Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

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Giner13
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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by Giner13 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am

It does sound like you need plenty of shells!!!

And I echo GB...some people just don't get it so I look at it as their loss!! They'll never know what it's like to have such a fun creature under your care & how rewarding it can be!!!


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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:14 am

Today is Day Eleven and they were super hungry this morning even though I put them to bed with brine shrimp and some of the ground-up pellets. The water was completely clear, so they had eaten everything! This is the first time I've had them eating overnight, too. I will need to give them a bigger nutritional load later in the day from here on out. They are also eating from the floor of the jar more, probably in preparation for the Glaucothae stage which is mostly spent on the sand. It's a constantly evolving feeding schedule.

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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:41 pm

Ugh. Absolutely riddled with doubts today. Why did I ever think I could do this??? I feel like I'm going to suddenly trip at the finish line of this crazy marathon. Blech.

And yet still I went to Home Depot for a bigger transition pool and materials to insulate the transition tank because who knows? I still might get there.

One foot in front of the other is all I've got today. I wish my crabs could hug. :comfort:

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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by GotButterflies » Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:54 pm

You got this mlakers! Sending a virtual hug your way!!!! :hug99::
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kuza
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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by kuza » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:33 pm

you will have no more shell worries soon, so just focus on the rest :)


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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by Giner13 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:52 pm

And another virtual hug from me too!!!!


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mlakers
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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:13 pm

DAY ELEVEN

It turns out that even if you say, "I'm expecting big losses any day now" for ten days in a row, it doesn't make it true. :(

All day long I had a bad feeling about a couple of the jars. I just didn't see much movement in them, but that has happened before so I kept to the schedule of changes and assumed they were congregating behind the bubbler or something similar...even as I felt a restless dread all day.

And tonight's count was a sad one.

Jar #1: About 200 alive, about as many dead
Jar #2: About 250 alive, about as many dead
Jar #3: About 30 alive, a couple hundred dead
Jar #4: About 12 alive, a hundred or more dead
Jar #5: About 30 alive, three hundred or so dead

That leaves about 500 alive, which is the number I'm trying to focus on. 500 is great. It's just that it's one-third of what I had twelve hours ago, so it's shocking,..and worrying, and not sustainable if the same thing happens for multiple days. :crybaby:

I distributed the survivors more evenly throughout the jars since I don't think it was the external conditions of the jars but rather that they had seemed so hungry this morning and I overdid it trying to make up for starving them. I believe I added too much food, either in terms of creating increased ammonia or decreased oxygen levels. In Jar #5, where the losses were the greatest, there were no obvious bodies by 7pm, but lots of detritus so I think the deaths happened early in the day and had time to decompose in the moving water--thereby continuing to increase ammonia levels for the initial survivors and creating worse conditions as the day went on.

I'll keep thinking about this and maybe draw different conclusions as I turn the day's details over in my mind. Something else might occur to me, but that's my initial assessment.

Keep your fingers crossed for the others, please.

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mlakers
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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:24 am

Looks like everyone left is still alive this morning. Resisting the urge to feed more than I think they will eat.....

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Fledgling
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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by Fledgling » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:14 am

I'm sorry for your losses. Just remember that what you're doing is a huge feat to take on! I dont know very much about captive breeding, but i do know that there's only so much we can do to help them in captivity. 500 survivors at this stage is an amazing number to me! Probably far more than it would be in the wild! Just keep doing what you're doing and we'll all be here to support you! The more captive breeding attempts and successes, the better it will be for our wild caught friends! You're amazing!

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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:37 am

Thank you, Fledgling. Feeling a bit more optimistic today. :|

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Fledgling
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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by Fledgling » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:56 am

mlakers wrote:Thank you, Fledgling. Feeling a bit more optimistic today. :|
Image Image Image
Hang in there!

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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:10 am

DAY TWELVE.

I've been thinking a lot since last night's carnage and I have a few theories. These are some of the things I think could have gone wrong yesterday in order of what I think is the likeliest (#1 being most likely).

#1. I overfed them and/or gave them the wrong food.
They were clearly so hungry first thing in the morning. They appeared to be attacking one another and I knew a bunch had just transitioned to stage five, so I thought they needed more food. They seemed to be spending more time at the bottom, too, so I gave them extra sinking food (frozen brine shrimp and the shrimp pellets). In short, I threw everything at them and worried more about giving them enough food than I did about the ammonia levels that would create.

#2. They are older, eating more, and creating more waste so I should have changed the water more.
This one is closely related to #1, but makes sense as a change (because I had been throwing lots of food at them mornings for a while and this day was somehow different). They now have clear gut tracks so they must be pooping in quantities equal to the crazy amounts they are eating. Plus there are tons of brine shrimp hatching now, also creating waste and using up resources like oxygen and food.

