Urgent: My emerald crab just gave birth whilst in a drip acclimation bucket. What should I do?

BRS

ISpeakForTheSeas

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The brine shrimp were a good idea, and Tavero’s advice is solid - fed live Baby Brine Shrimp (Artemia nauplii), under proper conditions, Mithraculus sculptus (the emerald crab) should have about a 20% survival rate to settlement. Enriched BBS can raise the survival rate to about 25%.
You can make a DIY BBS hatchery pretty easily, but I don’t know if you’d be able to produce enough/fast enough for this batch of larvae

Cool stuff!
 
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Tavero

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Thanks very much Tavero. I don’t have an air pump but I’ll try to get one tomorrow. Live baby brine shrimp (I assume that’s what bbs is?) will be harder - I don’t have any clue how to get set up for that and I can’t drive to the LFS every day - I just don’t have the time. I’ll look into it though.

I’ce kept the bucket free of live rock, sand and macro algae as you suggested. I’ll take a look at your guide now - cheers ;)
Yeah bbs is baby brine shrimps. I have 3D printed my bbs breeder cups which makes setting up live food very fast and easy. Dealing with bottles and air stones is way too much work. They also need to be fresh for a high chance of success because after just a few hours after hatching, bbs have already lost a lot of their nutrient value.
You probably have to stick to flake food for now. Just make sure the main ingredients are fish, shrimp instead of grain and wheat derivates.
Don't forget a valve for regulating the air pump. You only need around 5 bubles per second.
 
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Update: almost all of the tiny emerald crabs I can see still seem to be alive, although I kinda feel like there's less of them than yesterday so I wonder if they're eating their brothers and sisters? :grimacing-face:


I don't really know what I should be feeding them so I've thrown in very small quantities of nori, brine shrimp, mysis flake and pellet, which is all the fish foods I have on hand. I'm keeping the bucket floated in my tank to maintain temperature and I changed most of the water in the bucket today (like 75%), replacing it with water from the tank the bucket was originally filled from, on advice from my LFS. It's only got like 2.5 litres of water, but I figure they're so small that they won't be consuming masses of oxygen. I'm swirling the water a few times a day by hand just to get a little bit of gas exchange. I figure I'll need to change the water a lot to keep on top of nitrates.

The tiny crabs swim around in the water, so doing water changes without losing any isn't easy. I used an airline tube siphon into another white bucket, and reversed it to move the four I'd sucked up back into the bucket. I think if I put them in any kind of container inside a bigger tank with any flow or water exchange at all, one by one the crabs would find their way out into the tank, so I think it's bucket or nothing whilst they're this small. I'm inclined not to try to aerate the water mechanically just yet as I suspect I'd just kill a lot of the crabs if they got sucked into any kind of pump, so instead I'm just going to change the water frequently.

Tomorrow I'm going to try to get a small heater and move them into a much larger bucket (20 litres) so I'll have more stable water chemistry and less need for drastic water changes. I'll test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates regularly, and keep providing a mixture of foods. If anyone has any further advice, please do share it. It seems there is basically no information about breeding emeralds on the Internet and I'm out on a limb here having started in the hobby less than 4 months ago, but I've been gifted an opportunity and I'm trying to make the best of it :)
Money for an LFS and trade credit for you . See if they'll take them as is and let them worry about bringing them up to size
 
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Yeah bbs is baby brine shrimps. I have 3D printed my bbs breeder cups which makes setting up live food very fast and easy. Dealing with bottles and air stones is way too much work. They also need to be fresh for a high chance of success because after just a few hours after hatching, bbs have already lost a lot of their nutrient value.
You probably have to stick to flake food for now. Just make sure the main ingredients are fish, shrimp instead of grain and wheat derivates.
Don't forget a valve for regulating the air pump. You only need around 5 bubles per second.
Great, thanks. I think the flake I’ve got is mostly mysis shrimp so that should be good. I’ll put a few bits of frozen brine shrimp in too when I feed my clowns. I’ve ordered an air pump on Amazon with a dial so I can turn it down, arriving tomorrow. The fry still look happy at the moment, so watch this space :)
 
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Great, thanks. I think the flake I’ve got is mostly mysis shrimp so that should be good. I’ll put a few bits of frozen brine shrimp in too when I feed my clowns. I’ve ordered an air pump on Amazon with a dial so I can turn it down, arriving tomorrow. The fry still look happy at the moment, so watch this space :)
NO. No frozen food. It spoils way too fast and poisons water and larvae.
I tried it already and it failed horrible.
 
