[Cuttlefish Eggs]: They Have Hatched

Theokie

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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.
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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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?
 

Theokie

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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?
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.
 

Theokie

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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
 

Theokie

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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!

 

DWhatley

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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:
 
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Theokie

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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:
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.
 

Theokie

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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.
 
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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.
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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