Thanks D. They are much smaller than I seem to remember them being! Those images are actually frame grabs off the video camera (Sony DCR-SR45) using the regular zoom (40x optical) and I shrank them quite a bit... haven't dug out the macro lenses yet!
Varys' eggs hatched over about a 10-day period too so we'll see how many more we get. Quattro was out roaming the tank last night which is actually pretty uncommon... not sure if it was because of the babies or because I had avoided putting a fiddler in the tank for a few days. I didn't want a fiddler around with the potential for babies... not sure if they would be a threat or not.
Oh, they are SO cute! They look a lot more like octos than small egged babies- cuter, too! Small egged babies look like swimming heads. Still, I miss having the babies to care for. Congratulations on your babies- now I'm really inspired to try a large egged breed!
Our mysid order showed up DOA yesterday... don't have very much hope for these guys making it now... it may be too late by the time we can get another live mysid shipment... we'll see what we can do with frozen mysids and cyclopeeze, but we didn't have any luck with them last time around.
We currently have at least 17 babies doing well in the cubes and 3 or 4 more running wild in the tank with Quattro. I've only seen 3 dead babies (all of which climbed the netting and got stranded high-and-dry) so there could be quite a few still hiding in their little shells.
Apparently the mysids spent too many hours in the cold. Sachs was really good about getting a new order expressed to me in an insulated box, and these made it fine, but we had to go almost a week without live foods because of some other issues that caused a delay in me re-ordering.
Fortunately, persistance with the frozen foods paid off! By the time the live mysids arrived, many of the babies were showing definite interest in cyclopeeze and even whole, frozen PE Mysis. The live foods are much more convenient, but the cost gets out of hand so quickly! The live mysids were depleted several days ago and we have been feeding nothing but frozen ever since. Not sure why frozen worked this time... maybe gently dripping them down the side walls of the cubes helped... maybe just having the babies confined. Still a lot of work trying to feed them frozen mysis one by one, but it's hard to be sure they are all getting food when we just squirt the cyclopeeze in.
With regards to the wildlings living in the tank with Quattro... last night I saw one of the babies on the wall between his two front arms, right up against his webbing. As he moved upward, the baby simply scooted forward too. Eventually, the baby jetted away, but there was never any attempt to catch and eat the baby. Minutes later, Quattro was all arms and ate hungrily when I dropped a couple of frozen mysids between his arms where the baby had been. Just one observation, but I wanted to mention it because of the previous concerns about your adult male D. Can't prove a negative!
Thanks for the observation Greg. If I found ANY dead ones, I would be convinced that they were not eaten with what you saw but they simply disappeared (and come to think of it I saw almost the exact same thing in the open tank). I found my male in the net at least twice. I am not sure which male it was and it could have been MIA who would almost never come out to be fed, babies in a net were easy pickings (but then other food was well confined there as well). I guess I will never be sure, Wiley survived loose in the tank with both males.
Interesting the you found dead ones above the water line. With my first brood (of 6) one climbed up the net and died similarly. I now have nets with suction cups so that the entire net is below water (which may be why my male visited the second brood).
At 6 weeks (2/18/09), we had 11 babies... 9 in the cubes, 2 loose in the tank. We had been losing one in the cubes every few days and began to suspect sibling predation. We decided to turn all but 3 loose in the tank (with Quattro, who will be 1 yr old in 8 days) and trust to cyclopeez and the occasional mysis by pipette. It was really nice having them in the cubes and being able to count and feed each individual, but I feared with the way things were going I would end up with only 4 babies (the number of cubes) and I'd like to have a few more reach adulthood this time around.
On Friday night, I managed to find 6 of the 8 loose in the tank and feed them mysis directly.
I am still surprised (and delighted) at the fact that they are eating frozen mysis (the best I could do was shore shimp)! I am curious if these will be larger than their parents where mine continued to get smaller.
Sorry for the long abscence... life (especially with a new baby) happens.
Beluga's babies only made it to about 3 months of age... The last 3 dissappeared while we were out of town, so I can't be sure if it was the temporary care or if nutrition (raising them on frozen mysis) was the issue, but the diet is certainly suspect.