The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged failed hatch

It turned out that both the Nebula Percula pair and the Lightning X Lightning pair’s nests were due to hatch on the same night this past week…..6 days for the Lightnings, 8 days for the Percs.  I scrambled like crazy to get everything ready, pulled the tile from the Lightnings (and set it up with 5 gallons of broodstock water) and set up a Vossen larval trap for the Percs.

By morning…nothing.  Nothing on either front.  Later on in the day, all the Nebula percs had hatched…and promptly died…either smashed between the glass and the trap, or smashed on the screen of the trap (I may have had things turned up too high).  I saw ONE Lightning offspring swimming in the tub.  The next night, still nothing.  Next morning, eggs still looked good…but nothing.

I am kinda frustrated, but whatever.  I have mounds of patience.  The Nebula Percs spawned again on 3/26/2015, and the Lightning X Lightning pair threw down their 9th spawn on Friday, March 27th.

So despite two nights of attempted hatching of harvested eggs, I ultimately only got ONE viable larvae out of LxL Spawn #3.  It is in a BRT all by itself.

On 11/7/2014 – the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair threw down another nest…and once again, not on a tile.  I won’t be in town to try trapping or harvesting this nest, so I’ll have to wait for the next spawn. Will update with some photos as I’m able.

I made a rare 8 PM trek down into the fishroom tonight (6/4/2014) and discovered the Lightning Maroon and her mate putting down Spawn #34. Based on how things are going, next Tuesday night should be the pull night.

My attempt to get a second night’s hatch out of Spawn #33 utterly failed. I did place the tile back with the parents come morning, and I went through the egg sanitizing protocol (with H2O2) for another 15 minute bath. I saw ONE larvae hatch out…a total dud.  My plan for the next spawn will be to pull the tile and 20 gallons out of the broodstock tank (BIG water change); 10 gallons each will go into two BRTs, and then I’ll simply move the tile from the first night’s hatch into the 2nd BRT for the 2nd night, sticking with the egg sanitizing protocol (as it seems to be helping?)

Those larvae that are alive from Spawn #33 are doing reasonably well..they are plowing through rotifers at an alarming rate; I’m adding in new saltwater along with RO/DI Water daily, as well as small feedings of TDO A to supplement for what I think might be a rotifer shortage. Low doses of ChloramX and RotiGreen Omega continue to be pulsed in as well.

There are still maybe 2 larvae from Spawn #30 that haven’t settled.  The dice roll so far seems to be heavy towards Lightning offspring…but all told there are probably 10 fish or so that made it.

Spawn #31 simply didn’t work out.  The timers on the filtration worked flawlessly, but for some reason the eggs simply never hatched.  After a very small hatch on the 6th night, the eggs remained and nothing hatched on the 7th, and after the 8th night they still were there, and vanished at some point during the day.  I’m presuming they had died, not hatched.  I ultimately didn’t bother to start a run…clearly my problems with hatching are not necessarily due to my artificial incubation methodologies, but something more fundamental.

In short, Spawn #29 was not pulled on Monday, the 14th, as I had initially suspected.  Looking at it, I opted to wait until Tuedsay, the 15th, to pull it, 7th day post spawn.  I used well-aged new saltwater which was 1.026; same as the broodstock water.  Water temp may have been a couple degrees cooler.  The eggs were given a H2O2 bath for roughly 15 minutes (4 ml to 0.5 gallons saltwater), and then placed in the 10 gallon hatching tank with a wooden airstone.

Come Wed. morning, there had been minimal hatch, most eggs were on the tile and still looked viable.  I saw only one larvae swimming.  I opted to do nothing, and let it go another day.  Come Thursday morning, once again, no eggs on the ground really, some dead larvae, and one viable offspring. Eggs were all dead come this evening.

I’ve noted repeatedly over the years that despite what everyone says about using ‘new saltwater’ for hatching and incubation, I NEVER have good look with it.  Was it the temp drop in this case?  Possible.  But every time I use broodstock water, I don’t feel like I have these problems :/

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.

 

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