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Antique Flat Screen Tv?


So we moved into a new house this year. Well, a new ‘old’ house since it was built in the 1920s. The house has some charming elements to it like wood flooring and moldings, but also some annoying elements like leaky faucets, 2 prong outlets, and a large fireplace that has been made non-functional by an overly paranoid land lord. Unfortunately, the fireplace is right in the center of our living room which was the only sensible spot to place the tv and entertainment center. The one big problem with this is the fact that I cant stand the way modern technology looks in contrast with all the antiques we have! So I was on a mission to find a way to hide all of these components and hopefully make something cool in the process. I quickly sketched out a drawing for a wood facade/cabinet and a way to encase our new 37″ flat screen HDTV. I quickly went out and bought all the wood and parts, but lost motivation quickly as I slowly recalled why I hate working with wood. It makes a huge mess!

The project went very slowly and sat in the garage for a couple of months. I then received a new motivational force. I was contacted by the Discovery channel to participate in an episode of a new show. They wanted to film me and my art in my house! But they wanted to do it in a week and a half!

So I had to make this mess…

Into something presentable…

I didn’t finish everything, but I did enough to hide everything in time for the filming. I still wanted to make small stands to place each squid display on. These would be directly on the sides of the cabinet and would hold the squids at a much lower height. The tops of the squid displays would be at the center height of the TV. This would make the whole display look more balanced. However, since the filming has completed, that extra motivation I had to complete the project is gone, so the unfinished pieces will have to sit in the garage for now.

Since we don’t plan on living here forever, I had a budget for the project. The structure of the cabinet utilized cheap woods, but it was skinned with high quality pieces and nice Victorian trims and moldings. I used a metal grate like material for the doors on the lower cabinet. This was to allow me to still use the remote control on the cable box, Stereo Receiver, and DVD player..etc.

I then made a piece that encased the entire TV and added closing doors that fold open and reside to the sides to allow viewing of the screen. To be able to use the remote on the TV, I had to cut out a hole to expose the sensor. Victorian style wood knobs were added as the finishing touches!

Id like to still add more details to these pieces to make this appear more so like my original concept, but we will see when I get to them. So expect an update in the next year or so?!?!

BMW R75/5 Custom

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Having grown out of my first bike, a Honda cb350, I was on a search for something bigger and older. Although it was only a few years older, I was enamored by all the little details and I saw a great potential in this 1971 BMW R75/5. I purchased this bike almost 10 years ago from a very knowledgeable BMW enthusiast in Santa Cruz. It has gone through many phases since and will probably go through many more. My tastes seem to endlessly evolve, and as a result, so do my toys.

Below, you can see the bike as how it was purchased.

The bike was built from the frame up with all the aesthetic details of a 1971 /5, but houses a 1976 /6 engine. As the 70s developed, in my opinion, details began to be sacrificed for cheap plastic counter parts. For example, the /5s had the beautiful headlights with the integrated instrument panels, while the /6s started using the plastic instrument clusters.


(Above)Top view of my /5 headlight and instrument panel. Compared to the plastic panels added to the /6s (Below)

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The first thing I did when I purchased this bike was sell the Krauser Saddle Bags and the 8 gall touring tank and find a nice toaster tank. The distinct chrome paneled tank was the main reason I coveted a r75 in the first place. In fact I love all the bikes in the 60s and early 70s that had a similar chrome paneling. This was when chrome was used correctly. As a detail and not a main color! No offense Harley guys….

The handlebars were then lowered to the euro style for a slightly more aggressive look. Again, I’m sacrificing comfort for style. These bars were more recently again lowered to black clubman style bars giving the bike a touch of a cafe feel. To create a older look, I added a Fender Plate otherwise known as a “Pedestrian Slicer” to the front fender.



Clubman Bars and Pedestrian Slicer

My obsessive search for rare and/or unique accessories came up with some good finds over the years.

-Headlight Visor
-Headlight chrome protective bar
-Originally only 200 produced, Elephant ear beveled front fender.
-Header and Muffler grilled shields. (Originally made by Krauser?)
-Buco Saddlebags (Typically found more on /2s)
-Bar end turn signals (Originally used on /2s in the 60s)

With further attempts to take the 70s out of the bike, I removed all the turn signals. Although these aluminum signals are sought after and can fetch a decent amount all polished up, these little rectangular lights didn’t flow with the curves of the bike. I then went with the Bar End turn signals, which has lenses on the front and the back, which were used as the only signals for the /2s in the 60s. To add additional signal lights, I wired up the outer likes on the buco saddlebags as well, while the inner set on the bags serve as additional brake lights. With the bags off, Im going to have to trust drivers behind me to notice the bar ends.


