[Cuttlefish Eggs]: They Have Hatched

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Theokie, Mar 21, 2016.

  1. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    So I'm a bit late on starting this Journal, as I wasn't fully sure if the eggs were viable as it has taken so long for them to start to hatch, but I came home from being away for two days for work, to find 5 babies sitting in the net breeder. I quickly decided this wouldn't do, and jumped into the truck to head to Big Al's in Edmonton. I originally was just going to grab a second net breeder thing, but they had this awesome 3 compartment isolation/breeder/hang on tank thing.... I quickly grabbed two, as I still have over 20 viable eggs at home.
    [​IMG]Baby cuttlefish nursery by Eric Leahy, on Flickr

    and then quickly go to work setting it up, as my babies where quickly disappearing under the plastic frame and I did not want them to get squished.



    And then I broke out the macro lens and the DSLR, and well I need some more practice as these little critters are so tiny.

    And Well I have been observing them doing this little pushup manuver... its like they are strengthening there arms, as they really don't have the hovering thing down yet.



    Well I've been told supper is ready so I have to run, I will keep this updated as they progress.
     
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  2. skywindsurfer

    skywindsurfer Architeuthis Registered

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    Really cool. I was thinking about switching from my mesh box to one of these for the very same reason. Only one of my eggs have hatch thus far. I found it dead and in several pieces the same day, possibly due to the construction of the mesh box they are in. How do you like the HOB breeder box? Are the cuttles doing well in them?
     
  3. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    Since its only been about 5 hours since I even found out they hatched, I can't really comment on the hang on tank box. The only thing I can say for sure is that its a nice gentle flow, and its so much nicer to be able to see the critters through the side of the tank, also makes it much easier to take pictures, as pictures and vids are the important part.
     
  4. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well its now Thursday so I had guess I had better report on the developments... So far 9 have hatched, woohoo, sadly 2 have perished for unknown reasons, boooo. Though another good thing happened today, my live Mysis order arrived today, 1000 7 day old shrimpies, as soon as I introduced them into the nursery, it was pandemonium as the cuttles attacked like the blood thirsty savages that they are, it was great.... and of course I didn't have my camera with me so I missed it.

    So not as exciting as the feeding frenzy but its an updated vid none the less
     
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  5. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    And another update.... I know crazy videos every day, but well I'm a proud papa, breeding and propogating was one of my favorites in my freshwater days, and well aside from sea slugs and coral I really haven't had much success with higher order marine inverts, so these little buggers leave me very excited.

    We are up to 8 now, and they are swimming around, more, changing colours too!

     
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  6. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    LOL, don't be shy to post! This is YOUR journal and the more you record, the more you will remember and help guide others.

    One thing that immediately grabbed my attention is the high activity of the fish outside the breeder boxes as well as the high activity of the hatchlings. You reported that the hatchlings went crazy when you put in their first live food. This is not normal and we constantly worry about getting them to start eating. Getting a better picture of their visual environment begs more experiments with movement and/or predator/food competition being visible to both eggs and hatchlings. There have been experiments showing that live food preferences may be influenced by what the cuttlefish see while still in the egg. Your experience may extend that idea and is worth more evaluation (just don't release the cuttles to that environment :heee:
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  7. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    wow, that is interesting, I never really thought of that. As that is my Mollie tank, as I keep a large population to provide live babies for my Pygmy Red Rooster waspfish. They are also plumbed into a 500 gallon system, so I don't have to worry about water quality issues. The way the airlift tubes feed the breeders there is a gentle rocking motion which may help, as the hatchlings don't tend to be too skiddish, they are out on the sand for the most part, only a few of them under the cheato strands, that I provided for cover.

    And as for releasing them... that isn't going to happen for awhile, I bought two of the large hang on tank breeder boxes, so that I can keep them isolated if there is aggression, as well as keeping track of them. My plan is to eventually move them into a 48x24x8" deep tank to continue grow out, with several dividers, and then to move them to the larger 72x36x18" divided into three compartments. I will add a second tank if needed as I did not expect so many to hatch. I've read that there are usually very low hatch rates, presently I'm at about 1/3 of the eggs... as of this morning 11 have hatched, 9 survivors. There are about 6 more viable eggs, the remaining are shrinking or have been removed due to fungus.
     
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  8. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    We are up to 11 Babies now, but even with one or more hatching every day there is a size difference, so I have the 4 newer babies on the other side of a divider just in case. I will have to try and get another video as the babies are much more active during the day now.... normally they are only out hovering and swimming around during dusk and evening, but now they are starting to respond when I walk up to the tank.

    I have yet to witness a feeding successful feeding attempt, though I have seen them striking at the Mysis. Since I travel a few days a week for work, I just ensure that there are enough mysis in the holder at all times so they can just eat when hungry. I know this isn't the best strategy to eventually wean them onto frozen, but I'm just happy they are eating and growing, and will just keep throwing money, I mean live Mysis at them.

    Currently I am attempting to track down another clutch of eggs as I hope to be able to separate the sexes from each clutch in order to preserve genetics, as getting past Gen2 appears to be a major hurdle, that probably happens from crossing siblings.

    Hopefully this week I will start to scale up my mysis culture system, though depends on my tax return arrival as culturing mysis on small scale isn't as effective as going for a few hundred gallons.
     
  9. Jocco

    Jocco Vampyroteuthis Supporter Registered

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    Excitement all over the board! Great set up! Your feed is going to be fun to watch and learn from!
     
  10. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    There was a point when I realized my cuttles were eating better than I was...

    It is possible to have more than one female lay eggs in a clutch, so there is a possibility they aren't all related...
     
