Day 53, 20, and 17.

And I’m officially beyond exhausted. Kreisels are still good–they are pooping SO MUCH! And it’s multicolored poo, just like adult crabs—influenced by what they are eating. Each poo looks like a little tiny stinger from a bee and so it looks like the water is filled with beard stubble from a man who has a beard that grows in black, brown, and red.

The dark megalopa with the wonky legs was dead this morning. He never did take a shell despite hours of me trying and encouraging him to by placing them near him and even isolating him with shells on two different days. On the bright side, at least I can clean the transition tank tomorrow. I should be needing it for the newer batch soon.

Saw one of the on-land babies a couple of times today (the one in the spiral shell). He looked good. Didn’t see the other one, but I’m not about to go looking and smash him or accidentally bury him. They are so freaking small and hard to see that going into their tank even to change out food is terrifying.

In the kreisels I’ve had three shed days in a row now. Losing my mind over that. I’m not sure why no one else who wrote about this process ever mentioned shed days. Maybe they didn’t keep enough in the tank to notice them? Maybe they just thought the water was murky? But with my bright light, they are clearly sheds—thousands of them. And trying to siphon them up is like playing the worst game of Fruit Ninja you can imagine. And it’s always the bonus round where you have bombs and apples and everything all flying at you simultaneously. (I’ve never actually played fruit ninja—I’m just guessing from what I know about it. But really any bonus round on any video game would work as an analogy. Just imagine everything looks alike, with only slight differences, they’re all moving fast and similarly, and you have to distinguish which is which in a split second.) It’s kind of fun the first six or so times you do it. A real challenge. I’m a zoeae ninja!! But I’ve been playing this darn game for an hour or two at a time, three times a day (or more) for the past 53 days. I want to be done!! And thankfully, I almost am. I just keep telling myself that the water-only, molting-every-couple -of-days stage is nearly complete.

It cannot come soon enough.



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