(Above) Bike with the old turn signals, Euro Bars, and Tail Light
(Below) Bar end signals only, Clubman Bars, and older style Tail Light

The Tail light was a little more involving then a quick swap. A modified fender was required to fit this style light. Long story short, I purchased an old r75 fender in rough condition for 20 bucks, cut a chunk off the rear of the fender, and fiberglassed the hole to give it a different angel to allow the new light to be mounted properly. Painted, pinstriped, and clear coated, and it looks as if it was made to be this way. Paint was all done with rattle cans, the secret is with the clear coat. Its UV, chemical resistant and as strong as professional quality clear coats.

(Above) Fender in progress
(Below) Fender and Tail Light Finished

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I know, I need to get the R75/5 seat badge…

I still have quite a few plans for future upgrades or modifications.

-Mounting antique styled spotlight with rear view mirrors (Trust me, it will be cool!)
-Working on a custom leather tank cover/bag
-Considering a different seating style such as a sprung saddle and a small Pillion in the back.
-Mikuni carb upgrade for quicker throttle response and a little more oomph at the top end..
-Different set of pipes (Just want something a little louder)
-1000cc upgrade??? hmmm

Ill keep updating this post as I progress through these projects, but as of now, here’s a few images!

IMAG0579 IMAG0596 IMAG0577 IMAG0585 IMAG0587
IMAG0588 IMAG0590 IMAG0575 IMAG0396 IMAG0564
IMG_3487 IMG_3485 IMG_3479 IMG_3455 IMG_3467
IMG_3469 IMG_3551 IMG_3554 IMG_3562 IMG_3573

Paradox Cycles-The Motorbike!


A little over a year ago, I made the decision to start a new project in the form of a motorized bicycle. Little did I know how obsessive this project would become. This project took a hold of me so strongly that my mind seemed to permanently dedicate some percentage of my brain to be constantly working on it. Even sleep did not release me from its grips. Id lay in bed half asleep with dream induced visions of designs and concepts that mostly made no sense once I woke up. But tirelessly and with enough waken time dedicated to the project, the bike evolved into a fully functioning vehicle.

Most of the countless hours involved with this project, were not necessarily dedicated to aesthetics, but to performance as well . I broke my usual trend towards ‘Form over Function’. Instead of placing all emphasis on making something look wicked cool, and not caring about how well it worked, this bike actually meets my standards for how I want it to look, and its performance is top notch too!

Instead of trying to replicate an era or style of bike or motorcycle, I wanted to create something completely new. I do have many inspirations though. Mostly from old machinery and the details that once existed during a time in which everything was made by hand. Well before the invention of plastic, which has often been hailed as an ingenious development that allowed many things to then become mass produced. However, my perception involves plastic being the invention that made the world ugly.


Anyways, back to the bike…

Customization is not possible without accessories! Here is a list of things Ive added. Most of these items were either fabricated from scratch or a modification of some other object.

-Leather bat shaped skirts for the wheel fenders riveted in place with copper rivets.
-Antique brass bicycle lamp with a custom made visor as a headlight. Fitted into the housing are 52 LEDs powered by a custom battery housing that is hanging under the fuel tank.
-Miniature ‘Pedestrian Slicer’. This is the front plate on top of the front fender that antique motorcycles used as a license plate. Mine is still awaiting an emblem.
-Copper tubing as fuel line. The copper line was used in antique motorcycle and the looping pattern was actually functional to aid in preventing particulates from traveling from the tank to the carburetor. (This is very difficult to make without the right tool and strangely, I found this tool in a bag on the sidewalk!)
-Steel and Brass toolbox. Open on the right side with a skeleton key. It currently holds a tool kit, but may be used as a battery and charging system at some point)
-Antique glass fuel filter.
-Motel T tail light housing as the tail light. Fit with LEDs and works as a constant light as well as with a brake light.
-Custom made Brass air filter cover
-Wood fuel tank side panels.
-Brass fuel tank knee panels.
-Rear flip up kickstand.
-Red Jeweled Kill Switch
-Vintage style Saddle
-Vintage bicycle horn and glass reflectors.
-Brass or Copper hardware anywhere I can add it!



