The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged F0

Back to Spawn Tracking…

No comments

Another post I’ll probably be updating for a while..just tracking spawns.

The most recent spawn of the Lightning X Lighting F1 pair here was on November 16th, 2015, their 24th spawn.

The original wild Lighting X White Stripe pair spawned again, a very small clutch of orange eggs, on Sunday, November 22nd, 2015; their 65th spawn.  That comes out to 2 months since their prior spawn.  What I had noticed happened is the LEDs on their tank have dimmed…I wonder if this has tricked them out of a spawning cycle.  Plus, we are entering winter weather, although the environment of the fishroom should be largely unaffected in that regard.

It is worth noting that lately the fish have been almost exclusively on a diet of Spectrum Thera A, and nothing else.  This is pretty much due to time and other priorities. Overall, nest sizes seem smaller when exclusively on this diet, and the egg quality simply doesn’t appear as solid.  Just an informal observation at this time.

More Spawns…

2 comments

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.

This is a spawn of note; on the evening of March 17th, 2015, the wild pair of PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish and her PNG White Stripe mate put down their 50th spawn in captivity.  It looks like a good one, so I think they might be back on track!

I’m also just noting that my Nebula Percs threw down  nest the evening before, March 16th ;)

Filials, What the F?

No comments

It seems that at least one irate aquarist thinks I’ve made up the concept of “F1″, “F0″ and so forth. Maybe as a marketing ploy even?! Nope, sorry, they’ve been around forever.

Originally, this content was intended for inclusion in the Conservation Breeding Chapter of my half of the book, Banggai Cardinalfish, which was published last year. Most of that last chapter was cut…we were 17 pages over-length and the most esoteric parts of the book were the first to go. But, I found the text in my drafts, and I’m publishing it here, very slightly edited from what I found in my drafts.

Filials Denote Generation and/or Inbreeding

You will routinely see the use of tags like F1, F2, and F3 attached to aquarium-produced specimens of wild-type forms in the freshwater trade, most often attached to fish from private versus commercial breeders. These notations are called filials, and are meant to convey the generational distance from the last “outcrossing,” that is, a mating between two completely unrelated fish.

Officially, F0, or generation zero, represents a pairing of two unrelated fish regardless of the source, and the resultant offspring are F1, the first generation. Mate those F1 fish together and you have F2, and so forth. However, in some cases, including in the general aquarium hobby, F0 more often used exclusively to mean a wild-sourced broodstock. This slight difference in use can cause a significant level of confusion.

From an inbreeding standpoint, and for tracing the extent of inbreeding, the use of F0 to denote the parents of an unrelated mating is both practical and proper. From a conservation standpoint, breeders are often concerned with “distance from the wild.” Given the possible conservation implications, and that the general accepted practice among freshwater hobbyists is to use filials to show distance from wild genetics, Banggai breeders might consider implementing the methodology outlined here.

F+ the number of generations away from wild-sourced genetics. Thus:

  • F0 denotes a wild fish.
  • F1 is generally the progeny of a wild pairing.
  • F2 is the offspring of an F1 X F1 pair, related or not.

When fish of different generations are mated, the resultant offspring are F+1 to whichever mate is already further away. For example, F3 X F5 = F6, not F4.

Problems arise when a captive line is outcrossed back to a wild fish. This fundamentally resets the inbreeding that has occurred, so F0 x F6 should be called F1. Many aquarists and breeders may disagree, considering such a “reset” as deceptive because only half of the parentage is wild, and thus insist that F0 X F6 should be denoted F7. Some breeders sidestep all this debate, using F0 for wild fish, F1 for progeny of wild fish, and “aquarium strain” to denote everything else.

The important final message is that filials are used by different people in different ways. From a genetics standpoint, the filial is hardly the final word, because it can mean two fundamentally different things: one breeder’s F6 fish may be far more genetically solid than another breeder’s highly inbred F3 specimens, and a third breeder’s F1 fish might be 10 generations removed from the wild. If there is any doubt, a conversation with the breeder should help clarify the meaning of the filial label he or she has applied.

