The Quest begins

Steve O'Shea

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We've now established aquarium facilities at Kelly Tarlton's underwater world in Auckland (a rather neat aquarium) - pics to follow shortly. What we've been up to today is collecting mysid shrimp for stocking in the aquaculture facilities. This close to Auckland (5 mins away from the city centre) we found a small saltwater/brackish stream, where thousands of appropriate-sized (for larval squid food) mysid shrimp were collected by dipnet in the shallows over the course of an hour.

Friday (2 days away) we hope to be at sea, collecting the first of many larval squid and octopus to admit into the new tanks.

If you ever try to rear larval squid yourself you'll need to do this sort of thing, so I've gone slightly overboard on posts (many pictures) so that you know what to do. Remember, the key to keeping many oceanic/pelagic larval squid alive is a live prey that swims free of the tank walls, that swims in a jerky manner, and is of a size 1-1.5 times the size of the squid larva. Remember also, prey becomes predator, so never super-saturate the larval-rearing tanks with prey - only ever include enough to keep them going for any one 24 hour cycle (and preferably no more than 12 hours).

The first 3 pics are of the type of environment to target for mysid shrimp.

Happy squiding
Us





 

Steve O'Shea

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These images are of Kat (aka Tintenfisch) catching the little devils. Work upcurrent, hold the net low to the stream bed, and gently push the net forward (into the current). The objective is to collect good-condition mysid shrimp, so GENTLE is the key word. Empty the net into a bucket (full of water) every minute or so, rather than swish it back and forth until you've got a million shrimp/mysid patty in the net.





 

Steve O'Shea

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.... and if you're really lucky you can get a pic of the tiny wee shrimp (they were hard to focus). Tomorrow I'll put a few of these under the microscope (not this evening) to check out their rostrum (the pointy thing at the front of the shrimp carapace). If it is a great long spear then I'll not use these as food for the squid (I've seen these mysids gang up on squid before - piercing them ... not really the desired outcome).

We feed the mysid shrimp simple fish flakes. You have to keep them satiated, so that they don't immediately turn on the squid larvae when you add them to the tank (the mysid stocks are kept separate fom the squid larvae, added only as required, as per the first posting).

Tomorrow we'll have the mysid stocks set up at Kelly Tarlton's (they're presently in the office); the day after, hopefully, some sea shots (and squid).





 

joel_ang

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I can't see any shrimp ?! Well, only in the first two anyway, Great work kat :thumbsup: , keep it up! :mrgreen: Once again I wish your good luck. :)
 

corw314

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Hi Steve and Kat!

They look like the shrimp I catch here for Ink. How many squid and octopi do you intend to collect? The first picture, were they tree stumps? Looks like they totally submerge at high tide. Are you "Going to Sea" in your new vessel?

Carol
 

joel_ang

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I know I'm not Steve or Kat but those are the roots of a mangrove tree. :D
 

Steve O'Shea

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Yup, themz the roots of a mangrove indeedy.

Just posting a few more pics; there are many tanks in this room - didn't get 'em all in (and we've got a few more to install). There's a couple of Kat & the mysid tank, a pretty shocking close up of the mysids, and 3 of the cylinders (that will eventually have larval squid in them).

The clock is ticking .....





 

Jean

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Those tanks look great. What's the volume?? flow rate???????SST??????????? nice and smooooooooth!

Another place you can look from mysids is where a field drain empties into an estuary. There is one like that near Portobello tis where we get all ours. The very cool thing is that it's adjacent to extensive sea grass meadows and you can get copious quantities on amphipods there....a one stop shop :)

J
 

Steve O'Shea

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Right now things are chaos in those tanks Jean; the end one has no flow at present (this will be flow-to-waste); the central of the three visible tanks has both filter and chiller draw and discharge hoses, 2 x current regimes and massive eddies (this one is recirculating); the right of the 3 visible is on filtration pump only (this will be recirculating), and a fourth (out of frame) will be flow-to-waste. None has proper spray bars in there yet, and I've yet to set the flow (I'm just cycling everything through right now, making sure that the gear works - that's why there are hoses everywhere - quite unsightly ... but temporary).

Volume .... well .... I've yet to calculate (and don't have the tank specs on hand), but will do so morrow.
Cheers
O
 

Scouse

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Looks like a cool set-up, an a mad thing to get paid for!!! Not bad eh!!

I also note you kiwi's bein well hard an goin out there without your wellies!!!! :D

Wish we had some nice clean water (within several light years travel anyway!) to pluck live thingy-me-bobs out for pet food!!!

Out of pure intrest what is the approx temperature of the water were your netting, oh an also out at sea were your pickin up the baby squid an octo's?
 

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