I'll be watching this. It is quite fascinating that most people have the same exact result at a specific amount of time. There has to be something missing from the environment at that precise point of development.
Indeed. I'm hoping that something in the grab bag of stuff I've got going in that tank does the trick. There is plenty of wood, leaves, lots of microfauna, TONS of floaters (my RRF has been taking over once a week for the past 4 months...) some stems, moss, and recently, unfortunate quantities of algae.
If nothing else, I watch the tank several times a day and am hoping to catch the zoeas free floating. If that happens I can pipette them out into a growout tank and try to feed them directly. I've got all sorts of stuff to try on them, from fresh and marine phyto to wheat chaff infusoria from my garden. I expect lots of frustration before I ever get a hint of success, but I would love to see the first step actually happen and have a chance to fail.
Should have mentioned this, but I'm keeping them in a tank with pH 6.8, GH 4, KH 1, and temperature 73F. I'm concerned that it might be too cold for them, but I've got shrimp in the same tank that I'm also trying to work with that need the cooler temperatures. I love looking at my aquariums, but I much prefer actually working with the animals. I feed the tank flake food, sinking crab pellets, spinach and/or turnip greens (or whatever I pick from the yard when it's the right time of the year), algae wafers, and bloodworms once in a while.