Green Crab Experiment Part 3

Final set up + Day 1!

Found out yesterday that I can get crabs today which means I need to finish my ESL set up!! I tried last night but there are a few tasks that require some extra hands, so Sara and Mikayla helped me out. Here’s what we did:

  • Redo the air lines so each tank had it’s own individual aerator (meant for 10-20 gallon tanks).
  • Add aquarium filters and cartidges to each tank
  • Add black trash bags around the tanks in the main ESL room to block out extra light
  • Strung up LED lights on a timer to create light cycles
  • Covered any cords in ziploc bags to avoid salt exposure

Figures 1-2. Experimental set up that Sara and Mikayla helped with

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 10 54 58 PM

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 10 55 12 PM

In the afternoon, I bought 10 quarts of crabs (yes, the same measurement for buying milk). Once I had the crabs, I proceeded to sort them by integument color. I wanted crabs earlier in their intermolt phase (blue, blue-green, green, yellow-green, yellow) than later (yellow-orange, orange, orange-red, red). Any orange or red intermolt crab was placed into a separate cooler to be brought back to Redfield, and the cooler color crabs were used in the experiment. I randomly distributed crabs between all six tanks such that there were 14 to 15 crabs in each tank.

Figures 3-4. Crabs in the coolers, including the integument color sorting set-up.

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 11 04 38 PM

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 11 04 42 PM

I fed the crabs and left them in their tanks. Day 1 of the experiment done. Here we go!

Going forward

  1. Add clamps to chambers so I don’t have to hold the probe to the chamber
  2. Obtain flexible mesh for acclimation
  3. Cover respiration chambers with paper or black plastic to simulate night conditions
  4. Get refractometer for salinity measurements
Written on June 29, 2022