The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish

I’m a man of my word; Mike reared a good batch with Spawn #27, and tonight, new photos of the ORA Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish in Rhinelander (LiveAquaria’s Diver’s Den) were posted.  The fish looked good, and being on sale from $499.99 to only $349.99, it was time to honor my end of the bargain.  So this fish….

lg-0606141-186

…is now Mike Doty’s and should be here on Tuesday morning.

I can’t say how blessed I am to have a fellow fish breeder who lives four blocks away and is willing to come feed babies on short notice….Mike I am always in your debt!  Now lets see what this throws when paired with a standard Gold Stripe Maroon! My prognostication – we get 100% Gold Flake types out of it…

 

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.

 

Mid September, 2012, ORA released the news that they have developed a line of Goldflake Maroons from aberrant offspring of their Goldstripe breeding program.

ORA's Goldflake Maroon Clownfish

ORA Goldflake Maroon Clownfish, Premnas biaculeatus "ORA Sumatra Goldflake" - image copyright ORA, 2012

This is particularly interesting, as ORA first tried working with a “Jigsaw” White Stripe Maroon, obtained from the Solomon Islands some 8 years back.  ORA wrote, “Our experience in breeding Jigsaws was much different than with breeding Picassos and unlike Matt Pedersen with his Lightning Maroon, we didn’t see uniquely patterned offspring from our fish.   After several batches of normal White Stripes we focused our efforts on Picassos,Snowflakes and the other designer clownfish we were working with at the time.  That Jigsaw is still in broodstock and he’s been spawning reliably for 7 years now!”

Meanwhile, their success with aberrant Gold-Stripe Maroons from Sumatra has really taken off.  ORA recounts the development story – “To our surprise, spawns from these select fish did result in increased numbers of uniquely barred offspring. What was once seemingly random had become a reproducible event.  We needed to come up with a name.   We couldn’t call the fish Jigsaws, because these were Gold Stripes and the pattern was quite a bit different from our wild caught White Stripe.   Internally at ORA our staff affectionately called them Funky Maroons but never intended on selling them as such.  Within the hobby it seems that Goldflake has become the accepted name for other Gold Stripes with this pattern variation.   Rather than come up with an alternate name that would confuse hobbyists we have decided to adopt it.  Each Goldflake will have a unique pattern and, depending on the degree of white on the fish, these fish will be graded as regulars or premiums.  Some of the premium fish have white that covers nearly half of their bodies.   These fish will look absolutely spectacular when the white turns to gold as they mature.   While the standard Goldflake will be readily available from ORA, the Premium Goldflakes are still exceptionally rare, perhaps one in 20,000 fish making their availability VERY limited.”

I discussed this fish briefly with Dustin Dorton at MACNA last weekend…it seems they don’t quite have the genetics nailed down yet.  When the staff at ORA does figure it out, I hope they will embrace the new tradition of genetic transparency that’s sweeping clownfish breeding and disclose their findings.  As I demonstrated at MACNA when I showed the Angelfish genetics, transparency forces breeders to focus on producing quality fish, and that’s something that helps us all.

I encourage you to read more on the initial ORA blog here:  http://www.orafarm.com/blog/2012/09/14/goldflake-maroons/ - I left at least one nice “extra” for you (think “all white goldstripe maroon clownfish”)

Be sure to check out the Goldflake Maroon Clownfish Product Page here -> http://www.orafarm.com/products/fish/clowns/goldflake-maroon/

Pairing remains at a standstill for the Lightning Maroon, in large part given my desire to sit in front of the tank for an extended period and keep a watchful eye over the interactions so I can intervene if need be.

Meanwhile, I’ve been digging through my circle of fish friends and trying to see what other tricks are out there that we hadn’t yet tried.  Sanjay Joshi suggested something that had worked with his Gold Stripe Maroons.  To summarize, he provided two possible males to a female, and let the female choose the mate she preferred.  Of course, this makes sense..it’s tough for the female to fend off both suitors, so instead, she teams up with one to drive the other away.

