, not for long, anyway.

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Caesar777

DON'T say they're hardy! They're certainly NOT. However, everyone thinks that they need need pressurized tanks, but they don't--just cold water and a large, well-filtered (messy eaters) tank. (And pristine water conditions.) 55-65, 60 is ideal. 65 in the long-term is too high, really. Still, they can't be kept in reef tanks as they'll knock over all your corals and eat all fish and inverts--besides that they can't live in warm water. They aren't easy at all, though, and they're extremely sensitive to stress, disease, and chemicals. ALL water used must be RO, and extreme care needs to be taken to make sure that nothing gets into the water...metals, especially, any other even slightly harmful chemicals. They also tend to grow "funny" in captivity, with the new shell coming in black. It's not quite known why. Note that the Waikiki Aquarium has an enormous tank, huge industrial chillers, extremely dim tanks (your livingroom or bedroom are both too bright as they are during the day, even with all the lights off).

 

Unless you have quite a few years of experience, and have successfuly kept cephalopods before, DON'T get a nautilus. I was considering it--took me months to get a chiller, large tank, UV sterilizer, and everything else--and finally I decided to stay away. Maybe later on in my life--they are very fascinating. But note, many people see them as "boring"; once the initial awe of meeting them wears off, they're just a big snail that floats around in the tank. Not nearly the intelligence or interaction of, say, an octopus. But, then, octopus are more intelligent than anything else in the ocean, short of mammals.

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Caesar777

Waikiki has successfully kept them, but note that they keep the tanks at 55 F. (I emailed them personally while researching in the months that I was starting/working on the project.)

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Caesar777

Also, as far as price: there's a lab--link is at my home computer--that sells lab-raised and wild-caught cephalopods, including squid, mudflat octopus, red pygmy octopus, tropical and temperate cuttlefish, and nautilus. Smaller nautilus are $150, larger are $200 or $250. Themarinecenter also sells nautilus--or at least has them on their price list--for $150. But nobody can get them in right now anyway; they're seasonal, so it may be several months before anyone can collect any.

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jstone624

Thank You for your reply Rmcm2424 I will have to look into Baltimore. Very interesting insights Caesar777,glad to see some ppl. in the hobby research b4 purchasing. I was on another web forum browsing around and some guy had the nerve to post, saying he had purchased a nuatilus in a lfs becuase it looked cool and wanted to know how he should now care for it. Some ppl. just dont get it, thank you for sharing what you know with us, caesar777.

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