Well honestly, I just don’t know what I did that caused this one to be so much better than any prior to date, but somehow the stars aligned and I wound up with something like 1000 baby Lightning Maroons. And the best part is that I am HERE and able to care for the fish well through metamorphosis. God help me if I screw this one up (which is a real possibility given so many babies in a 10 gallon tank…I *may* wind up splitting the batch).
As you may recall, I pulled the next on the night of 1/1/2014 going into 1/2/2014. I re-read all of Wilkerson’s text just to see if I had missed ANYTHING that could be helpful, and one line may have been the difference.
“If in doubt, err on the side of too much aeration” – Joyce Wilkerson, Page 190, Clownfishes, third printing (2003)
Well, I took that to heart and didn’t dial back my slintered glass airstone…I just let the thing rip faster than I felt comfortable. And that might have been the ticket…it “feels” like that’s the only variable I really changed. That said, I didn’t sanitize the eggs this time, and I started the tank with a mixture of new water and broodstock water vs. all straight one or the other.
In any case, I got the kind of hatch I get most every time with other clownfish species, so maybe I really just need to be more aggressive with my aeration? I’ll obviously follow the same pattern on the next batch and see if it repeats. A whole 2 years almost to dial in on the best hatching protocol…damn…you’d think I was a newb at this. Who knows…