The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

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Been a while since I shared photos of the F1 spawning Lightning X Lightning pair.  So here’s how they look now:

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Lots of updates with no photos, so why not take a moment and remember what we all really enjoy – seeing these fish grow up.

First up, my one-ventral-finned holdback so I can keep tracking developing photos of the pattern on this fish.

Before I left on my fishing trip last week, I took the liberty to move one of the last summer offspring up into a vacant cube on the cube system, thinking that would free things up for another batch of clowns at some point.  I thought it was big enough to NOT go through the holes.

You might remember LM17…

Well LM17 now has a buddy, which I will now dub LM18

At the moment, LM18 appears to be just about “perfect” as a clownfish.  I discovered LM17 and LM18 cohabiting earlier this week, perhaps Monday (it’s now Friday) and opted to take the ‘wait and see’ approach.  So far not a nick or scratch.  I moved all neighboring fish in the cube system as far away from this “pair” as was possible to help foster whatever pair-bond might form between these two fish.  Might be seeing these two offered as a bonded pair sometime in 2014….

For the moment, here’s more of LM18.

Video of the pair – proof it happened:

I finally go to shot some photos last week (October 14th), and among them are updates of the holdback pair.  I’ve also updated the “Lightning Maroon Pattern Progression” post to show how it continues to evolve. Here’s the latest:

The forced size differentiation of my holdback Lightning pair continues and is going well…my chosen female is growing larger and larger.  It’s “only a matter of time”.

 

F1 PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish, LM12

LM12- looks great, right?  But where’s the ventral fins!  D’oh!

As of 2:35 AM, Friday, June 21st, 2013, all 30 fish initially planned for release have been posted here on this website for your review and consideration.  Please review the Lightning Maroon Clownfish Offspring Inventory to see all 30 fish.

The motivations behind this monumental task (it took me in the neighborhood of 20 hours to complete) was to show the full range of fish that I had in the growout system, a tank I hope to clear and sell off all fish.  By showing them all in advance of any auction, I consider every bidder fully informed as to what fish are out there, either now or in the short term future.

Most importantly, I wanted to make sure I was abundantly clear as to the flaws in each fish…many are culls which we had discussed only making available to approved breeders who understand that the defects in these fish are likely not genetic.  I think it was Joe Lichtenbert, but it may have been another clownfish breeder, who recalled the experience of raising hundreds of white stripe Maroons together, and when it came time to selll the fish, only FIVE ideal, suitable specimens could be found…out of hundreds.  Looking at the fruits of my labor, I think it’s fair to say that communal rearing absolutely played a role in causing a lot of blemished fish.

F1 PNG White Stripe Maroon Clownfish, WS16

WS16 definitely shows signs of battle scars from a younger age.

I still am wondering about the early rearing as well…some of the bulldog / pug nosed fish really shouldn’t have looked that way with the use of the black round tub (which normally prevents fish from pressing up against the hard surfaces in the early days, which is often what causes this defect as flexible cartilage calcifies).  And yet, they still showed up in the group.  Maroons are notorious for facial deformities as the result of mouth-to-mouth combat that starts pretty much the day they settle.  So it’s possible that a lot of what we’re seeing is from THAT.

Still, there are some really exciting fish in this mix. I’m not terribly proud of the end results, but they’re absolutely better than nothing.  By my count, there are roughly 16 of the 30 fish that, were they any other fish, would be immediately culled and euthanized, never to be sold.  There’s easily another 4 I would be keeping my eye on to see how they continue to grow.  And in truth, I think there are less than 5 fish which I really couldn’t find any issue with.

So, before you bid, please be absolutely sure find the fish you’re looking at  in my inventory, and to read all the details and my opinions on the fish you’re considering.  I want you to have very realistic expectations with the fish you’re going to receive, as I’d hate to receive a fish that let me down.

With all the stuff going on, I realized it’s been months since I showed the pair of Lightnings that I saved for myself.

I also wanted to update the “Lightning Maroon Clownfish Pattern Progression & Development” post, as there is obviously still a fair amount of justifiable skepticism as to whether these offspring will ever wind up looking like their mom.

At this point the fish are just under 1 year old. Here’s a quick look.

And no, these ones aren’t for sale.

I’ll let the recipients decide when and how they’d like to share their new arrivals who are in transit as I type this.  Some more genetic material has left the building.  Here’s the pair of fish that went to destination #1 tonight.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish EC1, right flank

Lightning Maroon Clownfish EC1, right flank

Lightning Maroon Clownfish EC1, left flank
Lightning Maroon Clownfish EC1, left flank

White Stripe Maroon Clownfish EC2, right flank
White Stripe Maroon Clownfish EC2, right flank

White Stripe Maroon Clownfish EC2, left flank
White Stripe Maroon Clownfish EC2, left flank

 

Months back I moved the Lightning pair to the basement following the ongoing disease problems the pair was suffering through.  In short, this last ditch effort worked, and the pair (along with their Foureye Butterfly companion) have lived in a 33 gallon extra long since then.  Their Ecoxotic Cube Tank was bleached to sterlize, and then soaked with vinegar to take off all the coraline algae.  The tank was scrubbed, rinsed, and sat dry for months.

This story, combined with a lack of any photos, has led a few crackpots to suggest that the Lightning Maroon had in fact died / perished.  Well…I was down there shooting photos recently and thought “what the heck” ;)

Of course, the long term goal has been to restore them to the original tank, this next time set up with Bubble Tip Anemones and not much else ;)

Tonight I started down the path, filling the tank and adding fresh new substrate (Caribsea’s Fiji Pink).

Let’s see how quickly things clear up ;)

 

Yes, here it is, has been too long.  With each passing day I am evermore convinced that my hypothesis about the Lightning pattern development is correct. The “lightning maroon clownfish pattern development” photo series post has been updated as well. This is what the Lightnings are looking like now.

This is the pair I’m holding onto to make a “Lightning” X “Lightning” pairing ;)  Time to start feeding the one on the right twice as often as the one on the left so that 6 months from now, the one on the right is twice as big!

The left fish; future male.

The right fish; future female.

The most interesting thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve made no difference in care other than temperature and lighting; the large group in growout has been at warmer temps and has grown significantly larger and faster.  However, under only ambient lighting and in a group setting, they’ve not developed the intensity of color that these isolated specimens have.  I’m bringing on the lights to get these fish ready for sale!

 

More photos, these from 7-27-2012:

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

Lightning Maroon Clownfish F1 Offspring

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