Performance wise, the bike is built around a Chinese 66cc 2-stroke engine. It has a jackshaft allowing the motor to drive the pedal side chain. The benefit of this is that you can now use traditional bicycle gearing! I have installed on the rear wheel a 7 speed nexus internal geared hub. Thats right, I have 7-speeds on this motorized vehicle! Front and rear suspension and full hard rubber mounting of the motor makes for a super smooth ride. An expansion chamber, custom head and tons of tweaks bring me to a top speed of about 45 mph (measured via gps on my android). I can probably squeeze a few more mph on this, but San Francisco does not have a long enough flat road! The tank holds about 3/4s of a gallon that can easily take me 90+ miles. The gearing improves the versatility of this bike drastically. I haven’t found a hill that I couldn’t climb. The big test for this bike was to ride it in the annual 49 Mile Vintage Motorcycle ride in San Francisco 2010. For those familiar with San Francisco, this ride included riding to the top of Twin Peaks and Coit Tower. In other words, this bike was able to climb the steepest hills all awhile keeping up with full sized motorcycles!

After 500+ miles clocked in on the bike, Ive received a good amount of attention. A true head turner you can say. I am humbly flattered every time a small crowd forms and inquires about what they are looking at. My response nowadays is more of a robotic speech that has entered into route memory in my brain from having answered the same question so many times. I believe there is a strong niche that can easily become a community or sub-culture based on this type of locomotion. A true vehicle for the subversive…..

There are many people that have made motorized bicycles, but only a few have used it as a medium for art and self expression. Ive toyed around with the idea of offering custom pieces. All will be top notch in performance as well as incredibly unique. If you are interested or just want to be on my email list regarding these vehicles, hit me up at Paradox@ThetentacleParadox.com or simple go here

Top View

Top View

Tool Box

Tool Box

Jeweled Kill Swtch

Jeweled Kill Swtch

Right Front

Right Front

Bullets!

Bullets!

More Bullets!

More Bullets!

Rear Vintage Glass Reflector

Rear Vintage Glass Reflector

Expansion Chamber

Expansion Chamber

Vintage Glass Fuel Filter

Vintage Glass Fuel Filter

Upgraded Carb

Upgraded Carb

Custom Head

Custom Head

Hard Rubber Mounted

Hard Rubber Mounted

Leather Bat Skirts with opper Rivets

Leather Bat Skirts with opper Rivets

Rear Suspension

Rear Suspension

Brass, Wood, and Rivet Sidepanel/Knee pad

Brass, Wood, and Rivet Sidepanel/Knee pad

Brake, Clutch, Shifter

Brake, Clutch, Shifter

Full Left

Full Left

Rear Left

Rear Left

Full Right

Full Right

Right

Right

Right Front

Right Front

       

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This Is My Rifle….

This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine…

With the coming zombie apocalypse, everyone needs a rifle. In all the zombie novels, ground zero was always in China. However, if you are familiar with 6th st in San Francisco, you can see its already beginning there.This is within a mile from my house, so I had to be sure that Im ready. My weapon of choice was the SKS.

there were several reasons in which I chose the SKS.

-I like the all wood and steel of old firearms.
-They are old
-Im not a not a big fan of american guns, I like ‘Bad Guy’ guns..
-They are very customizable
-They are Cheap! Around $350
-It uses, in my opinion one of the best rounds. 7.62×39. Big enough to do what you need and cheaper then 9mm pistol rounds!
-and finally, they have a bayonet for those up close and personal moments

Since I cant seem to ever buy anything and leave it stock, I did a bunch of mods to both aesthetics and functionality.



