It’s been a busy couple weeks around MACNA and I wasn’t even THERE this time! I have to circle back to the last update which left us with Spawn #9’s babies disappearing, and the laying down of Spawn #10 on 8-26-2013.
Well…I did not pulled Spawn #10 as planned on the night of September 2nd – I think folks are right in terms of me getting confused counting nights vs. days; if counting “nights”, 8-26 was the first night, meaning that the 7th night would be 9-1-2013. The pair was going nuts tending the eggs that evening, which tends to indicate a pending hatch. So the eggs were pulled on the evening of 9-1-2013, only 144 hours post spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish Spawn #10, the 7th night (144 hours post spawn)

Lightning Maroon Clownfish Spawn #10, the 7th night (144 hours post spawn)


This worked somewhat well – the next morning there was a hatch of possibly as many as 100 offspring.
Hatch on Spawn #10, the 7th night (144 hours post spawn)

Hatch on Spawn #10, the 7th night (144 hours post spawn)


Hatch on Spawn #10, the 7th night (144 hours post spawn)

Hatch on Spawn #10, the 7th night (144 hours post spawn)


With the bulk of the eggs NOT hatching this night, I opted to move the tile to another spare black round tub so that the next night’s hatch would be separated and any dying / decaying eggs would not pollute the first group.
The next night, there was a very small hatch, and most of the eggs were found dead. I transferred all the larvae I could find (< 10) in with their siblings from the night prior.
Meanwhile, an incident with the 2012 group of Lightning Maroons the week prior resulted in the demise of LM10 on September 4th.
LM10, expired, the postponed results of a beating by its siblings.

LM10, expired, the postponed results of a beating by its siblings.


It’s hard to say exactly what occurred, but several days prior when observing the remaining ‘communally’ grouped offspring, I noticed that both pectoral fins on LM10 had been chewed back – this is a common fin damage the fish inflict upon each other while sparring, and all times prior, segregating the fish has resulted in a quick recovery. For whatever reason, LM10 did not recover, but instead spiralled downhill, going of feed, breathing heavily and ultimately dying. It is my guess that a systemic bacterial infection took hold and made quick work of this fish, but ultimately I’ll never know for sure.
Meanwhile, with the last fish shipping from the Round 2 auctions, it opened up enough holding space to prevent any future murders or problems with aggression. As of 9-4, all the remaining siblings were segregated, whether into the holding cubes or breeder nets placed in the growout system.

Lightning Maroons and White Stripe siblings, all now segregated.


 
Spawn 10, as of 9-4-2013

Spawn 10, as of 9-4-2013


This was pretty much the last look I had ad what had seemed like a promising run for Spawn #10. The next day, on 9-5, the offspring crashed and vanished, and were gone by Friday, the 6th. Water tests revealed nothing conclusive, no elevated ammonia or low pH to blame. Ironically, the the tub that had contained the 2nd night’s hatch from spawn 10, 2 stragglers evaded my attempts to combine them with their siblings, and so tonight, 9-10, there is at least one viable offspring remaining from spawn #10. ONE.
It would seem that the Lightning Maroon pair has finally hit its stride in the sex department, so at least my seemingly never-ending blunders are met with the chance to do better the next time! On 9-4-2013, the pair put down spawn #11.
 
Lightning Maroon Clownfish Spawn #11, laid 9-4-2013

Lightning Maroon Clownfish Spawn #11, laid 9-4-2013


It’s my plan to do things differently this time. I’m going to skip the black round tub (BRT) in favor of the “traditional” 10 gallon aquarium. It is my thought that at least part of my difficulties lie in the lack of access to viewing the offspring from anyplace other than above. This makes it difficult to gauge whether larvae are standing on the bottom, or in midwater, while not visible from above.
The big question tonight – being 9-10, now roughly 144 hours post spawn, do I pull it? I should get some larvae if I pull the nest, but it again may be premature…
One other note – one new fish added to the “inventory” – LM17 is the only offspring to be around so far from 2013. ¬†You can read all about him here.

LM17