My main concern over trying this is that a) you don’t control which fish she chooses and b) you risk both fish.  Since more PNG Maroon Males/Juveniles are not available, I have to be cautious and protective of both of them.  But Sanjay’s recommendation reminded me of a very similar technique described to me by Chicago-area clownfish breeder Mitch May, better known as Booyah on most reef forums.  Mitch’s technique works on the same basic principal of encouraging the natural behavior of teamwork in a pair to drive away third party interlopers.  It’s also a bit safer perhaps, and I’m happy to share this concept with Mitch’s permission.

In a nutshell, the application is to take a “Female” and the desired “Male” and place them together with a few additional fish.  Per Mitch’s instructions, he’ll take one additional fish that is 50% of the size of the desired male (who is the second biggest of all the fish after the females).  Then, we’ll also add 2 more clownfish juveniles, these at 25% of the size of the desired male.  So it works out like this – 3″ female, 2″ male, 1″ juveniles and 2 0.5″ juveniles.  This actually mimics the natural social structure of many clownfish species, although in most cases this unit can’t be easily replicated in captivity.  Generally speaking, attempts like this usually end up with lots of aggression directed at the smaller fish, and even death as a possibility.  However, when trying to drive the top two fish together, the presence of the other three juveniles focuses their aggression away from each other, and instead towards the juvenile intruders.

It may sound cruel, but the best fish to use are those that would be culled.  Since they are never going to be sold, and since humane euthanasia or becoming food for a Lionfish are the most likely results of their existence, their sad lives might actually at least have a redeeming purpose.  If they are killed in the process, while the path to their death was likely more violent, the outcome was ultimately the same.  Of course, I’m not condoning that this simply be a commonplace practice, or that you don’t intervene should the aggression become more violent than just the normal social threats and displays.

So to that end, and knowing I have dozens of culled Perculas sitting in tanks that I simply haven’t put down, I’m going to try this technique out.  I’ll first do it with the two White Stripe pairings downstairs that aren’t working out.  If it works there, then it will get applied to the Lightning Maroon and her would-be mate.

The other technique is one to encourage spawning.  Two breeders have definite experience with this technique.  Mitch May calls it “doubling down”, based on the gambling concept of taking “one good hand and turning it into two good hands”.  Chad Vossen of St. Cloud, MN, calls it the less glitzy, but more straightforward “egg fostering”.  In either case, the premise is the same.  For a pair that is going through the motions but never producing, a clutch of eggs is taken from a spawning pair and placed with the non-spawning pair.  The presence of the eggs kicks in the male’s nest tending instincts and seems to also kick the female into egg production mode.  While I won’t be using this technique just yet, it may come in hand down the line if the Lighting is paired but not moving towards spawning.

Hopefully I’ll get the test pairings restarted downstairs tonight…videos will be shot of course!

As promised, finally, the process of pairing up the Lightning Maroon with a known male PNG Maroon is finally underway.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish trying to attack PNG Maroon

To put it bluntly, without a doubt I am convinced that for the last year, the Lightning Maroon has been male.  Why?  Well, first, watch this video of the female Gold Stripe Maroon that used to be paired with the White Stripe Maroon above.  The new small Gold Stripe Maroon was introduced to the female Gold Stripe less than a minute before this video was taken.  Watch the interactions.

Next up, here’s the Labrador Maroon, trying to be paired with a “female” White Stripe Maroon. The deal here – a local hobbyist thought this maroon to be female, and was trying to pair it with a smaller maroon. The two maroons fought incessantly, and this I believe was the second attempt (the first one ended up with a dead maroon). Both Maroons wound up in my possession.

I already paired the “male” with a larger White Stripe Maroon (you may recall Lucy, a lone wolf female living in a sump that Debbie in the twin cities contributed). The first go round it didn’t work so well, but after a week or two of living in a container, the male was released and all went well.

So the “female” meanwhile, has been living in another container in QT and was moved in with the Labrador in a container either Wednesday or Thursday this week. Unlike the interactions you’ll see with the Lightning Maroon, the Labrador didn’t show any interest in the maroon until it was released. And the “female” maroon certainly wasn’t acting like a female…scared to death perhaps, it instantly went into classic submissive behavior. Unfortunately, in all the commotion, the Dwarf Angels started attacking too, and ultimately, after 10 minutes, the “female” Maroon was returned to her container to “lick her wounds”.

