The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged eggs

Back on November 23rd, I made a change in diet for most of my fishes to try out the insanely popular LRS feeds; specifically the new Fertility Frenzy.  I purchased four 8 oz. flats for use in my fishroom, and 4 more flats went to Mike Doty’s fishroom to try on some problem spawners. As of today, I’ve gone through two of them; I’m using about 8 oz of this food per week.

While hardly a scientific and controlled test, I figured changing one variable in the routine (feeding a different food, and more frequently) would at least provide some insight.  And if pairs which were not spawning suddenly sprung into action, well, wouldn’t that just be great?  There’s been a lot of positive feedback but also some rather remarkable claims made about these feeds…on the one hand almost too hard to believe, but also too hard to ignore.

I instantly saw some fish willing to gorge themselves on feed in a way that perhaps they wouldn’t on others. The small particle size and gel binder is very reminiscent of Repashy’s Spawn and Grow formulation…so much so the cynic in me mused “is LRS just repackaged and augmented Spawn and Grow?” I’ve offered this food to just about every fish in the room…freshwater, saltwater, juveniles to adults.  Most take it and “enjoy” it….my Altums (Pterophyllum altum) have a hard time with it, but the Betta smaragdina “Guitar” juveniles pounce on this food.

One of the Clownfish pairs that initially showed the most promise was the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair.  Upon going onto the LRS Fertility Frenzy, I remember confiding in a fellow breeder that I thought the fish looked uncomfortably fat, and I was actually worried that this could lead to a problem such as egg binding.  Well…my concerns were unfounded, the pair put down their most recent nest on Sunday, November 29th. This is their 25th spawn.

This first nest was no larger, or no better quality, than any of the prior nests. Perhaps only 6 days on the food is not enough to see the impacts of the new diet that most hobbyist feedback would lead me to expect.

Another possibility here is that whatever is driving nest size and quality might not be dietary in this pair. A third possibility might be that the prior staple diet, Spectrum’s Thera A, represents a comparable source of nutrition and thus, the switch to LRS could simply effectively be a lateral move (everyone knows Spectrum is a very solid, premium pellet).

It’s going to take several more weeks of feeding to make any sort of anecdotal observations that I’d put weight behind. But it does remind me that in breeding there probably isn’t a shortcut or magic bullet.  Feed, while important, is only part of the equation.

More Spawns…

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I’ve not been worrying about spawns lately, partially because things don’t seem to be going just right, partially because a rotifer reboot failed to take, and partially because misc commitments away from the fishroom will preclude any intensive rearing efforts either way, but also because other projects are getting in the way too. That, and frankly, my overall concerns over what is being done with the wanton, willful hybridization of Gold Stripe Maroons into the PNG Lightning line is actually far more disturbing to me, and therefore far more deserving of my time, than worrying about rearing a batch of clownfishes that I don’t even have the time to sell! Ah, but an update on the corruption of the PNG White Stripe Maroon Clownfish line, as well as genetic sanctity of Gold Stripe Maroons in the aquarium trade, is deserving of a much larger, more prominent discussion.

And to that end, I neglected to even note the latest spawn of the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair.  They are clearly going to hatch tonight, the night of 4/13/2015, meaning that LxL Spawn #10 was put down last Tuesday, the 7th.  A  Nebula Perc spawn was noticed on Friday, the 10th. I was so busy writing a last minute article for the impressive forthcoming CORAL Magazine on Sunday night this week, and throw on our daughter being sick, and I failed to even make it into the fishroom.  So now, in the wee morning hours of what is now technically Tuesday, the 14th, I discovered that the wild Lightning pair has put down Spawn #52. Based on the color of the eggs, they were spawned on Sunday, April 12th, 2015.  The eggs that remain appear to be fertile, so if this pair actually lets the eggs sit, maybe the wild pair is slowly getting back on track?

Just recording another Lightning Maroon spawn; on Monday, March 30th, the pair put down Spawn #51.  The nest didn’t look that great..the eggs were a lighter shade of orange, and the nest did not appear “tight”.  I’m going to guess that this nest, like recent priors, is going to be a dud.

On either March 1st or March 2nd, the  wild Lightning Maroon and its mate spawned again.  I found the nest tonight (I didn’t make it down into the fishroom on the 1st), just a smattering of eggs…probably less than 50.  I’m guessing this was a “pre” spawn…or maybe they’ve been eating eggs.  Not really sure, but not holding out hope yet.

 

 

Quick Updates

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White Stripe Spawn #3 seems to have hatched earlier than expected.  I was looking at the tank on Saturday, 9-13, which would’ve been the day to pull the tile, but the eggs were already gone.  So they may well be on a 5 day schedule?!

Meanwhile, Lightning Maroon Spawn #40 was laid on 9-10-2014.  I’ll be out of town late this week, which means I won’t be able to properly tend to baby lightning maroons.  So this batch, like the last, will be left to hatch and move one.  I believe I’ll be in a good position to deal with Spawn #41 if the fish are back on schedule.

That’s all.

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

I discovered spawn #38 around 10 PM on 7-28-2014.  Typical big orange spawn on the sloped ceiling tile.

Spawn #37 is laid

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It felt like this one took a long time to happen; spawn #37 was laid this afternoon by the Lightning Maroon Clownfish and her white stripe mate, 7-12-2014.

That is all…

It’s the night of 5/31 going into 6/1/2014, and right before 2:00 AM (6/1) I pulled the tile for the sanitizing H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) dip. While going through the 15 minute treatment at 4 ML per 0.5 gallons of broodstock water, I wiped out the BRT which was used for Spawn #32 and refilled it with 10 gallons of water from the broodstock tank.  When I went to check on the eggs, with 25 seconds left, I discovered that about 30 larvae had already hatched.

I moved the tile into the BRT with good air flow using a coarse air stone and turned out the lights.  I then spent a little time pipetting some of the larvae from the specimen cup, but I ultimately did not get them all and some had to go down the drain.  I had to wonder – would these larvae be viable long term, or would their exposure to H2O2 burn them up and render them useless.  So I wasn’t overly concerned, and I also didn’t want to add too much of that bath water into the BRT.

I’ll try to check on the hatch again in the next 30-45 minutes…I wonder if they’re going to go really fast, or if it’s in spurts (you may recall my concern over “morning” hatches…)

UPDATE – as of 4:20 AM, a last check of the night after just under 2 hours reveals no further large hatching occurred.  I wonder if they’ll hatch come daylight?  Hard to say…

Based on my calculations, 5/20 is the night we’re due to first have hatches. Having moved all the fry from Spawn #30 into a BRT “on the system”, I wiped down and drained their BRT, and refilled it with water from the Lightning Maroon’s broodstock aquarium. The tile with eggs (huge nest, 4″ X 2″) was placed in a 0.5 gallon specimen cup with 4 ml H2O2 for approximately 15 minutes, after which it was set up with a coarse airstone for hatching in the BRT. I confirmed that the air is flowing directly over the eggs at a moderate clip.  This *should* be a good hatch if I’ve done things right.

Side note on spawn #30 – ultimately the split was a nice dice roll – 8 Lightnings and only 3 White Stripes.

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