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  11. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    That could be, also my batch of eggs are from two different pieces of media, so chances are they were two small clutches or the wholesaler just through two clutches into the bag, as I picked them up directly at the airport, before my retailer took them to the store.

    As far as breeding siblings, the only way I can guarantee that I am not, is to separate the sexes the best I can and use the from different groups, as by controlling this I am hoping to see if it gets around the Gen2 Barrier or reveals if there is some other variable that could be causing these low yields on captive produced eggs. Just trying to advance the understanding of these critters as a steady captive bred supply will greatly help the hobby
     
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  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I know @Thales has managed at least Gen2 and there may be others but success rates are not high so it will be interesting to see if your strategy helps. A suggestion is to keep them on live food. @cuttlegirl has suggested this in the past and the only eggs that matured from my group where those laid while feeding live. After I switched to frozen, none of the eggs developed. The evidence is anecdotal and may not be related. It is one of those experiments that are hard to justify but worth the knowledge for others.
     
  13. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    Here is some uneditted footage from this morning, from shortly after the lights were turned on. Still holding at 11 babies, I'm thinking there may be two maybe 3 more viable eggs.

     
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  14. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    I just witnessed my first confirmed successful strike, I'm a proud papa. And the babies are definitely social now, as I've been watching them and they are definitely communicating with each other, waving their little tentacles around and changing colours. I'm still holding at 11 individuals, and the remaining eggs I don't have much more hope for... there are two eggs that I will give a few more days and then I will remove them to make room for the growing babies. I also have 2 more orders of eggs arriving on the 13th.
     
  15. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    Not much to report, aside from running out of Mysids, as I was having difficulty getting brine shrimp eggs. who would have thought that their is a shortage of brine shrimp up here. I ordered a pound from the US, but unfortunately its taking its time to get up here. I managed to gets some eggs from a local clownfish breeder so I will be able to keep the next batch of Mysids from eating each other, hopefully long enough to get them into the sorting tanks. Though the sorting tanks are in limbo waiting for my micron mesh to arrive, again from the US. I still have 10 babies for sure, 2 got swept over the overflow during maintenance, and I've only been able to recover one. Granted the only fish in the tank they are attached to are Mollies, so the 11th cuttle may have a chance of surviving in their, as there is lots of microfauna, as the Mollies really are only interested in flakes.
     
  16. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Note on feeding mysis. I had no luck keeping them alive until I experimented. One of the things I found that I know helped was feeding them frozen Daphnia twice a day (I just happened to have cubes in the freezer so I tried them). Way easier and more successful than brine and I did not feed anything else. The other things I did (I was able to keep some alive over a month where my past experiences were less than a week - same supplier) was to NOT change their water, used live rock (from my tank) only for filtration (probably gave hiding places), used a circular tank (bio-orb) and a VERY gentle circular curtain of air (like this). Outside the twice a day feeding of Daphnia, I am not sure how much impact the set up made but I would definitely do it again this way.
     
  17. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well my Mysis arrived, and well I have only lost 1 baby during the "No Mysids" time. They really didn't like amphipods and BBS. Since they where really hungry when I put the Mysids in I decided to film it a bit. So here is the raw video, as I'm still learning this editing thing.

    I filmed it in 4K so that I can zoom and crop later in 1080, once I figure out how to do it.

    I had BBS waiting for when my Mysids landed and within 30 minutes of being released I can see little red spots on their tummies, so they are definitely eating the BBS. Starting this weekend I'm going to try and decapsulate, in order to not have to worry about removing the egg casings as well as removing the chance of getting hydroids in my Mysid tank.
     
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  18. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    A Long overdue update. I still have 5 cuttles, 3 from the orginal batch, 2 from a different clutch that are 3 weeks younger. Last week I moved them out of my breeder and into a 5 gallon section that I use to grow out Mollie Fry, key word is I used to grow out Mollie fry in there, as the little predators devoured 35 new born Mollies over night, and started to make a dent in the 1" long group... They still get live Mysids, as well as live Cherry Shrimp when I'm culling, but I have finally reached a mile stone. All Five will take PE Mysis off of a "Stealth Stick," and my largest will even take frozen Mysids off of the bottom of the tank.

    This mile stone will take much pressure off of my Mysid tanks, as I have eggs arriving next week in an attempt to get my breeding project off to a diverse start, I also have 100 fiddler crabs arriving so we will see how those go.

    I am in talks with a wholesaler to get setup so I can bring in ghost shrimp as feeders, as I haven't been able to find one retailer who imports the into Canada, and well trying to find the truly saltwater grass shrimp is completely impossible up here. In my talks with FedEx it appears as long as it is produced in the US it is fish and wildlife excempt, and they will ship to me, but most vendors don't want to take this risk. I am even considering setting up a tank just to rear peppermint shrimp, as they are available up here and their larval stages aren't too difficult to get to settle.

    Ive been in talks with livebrineshirmp to get her shrimp and micro crabs but so far I can only get them as far as Montana, so I may be looking at a 16 hr round trip, trip, to get some good food for my little guys. If I can get the tank cleaned up a bit I'll probably take a video tomorrow of them feeding, but since it has just been used for Grow out, and is hooked into my larger system, its pretty scummy.
     
  19. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    What is a "micro crab" (the only thing I find under that common name are freshwater inverts) and can you provide a direct link to livebrineshrimp's page? Small saltwater crabs are always of interest.
     
  20. Theokie

    Theokie Cuttlefish Registered

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    Well Looks like I quoted the name of the crab incorrectly, they call them mud crabs, shell size between a nickle and a dime.... they appear to be a fiddler species Ocypodidae Uca -pugnax, though starting at 3.00 per dozen plus shipping they would be a good deal for us land locked ceph keepers.www.livebrineshrimp.com
     
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