The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged larval snagger

It’s been a few late late nights waiting for results on the Lightning X Lightning pair’s second spawn. Given that they had either spawned on Thursday, Oct 16th, or Friday, Oct. 17th, and going off of their parents 6 day hatch window, I set up their tank on the evening of Wednesday, Oct 22nd, to prepare for a possible hatch.  This made sense given that it would either fit into the 6 day window if the eggs had been spawned on the 16th. No hatch was observed. On Thursday night, Oct 23rd, I encountered a very small hatch around 3 AM, a solid hour after lights out.  But, nothing furhter happened, so the 10 or so larvae I had snagged simply sat in the snagger for the next 24 hours.  And now, Friday night, the 24th, going into Saturday AM, it’s now just shy of 4:00 AM and I just finished “putting away” around 50-100 larvae from the F1 Lightning X Lightning pairing.  I snagged them with the Vossen Larval Snagger…ultimately most totally bypassed the snagger, so I had to set up a LED crank-charge flashlight and manually attract the larvae to it. I also had to really crank up the flow rate faster than I was comfortable with, but if I hadn’t done that, I watched as most every larvae would swim back out of the trap once it realized what was happening.

I gave LxL Spawn #2 a very weak dosage of RotiGrow Omega (yes, I know this is not ideal, but I need to thaw out some new RotiGreen) and placed a half gallon’s worth of SS-strain rotifers (because I have those going now as well, thanks Mike) along with roughly 4.5 gallons of broodstock water in a BRT downstairs. Now we wait. Knowing how these fish tend to color up quickly, as long as I don’t massively screw up, we should get an idea of what’s going on very soon…eg. within 30 days.

The larvae from Lightning Maroon Spawn #42 did not do well despite what appeared to be a solid hatch on their second night.  I’m guessing no more than 6 are still viable.

Back on Wednesday, Oct 22nd, 2014, the Lightning Maroon and her mate threw down Spawn #43.  A beautiful nest.  I have a lot of photos in the camera to post, but I’m still recovering from two back-to-back laptop rebuilds, so pictures are just going to have to wait for now.

Lots of little updates

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Spawn #41 was left to go for itself because the Lightning X Lighting Spawn #1 took priority.  Unfortunately, by the time the eggs reached the anticipated hatch night, Wed, Oct 8th, there were only 7 eyed up eggs left.  I attempted to harvest them by using a rigid air tube attached to a flexible tube to scrape and siphon them out…this broke one egg but the rest went through intact.  By the next morning in the incubation cup (a half gallon specimen cup with broodstock water), the eggs were dead.

So back to the F0 Lightning X White Stripe pair; Oct. 11 they laid Spawn #42, and tonight, Friday, October 17th, 2014, I pulled the eggs and gave them the typical H202 Bath..about 11 minutes in, we (Paul Whitby of HighDefCorals is in town to speak at our club) noticed that larvae had begun to hatch, so the dip was ended and I placed the tile in the cleaned, readied 6 gallon BRT which had 5 gallons broodstock water and 1 gallon new water.

In other news, the Lightning X Lightning pair put down their second spawn somewhere between 5 PM on Thursday, Oct 16th and 4:30 PM Friday, Oct. 17th. It’s a much larger nest, which was expected. Despite having basically tiled the entire backside of the aquarium, the pair thwarted my efforts by spawning around the corner in a tight area of black plastic background. I don’t know when the proper “harvest” date will be for these fish; I’ll like try my Vossen Larval Snagger this time around. But I also know that I’ll be putting even MORE tile into their tank now ;)

As near as I can tell, a lot of eggs likely hatched from the PNG White Stripe Maroon Clownfish pair’s 2nd spawn.  There are probably less than 50 eggs left.  Of course, this was a tiny nest to start with (compared to other Maroon nests) so I opted to just leave the few remaining eggs to fend for themselves tonight.  Last night would’ve been the “6th night” by my count, with tonight being the 7th night post spawn for these eggs.  I am hoping for a larger spawn and one that comes soon!

It’s just after 2 AM on May 6th, 2014, and I’ve prepared everything for an in-tank hatch with the Vossen Larval Snagger tonight.  By my count, this is the 6th night post hatch, the nest looks full and ready to go.  I took my own advice and set up the system’s pumps on a timer.  All water pumps shut off at 2 AM, and will turn on around 4 AM.  If this works well, I can simply move the 3-plug outlet (which runs internal filter, skimmer and internal UV) onto another outlet on the main power strip when not in use, but on hatch nights where I want to snag, I can just plug it into the timer (thus never having to reset the timer).

If I’m up still in an hour or so I’ll check the snagger to see what I caught so far…

Also ,the few larvae I snagged from Spawn #30 are going through settlement at this time; they have only been offered rotifers, no other feeds, with RotiGreen Omega for greenwater.  A  few have headstripes, and the rest should be getting near.

I decided to try something different this time…I’d been putting it off but figured “might as well”.  I decided to try snagging a hatch with the Vossen Aquatics Larval Snagger (aka. Larval Trap).

Thursday night, the 24th, was officially the 6th night post spawn and assuredly I’d get a hatch.  I reconfigured the broodstock tank slightly to allow me to pull all the cords for water current devices in one shot.  I thought about simply using a light timer to turn pumps off before lights out, and then on two hours later, but with the Lightning Maroons, I wasn’t going to risk it. I’d rather stay up late and BE SURE I got everything back up and running.

I set up the larval snagger in the broodstock tank and was sure to get the placement correct – the top of the snagger must reside above the water’s surface, as shown here.

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After that, I made sure to get the air flowing, which runs water through the trap gently, without harming the larvae.

 

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Then, set up the suction cup light, which serves to attract the larvae to the intake of the trap.  Turn off all the lights in the room, and walk away for a couple hours…

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I checked around 4:30 AM and saw that I had snagged a few larvae, but not many.  The nest still looked rather full, and I scanned the tank for wayward larvae, using my cell phone’s flashlight feature.  I didn’t see any, so this was a very weak / small hatch.  It wasn’t enough to really try rearing, so I just figured I’d leave them in the trap and take some photos come morning.  This is what I found when I checked.

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It didn’t seem like nearly enough to bother a run with, so I left the snagger running all day and figured I’d simply try again on Friday night.

Unfortuantely, I might have screwed up on Friday night.  I can’t be sure, but here’s what happened.  The nest looked full most of the day, but I had shifted the light timing just a little bit.  So the lights on the system went off at 2 AM vs. 2:30 AM, but I didn’t make it down into the basement to turn off the filtration until 2:30.  The nest appeared to have hatched significantly before I had a chance to set things up.

I checked at 4:30 AM, and sadly I found one wayward larvae in the tank, and it appeared that the trap had maybe only captured a few more.  Did I “miss” the hatch window Friday night?  Possibly.  I set up the larvae I had captured in a clean BRT with 8 gallons of broodstock water, rotifers, and some RotiGreen Omega, and that was it.  I was gone Saturday night, so wasn’t able to see if I’d get any more on the 8th night.

Overall, based on the number of larvae caught vs. the number of larvae found in the tank, it’s fair to say that the snagger probably did perform well.  I’ll probably try it again on batch 31, and maybe this next time I’ll TEST a timer and trust it to do my bidding.  Maybe a little more automation will allow me to “score big” on a hatch in the broodstock tank, avoiding some of the problems I’ve encountered when artificially hatching.

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