The soul of any lover of living things can only be truly enriched when a mutually satisfying relationship has been established with the pets. Some say that Micro-Lobsters can be treated as a faddish curiosity that can be placed in a jar to be: "THE PERFECT PETS THAT NEVER NEED TO BE FED!" But that's not true. WITHOUT FEEDING, THE MICRO-LOBSTERS WILL BECOME INACTIVE, SHRINK OVER TIME, BECOME LIFE-LESS, NOT REPRODUCE, AND EVENTUALLY DIE.
1. WILL THEY LIVE? Success is easily determined by whether or not the Micro-Lobsters live, or how long they live. If poorly treated, the system can crash very quickly by allowing it to freeze, to get too hot, or to build too much algae. We believe the Breeder Tanks with light unit and feeding can be an optimum environment. The amount of light is not critical. The light can be left on all the time and never turned off. Or it can be turned on only when you want to enjoy them. They tend to become red when the light is on. In cooler climates, the warmth of the light unit may aid in keeping the surrounding air temperature between the optimum 65°F to 85°F recommended range.
2. ARE THEY ACTIVE? Micro-Lobster movement and activity is a second major way to determine whether or not the creatures are happy. If placed in a inhospitable environment, the creatures will be less active. Healthy happy Micro-Lobsters will be active and a bright dark red. After running trials on a number of container shapes, the Micro-Lobsters selected cylinders. They told us so by being much more active in cylinders. Micro-Lobsters love to "swim laps or circuits." Much of the time, they are really swimming sideways with their legs running along the walls as they pick up micro-algae growing on the canister walls.
3. DO THEY MAINTAIN THEIR SIZE? If you went to a zoo and found that the animals were in pathetic shape with their ribs showing they were poorly fed, you would not be pleased. Without supplemental feeding, the Micro-Lobsters will grow smaller each year if enough algae is not produced. This is still far superior to sealed ecosystems where supplemental feeding is not an option. As you become more comfortable with your Breeder Tanks, a supplemental feeding program is recommended and a supply of high-energy Micro-Lobster Premium Breeding Food is included with each unit. Please study the Breeding Tank Handbook first for detailed feeding information. Improper feeding is the easiest way to crash a system!
4. DO THEY BREED? In any zoo, the birth of new animals are a joyous occasion as it is proof that the animals are in an appropriate environment and properly fed. Crustaceans tend to molt and develop new external skeletons periodically. When food is scarce, their new shells may actually be smaller than their old shells and over time, poorly fed adults will be less than 1/4" or less than half the size of Micro-Lobsters that receive sufficient food. We believe they molt more often when their bodies have built up enough mass to be tight in their old shells and at Fuku-Bonsai, there was a noticeable amount of molting. Shortly after we began to see post-larval juveniles and these grew relatively rapidly compared to those not fed. It is likely that molting and breeding are related. It is likely that the amount of food available determines the amount of breeding and reproduction.
If this is so, breeding and reproduction may depend upon the amount of food made available and the food quality. If too much food is easiest way to crash a system, it is prudent to build up those factors that will improve water quality even while providing a generous amount of food. We create a biological system in which beneficial bacteria populations are built handle the Micro-Lobster waste.
We believe that these Micro-Lobsters are such unique creatures that they should be made available in sustainable units. Costs are high because each unit has multiple hand-crafted components. It then requires very careful assembly and finally great skill and costs are involved in packing and shipping. Fuku-Bonsai is committed to being a resource and to hosting a study group forum for those wanting to grow long-term Micro-Lobster colonies. I invite you to join us on this journey!