The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged photoperiod

First, a bit of mythbusting – someone, somewhere, started some rumor that I had lost one or both of my lightning maroon clownfish pairs.  I heard about this from multiple people in early February, but never could pin down the source. Simply put, nothing could be further from the truth.  That said, there hasn’t been any production as of late…here’s why:

So nothing has been going on with the original Wild Lightning X White Stripe pair…they’re just sitting in their tank, not breeding.  I’m trying to figure out why, and here’s what I can come up with. First, when I put all the fish in the fishroom on a prophylactic course of Spectrum’s Ick-Sheild pellet, a Chloroquin-laced food, it shut down ALL my breeding pairs.  That said, most of my breeder pairs have returned to breeding…except the Lightning pair.  They had a few bad clutches and then just stopped.

Next, I had run out of their normal staple diet, Spectrum Thera-A.  So the fish were switched over primarily to feeds like Ocean Nutrition’s Formula One and Formula Two pellet as the daily staple.  Could a dietary switch account for failing spawns?  Perhaps.

Additionally, I noted tank temperatures were slightly down.  Instead of running around 80-82F, they look more like the 78F range lately.  I’m not exactly sure why this is, as I haven’t changed my room temperature nor have I adjusted their heater in any way.  Unless…unless their heater has failed and the tank is now just going down closer to the fishroom ambient temp.  I’ll have to investigate this.

Finally though, I noticed that my lights are coming on very late in the day; so I think my photoperiod is messed up and might be shorter on the tank. In fact, that seems like a logical explanation; we’re in winter, so ambient light cycles are reduced, and the length of day may be reduced as well.  In short, I may have to restore a longer photoperiod, restore warmer temps, ramp up foods and feedings, and hopefully see the pair return to active spawning.  But perhaps it’s good to give the fish a “winter break”…constant spawning certainly must take a toll on our marine fishes.

On the other front, the Lightning X Lightning pair hasn’t been spawning either, but I know why.  As readers may recall, I separated them on January 5th as the pair bond had deteriorated.  I chose to separate the female, isolating her in a breeder box from Florida Aqua Farms.  She remained in isolation for a solid 6+ weeks while the male recovered from his injuries.  Yesterday, 2-18-2015, I added her back into the main tank and watched.  At first, the male attacked her…she took it for about 1 minute, then grabbed the male by the pectoral fin, flipped him upside down, and simply held on while he struggled.  I thought for sure this was the end, but a little while later the pair was found cohabitating peacefully. 24 hours later, the pair remains in good shape, not a nick or scrape or torn fin on either fish.  This is not the first time that a “female time out” has proven to be a helpful factor in curbing excessive female aggression in my maroon clownfish pairing and breeding. I’d encourage people to keep this trick in mind with their own fishes.

This will be very short – I’ve just been swamped with freelance projects and endless deadlines and well, there’s just nothing good to report on the latest runs.

Spawn #12 did very well right up until metamorphosis.  Immediately after metamorphosis, every larvae would die.  I don’t know if it’s the different brine shrimp eggs I’m using (or even the fact that I’m using brine shrimp vs. not). It could also have been that I didn’t rear these with 24/7 lighting, but instead let them run on the regular photoperiod for the rack of tanks they were in.  Water quality remained spot on and the fish were well taken care of.  Thus ends Spawn #12.  Probably changed too many variables all at once, but at least I may be onto something regarding getting good hatches for these eggs.

Spawn #13 never did produce much larvae, wound up hatching out over 3 nights.  I found myself somewhat depleted on rotifers with this batch coming so quickly on the heels of spawn #12, so this batch really never stood a chance.  I augmented from day one with Otohime A, introduced brine shrimp as early as was reasonable, but found no larvae made it to settlement.

Unfortunately I may have put the pair off spawning for a little bit (might not be a bad thing while I regroup).  The lights on their system had been going off incredibly late in the night (eg. 3 AM) so I shifted the photoperiod. No spawns have come following this, which isn’t really a surprise.  I’ll be curious to see how far back this pushes them.

Meanwhile, as I just posted on Facebook, I have more Fire Clowns (Amphiprion ephippium) than I know what to do with.  Figures…

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