Yaamini’s Notebook: Gigas Larvae Day 9

Totes are pesky

I walked into the SeaLab this morning and heard the sound of an alarm. I saw that Tote 7 was reading at 21 ºC, which was quite low. When I looked into the tote, I saw that it was completely empty, and the plastic casing around the heater had melted!

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Figures 1-2. Empty Tote 7 and melted heater.

I filled the tote with heated water to track down where the water had leaked from, and to keep the buckets a little warmer while I looked for a new tote. I found another smaller black tote in the warehouse, similar to the two blacks ones I was already using. I cleaned it and filled it with heated seawater. Because it could only hold two buckets, I moved Bucket 10 to Tote 1. Luckily, Tote 7 had an AVTECH in it and Buckets 3, 10 and 19 had HOBOs. I was confused because I didn’t get any alert about the temperature in this tote dropping. When I checked the Dashboard, I realized I did not set alarms for Gigas-Larvae-3 or Gigas-Larvae-4. I set those alarms up in case something like this happens again.

AVTECH inspection

I looked at the AVTECH and saw that around 10 p.m. the water temperature started dropping, reaching 20ºC in the tote this morning.

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Figure 3. AVTECH Dashboard reading of temperatures.

While looking at the Dashboard, I noticed that Gigas-Larvae-2 dropped in temperature early this morning and then started climbing.

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Figure 4. AVTECH Dashboard reading.

This AVTECH is in Tote 1, which had an additional bucket added to it. The temperature in the Bucket 10 was lower than the tote temperature, causing the decrease in temperature. The heater is now working to bump the temperature back up.

I also noticed with the AVTECHs is that Gigas-Larvae-3 and Gigas-Larvae-4 had stopped reporting temperatures on the Dashboard after 8 a.m. this morning. They both come from WISH Ext. 9. I checked the computer in the dry lab and saw that both AVTECHs were reporting at 24ºC on that monitor, so maybe there’s just a problem with that information being pushed or synced properly to the Dashboard.

Finally, I found another AVTECH tucked behind one of the totes! I identified it as Temp 2 and changed the name on the dashboard to Gigas-Larvae-Bucket. I thought it would be a good idea to see how the temperature differs between the tote and the buckets inside, so I placed the AVTECH in Tote 5, Bucket 12. Based on these readings, I can adjust the temperature of the immersion heaters if needed. I didn’t set any alerts since I maxed out the number I could have, but at least I can monitor what happens.

Power outage

The hatchery power went out at 11:30 a.m. My immersion heaters were on non-emergency power so they were working fine. However, my airline stopped working and the AVTECH Wifi also went out. At 4 p.m., power was restored. The larvae went 4.5 hours without any bubbling. I adjusted the bubbling of the airlines and checked all temperatures on the AVTECH. Temperatures looked good around 24ºC!

Other tasks

I talked to Stuart, who said he could seal the crack in the that tote and the other tote that cracked before even starting the experiment with marine epoxy. These will be good to have as a back-up, but I will also order some more totes just in case. The totes I have are Rubbermaid brand and can hold 54 gallons. I want totes that are a bit thicker on the bottom and can fit 3-5 gallon buckets. I will also order a few more immersion heaters since this one isn’t useful anymore.

After moving things around, I recorded tote positions for all buckets. I have an entry for tote positions after yesterday’s water change, and then the slightly modified tote positions from this morning.

I added HOBOs to Buckets 4, 6, 7, 8, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24, since I didn’t have HOBOs in them before. I checked that they had enough battery life, then set them to record data every 30 minutes. I may change this tomorrow. When I added the HOBOs to the buckets, I noticed Bucket 17 and 23 no longer had HOBOs in them, and the HOBO from Bucket 2 was sitting on the table! I added Bucket 2’s HOBO back in at 12:43 p.m. I put two new loggers in 17 and 23 and searched for the original ones, but couldn’t find them. Maybe someone put it on the side somewhere while screening? I’ll figure it out!

While waiting for the power to turn back on, I went over to ACE Hardware in Port Orchard. They didn’t have any tubs big enough to hold more than one five-gallon bucket. I found these totes on Amazon that will work, and can be delivered in two days. I created a new purchasing issue for the totes and heaters.

I fed my larvae around 1 p.m. so they weren’t completey without food when the power was out. I prepped tripours for tomorrow’s screening, but I was almost out of sample tubes. I’ll need to grab more from the lab before tomorrow morning.

Just as I was about to leave, Tote 9’s high alarm went off. As I was emptying the water and refilling it, the heater’s probe read at 30ºC. I don’t know what it is about that tote or immersion heater that always sets the alarm off. I was able to get the temperature down to 26ºC in the tote after 2-3 minutes.

Help schedule for this weekend

  • Thursday: Kelsey feeding
  • Friday: Grace, Kelsey and Ashley screening, counting, feeding, sampling, draining and refilling header tank
  • Saturday: Laura feeding
  • Sunday: Grace and Kaitlyn screening, counting, feeding, sampling, draining and refilling header tank

I’m sure I can make it out to Manchester on Monday, but just in case my flight is delayed, I will ask someone to feed.

For tomorrow

  • GET SAMPLE TUBES FOR SAMPLING LARVAE
  • Screen on 80 micron and 60 micron screens
    • Measure amount to feed ahead of time
    • Add food while restocking larvae
    • Top totes off with freshwater, not heated seawater
  • Drain header and refill
  • Prepare tasklists for Grace (Friday and Sunday)

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