[Cuttlefish Eggs]: Here we go...

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Should I remove the nassarius snails then? I'm removing all of the anemones and the cup coral. I have three species of zooanthids, two species of mushrooms, a bird's nest acropora, pocillopora, pagoda, toad stool leather, two mystic montipora, an unknown acropora sp. (brown flesh/blue polyps), paly zoa, three orange tree sponges, green gorgonian, an unknown encrusting xenia sp., green star polyps, electric flame scallop, and an unknown brain coral sp. The brain coral does extend some feeding/sweeper tentacles at night, but I was told by someone at a LFS that it shouldn't hurt anything.
 

DWhatley

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Snails, mushrooms, leathers, sponges, gorgonians, xenia and green star polyps are OK (ie filter feeders with no/limited stinging capability). I am not sure about the scallop as it might be capable of incidental damage, especially to feeding tentacles should a cuttle go after food heading to the scallop shell. Some of the other aggressive corals MAY be OK with adults but not with babies.
 
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Good to know about the potential issues with the scallop. I hadn't thought of that. I'll put it in the refugium with the other inhabitants that are being removed. By aggressive corals I assume you just mean the brain coral? I don't think any of the other SPS/LPS corals have much of a sting, if any. Here's a video I just took of the brain with his tentacles out.
 
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I pulled out a bunch of empty/infertile eggs from the breeding tank today. I also lost a second cuttlefish today with another looking like it'll be dead soon. The other five are still looking good. When I finished I noticed another little guy making his way into the world. He was faster than I was though. When I saw him, he just had the tip of his mantle poking out. By the time I grabbed my camera phone and turned around he was already half way out. So the total now is 9 hatched, 7 alive, and 8 eggs remaining. With any luck I can get most of these guys hatched and to adulthood. Here's hoping...
 
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The borderline cuttlefish just died, leaving me with six total still kicking. I'm expecting a few more eggs to hatch. The most recent one that hatched in the video above did so with a small yolk sack, but quickly dropped it after leaving the egg. Is this normal behavior? I've seen a few others do this as well, while others have hatched without any yolk sack.
 
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Another cuttlefish has hatched and now we're back up to seven, bringing the total to 10 hatched, 7 alive, and 7 eggs remaining. There was a bit of confusion with the website that I ordered the mysid shrimp from. Their posted delivery dates were wrong and the shrimp will actually be here Wednesday. There are still a good number of really small, medium, and large amphipods in the breeder box for the cuttles to snack on in the mean time.
 
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We had another hatch this morning and another die, bringing the total to 11 hatched, 7 alive, and 6 eggs left. Upon inspection this morning, I guess I scared one of the older babies as it inked quite a bit. I used a rigid airline tube to suction it out with minimal disturbance to the babies. I wish I knew why they keep dying. The older, more developed ones seem to be doing fine, though I haven't seen anyone snap at the live food currently in the tank. I'm hoping that their attitudes will change once I add the mysid shrimp.
 
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I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I just lost two more today with four more looking like they're about to kill over. Only one looks like it's doing well. I'm thinking about going back to the drawing board with the container used to hatch out and raise these guys in because clearly the ones that I'm using are not working for me.
 

DWhatley

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Hopefully your mysis will arrive soon as it is the only food we know of that they consistently eat in the first month or so. Also be sure they have a dark period as they seem to eat at night when first hatched. Very few have survived if they still had an yolk sack at hatching. You might lower the temp a bit (fans help).
 
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Thanks for the tips. Lowering the temperature shouldn't be an issue. I actually have a heater running to keep the temperature at around 78-80*F. I'll lower it right now to around 76*F and see if that helps. I got an email confirmation today stating that my shrimp should be here Thursday no later than 8:00pm. I'm not happy about this delay, but hopefully some of these guys can hold out until then. The amphipods that are in the breeder range in size from darn near microscopic to almost the size of the baby cuttlefish. I am a full-time student and work on my days off, so I spend my free time (day or night) studying and doing assignments. I keep my lights on a timer and they run from 10am-6pm, but at night they get dim lighting from the living room ceiling fan light. Their usual dark period is from about 11pm/12am to 7am, but even then the room remains fairly dim until around 10am when the lights turn on.
 
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I adjusted the heater last night and the tank has dropped about two degrees. I pulled out three more dead cuttlefish this morning, but one of the sickly looking ones seems to be coming around and the other is still doing great. So that brings my total to 11 hatched, 2 alive, and 6 eggs, though I'm not sure if any of these are going to hatch. I will continue with this batch as far as I can take them, but I'm going to re-evaluate my hatching setup and try again with another batch. This time I will have my shrimp on hand before the cuttles hatch.
 
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Well this attempt has ended in utter failure. As of this morning the last hatchling died and I'm pretty sure none of the remaining eggs are going to hatch. Total tally, approximately 27 eggs received, 11 hatched, and all died. I feel I should have done a better job than this but live and learn I guess. The last hatchling might have made it if the shrimp had gotten here when the were supposed to, as he seemed to be the strongest and most well off of all the hatchlings. I think he just didn't eat any of the amphipods and ended up starving. Now I have 500 mysid shrimp and nothing to feed them to. I've designed a new hatching/rearing dual chamber box that hopefully will grant better success the next go around. I bought the acrylic yesterday but was unable to find an adequate screen mesh material nor the cement needed to bond the acrylic. I'll order those online I guess and hopefully have this device constructed by the end of next week at the latest.
 
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In hind sight I believe my errors to be 1.) not keeping the eggs tumbled and aerated enough, 2.) Not having the mysid shrimp on hand when needed, & 3.) I think some of the larger amphipods were stressing out the hatchlings. As I said, live and learn. Next time these mistakes will be corrected.
 
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I managed to attach a small pump to the intake of this breeder box to allow for greater circulation of the eggs and water movement through the box. The eggs stay suspended for the most part in the left chamber, while the right chamber receives moderate to light flow. This will be a temporary fix until I finish the new device. I will place a second order today for another batch of "9" eggs and hopefully things will be much better this go around. If I am missing some error on my part, please someone chime in so I can correct it now before the next shipment of eggs arrives.
 
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Turns out I was too little too late. The last of the eggs were shipped today, but I was informed that more would arrive next week. This'll give me time to ensure all preparations are ready.
 
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