The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged dead eggs

The tile house collapsed over the weekend, and upon restoring it, the Lightning Maroon and her mate promptly ate all the eggs, which suggests they were dead from lack of parental care / circulation (the tile wasn’t completely down, the eggs did not appear to be smashed).  That’s all for Spawn #38

So Mike Doty has had comparable luck to some of my better “early runs”; Spawn #27 remains at his house and in a startling role reversal, I’m now watching HIS fishroom.  As of yesterday, I discovered the first post-meta offspring, a Lightning juvenile, in the warmer, more lightly-stocked right BRT.  The rest are still pre-meta fish.

Spawn #28 was pulled too early, and I should have listened more to Mike Hoang’s advice to do an H2O2 dip on eggs that don’t hatch in the first night.  It seems that the eggs remained viable on the tile up until yesterday afternoon, 4-8, but the majority never hatched. Interestingly, it wasn’t until the morning of 4-8 that the last of the eggs in with the parents had disappeared. There are a scant few larvae in the 10 gallon tank from this batch as a result.

The other news to report is that on the afternoon of 4-8-2014, the 29th spawn was put down by the Lightning Maroons.  Based on my dates, I should pull the tile for hatching next Monday, the 14th.

I left for Reef Currents this past weekend in Houston, hosted by MARSH, and well, it was the typical dice roll of being a speaker…some things will be fine, and some things just won’t work out.  BTW, it was a great event – thanks for having me guys!

Spawn #24 never really hatched.  Despite being pulled after 6 days, there was nothing hatched Thursday morning before I left.  Friday, Mike had seen 1 or 2 larvae hatch, but the rest were still tightly held in their eggs.  Come Saturday, still no hatch, and come Sunday the eggs were definitely dead. So what did I do wrong?  Was it the use of completely new saltwater?  Insufficient aeration from the wooden air stone?  The fact that I didn’t sanitize the eggs with H2O2.  Incidentally, I spent part of the weekend with my friend Mike Hoang, who some readers may remember as the guy with the Gold Flake Maroons down in Houston…before ORA isolated theirs but after Sustainable Aquatics created and applied the name to theirs. I bring Mike up, because he actually breeds a lot of clownfish and has many tricks he’s very willing to share; one of the things he mentioned is that if he has a failed hatch, he does an H2O2 dip and then finds he has a hatch after wards.  So maybe there is something mechanical at play here; either heavier agitation is needed, or the H2O2 dip helps soften / break down the outer membrane of the egg, facilitating hatching (which normally might be facilitated by the parental clownfish biting on or otherwise roughly agitating the eggs).  All speculation…

I returned home Sunday to also find Spawn #25 had been put down.  Mike failed to mention that, so I’m not sure whether he noticed it or not (I’ve sent him an email to ask).  Based solely on how they looked when I saw them, I’m guessing they were laid on Saturday, February 22nd, 2014.  At least I get yet another chance.

The Lightning Maroon “holdback pair” is finally a true pair.  It wound up taking 4 separate introductions for the pairing to stick; the last time I introduced the larger female to the male was on Wednesday afternoon, and what I saw that suggested things would go different was a lack of fighting and a more conciliatory demeanor from the male.  Lots of cheek biting / nibbling by the male any time the female would lunge at him, and that nuzzling / nipping / biting behavior would quickly diffuse the larger fishes aggression.  Come morning there were no split fins, and the pair was spending considerable time together.  I took a calculated risk, and left them together while gone, with everyone knowing what to do and what warning signs should be watched for.  It’s been 5 days now, and they share a small bubble tip anemone.  Looks like this pairing is going to stick.

Sorry for the lack of photos…I’m simply too backlogged to do anything with them.  And besides, seen one clownfish nest, you’ve seen ‘em all.

Did anyone see the outrageous “Peace Keeper” Gold Stripe Maroons?  If not, go check ‘em out on ReefBuilders.

 

So last night I was simply too tired by the time egg pulling came around; I took a calculated risk and left the eggs with the parents overnight.  I left a few extra lights on in the fishroom.

Come morning, most of the eggs were still there.  Great I thought…I’ll pull them tonight and I’ll get a BIG hatch instead of this paltry premature hatch I seem to get with the rest of the eggs dying.

10:30 PM, I head down to the fishroom…eggs are gone.  Spawn #11 is done.

Carl W. Phillips Jr. mentioned something on the Lightning Maroon Clownfish Facebook Page  early today.  “I’m not an expert but maybe the eggs weren’t viable???”  And the question I find myself asking this evening – did the eggs hatch during the middle of the day, or were the dead and the parents ate them?

This jogged my memory on something I had been thinking when I saw the mass mortality of eggs on the 2nd day holding the eggs for hatching with spawn #10.  Maybe the reason I’m not getting many eggs to hatch is that there is something wrong with the eggs in the first place.

Going back to Joyce Wilkerson’s bible, Clownfishes, I recall that egg hatching failure was attributed to diet.  Specifically, too much chiton in the diet, presumably from crustacean food sources.  I don’t think I have excessive chiton by any stretch; it could be something entirely different.

My options – larval snagger (to catch larvae hatching by the parents…assuming the eggs are viable) – disinfection (in case this mortality is being caused by some external problem) – diet alterations (I have some ideas on how to change).

Hopefully the now routine spawns with this pair continue so I can FINALLY get down to the bottom of things.

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