The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged larval culture

Tonight, after several nights of battling my larval rack, I finally pulled of the split of Spawn #20 into two separate groups. Long story short, I had taken off two BRTs off a shelf that had somehow “Dropped” on the one side. Both BRTs got a full scrubbing followed by a wipedown with hydrogen peroxide. Meanwhile, I spent 2 nights and 3 days banging on the shelf with a rubber mallet until I finally freed up the shelf from the plastic locking mechanisms. Thankfully I saved some of the extra plastic parts that came with the epoxy-coated wire shelves, and was able to reset the shelf height and set the BRTs back up.

Once the larviculture tanks were set back up, it was easy to simply scoop out half of the water and larvae from the 10 gallon tank. I took a photo of the larvae in the bucket so I can count how many I moved into the BRT. Just as I scooped the babies from the 10 gallon into a 5 gallon bucket, I in turn did the same thing to introduce them to an empty, sanatized BRT.

I’ve continued with doing daily water changes on the larvae and have, at this point, dropped the specific gravity from 1.025 down to 1.018. I’m also doing nightly infusions of rotifers that have been enriched for an hour or two with Super Selcon.

In other news, Spawn #21 was put down this evening (1-9-2014) by the Lighting Maroon pair.

I let Jake Adams break the news on ReefBuilders, sending him shots in the late/earlier hours (depends on your frame of mind).  I’m quoting an excerpt from Jake’s great writeup from ReefBuilders here, because he really presents an objective view.

Even though the maroon lighting maroon clownfish was paired with a related Premnas biaculeatus from Papua New Guinea, we don’t think anyone really expected to see expressions of the lightning pattern in the first generation of the lightning maroon’s offspring. All observers of the lightning maroon project who know anything about mendelian genetics realistically thought that we might see some traces of the lightning pattern in the second, F2 generation of lightning maroon clownfish once they were back-crossed with each other a bit. However, for Matt to observe the lightning pattern in his very first batch of offspring from a half-cross of lightning maroon but full cross of PNG maroons clownfish must be very encouraging…

Since my last update, I DID opt to start feeding brine shrimp nauplii.  They are being rinsed well.  I’m using 16 month out-of-date decapsulate eggs from SeahorseSource.com / Dan Underwood, and they’re still hatching great (I keep them stored in my fridge).  I’m doing daily water changes, occasionally siphoning the bottom, and I’ve been using nothing but Marine Environment salt by AquaCraft (thanks Mike Del Prete – who contributed enough salt to last me and the Banggai Rescue project years).  I also started offering the APBreed TDO A1, as well as older Otohime A I had on hand from Reed Mariculture.  I cut way back on the RotiGreen Nanno I was adding; basically just 10 drops or so once or twice per day, just to keep the rotifers in there from dying en-masse.  I am currently trying to weed them out.

These photos (and the video at the bottom) were shot after midnight, so technically this morning (7-9-2012, but almost 24 hours ago now).  This puts these larvae/juveniles at 10 days post hatch, and most have gone through settlement. I have included multiple variations / crops / zooms of most photos so you can get a sense of scale and overall view, as well as the maximum zoom I could give you.

MORE TO COME….

8 days post hatch.  To brine, or not to brine, that is the question.

First noticed this at roughly 1:30 PM on July 7th, 2012.  Dare you to hold your breath…

Larval offspring from the Lightning Maroon Clownfish nearing settlement.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish larvae, nearing metamorphosis

Headstripes forming on larval Maroon Clownfish spawned and hatched by the Lightning Maroon Clownfish

I am still owing the world a full post, but in the interest if simply keeping you all relatively updated, here’s some short tidbits.

Based on an egg photo count, there was 310 eggs on the tile and all hatched.  There have been some larval losses, but that is to be expected.  Mike Doty did an excellent job watching the babies in my absence – plenty of live larvae when I returned from Boston this past Sunday, July 1st.

Since returning, larval maintenance has been a study routine of upping the water volume with drips of pre-mixed saltwater (for those who will ask, I am currently using AquaCraft’s Marine Environment – they donated a palette of it for Banggai-Rescue).  The SG is probably running around 1.021.  I am using Reed Maricultures RotiGrow Plus to culture my rotifers, and using their RotiGreen Nanno for greenwater (I may have preferred the Omega variant, but Nanno is what I had on hand).  I’ve been dosing RotiGreen and CloramX (a solution mixed from the powder) at roughly a 2:1 ratio, and averaging 30 drops twice a day now on the BRT. I have been harvesting up to 4 gallons of rotifer cultures daily (2 in the AM, 2 in the PM) to keep rotifer levels up.  As of tonight, we are at basically 6 full days post hatch, so I introduced the larvae to their first taste of APBreed TDO (Top Dressed Otohime), Size A (smaller than the A1 I’m more normally accustomed to using).  All is going well with these larvae, and I look forward to settlement soon.

The Lightning Maroon herself continues to be a problem…the Foureye has been removed for a while now, the Maracyn + Maracyn II treatment was long since done yet low level bacterial problems persist, most recently some very light markings on the male’s face, and then I found what looked like an enlarged light area on the leading spines of the left pelvic fin.  These fish just can’t get a break.  I am continuing to work with Dr. Kizer on some alternate ideas, as we’re really ruling out all the normal causes at this point.  Me, I’m stumped.  Without diagonistics, I think it’s fair to say that Dr. Kizer can’t really offer any other insights either.  We may try yet another antibiotic course, another one dosed through the food, that seems to be where we’re heading.  But I’m also thinking I don’t want to overreact either, so most likely we will try to have the prescription-based feed on hand, ready, should another large-scale problem crop up.

Shot in the very wee hours of the morning on 6/29/2012:

So not sure how much I’ve conveyed, but the jist was that I had an artificial incubation hatch last night.

Black round tub, incubating the eggs.

Black round tub, incubating the eggs.

Once hatched, I tinted the water (about 5 gallons of broodstock water) green with Reed Mariculture’s RotiGreen Nanno (a frozen algae paste specifically made for use in greenwater technique).  It took about 20 drops.  I added 10 drops of Chloram-X (for ammonia control).  And I sieved 2 gallons of rotifers to innoculate the black round tub.

Greenwater Technique with Reed Mariculture's RotiGreen Nanno

Greenwater Technique with Reed Mariculture's RotiGreen Nanno

Lightning Maroon Clownfish Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish Offspring

Mike Doty came over to check everything out, as he is in charge from now until my return from the Boston club’s event where I’m speaking this weekend.

Blame this guy!  Just Kidding! - Mike Doty, Maroon Clownfish Breeder and custodian of Lightning Maroon clownfish fry in my absence.

Blame this guy if it doesn't work! Just Kidding! - Mike Doty, Maroon Clownfish Breeder and custodian of Lightning Maroon clownfish fry in my absence.

As of noon today, there are likely a couple hundred baby clownfish zooming around.  A quick check of the water showed that rotifer densities were already quite minimal, so another 3 gallons of sieved rotifers were added.

And that’s it – I’ll have to write this up more thoroughly sometime next week (assuming time permits).

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