September 10, 2018:
My larval setup is now fully prepped in readiness for the hermit crabs spawning which I hope will occur either tomorrow or overnight tonight. Here are the specs:
- 35% salinity, verified with my handy dandy refractometer (freshly calibrated)
- There are 2 1/2 gallons of saltwater in each of the side-by-side kreisels. I used reef salt crystals this time around for the extra minerals and calcium
- You can see that the nannochloropsis in the left-hand kreisel is doing well–nice and green
- Temperature for the surrounding water is set at 83 degrees Fahrenheit and it’s taking two heaters to get that.
- I decided not to keep the Chaeto (seaweed) in the right-hand kreisel—it wasn’t doing well in there and started looking almost moldy, so I guess that’s a no-go unless I try ordering a new batch.
- I practiced replacing water with the big siphon, and that was easy with no issues
- I’ve mounted the two automatic feeders, one on each side and put a couple of plastic beads in there just to make sure they dropped okay and at roughly the correct time.
- My main crabitat is tidied up, water changed, and shell shop cleaned since they will be getting a minimum of attention once the eggs drop.
- I also upped the temperature in the crabitat after I checked my notes from last year and saw that it was up to 87 degrees just before spawning. The females with eggs are definitely congregating in the warmer spots, so it made sense to raise the temps a bit.
- I have four gravid females currently: Blue, Artemis, Lola, and Garbo.
- Oddly enough, Miriam and Kermit appear to be mating today, so that gives me hope about a second attempt, too.
Now just waiting.