It takes about 4 weeks for the eggs to go from Mother's molt to release. The eggs turn a chalky gray right before hatching. I captured a mother and placed her in the 2-liter glass jar I brought to the meeting Saturday. I put a stem of lobelia cardinalis and 1/4 of an algae disk for something to hang onto and something to eat. It took about 3 hours for her to expel all the eggs from her swimmerettes (a process worth watching, if you get the chance). I waited overnight to make sure she had released them all, and then used a small net to remove her back to her regular tank.
I kept the larvae in freshwater for another day to simulate their movement downstream to the ocean (saltwater's never too far away when you're in Japan). On day three, I did a 90% water change into saltwater. This was less of an issue that I thought it would be, I only needed to make sure that the water was the same temperature. Twice a day, I would add 5 drops of DT's Phytoplankton and every other day, I would do a 25% water change with SW.
This went on for three weeks. The number of larvae kept dropping... and I don't really know why. A change in diet would have been nice, but I couldn't find Golden Pearl locally and couldn't grind up algae disks fine enough to make a difference. I suspect a slight overnight change in water temperature might have been the culprit... the jar was unheated and it was in the winter (mind you, I kept all this in the Lab-A-Ratory, but the temp still fluctuated.) I would think that the larvae would be as temp-resistant as the adults (I have shrimp in temps from 73-89! degrees) but I am guessing that they are not. Also, since I was forced to use a glass jar instead of an actual tank, I had no way to aerating the water for current.
I may try this again, I have no lack of gravid females. My only complaint is the slow growth rate of the larvae. Is it worth it to wait 3-4 months to get a 1" long shrimp? That's up to the individual, I think.
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. I shudder to think of the tens of thousands of amano larvae I didn't save over the years that have become fish food.