#3. Lots of what I was seeing was sheds, either stage five or six.
Many had entered stage five, but probably not all, and sheds create lots of waste. I stayed on top of it the day before, but didn't keep in mind that it might take the whole lot of them two days. I should have done some extra water changes. It's also possible that many of the deaths may have been stage six sheds. That's coming fast, but it would help to explain why I wasn't seeing as many clear bodies. Stage six is when the front legs really make a big appearance, including the claws. There have been a ton of sheds today, too, and many of them look strange--like a a normal tail with a huge front half that includes the shed swirling around the body. So it's possible they have been trying to enter stage six but that molt is a really tricky one with all of the major changes involved. They might be getting "trapped" in their own exoskeletons and drowning.

#4. They are getting a lot cagier.
I realized this morning when I caught just a few in the 50% water change that it's no longer easy to catch them with the medicine dropper as they swim away and hide beneath things like carcasses of others and then stay very still. They are becoming more like adult crabs in this way. They seem skittish and avoid the light I have been using to find them in the detritus. They even cling to the larger dead brine shrimp carcasses making themselves virtually invisible. (This is a great strategy in the wild when things are trying to eat you--and a terrible strategy in captivity when someone is trying to save you.) I am now hoping I didn't accidentally throw out a bunch of live zoeae last night when I thought they were all dead because there was no movement.

#5. The weather has been unseasonably cold.
This has made it a lot harder to regulate the water when I am using a gallon at a time. The house has been cooler and I can only regulate a quart of water at a time in the water bath. I've tried storing a gallon in the old crab tank which is still being heated because I have a molter still down in there but no crabs topside, but that's minimally effective. I've been warming small amounts and mixing it into the colder water before adding it to the jars and I've been mixing the water closer to change time and trying to get the temperature right at the mixing stage and then just using it right away. No matter how I've try to compensate for 70-degree room temperature, every strategy seems less than ideal.

#6. I've had to change up their "routine."
I've had several morning meetings and appointments this week and had to be gone for three hours or so each time. This meant I had to make changes to their scheduled water swaps and either do them earlier or later. I've tried my best to make it work, but those changes may have been a factor in their mortality.

#7. They are larger now and perhaps more sensitive.
More sensitive to things like the medicine dropper I am using to suck them up, traveling through the siphon, getting poured into a bowl for the 100% water changes, fluctuating ammonia levels and water temperatures, etc.

#8. My local water authority just did its seasonal chlorine boost.
I could smell it in the water day before yesterday. I use Prime to neutralize that stuff, but it was noticeable to my nose so it may have been an issue. There wasn't much I could have done about this, short of going out and buying bottled water and I doubted my nose just enough to convince myself it wouldn't be an issue. And truthfully, I don't think it was a factor (why it's so low on the list), but it occurred to me so I'm mentioning it.

#9. Excess salinity in the water.
I haven't been adding occasional drops of freshwater during the day and I was doing this in the beginning. There is a lot of splash and evaporation, so it may have gotten too high, but again, I think this is less likely because some of the "splashiest" jars still had high numbers surviving.

So there you have it: CSI, Crab City.

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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:49 pm

You are doing great mary! Wish I could help you!! Stay positive!!!


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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by aprilmay » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:03 pm

First of all, i am wholeheartedly agreeing with Fledgling that what you are doing is amazing! Thank you for trying and sharing!
I'm new and has only had our hermit crabs for 3 months. I'm so thankful for this forum and inspirational threads like yours here! Hang in there! 500 is an amazing number!
mlakers wrote:DAY TWELVE.

#3. Lots of what I was seeing was sheds, either stage five or six.
Many had entered stage five, but probably not all, and sheds create lots of waste. I stayed on top of it the day before, but didn't keep in mind that it might take the whole lot of them two days. I should have done some extra water changes. It's also possible that many of the deaths may have been stage six sheds. That's coming fast, but it would help to explain why I wasn't seeing as many clear bodies. Stage six is when the front legs really make a big appearance, including the claws. There have been a ton of sheds today, too, and many of them look strange--like a a normal tail with a huge front half that includes the shed swirling around the body. So it's possible they have been trying to enter stage six but that molt is a really tricky one with all of the major changes involved. They might be getting "trapped" in their own exoskeletons and drowning.
i find #3 very interesting. could this be the nature's way of wade out the weaklings? could hermit crab in the wild experience similar population crash in this stage? only those could figure out how to get out of this "trap" gets to live? so they are better prepared for future molt?

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Re: Artemis, Day 14 carrying eggs

Post by mlakers » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:35 pm

Thanks, aprilmay. Like natural selection, you mean? I think anything is possible. Nature is pretty ruthless but also super amazing. What these little crabbies go through is miraculous. I just hope I can help a few get a shot at life.

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