The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged breeder net

So 24 hours later, not a new scratch on the smaller PNG Male, and the larger PNG female White Stripe Maroon has been tolerating her new mate. They both share the Red Bubble Tip Anemone that is in the tank (Entacmaea quadicolor). Big step forward indeed. The biggest change I noticed when observing them this evening? The smaller male is now really chasing those 6 Percula culls around. None are showing damage, but they are definitely getting his attention, whereas before he largely ignored them. The larger “female” seems uninterested in any of her tankmates now…a dramatic change from times gone by.

But what was responsible for the attitude change? Was it the 6 culled perculas that I added to the tank? Or was it the isolation of the female, allowing the male to roam “her” territory freely? Or both?

While hardly a scientific study, the best course of action might be to sequester the Lightning Maroon in a breeder net or drilled specimen cup (like the one I’m currently using for the male), and allow the smaller PNG male to roam the Ecoxotic for a while. After maybe 2-3 days of that, freeing the Lightning and careful observation should suggest whether it works or not. This is hardly a “new” technique, but in fact it is standard practice to isolate overly aggressive fish for a short period of time, allowing newcomers to settle in. It works with mean Tangs and Angelfish, and so to, it now seems with a mean female PNG White Stripe Maroon. Will it work with the Lightning?

As I turned the specimen cup over on the male PNG Maroon this afternoon, the fish struggled not to leave the protective confines of its plastic prison. It took only 5 seconds to understand why – it was immediately met with violent attacks from the Lightning Maroon Clownfish. After a minute or two of watching, it was pretty clear that there was no interest on the part of either fish to be in close contact. It wasn’t even hard to scoop the little male PNG Maroon Clownfish back into the safety of the specimen cup.

Hardly what I had been hoping for, but not terribly surprised. Later today I may once again reintroduce the “female” PNG Maroon to her male downstairs in the 10 gallon, hoping that goes as well as their last date. If it does, it will provide yet another avenue for me to try with the Lightning, that is, sequestering the Lightning Maroon in the specimen cup for a day or two might change the relationship dynamic. But I’m not going to try it until I have a proof of concept working, maybe two.

And sorry, no vids or pictures – my wife has the good camera and is on vacation until Friday!

So, I just wrapped up the drip acclimation…bucket water was at 1.024/25, close enough.  Hand moved the fish into the breeder net and watched it for a minute or two.  The fish is PRISTINE, not a mark on it.  It brushed up against the smaller BTAs (Bubble Tip Anemones) and showed no signs of getting stung (i.e. no sticky tentacles observed).  No heavy breating, in every aspect acting like a healthy clownfish.  I want to say that the entire acclimation process took around 2.5 to 3 hours to go from 1.012 to 1.025 on a drip.  Water in the bucket was significantly cooler by a couple degrees, even after placing the drip bucket on a styrofoam box lid to insulate it from the ground.  I have kept the room lights on to allow the fish a little while to adjust to its new surroundings.

So as promised in my prior post, here’s some pictures relevant to this evening’s events.

Net Breeder containing 3 Bubble Tip Anemones

The future net breeder home of the Lightning Maroon

Now, I know some folks see that picture and are taken aback.  Really?  Isn’t such a small confined space cruel?  Well, ask my other clowns…

Fire Clown in a RBTA in a Breeder Net

Can you see the Sumatran Fire Clown?

Sumatran Fire Clownfish, Amphiprion ephippium, in a Red Bubble Tip Anemone

Yup, that's the "spare", smallest of 3 Sumatran Fire Clownfish (Amphiprion ephippium) living in a breeder net. The larger 2 have free roam of the same tank.

Vanuatu Pink Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion peridariaon) living in a breeder net with a RBTA

Amphiprion peridariaon "Vanuatu", yes, Pink Skunks, living in a breeder net...sort of...

So yeah, those Pink Skunks.  Birthday present from my inlaws from the Diver’s Den on  I had sold the Ocellaris pair that lived in this reef prior, so I knew I had a spot for clowns and they wanted to get me some “nice” clownfish.  Long story short, the reef also houses a pair of Starkii Damselfish (Chysiptera starkii) and I wasn’t sure how these new additions would be treated.  I also wanted to give them an anemone, but was concerned about the Dragonette Pairs in this tank becoming “lunch” for the anemone.  So I threw them in the breeder net with a Red Bubble Tip Anemone Clone.  Eventually, one got out more than once and honestly the seemed OK.  So I pushed the net down so that the edge sits maybe 0.5 to 0.75 inches below the surface.  Well, turns out the clowns (as well as the Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides dimidatus) and Harlequin Filefish (Oxymonacanthus longirostris)) have figured out that they can come and go from the basket as they please.  By night, the anemone and the clowns reside in the basket, and during they day they basically “overflow” into the tank at large.  It honestly works so well for them that I hate to make changes to it.

And thus, because it’s worked well before, I hope / assume it can work well again, even if only an interim measure (I have NO desire to keep the Lightning Maroon alone in a breeder basket for any longer than I have to!).  So, I’ll end this evening with 2 shots of the Lightning Maroon in acclimation and an interesting observation.  When this fish stresses out, the white lightning stripes become tinged gray.  You can kinda see it even in these pictures.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus, in drip acclimation.

The Lightning Maroon Clown, Premnas biaculeatus "PNG Lightning", being drip acclimated from hyposalinity to full strength saltwater.

PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus "PNG Lightning"

A closeup of the Lightning Maroon Clownfish in the acclimation bucket.

Tomorrow I’ll figure out what the heck I’m doing with the female PNG Maroon.  Admittedly, I have an idea…

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