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NO. No frozen food. It spoils way too fast and poisons water and larvae.
I tried it already and it failed horrible.
Okay thanks - just the flake then. What about nori or hair algae? Any benefit in putting that in? I’ll do another water change itself tomorrow morning and clear out any remaining food as best I can, then add a bit more flake.
 

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No, not necessary, as they don't have the physiology to eat them. Larvae that small will do well with bbs, or rotifers. Once they get a little bigger - im speculating here; when they settle? - they can be able to eat/digest tougher meals. Their mouthparts need to develop properly. As others said make sure they have aeration (the idea is to keep the larvae and food in suspension) and heat (you can ~probably go higher for the larvae only, like 80F-81F)


Keep us updated! I haven't seen anyone grow these out
 

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Okay thanks - just the flake then. What about nori or hair algae? Any benefit in putting that in? I’ll do another water change itself tomorrow morning and clear out any remaining food as best I can, then add a bit more flake.
You can put some nori in as long as the parts are tiny. First soak the nori in water. Then grind it up with clean fingers and feed the smallest parts that were created with a pipette. With hair algae it depends. Some seperate hairs are fine, just make sure its not a whole turf because the larvae can get stuck in it. It isn't the hair algae that is interesting for the larvae but the organisms that are living on it, though
 
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Yep, I found that article, I’ve been trying to base what I’m doing on that advice. Sadly I seem to have lost most of the crabs overnight - only about ten of them were moving as of this morning. I changed the water and kept the ones that were still active in the bucket with some fresh flake food and I put the rest in the qt tank / I figure there’s at least a chance some of them might perk up and either survive or be eaten by something in the tank. I’ve got the air pump arriving today, I’ll change the water again at lunchtime - I’m trying my best with this but I’m not set up for success and couldn’t drop everything in the middle of a working week to go out and buy the stuff I needed. Fingers crossed for the remaining ones!
 
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Yep, I found that article, I’ve been trying to base what I’m doing on that advice. Sadly I seem to have lost most of the crabs overnight - only about ten of them were moving as of this morning. I changed the water and kept the ones that were still active in the bucket with some fresh flake food and I put the rest in the qt tank / I figure there’s at least a chance some of them might perk up and either survive or be eaten by something in the tank. I’ve got the air pump arriving today, I’ll change the water again at lunchtime - I’m trying my best with this but I’m not set up for success and couldn’t drop everything in the middle of a working week to go out and buy the stuff I needed. Fingers crossed for the remaining ones!
That's too bad. I am pretty sure they have starved. When i didn't have any bbs ready, I have experienced the same die off after around two days.
I wouldn't have high hopes for the remaining larvae. If we want to breed invertibrate we still don't get around bbs to activate the hunting reflex of larvae, even if it is just a few artemia mixed with flake food and other stuff.
 
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That's too bad. I am pretty sure they have starved. When i didn't have any bbs ready, I have experienced the same die off after around two days.
I wouldn't have high hopes for the remaining larvae. If we want to breed invertibrate we still don't get around bbs to activate the hunting reflex of larvae, even if it is just a few artemia mixed with flake food and other stuff.
Yeah I suspect you’re right. Do you think I should put the remaining larvae in the tank and let them take their chances? At least there’s probably copepods in there, although there’s also fish and a shrimp that would probably eat them. It’s either that or the air pump later today and hope for the best in the bucket.
 

Tavero

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Yeah I suspect you’re right. Do you think I should put the remaining larvae in the tank and let them take their chances? At least there’s probably copepods in there, although there’s also fish and a shrimp that would probably eat them. It’s either that or the air pump later today and hope for the best in the bucket.
I think they are done for no matter what you do. Maybe the air pump will get the food into suspension and the floating flakes can start a feeding reflex. But if they are still able to molt in such a weakened state is questionable.
 
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Yep, I found that article, I’ve been trying to base what I’m doing on that advice. Sadly I seem to have lost most of the crabs overnight - only about ten of them were moving as of this morning. I changed the water and kept the ones that were still active in the bucket with some fresh flake food and I put the rest in the qt tank / I figure there’s at least a chance some of them might perk up and either survive or be eaten by something in the tank. I’ve got the air pump arriving today, I’ll change the water again at lunchtime - I’m trying my best with this but I’m not set up for success and couldn’t drop everything in the middle of a working week to go out and buy the stuff I needed. Fingers crossed for the remaining ones!
Bummer. Sounds like you got some good advice to be ready for the next time tho :) fingers xed for the few remaining
 
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