Also tried pairing up the PNG “extras” today again. You may remember months ago I showed a video of the reaction – here it is from August 31st

And here is the same pair April 10th, 2011. I’ve been feeding the male in the “cage” only once per day, while the other fish gets feed at least 2-3 times per day. The size difference is starting to stack up, and you’ll notice how the interactions have “changed”.

Still, in the end, this pair isn’t ready…by the last video, the “female” has resorted to occasional pot shots directed at the “male”. I suspect that given more time, and a greater size difference, this should result in a stable pairing.

In ALL of the examples, the reactions have not been as violent as the initial reaction of the Lightning Maroon to the smaller PNG Maroon, which wasn’t even released into the tank but was held back in a drilled specimen cup.

Obviously this pairing isn’t a home run. It’s a relationship that’s going to need a lot of counseling and support. As I was headed to the NWRS / UPMMAS frag swap on Friday, I reminded Renee that the small, normally colored Maroon needed to be in the cup. Sometime on Saturday, she was feeding our 11th month old son when she heard some commotion in the tank behind her. She scrambled downstairs, grabbed the first nets she could find, and returned the small PNG Maroon to the specimen cup. In the span of 3 minutes, this is what the Lightning Maroon had done.

Once again, it goes without saying that everything goes wrong when you’re out of town! Thankfully Renee was quick witted and addressed the problem. Of course, Sunday evening I walked up to the tank and the little one jumped out of the cup again…the interactions I saw weren’t quite as bad perhaps. The little male PNG Maroon made all the conciliatory and submissive gestures, but the Lightning Maroon still is not a receptive mate. This is going to take a fair amount of time yet, and as most of you should realize by now, pairing up White Stripe Maroons is NOT easy.

No time to post more now, but I wanted to put it on record that the pairing process started today. I receive a shipment of coral from Upscales in Portland, which included 2 massive Birdsnests from Jim Blegen of Seahorse Northwest and a stunning little Gold Stripe Maroon that Travis had at his shop. Ironically it was the arrival of the Gold Stripe Maroon that kickstarted all of this today (as you may recall, the PNG Maroon I selected to be paired with the Lightning Maroon is a known male, currently spawning with a large Gold Stripe Maroon). Well, the new little GSM was destined for the large GSM, so it pushed out the PNG Maroon, who is now in a drilled specimen cup being terrorized by the Lightning Maroon. Vids, pictures, lots of stuff coming, probably by Sunday.

Just a real quick update. Late last week I had a holding tank crash out on me, and in the process, one of the spare “PNG” Maroons, the only single one, was killed. I’ve been battling the cold here in this new basement setup – ich has been running rampant as heaters are either failing to keep up, or failing outright. Ambient air temps in the basement tonight are 58F, and every heater in the place is ON!

Meanwhile, another semi-large Maroon was donated to the project by “Damsel Debbie” from down in the Twin Cities area. Lucy is a White Stripe Maroon, maybe 3.5″ long…definitely a fish that will go female if it’s not already. The thought here *might* be to pair Lucy up with the PNG Maroon that’s currently paired with the Jonica’s Gold Stripe….that frees up the Gold Stripe to be mated with a male Gold Stripe (preferable in my book) and will keep the PNG male a male.

I’m heading down the path of trying to pair up the other two PNG Maroons. One is given free reign of the 10 gallon reef and is fed 3 times per day. “Her” potential mate is only fed once per day and is housed in a breeder basket….(these are the Maroons that I showed being introduced a couple months back, where the one in the tank instantly attacked the other one upon introduction). The theory here is that even if I could never find another WC PNG Maroon, I could “create” a female through the pairing. I could also allow the Lightning to go female, pairing it with the small male, which is a safe route to go and keeps the PNG bloodlines clean. It only sacrifices the Lightning being a male, which as I’ve mentioned some people are in full support of making the Lightning the female in the pair.

And so the project goes…slow as always.

