Crablandia is out of control. The megalopa in the transition tank are climbing out of the water naked. The stage six zoeae are killing the megalopa in the kreisels as soon as they transition. The babies on land are MIA. And I have no clue what to feed anyone anymore.
Some of the bizarre things I spent today doing:
1) Sitting in front of the kreisels, pipette in hand, waiting to spot a newly transitioned megalopa swim past so that I can reach in and whisk it out of the kreisel before a stage five attacks and kills it.
2) Performed 4 exo-cisions, a special procedure by which when I spot a megalopa stuck in his exo (it usually hangs off the claws and if they can’t remove it, they eventually drown), pipette him out and into this tiny antique salt cellar, move it under a bright light, and using a toothpick very carefully pin down the exo. Normally the megalopa backs up and separation is completed. If not, I drag him a bit, using his body weight to help release the exo. Then pipette him back into the intermediate tank.
3) Spent several hours sifting through my bag of live sand in search of miniscule shells. Then carefully determined if they were intact, with no holes, if so, I then used a straight pin to clear the opening, trying not to push it through the other side and make a hole in the process.
4) Carefully constructed a “shell wall” of sorted and cleared shells at the border of the sand in the transition tank, thereby insuring that if a crab insists on crawling out naked, he will at least have to climb over a wall of appropriate shells, opening side facing up, so that in the process of streaking he might accidentally slip, drop his butt into a shell, and think, “Hey, something about this just feels right!”
5) Doubted everything I’m doing, sweated, worried, and fretted because each time I managed to stabilize conditions in one tank, something went haywire in another.
6) Finally called it at 7:30pm (they will have to do on their own until the morning), finished dinner, played with the dog, then opened a beer and found a perfectly timed message under the cap.