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Old 12-27-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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Coming soon: baby american lobsters

So I'm doing my masters thesis in Maine on the health of juvenile lobsters in acidified water, and I spent all summer raising them (several thousand) from hatch for 90 days, by which point they had all (a couple hundred) settled to the bottom and become benthic.

One group had more than three times as many by the end of the experiment, and I couldn't see sacrificing all of them when there wouldn't be any increase in scientific accuracy... so I continued to raise a few in the tanks there.

I've finally got a tank up and running for them, although it still needs to cycle before I bring them home. The background was a DIY project from this summer that I conditioned for about two months in freshwater, but never filled after that.


It's important to note that the females which supplied the nauplii were caught on a government license, and the larvae were also raise on said license; it's still illegal to own lobsters smaller than the legal size without the right permits in Maine.
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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Two more pics of the tank...
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Old 12-27-2011, 08:56 PM   #3
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Looks top notch. Are you using a chiller? I'd love to know more about the set up.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:28 PM   #4
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Not using a chiller yet; I raised them at 18-20 C (64-68 F) to get a shorter larval period, and I'll probably keep them around that temp. My apartment is poorly heated on one end so I'm keeping them there to keep the temp down during the winter.

Even though they are most abundant in the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine and up into Canadian water, their southern range extends down to North Carolina. In fact, several of my professors are hoping to study similar effects over a four year period in at or a little bit lower temp water to try and get sexually mature animals.

Other than not having a chiller, I was basically just going to have a HOB filter and do frequent water changes to keep everything low.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:51 PM   #5
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Very cool and interesting. I'll definitely be following.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Very cool and interesting. I'll definitely be following.
Same here!!
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Old 12-28-2011, 09:37 AM   #7
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I'll update with pics of the little guys as soon as the tank is cycled
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:22 AM   #8
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That's awesome! I'm working on my masters also. Anyway u could share ur preliminary findings. That's a really interesting topic and could have some far reaching affects. What are you gonna do with them once they are grown?
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:20 PM   #9
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Haha yeah, when I get some results. I've been spending the past couple months working out the kinks in the processing part; I'm at a bit of a disadvantage because for the first year and a half being here I couldn't get any money to do my research, so I'm playing catch-up and trying to everything by May.

I'm looking at two main parts of their health - the expression of three immune genes and shell concentration during development. One paper found that juvenile european lobsters lost ~50% of their calcium and similar amount of magnesium between stages 3 and 4 (when they transition from planktonic to benthic and subsequently switch the form of mineral they use in their shells). The genes have been looked at in adult lobsters, but not yet in developing lobsters.

Perhaps I'll post some EM images of the animals and their shells when I get some more, but I don't really know where that would fit into AA
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:21 PM   #10
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Oooo... for the last bit, I've already completed the experimental part, I just had some leftover that I'm going to raise and probably release when I run out of space for them.
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