I know you’re all excited…well…there WAS a PNG Maroon Clown involved, but it was NOT a “Lightning Maroon”.  No, the spawn I found today was between the large Sumatran Gold Stripe Maroon female from Jonica, and one of the small male PNG White Stripe Maroons which I had placed with the GSM to ensure it stayed a male.  I’d been noticing that the male would occasionally stay hidden in back, not coming out to feed.  This behavior seemed periodic.  Nothing else seemed out of the ordinary.  The female GSM never became noticeably ripe with eggs.  Her aggression level has not increased at all (as you are about to see).  I observed NO cleaning behavior other than the female’s constant digging.  No, the ONLY thing that changes is the male is becomes “shy”.  Being the third or fourth time I’ve observed this periodic shyness, I decided to upturn my live rock, carefully, to see what was going on.  Surprise, we have eggs.

Now, even if I raise these, I will do so only to get some practice rearing Premnas larvae.  After I’m assured I have it nailed down, any babies I raise from this pairing will be destroyed.  It may seem cruel, but the reality is that such “hybrid” larvae are likely to be intermediary between the two variants at best.  Some breeders would argue that you could use such methodology to introduce Lightning genetics into a Gold Stripe variety…ultimately creating Lightning Maroons that have YELLOW bolts on them vs. white.  No doubt, someday, someone may try that.  More realistically, some breeders might argue that such a cross could be used to breed more “docile” genetics into a white stripe form, which is generally deemed more aggressive.  While this is true, you lose the natural form along the way – the fish that are uniquely adapted to a location like the reefs of PNG is lost, and you have a man-made creation in its place which might fail to flourish in the wild for who knows what reason.  Or if reintroduced fish did survive, they could inadvertently introduce a latent gold stripe gene and one day all of the Maroon Clownfish in PNG would be gold stripes.  It’s a slippery slope when we start ignoring the unique traits that make up variants.  To take this “cross” to the most extreme, there are indeed people who believe that the Gold Stripe Maroon Clownfish represents a different species from the White-Striped forms (Premnas biaculeatus).  There is even a different scientific name that gets floated for the Gold Striped form – Premnas epigramma – by people who believe this.  Of course, this name is not currently valid in any sense.

While we may never know exactly where  the name Premnas epigramma came from, it is likely a slight derivation of another name, Premnas epigrammata, published by Fowler in 1904.  If in fact this name was applied to the Gold Striped Maroon Clown from Sumatra, it could someday become resurrected should someone research, and determine, that the form described by Fowler is in fact distinct from all the other forms.  Of course, if Fowler used the name on fish other than the Sumatran Gold Striped form, then that might leave the door open for an entirely new species name to be applied.  Ah…the joys of taxonomy.  There are actually at least 5 names out there for Premnas species, but all are considered synonymous with Premnas biaculeatus – check ‘em out on Fishbase.

Nevertheless, scientists often have it wrong, or perhaps more appropriately, incomplete.  Consider Amphiprion barberi from Fiji, which was at first considered a population of the western Australian A. rubrocinctus, but then treated for a considerable time as a color variant of the Cinnamon or Dusky Clownfish, A. melanopus.  Only recently was this species recognized as distinct through genetic analysis, which confirmed the truly unique nature of the species.  Of course, this multi-decade “misidentification” calls into question the “pedigree” of every fish in the trade as “A. rubrocinctus“, not to mention the voracity of some captive bred Tomato (A. frenatus) and Cinnamon Clownfish which could very well be hodgepodges of 2 or even 3 species of fish.  Heck, there area already breeders who knowingly sell what should be called Percularis (the hybrids of the Common Clownfish (A. ocellaris) X the Percula Clownfish (A. percula)) as run of the mill common Ocellaris Clownfish.  The worst breeders do so intentionally.  Others may be mislead by vendors who can’t even tell the two species apart and don’t even bother to make corrections when the problems are pointed out to them (for history’s sake…that link points to a pairing of what I strongly believe is a female Percula with a male Ocellaris, being sold as a “True Percula Breeding Pair” and yes, I emailed the vendor about those and other mislabled pairs over a week ago – I am disappointed).

