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Clownfish Rearing Log

2003/11/22Added a bubble-tip anemone and a maroon clown (who lives in the anemone). Clown is a maroon clown, Premnas biaculeatus, tank raised by ORA, and about 6 months old.
2004/3/14Added a second maroon clown (about 2/3 the size of the first). Also ORA tank raised.
2005/5/18The maroon clowns have laid eggs! A patch of about a hundred bright orange eggs just to the left of their anemone's base, often hidden by the disc of the anemone.
2005/5/20The eggs are now brownish, rather than orange. From my book, that's expected on day 3. I wonder if the eggs were laid on Tuesday, or if these are developing quickly? We have a non-traditional clown family, as the female is tending to the eggs more than the male.
2005/5/25The eggs hatched this evening, within an hour after lights-out. The fry were drifting around the tank. I scooped most of them up and placed them within a nylon-net enclosure floating in the reef tank. An hour later, none of them appeared to be still alive.
2005/5/26On closer examination this morning, many of the fry were stuck to the nylon material in the netting. Either pouring them into the enclosure was too rough, or they just became stuck to the net. In either case, being stuck to the net and not getting food for 12 hours did them in.
2005/6/1The maroon clowns have laid eggs again. Looks like every 2 weeks exactly, with the eggs taking a week to hatch.
2005/6/7Setup rearing tank: a bare 10 gallon aquarium with about 6 gallons of water (drawn from the reef) with a heater and large bubbler. Also started a batch of brine shrimp eggs. Hoping for a hatch tonight (a day shorter than last time, but the tank was warmer for the last few days).
The eggs did hatch, around 9pm (tank lights go out at 7:30, sunset causes the room to go completely dark by 8:30). Turned lights back on and turned off main pumps on reef. Scooped out fry with plastic cup and sucked them up with turkey baster. Moved about 50 of them to the prepared bare tank. All seemed to survive the move. Put some (previously) frozen cyclopeeze in with them, as well as half a bottle of seapods and a pinch of zooplan powdered plankton.
2005/6/8The fry survived the night. I can't really tell if they are feeding or not.
2005/6/9The fry seem to be doing OK, and are visibly larger than the started. Feeding them freshly hatched artemia & cyclopeeze.
2005/6/10The fry are all dead this morning. All were fine last night. Bacteria? Poor nutrition?
Second Attempt
2005/7/5Returned from vacation and see the clowns have fresh eggs, probably laid this afternoon. Will try to raise these.
2005/7/8Rotifer culture showed up today. Set up a 5.5 gallon tank with about 4 gallons of water @ 1.017 SG and an airstone with moderate aereation. Will split this culture into a second 5.5 gallon tank when the first one blooms.
2005/7/10Started second rotifer culture. Setup bare 10G tank for clownfish.
2005/7/11Only about 15 clownfish hatched tonight. The rest of the eggs look ready to hatch, but no activity. The fry were caught and transfered, and are being fed rotifers.
2005/7/12The rest of the eggs hatched tonight. Caught about half of the fry and placed them in the rearing tank.
2005/7/13The fry are looking good and appear to be feeding on the rotifers.
2005/7/17Day 5, all fry looking good, feeding well. Starting them on frozen encriched baby brine in addition to rotifers.
2005/7/20Day 8, all fry looking good, feeding well. They are definately eating the frozen encriched baby brine. Continuing to feed rotifers too. Fry are about 3mm long.
2005/7/22Day 10, all fry looking good. Have ceased feeding rotifers, just frozen encriched baby brine.
2005/7/25Day 13, fry looking good. Have witnessed a corpse in the bottom of the tank, but there couldn't have been more than one or two deaths. The largest fry are starting to show white stripes.
2005/7/27Day 15, the good news is that they are turning maroon, taking on the adult coloration. However, I've lost a few each of the last 2 days. Maybe 15 left. They may not be feeding well.
2005/8/1Day 20. About 10 left. Showing adult coloration, about 1/4 inch long. Started second set (Day 0).
2005/8/5Day 24. Still 10 clowns in the first batch. They seem more robust now; they orient to the bottom of the tank and definately chase their food instead of waiting for it to bump into them. Now being fed cyclopeze instead of baby brine shrimp. Batch 2 are looking well (day 4), about 50 of them.
2005/8/8Day 27. Added a juvenile spotfin butterfly (caught at Green Bridge, Newport, RI) to this tank, and some PVC pieces as cover. Batch 2 are looking well (day 7), about 40 of them? Started feeding baby brine in addition to rotifers. Rotifer culture seems to be crashing so have to make this transition quickly.
2005/8/15The juvie butterfly died. Not sure why. Don't think it was feeding. The clowns seem fine.
2005/8/21Moved the clowns from bare 10 gallon tank to 7 gallon tank with thin layer of gravel on the bottom and a coral skeleton for decoration. Still using just an airstone, no real filtration. Did about a 70% water change as part of the move. All 10 clowns seem to be doing OK. The largest ones are more than twice the size of the smaller ones.
2005/4/1Sold the remaining clown to Skipton's for $15 store credit.
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