01/21/09 I hand-feed no. 3 two shrimp but she drops the second before finishing it and cannot be persuaded to take any more. She is very obviously smaller than her siblings.
01/22/09 No.3 has hunted down a shrimp by herself! I didn’t see it happen, but she clearly has a shrimp in her web that I did not give her. I don’t want to disturb her feeding so I don’t try to hand-feed her until the shrimp has completely gone. She refuses any more by hand though. No. 1 also catches a couple of shrimp after I hand-feed her one.
01/24/09 No. 3 refuses a shrimp four times before eventually taking it. She drops half of it without eating it though, and won’t take any more. I’m pretty worried about her.
01/25/09 Unfortunately no. 3 died overnight. I really feel I did the best I could by hand-feeding her, but it is still very disheartening. At least the other three all hunted down several shrimp while I was watching.
Here are some more photos.
I have no idea about what is required in terms of selling the babies I'm afraid. My plan is to keep as many as survive to adulthood (I have the capacity for all three of them until they are quite a bit bigger, and can easily incorporate another tank in my system after that) but just at present I am pretty pessimistic about any of them making it. With only 3 left the odds are not really in my favour. Thanks to everyone for your enthusiasm though. If anyone has any idea what I might be doing wrong to have lost 8 out of 11, suggestions would be very welcome.
01/26/09 The three remaining babies show quite different resting postures. No. 1 is usually uniformly dark, and likes to rest in a corner in an elongated posture with her front 4 arms forwards, and the rest straight back, whereas no. 4 is most often gray and likes to sit on the side of the tank with her arm gently curled around her (just like her Mum used to!). No. 2 often shows an unusual colour/pattern combination that I have never seen from the others. To me it looks a bit “cuttle-ish” for want of a better term. It is very cute to see them each have quite a distinct persona.
Impressive report lene. Dont be discouraged, I hope you can succeed with those bimac babies.
Just as open question for the forum, may be time for starting with small crabs instead of shrimps?
perhaps Xhanthidae, those that occurs frequently on Acros and SPS and that nobody wants there. Other possibility would be small Mytrax, Porcellanid.. perhaps Coral commensals like Tetralia or Trapezial species etc... To get them, here we have some LFS that "shower" the live rock and corals over a net to get them out, and do nothing with them.
On the other hand, last week I got a couple of Calcinus Spp from my LFS really tiny, just about 2 mm... I dont know if could be another food option? Nut has never been interested in hermits, but I've readed that small octos would be.
I'm completely new with briareus but seems 2me that crabs produce a higher hunt response than shrimps. Just brainstorming, hope someone more experienced may point the right direction.
The elastic band securing the mesh lid on no. 2's tank must have snapped in the night (I found the broken band on the substrate). Although the net was still resting in place, there is no sign of the baby. I have searched and searched the water-conditioning tank, but even if she has not already been sucked into one of the filters there is just no chance of seeing her amongst all that equipment, and the thick bed of oyster shell.
I have moved the remaining two babies into the top tank, where they should be easier to spot should they escape, replaced all the elastic bands for new, and will figure out a better lid, but too late for no. 2.
I feel so stupid that I didn't think of this possibility. And terrible, because this is the first one I've lost through stupidity. Damn damn damn.
Unfortunately, saltwater seems to eat rubber bands over time so the breakage is likely due to the salt exposure.
Keep an eye on the sump as my little merc (Wiley) kept escaping his net and lived for 5 months on his own, assumed dead often. I finally quit feeding much to the tank after not seeing him for several months and he eventually came to the front to be caught and place in a more suitable environment (and lived for a total of 13 months - old for a merc).