Interestingly though, talented hobbyists and breeders sometimes see differences where a scientist focused on morphology does not.  One of the best examples is the Darwin Black Ocellaris, which is so fundamentally different in breeding from the common orange Ocellaris Clownfish that we treat this variant as a separate entry in a more difficult class for scoring in the Marine Breeding Initiative.  The Maroon Clownfish actually shows some similarities in this regard.  Gold Stripes are generally relatively more peaceful, whereas White Stripes are generally considered downright vicious by most hobbyists and breeders (who have hard times keeping the juveniles from rendering all the fish in the batch too torn up to sell!).  Interestingly, through my own informal observations, it seems that Gold Stripe Maroons are particularly prone to losing their stripes as they mature, and this pattern of loss seems consistently from the bottom up.  It seems conversely that White Stripe Maroons may in fact NOT lose their stripes as they age, but be more more prone to darkening of the stripes.  It is differences such as these that are suggestive that in fact, there may be more subtle differences yet to be uncovered, and in fact, we may find we’re dealing with 2 species, and not one.

So…enough of my ranting for now.  For the record, the female Gold Stripe Maroon was brought in on 7-10-2010, and it is safe to say she spawned by maybe 11-28-2010, although I suspect there had been a few spawns prior…maybe as far back as 2 months ago.  Still, it just goes to show you that even when the fish are mature, clownfish are not “quick” to spawn.  And thus, the Lightning Project continues to be a big, long waiting game.

No news..is it good news?

No comments

Yeah…this is one of those times where no news is relatively good news. I’m in need of some Lightning Maroon Clownfish updates! Where to begin?

How about the new pair of Maroon Clowns I got from Greg a while back. He had them spawning, but they’ve yet to spawn since arriving…I picked them up from Greg on September 19th, 2010 if memory serves right. 

I’ve been watching this pair for a while.  The female is a white stripe, “The female was purchased at Fish and Pets (defunct ) in Rochester, MN.” according to Greg.  The male appears, on some levels, to look like it might be a Gold Stripe, or perhaps maybe a cross with a Gold Stripe.  I’ve done some preliminary work with Greg to nail down where the male came from, and so far the best answer we’ve come up with is a breeder who was selling maroon clowns at a frag swap in Madison, WI, maybe 1.5 years ago.  Working on getting a better answer…I’d like to find out more about the male’s lineage, just for my own reasoning.

The main reason for picking up this pair was to possibly do some rotating.  First, get the fish back into the swing of spawning, which 2 months in has yet to happen (not surprising).  Once spawning, I could conceivably use this actively spawning white stripe female as a possible mate for the Lightning Clown, at least to get the ball rolling.  I could also use the male as a placeholder, or the female as a placeholder, to help force sexes on the other PNG maroons I have on hand currently.  Sadly, EVERYTHING remains in limbo at this moment…lots of maroon clowns floating around and yet nothing really going on.]

The Gold Stripe female that I picked up a few months ago continues to live happily with her PNG male.  At this point, were I to opt to push the Lightning Maroon to become a female, the white stripe male with the Gold Stripe female would be the choice.  Still, if I really take my time, I could force one of these other PNG juveniles to become a full blown female, at which point I could use it with the Lighting Maroon (again, assuming the Lightning remains male through all of this).  Meanwhile, this pair *might* be spawning…the male sometimes disappears for days on end, which is suggestive of nest tending, although I haven’t found any nests nor have I observed the female Gold Stripe Maroon to get “ripe” and then look “spawned out”.  So officially, despite having 9 different Maroon Clownfish in the basement, I don’t have ANY spawnings occuring in any of the pairings.

I’ve put in a special request with David and Mark @ SEASMART.  I asked them specifically to try to find me another large female from Fisherman’s Island and to have it shipped direct if possible…keeping it in the chain of custody as little as possible.  Along with that, they’ve had some nice small males show up with abberant markings.  Foregoing any outside chance of finding yet another Lightning Maroon, a male with these markings might be indicative of possibly a genetic predisposition, or even going so far as to suggest that perhaps these are ultra-low-grade examples of a wide continuum of Lightning Maroon mutation.   Of course, this all remains on the horizon.