This is what I did…

-Changed the wood top fore-grip to a metal vented one. Purely an aesthetic modification that makes it look ‘meaner’.
-Refinished the wood stock and stained in Blood Red! I actually used a few drops of my own blood. Sounds morbid, but I actually cut myself (on accident silly!) while prying open a very old can of wood stain. I then let a few drops of blood fall into my stain mix. The true secret to getting the red though is clothing dye.
-Polished the Bolt carrier, trigger, and mag housing to a nice almost chrome shine.
-Made a pouch that mounts to the butt stock to hold 2 stripper clips. Thats 20 rounds. This was made with rubber, and a bunch of rivets and eyelets. Functional and looks wicked at the same time!
-Changed the front site to a glowing red Williams Fire Site for better visibility.
-Removed the rear sight and installed a Tech-site with a small .41 aperture. Increases accuracy drastically.

Here is the before pic:

And this is the final product:

For all the purist that want to complain that I destroyed the historic value by changing it up like this, well…I didn’t! Every part I changed, the stock and all the parts I polished, were parts that I purchased spares of. I have all the original matching serial numbered item of the original and can put it all back in a good 5 minutes..

The Antediluvian Keyboard


The Antediluvian Keyboard is a representation of an interest in civilization and technology from a time that has been forgotten, twisted, or even denied. A time in which only biblical stories, crypto-histories, and ancient artifacts surrounded by controversy are the only clues to this culture’s achievements. I had this in mind when creating the aesthetics of this functional piece. And with this, the final product was a merging of organic materials and technology.

This full sized keyboard was created from an old Model M clicky keyboard solidly made in 1986 by IBM. I was inspired to use this keyboard after seeing the success of it having been modded in a different fashion by an artist named Jake Von Slatt. The keyboard itself is superbly designed and very hefty compared to modern keyboards. Each key uses its own mechanical spring/switch, giving it the solid ‘clicking’ sound when typing. The first Model M keyboard I acquired had a couple flaws to it, so I ended up buying a second. One thing Ive noticed when opening up these 20+ yr old keyboards is that they always contain 20+ yr old Doritos crumbs!


The project took a full month of many tedious hours. Creating the design and template required great patience which is something I’m not used to practicing. The first piece I made was the face plate utilizing a very thin hobby grade sheet of wood (poplar). It needed to be thin enough to allow a slight curve when added to the keyboard. The tricky part was to make a template for all the holes of each key! Yes, you read that correctly, each single key fits through its own individually drilled hole on the faceplate. The template was by far the trickiest part to make especially since the final piece is curved. After the wood was drilled for each key, I stained the wood ebony and added a very slight red tone to it. I like the way this color turned out for it gave a good contrast with the brass details that I added later. To hold the faceplate down and retain the curve, I actually drilled 3 holes through the keyboard itself in which I used to attach the faceplate to securely.

Next, I then stared at a box I had filled with the 100+ plastic keys that I pulled off the keyboard, took a deep breath and started grinding away at them. I know there is probably a better and faster method for modifying these keys, but again, since I do not have a workshop and am lacking in many necessary tools, my dremel and bench grinder had to do. I used the dremel with a saw blade to cut the skirts off and then I used the bench grinder to grind the keys down to about the size of a typewriter key. I did this for every key.

The next step was to create the fonts and graphics for each key. This was tediously done in Illustrator and printed out on high quality glossy paper. Each graphics was then cut out with an exact-o-knife using the glass from one of the typewriter keys as the template. Two and a half full sets of vintage typewriter keys were then taken apart and put back together, but with a new graphics cutout installed in each. I then used black silicon to attach eye typewriter key the keyboard key stalks. After this, I needed to take a mental break from this project to ensure a future stable state of sanity.

Once my ability to even look at the keyboard returned to me, I knew it was time to work on the frame. I decided to carve the sides out of wood which will eventually be the support for the keyboard’s frame. I quickly hand drafted a shape that followed the curve of the keyboard itself and allowed for two support feet and a mount for these Reedbuck horn tips that I planned to utilize. The pieces were then cut from 3/4″ oak with a scroll saw. Mini Victorian molding/trim was then used to decorate the feet and horn mount edges and small brass claw feet were attached on the back to legs.

The wooden sides were then drilled to fit 4 rods. I used 2 metal rods and 2 wooden dowel rods. One of the metal rods was securely attached using a lot of jb-weld to the lower end of the keyboard. The length of the rods were longer then the keyboard itself, allowing it to protrude 1/2″ from each end. The 1/2″ ends fit into the freshly drilled holes of the side pieces. The 2nd metal rod was the same length and also connected the two side pieces together. It was located higher up which allowed the keyboard to just rest on it. Once resting on the top rod, it was secured only through gaffing tape to the underside of the keyboard. The two wooden dowel rods were just used to hold the 2 decorative brass tubes that frame the top and bottom of the keyboard. Before permanently fixing the pieces together, I then proceeded to stained the sides with the same shade as the face plate.