I have photos of this spawn stashed away in the camera, but I figured I better get this on the books before I completely forget. Spawn #19 was put down on 12-14.  With tons of stuff going on with the holidays, I did a boneheaded thing and pulled the nest on the night of the 19th going into the 20th (because I looked at my phone after Midnight, didn’t realize it was that late, saw the 20th, and said “shoot I gotta pull this tonight!”).

Spawn #19 during H2O2 sanitizing dip.

Spawn #19 during H2O2 sanitizing dip.

So the eggs went into a clean tank with all new water after a 15 minute bath on hydrogen peroxide.  It was at least 24 hours early, and yet despite that, I had a handful of offspring the next morning…that’s technically 5 days after spawning!  A few more offspring hatched out the subsequent night (which would have been 6 days later), and yet after that, the nest died.  There has been plenty of RotiGreen Omega and rotifers in the 10 gallon blacked out tank, but by the time I departed for our holidays away, there were maybe only 3 babies I could see alive.  Upon returning the day after Xmas (12-26), I could find only one baby in the tank, and by the 27th I could no longer find any larvae.  Pulling my hair out.

There is one thing I’m looking at right now – I haven’t had access to wooden airstones for incubation in ages, and Joe Lichtenbert swore by them for direct egg aeration during hatching.  I’ve been having all sorts of nest deaths in the Lightning Maroons when putting coarse air directly on them, so I’ve generally tried to get good ambient flow, which works better but not consistently.  Well, if it’s my damn airstones I’m going to be really ticked, but my plans are to have wooden airstones on hand very soon, going out of my way to obtain them since most online suppliers have long since dropped them from their offerings.

And yet, I’ll get another shot at it still.  I discovered the latest nest, Spawn #20, when checking out my tanks when I returned home from the holidays.  I cannot say for certain, but given that the Lightning Maroon’s ovipositor was still down, I believe that Spawn #20 was laid on 12-26-2013.  Based on that timing, the nest was pulled on the evening of 1-1-2014, going into the morning of 1/2/2014.  Once again the 10 gallon tank was drained, cleaned, rinsed with freshwater, and set up. This time I used 50% new water, 40% broodstock water, and 5% RODI water to bring the specific gravity down slightly.  I did not sanitize the eggs prior to pulling.  There was very little orange left in the larvae, which I believe bodes well for my pull occuring at the right time to maximize whatever hatch I get.  A small LED flashlight was set up at the far end of the tank to draw hatched larvae away from the heavy aeration – wooden airstones have yet to arrive, so once again I’m pummeling the eggs with coarser bubbles from a glass airstone.

You may recall the “other” pair of wild (F0) White Stripe Maroons I’ve had set up from PNG.  I’ve had the pair a long time..they were paired before the Lightning Maroon ever got around to it.  By my records, they put down their first spawn on 12-20-2013.  Upon returning home today, I checked their nest; just a few unhatched eggs remained, which means that they hatched even FASTER than the Lightning Maroon.  I would have had to pull them the late evening of 12-25….just over 5 days post spawn.  The other possibility is that the parents ate most of the eggs prematurely, so I’ll have to watch the pair another few times through before I see what their pattern is.  But seriously…as little as 120 hours from spawn to hatch?!

I will absolutely raise a batch from this other pair this year, and the reasoning is simple.  First, we’ll want to see if by some odd chance they throw out Lightning ( I don’t believe for a second they will).  Next, we’ll want to see how many show up with horns and spots and other aberrant, but not “Lightning”, markings. Ultimately, regardless of what we get, this new and completely unrelated line of F1 PNG maroons will be the IDEAL outcross for the F1 Lightning offspring.  Instead of the F1 generation of PNG Maroon Clownfish stemming from only 2 foundation fish (which is really not enough), we’ll double the foundation population to 4 fish.  According to FAO documentation on conservation breeding of fishes in captivity, this is still too small of a genetic bottleneck, but since I am aware of a couple other breeders who have Lightning Maroons and claim to have unrelated F0 White Stripes to mate them with, we could realistically be on very solid footing for the long term captive viability of the PNG provenance lineage of Maroon Clownfish even if we have no further access to PNG fish for months, years, decades….

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.