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Raising clownfish

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uwscotch

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Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Well, I will try my best to update my journey. I apologize ahead of time for the quality of some of the pictures, but this is the best I have done so far. I will first start out with background on my tank. I currently have a 30 gallon glass tank, stand, and hood that are all about 8 years old. It is a very simple and old design, hole drilled in back for overflow into a filter sock, 10 gallon tank for a sump, a new euroreef ES5-3 skimmer and Rio 2500 for a return with a spray bar. Theire is an "Ecosystems" hang on refugium and no clue how much live rock. The tank has grown considerably in terms of the number of corals, mainly LPS and a few softies. There is an outdated pick in my photo gallery that I may update soon.

Now to the clown. They are Amphiprion Oscellaris that were purchased from "The Fish Store" about 3 years ago. I just picked one small one and a large one. They have changed very little since I bought them except the color have brightened up on the female while the male has become dark and kind of dull looking (Poor nutrition do to egg tending???). Their tank mates are a coral beauty angel, royal gramma and 1 green chromis that wants to be one of the clowns. The fish are fed daily with an equal mixture of Formula 1, Formula 2, and Prime Reef equivalent to about 1/2 of a cube all together. The clowns host in the two Heteractic Crispa's (aka Sebae) positioned in the middle of the tank, I am currently trying to remove one of them and may upset the breeding. The anenomes are about 2.5 years old and were originally fed "Ocean Plankton" (Hikari??) once a week. I no longer feed them in hopes of them shrinking as suggested by Anthony Calfo about a year ago. The clowns have been laying eggs for about 2 years now and have changed where they lay their eggs if I disturb/rebuild the reef structure (have not done this for a year). I will not go in to how they lay eggs, etc. I recommend Joyce Wilkersons book.

Here is a picture of Ma and Pa.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Laying of Eggs

Adult viewing only. :lol:

So like most clownfish, mine work like clockwork. They will lay eggs in the afternoon after they have both cleaned the site thoroughly. After they hatch, it will be anywhere from 2-6 days before they lay another clutch.
The female deposits some eggs, swims away, the male fertilizes them, she returns to lay some more, so on and so forth. The eggs are bright orange and she normally lays a couple of hundred of them. Over the course of the next week, i believe coral beauty make lunch out of about 1/4 of them. Here are picks of day one Eggs.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Progressive days of the eggs

I have tried to use the underwater case for my digital camera with little success except when scuba diving. Here are some more bad pictures. They are as follows: Day 2, Day 3, Day4, Day 6, and Day 8. Day 8 is about 3 hours before the eggs hatch. The male stays up pretty late fanning the eggs to help them hatch. At this point, the eggs are silver and all you see are these two little bug eyes. The eggs hatch about 30-45 minutes after the lights go out. Important note, don't shine a light at the eggs too early, they stop hatching and hatch the following night and do not fair very well. I don't like to stay up too late, so I will sometimes turn the lights off an hour early and wrap the tank with a towel to keep it dark in there.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
So here is the heart of the system. Greenwater culture and rotifers. I have a picture of my greenwater culture. I do it a little bit different than others since I also process and sell my Live Phytoplankton to a local store. I culture 3 different strains of algae, similar to Dt's. After 6-7 days of culture, the algae is taken to a labarotory where it is washed extensively and resuspend to a concentration well above what is commercially available today. The key is to wash away all traces of chemicals in the fertilizer that may build up if added to a reef over time such as the high level of phosphates, copper, etc. I've attached a few pictures of the processing/analysis and the final product. The reason I do it this way for rotifers as well is that in its processed form, it has a fairly long shelf life and I can refrigerate it and add it to the rotifers as needed. This gets rid of the need of continuous greenwater cultures. If I take a break, I have plenty of greenwater to keep up my rotifers and kickstart them as soon as my clowns lay eggs and I intend on catching them. The rotifers are cultured with gentle aeration in plastic buckets. The Rotifers themselves are scooped out using 50 micron sieve made out of PVC and Nitex. Again, these are available at the store that sells my Live Phytoplankton. PM for info. Anyways, I take a couple of scoops of the rotifers in the bucket and add to the larvae and this is the key to their survival. I will get to catching the larvae and the larvae rearing tanks shortly.
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Story is not complete, I will post more picks to come of Rotifer cultures, the babies up to age 3 months, etc. Please wait with questions

thanks

aaron
 

uwscotch

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 16, 2004
Messages
190
Thanks for the post to remind me to get my act together with pics and posts. The babies are well, some upt to 3/4" long. Full striping and coloration and are a cinch to take care of. About 20 of them in a 5 gallon aquarium with a heater, air bubbling, and live rock that I robbed from the quarantine tank. Some macroalgae as well with a 3 gallon water change once a week with used water from the parent tank. Feed them flake food ground up with my fingers twice a day and sometimes Formula 1. They are hungry little buggers. A 12 hour lite cycle and for the most part, they adore me because I bring food.
 
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