I am in Tromsø again!
The main tasks this time are measuring the dimensions of the shells, weighing them and staining the shells, so that we can have an idea how the shells grew in the past three months, and comparing the growth rates to the rest of the culturing season. Furthermore, by staining them again, we can got additional time control as well. Also, I am still trying to find a way to extract the extrapallial fluid for boron and other isotopes or major ion concentration analysis.
The EPF extractions are more challenging than we expected. We prepared capillary tubings and syringe this time, however, as the shells were took out from the water, they would spill out the waters inside and made the extraction being more difficult due to the limited fluid left. To overcome the problem, we might try to seal the hole with wax and use hard tubing to penetrate the seal directly next time. Hope that could help to get more fluid from the inner shell environment.
Here you can see the shells spilled the water out once we took the flower pot out from the tanks!
All the shells in the experiment were carefully measured and weighed at this point.
As the growth season starts, we also discovered more and more fecal pellets accumulated in the flower pots and tanks. Mike collected some of them to figure out what are the possible food sources for our shells.
After measuring all the shells, there were ready for being stained again!
While they were left in calcein bath, we calibrate all the instruments and cleaned the tanks at the same time, preparing for the second half of the experiment.
Hope the shells will be happy to come back to their cleaned home!