I wanted the LED’s to retain its functionality, but the original lights were green. So after a quick trip to radio shack, I removed the existing LED’s and soldered in red ones. I then cut a faceplate for the indicator lights from brass sheet metal and drilled holes in it. After much polishing, I attached jeweled red indicator lights and connected it to the keyboard. Each light gives a BRIGHT glowing red indication for the activation of the Caps Lock, Number Lock, and Scroll Lock. I couldn’t capture the brilliant red light in these images. I think it turned out really nice!

All that was left now was to add the final decorations. I cut the horns to the correct length using a dremel. Be warned that this creates a very awful smell akin to burning hair or fingernails! It was then mounted and a brass trim was added. Brass rivets normally used on leather, a custom wood and brass spacebar, and Victorian doll house trim and parts were used to add the final touches.

And finally its finished and now everyone knows where Ive been for the last month of my life!!

Mysterious Cuttlefish – The White Egg Part II and III


This portion Originally written in January 2009, but laziness/business prevented it from becoming a full blown post until now.

So for a week and a half I was able to watch this guy inside his egg. He appeared fully developed and I could not see a yolk. I started to become concerned that he was unable to escape from the egg, which is much tougher then bandensis eggs. He was already responding to its environment and even following shrimps around. One day I saw him hovering in the egg in a manner that resembles how a baby bandensis would look if it was starving to death. So I decided to break the egg and release the baby. So far, a week later he seems healthy and has been eating live mysids.

I put a short video together. Im still not positive on the ID for this guy, but the egg had a diameter of 1.25 – 1.5 inches and the cuttle itself was about 1/2″. The egg was surprisingly strong requiring a decent pinch and tear to open.

March 03, 2009

Pretty sure it is Latimanus. A very interesting species so far. The behavior reminds me of officinalis . Seems more personable then bandensis and found to be hovering around more often. It was shy at first, but quickly warmed up to me when he learned I was his source of food.

The most fascinating aspect of this species is the attack posture. When preparing to strike, Latimanus will flair out the two largest tentacles. You can see this in some of the pictures here and the video.

I haven’t had time to take the best pictures, but here is what Ive got so far!

Mid Strike!





And heres a more interesting video of him!

TiffanyStar and Paradox Snowblood Deer!


I was at a local flea market not too long ago and saw a large taxidermied deer. On closer inspection, I saw a big crack on its nose as if it took a big tumble off of someones wall. Because of the crack and the fact that it was at a flea market, I was able to haggle with the merchant and purchased it for $40!

Tiffany and I decided to make it into a project for us. I made the wood frame and the harness while Tiffany painted the deer’s eyes, mouth, nose and horns! What do you think???!?!

The Mysterious White Cuttlefish Egg


So a couple weeks ago, I get a call about the arrival of a mystery white cuttlefish egg. There were three possibilities of what this egg may have been. A flamboyant, S. latimanus, or S. pharaonis

After a couple weeks of development, Im pretty sure it is S. latimanus! Did I mention the common name for this cuttlefish is the ‘Giant Cuttlefish’. This species gets to be 2 feet long! Ive never heard of anyone having ever kept this species.

The egg size is more then 2x the size of Bandensis eggs, the baby with plenty of yolk left is 3-4x times the size of bandensis hatchlings and its still not hatched yet! I will take care of this one until it outgrows my available space, which shouldnt be long. Rich will probably then take him to throw in a 150 gallon system and when it outgrows that, we will need to hope the academy of science will take him!

Here is a size comparison. The bandensis on the right is 1 weeks old which is already 2x the size of freshly hatched bandensis!

Here you can see the cuttle on its side with the remaining yolk still attached.

Here is an egg size comparison between the Latimanus and Bandensis


Pretty cool stuff!

