The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged Onyx Percula

I don’t think it’s a secret that I like Rod’s Food, and I consider the folks behind Rod’s Food to be friends who I look forward to seeing time and again.  There’s more to it though; so often businesses in the aquarium industry are wrapped up in business, although I gotta be honest in my assessment that it seems companies are doing better in the customer relations department (and I say that from observing company Facebook pages and the stories I hear from fellow aquarists).

So there’s bad customer service, good customer service, but then there’s the companies that still love, and I mean LOVE, what they do and why they do it.  Now, I’m not saying every company needs to do this for every customer at every turn they get, but there are certain times when a company has the opportunity to leave a customer wowed, when they go beyond not because they have to, but simply because they want to.

Rod told me last week he was going to be sending me some samples of some new food to look at while he was recouping from surgery (glad to hear you’re doing well!), and he sent me some other foods he knew I needed (for the record, I do try to BUY his food whenever he’ll let me).  But this post isn’t at all about his food.  This is about that “Wow” factor.  This is about remembering that this is a hobby that’s more fun when we’re engaged with our fellow hobbyists. This is about remembering that our hobby helps us cross the geographic divide; all the more reason to make it a point to connect with online friends and acquaintances both at local club meetings and events, but also to forge and renew friendships with hobbyist from around the globe at events like DFW MACNA this coming September.

So here’s some pictures from what turned out to be the highlight of my day, an “impromptu” baby show for the Lightning Maroon, thrown by my friends at Rod’s Reef, attended by a small, but intimate family gathering where we devoured cupcakes from Swirlz. Amazing how touched and excited I was as a result of this simple gesture from some really great people – Thanks to you all one more time.

This has been an interesting weekend for the Lightning Maroon.  It started Friday AM, when I woke up to find the Lightning Maroon with a cloudy and swollen right eye.  That alone ruined my day, although I didn’t freak out because I realized that this was likely a bruise / mechanical damage.  Still, in the name of precaution, I fed the tank Dr. G’s Anti-Bacterial frozen food, and am following the regime for that just to be sure and hopefully safe.  It is now Sunday night, and the eye has all but returned to normal.

Meanwhile, later on Friday, I noticed that my female Onyx Percula was looking extremely distended and swollen…definitely a spawn coming.  They’ve moved nest locations over the years and have slowly worked their way from the upper back, to the lower back panel of their aquarium.  So I placed a tile over their last nest in the hopes that they’d spawn on it.  VERY late that night, I found them doing this:

Onyx Perculas Spawning

Onyx Perculas Spawning

Onyx Perculas Spawning

Now, this is probably something like their 200th spawn (I stopped counting years ago).  Up here, we don’t have a huge market for Onyx Perculas (or any clownfish) so at best, I might raise a batch every year now.  This time, I had been waiting to do something in the “bag of tricks”, something clownfish breeder Mitch May (a.k.a. Booyah) likes to do, called a “Double Down”.  I *think* I’ve mentioned it here before, but if not, well, here’s a synopsis.

The jist of the “Double Down” is to take the nest from an actively spawning pair of clownfish and give it to surrogate or foster parents, in this case a pair of clownfish that has yet to spawn.  As Mitch tells it, they’re generally going to do one of two things.  Tend the next, or eat it.  If they eat it, no harm, no foul, the eggs are stellar nutrition for the non-spawning pair.  If they tend the nest, Mitch relayed that he’s found that it helps a reluctant pair to “get the idea”..that is to say, it often kicks them into spawning mode in short order.

So tonight, about 48 hours after the next was laid, I pulled it from the Perculas and gave it to the Lightning Maroon Pair.  The Onyx Percs are my longest living pair to date…they were the first pair of clowns we got when my wife gently nudged me into setting up a saltwater tank for her way back in the day.  They come from a tank that hasn’t seen a new fish in 9 months (and that “new” fish was removed about a month ago).  So it’s a solidly reliably, trustworthy tank.

Now remember, the PNG Maroon that was paired with the Lightning Maroon is in fact a fully functional male Maroon that was successfully spawning while paired with a large Gold Stripe Maroon (this temporary pairing was set up to prevent the PNG maroons I received from turning male).  I had very little doubt as to the male’s ability and instincts.  The nest went in with the Maroons, and initially, the Lightning tried to push the tile out of her territory.

Initially, the Percula nest was ejected from their territory.

I put it back, only to hear it whack against the glass.  Did it again, and this time took video.

So I really wedged it into the gravel, with a large rock pinning it up flat against the back of the tank, in the general area that they normally clean.  It’s probably been an hour now, and I haven’t heard the tile get thrown against the tank glass again, so hopefully it will stay in place.  Hopefully.  At any rate, once the tile was in place, it seemed pretty clear that the Lightning Maroon was having mixed feelings…given that she is tending the nest occasionally with the male.  Let me once again be undeniably, crystal clear.

THESE ARE NOT LIGHTNING MAROON CLOWNFISH EGGS, they are PERCULA eggs being FOSTERED by the LIGHTNING MAROON PAIR.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Still, some IDIOT will NOT READ THIS and say “OMG the LIGHTNING CLOWN SPAWNED!”.  Sorry, NO.  They are FOSTERING Percula eggs ;)

I admit, it’s pretty cool to see even if it isn’t their own eggs…yet.

 

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