I have also been patiently awaiting the arrival of a new home for the Lightning Maroon and its future mate.  I’ve been keeping this very hush hush, primarily because I don’t want to jynx it!  Of course, a couple weeks back, the tank was finally on its way only to be crushed by the freight carrier.  Back to waiting.  What I will say is that the ultimate home of the Lightning Maroon will be the nicest and most modern tank I own when it’s all said and done.  I hope furthermore to deck it out to showcase exclusively the marinelife of PNG as presented by the SEASMART program.  I have also decided to go back to the drawing board and be schooled in SPS husbandry by my friends Jay and Frank, who clearly do worlds better with their SPS than I ever have.  Of course, SEASMART isn’t even planning on releasing corals from the mariculture program for at least another couple weeks (last we all heard, December 2010), so there is still time to plan for all this.

And that sums it up for the moment.  We all knew this was going to be a very long, drawn out project, so it should come as no surprise that things have been quiet for a while.  Even I must admit, the waiting is starting to get to me…I really want SOMETHING to happen.  Then again, I look at the pair of Fire Clowns, Amphiprion ephippium, that have been “working on it” for over a year now and have not yet spawned either.  Clownfish just take time.  Pair of Black Ocellaris took 4 years.  So, nothing here is gonna be rushed.  If I don’t post again before the end of November, a happy Thanksgiving Holiday to all the US readers!

Just because the Morse Code Maroon failed to make it doesn’t mean that the Lighting Project is on hold.  Far from it.

The Lightning Maroon is having problems….keeping anemones in the new cage!  They keep LEAVING it, and the Lightning Clown has grown accustomed to having a BTA to frolic in.  So I added some more tiles to the bottom of the cage, but still, the BTAs flee the scene!   Not sure what I’m going to do here, if anything.

Remember my  “jumpers”?  Well, it turns out that the Sumatran Fire Clown was not jumping out of the breeder net, but escaping through a gaping hole that the Bristletail Filefish had gnawed in the netting.  Yesterday, I found the Fire Clown in bad shape, pummeled by all three Centropyge argi and the big Labrador Maroon.  I got it out, put it back in the net, and a couple hours later, found it again out of the net, beat up even more.  It was then that I discovered the hole in the bottom of the net.  The discovery came too late, and the Fire Clown was dead by morning.  Now, this fish was never a risk to either Maroon Clown, as it was far smaller.  I only share this story here to serve as a reminder of how vicious marine fish can be.  I blame the Fire Clown however, for not learning the first and second time to stay IN THE NET where it was safe, and blame myself for not catching the hole sooner.

The Brooklynella on the remaining largest juvie PNG Maroon seems to have disappeared, and all 4 remaining juveniles are doing well.  The one that jumped and got in a tiff with the other seems to be recovering quickly, and honestly may be my utlimate mate choice for the Lightning Maroon.  But I have yet to really think all of that through now.

The big female Gold Stripe Maroon (GSMs are from Sumatra) from Jonica and Scott is settling in well and has taken a shine to her little PNG mate.  There was never the slightest hint of aggression between these two fish.  The female was shy, but a week on is starting to adjust to seeing me come at her from the side (Jonica can tell you that she lived in a big vat, the entire surface covered in Chaetomorpha, so the only way she saw humans for the past several months was from above).  I had some new arrivals show up this week for another breeding project – Meiacanthus bundoon!  They seemed like a great match for this mis-matched pair of Maroon Clowns.  Sadly for Joncia’s GSM, her new “mate” is also up as a possible candidate as a mate to the Lightning Maroon…I like the color, and the fact that it has a broken tailbar to me says “increased chance of genetic predisposition to stripe variations”.  I’ll close with some updated pictures of the GSM, her PNG Mate, and the new Bundoons!

Jonica & Scott's Goldstripe Maroon, and her little PNG white striped mate!

A little community of Bundoon Blennies and a mismatched pair of Maroons!

A little community of Bundoon Blennies and a mismatched pair of Maroons!

Meiacanthus bundoon, the Bundoon Blenny

Bundoon Blenny

Meiacanthus bundoon, the Bundoon Blenny

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