The Paradox Mouse!! Custom Computer Mouse


After completing my custom keyboard, I was constantly annoyed with seeing my ugly plastic mouse sitting next to it, so I knew a new project was inevitable. I decided to make a custom matching mouse! At first I felt this project was beyond my abilities, since I had to make actual moving and working parts, but after hours of staring at a dissembled mouse and my boxes and jars of random found objects, I developed a plan of attack. The mouse I started with was a generic 5 button mouse with scroll wheel. The two main left/right buttons were the largest obstacles for I couldn’t find anything that would both look and function well. My first though was to use the two sides of a bottom jawbone of some rodent I had lying around, but they ended up being too small and fragile for constant use. I then decided I will just carve some pieces out of wood. After this, I made a mount using brass tubing and brass I-beam shaped pieces. To match the keyboard, I decided to add vintage typewriter keys to each of the finger points on the main 4 buttons of this mouse. I used Alchemy symbols to replace the original letters in the keys. These symbols may or may not have been chosen for a specific significance in this project.




The 3rd and 4th buttons are on the sides of the mouse. I used thin brass sheets cut in a small strip that attaches to the brass rod used to mount the main keys. At the end of the brass strip, I made a mount to add more Vintage Typewriter keys.

The brass strip and key mount can be seen in this construction picture here. It is on the left of the picture.

You can see the side buttons on the bottom of the mouse in the picture below.

I then took apart the internal gears of a clock and used a dremel to cut the center of it out so it was large enough to slide over the scroll wheel. I did this with two gears and found a 3rd that actually slipped on the side perfectly. I then cut a thin strip of brass to wrap around the center of the scroll wheel. The scroll wheel is perfectly functional and also acts as a 5th button if you press down on it!

After the buttons were completed, the rest was easy since it all has to do with decoration! One late sleepless night, I had the ironic idea of using a mouse skull in the piece. Luckily I had a whole rodent skeleton sitting in a box. I bought this years ago with the idea of articulating it as if it would be a fun puzzle to do on a rainy day. Well many rainy days went by and it was never put together, but the head and a couple other pieces now reside in my new mouse!

There are 2 LEDs on this mouse, 1 was near the laser which gives the mouse a slight glow at all times, and a 2nd LED used to light the back of the mouse whenever it was moved. I extended the wires on the 2nd LED and then dremeled a hole into the bottom of the skull and stuffed it in there. The mouse was then placed on a big gear which I glued to the circuit board of the mouse, covering most of the internals. Now, whenever you move the mouse, the whole skull lights up! Creeeeepy!

The next two pictures show the resting state of the mouse with just the bottom LED active and the activated state with the 2nd LED on.
Resting

Activated

To protect the skull and to give the mouse a shape that will contour to your hand, I decided to make a rib cage. I used brass I-beam shaped pieces that you can get at a hobby store and meticulously bent these to form a cage. I then JB welded it all together and painted any exposing epoxy with brass colored paint. I then took the vertebrates and tail bones from the same rodent and lined the center beam with it. I had to soak the bone in warm water for 5 minutes to soften the tendons which allowed me to bend it to its final shape.

I also added a couple 9mm bullet shells at the back of the mouse for added detail. I love how they say ‘Luger’ on them.

Some other decorative aspects I used were the rodent’s shoulder blades for the front of the mouse. There was an open area here which needed to be covered to look complete and these pieces had the correct shape. You can see them in the following picture as well as how the left/right keys can flip all the way open revealing the micro-switches.

After the mouse was complete, there was one more thing I wanted to make. A custom mouse pad!

The mouse pad was made of scrap Victorian wooden trim, brass trims and rivets, and mini wood corbels from a hobby shop.

The mouse and mousepad took about 22 hours spread over a week and a half. Strangely, except for the brass trims, tubing, and screws, all the parts I used were found in my house! Costs including the mouse was about 40-50 dollars and the only tools I used were a bench grinder, a dremel, coping saw, and a lot of JB weld. Unfortunately, I am unable to reproduce this mouse for sale since it contains so many unique parts.

Now I just need to make a custom computer case and I would finally have a completely modified system!

Cuttlefish-The Next Generation….

So after an exhaustive search this year for a source of Bandensis eggs, I finally found some. I almost thought that none would show up at all, meaning there would be no Cuttlefish at all for a whole year since they are seasonal.

This is the first clutch of Eggs I got. They look recently laid, so I will need to wait to see if they are viable. If so, I “may” have some available for sale. Dont email me about these yet, I will post here if they do in fact become available.