The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged spawn

More Spawns…

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I’ve not been worrying about spawns lately, partially because things don’t seem to be going just right, partially because a rotifer reboot failed to take, and partially because misc commitments away from the fishroom will preclude any intensive rearing efforts either way, but also because other projects are getting in the way too. That, and frankly, my overall concerns over what is being done with the wanton, willful hybridization of Gold Stripe Maroons into the PNG Lightning line is actually far more disturbing to me, and therefore far more deserving of my time, than worrying about rearing a batch of clownfishes that I don’t even have the time to sell! Ah, but an update on the corruption of the PNG White Stripe Maroon Clownfish line, as well as genetic sanctity of Gold Stripe Maroons in the aquarium trade, is deserving of a much larger, more prominent discussion.

And to that end, I neglected to even note the latest spawn of the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair.  They are clearly going to hatch tonight, the night of 4/13/2015, meaning that LxL Spawn #10 was put down last Tuesday, the 7th.  A  Nebula Perc spawn was noticed on Friday, the 10th. I was so busy writing a last minute article for the impressive forthcoming CORAL Magazine on Sunday night this week, and throw on our daughter being sick, and I failed to even make it into the fishroom.  So now, in the wee morning hours of what is now technically Tuesday, the 14th, I discovered that the wild Lightning pair has put down Spawn #52. Based on the color of the eggs, they were spawned on Sunday, April 12th, 2015.  The eggs that remain appear to be fertile, so if this pair actually lets the eggs sit, maybe the wild pair is slowly getting back on track?

Just recording another Lightning Maroon spawn; on Monday, March 30th, the pair put down Spawn #51.  The nest didn’t look that great..the eggs were a lighter shade of orange, and the nest did not appear “tight”.  I’m going to guess that this nest, like recent priors, is going to be a dud.

It turned out that both the Nebula Percula pair and the Lightning X Lightning pair’s nests were due to hatch on the same night this past week…..6 days for the Lightnings, 8 days for the Percs.  I scrambled like crazy to get everything ready, pulled the tile from the Lightnings (and set it up with 5 gallons of broodstock water) and set up a Vossen larval trap for the Percs.

By morning…nothing.  Nothing on either front.  Later on in the day, all the Nebula percs had hatched…and promptly died…either smashed between the glass and the trap, or smashed on the screen of the trap (I may have had things turned up too high).  I saw ONE Lightning offspring swimming in the tub.  The next night, still nothing.  Next morning, eggs still looked good…but nothing.

I am kinda frustrated, but whatever.  I have mounds of patience.  The Nebula Percs spawned again on 3/26/2015, and the Lightning X Lightning pair threw down their 9th spawn on Friday, March 27th.

This is the 8th spawn from the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair, and unlike all prior small nests, this is a nice tight half dollar sized group; at least a few hundred eggs.  And it’s the 2nd nest on a tile.  FINALLY, we might be getting somewhere.  The nest was spawned on the late evening of Wednesday, March 18th, 2015.

In other news, Spawn #50 for the wild lightning pair hasn’t gone so well…most of the eggs are gone, presumed eaten.  It was a much bigger nest..but looks like it’s still not working out right.  I also received word on 3/18 that the Great Lakes Aquarium’s pair was sitting on a 6 day old nest.  Additionally, Mike Doty’s pair spawned again!  I wonder who else has fish spawning for them now?

This is a spawn of note; on the evening of March 17th, 2015, the wild pair of PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish and her PNG White Stripe mate put down their 50th spawn in captivity.  It looks like a good one, so I think they might be back on track!

I’m also just noting that my Nebula Percs threw down  nest the evening before, March 16th ;)

Last week was a flurry of clownfish sex.  March 4th, at 7 AM, I got a text image of the Lightning Maroon clownfish pair on display at the Great Lakes Aquarium; a small next was on the tank wall (I’m guessing laid on March 3rd?). This wasn’t the first spawn out of the pair; another had been seen, and evidence of prior spawns was also observable when the first spawn was discovered.

Mike Doty’s pair ALSO spawned; he shot me a text just a few hours later (10:30 AM) on March 4th as well.  I’m guessing they too spawned on the 3rd.  On the evening of March 5th, I found that the Nebula percula pair in my basement had spawned, and Friday, March 6th, the recently reunited Lightning X Lightning pair had thrown down their first nest as well; it’s a tiny nest, but it is viable.

It’s interesting how much of this breeding activity centered around the full moon.

On either March 1st or March 2nd, the  wild Lightning Maroon and its mate spawned again.  I found the nest tonight (I didn’t make it down into the fishroom on the 1st), just a smattering of eggs…probably less than 50.  I’m guessing this was a “pre” spawn…or maybe they’ve been eating eggs.  Not really sure, but not holding out hope yet.

 

 

Thursday evening (2-19-2015) I discovered a random small spawn from the other PNG White Stripe Maroons in the house. This pair has never been on a scheduled…they spawn infrequently, when the feel like it. As near as I can tell according to my notes here, this is only their 4th spawn.  By the evening of the 21st, the eggs were already gone, so nothing to even bother to try to hatch.  The next evening (2-20-2015), the pair of Nebula Percula I have on hand also spawned (really just noting it here as I’ve had no time to deal with their spawns!)

In the very week morning hours (eg. 2 AM) on 12-13-2014, I discovered spawn #47 from the wild caught pair.  Obviously it was actually put down on Friday afternoon (12-12-14).  Now that the fish are off the Chloroquin-laced food, it’ll be interesting to see if this clutch holds out or not.

Here’s a quick rundown.

The 5th spawn of the F1 Lightning X Lightning Maroon Clownfish pairing was collected and hatched by Mike Doty while I was away.  In short, he scraped off the eggs, hatched them in a 1 gallon jar in a water bath with simple aeration, 75% clean new water.  Come November 28th, Mike relayed that settlement had started.  The moment we’ve been waiting for was here – is there something new?

Well, Mike’s first words were “About 90% sure we have some normal striped fish.”

This, of course, does the following:

  • likely rules out Lightning as a simple recessive gene. If it WAS recessive, then both parents would be “double dose” aka. homozygous, represented as l/l, which means that each parent could only contribute a recessive lightning gene, and thus, each offspring would also get one copy each, one from mom, one from dad, and thus, could only be l/l as well. For the moment, while another couple test matings will bolster the data, the fact that there are white-stripe offspring pretty much precludes this being a standard single allele, single locus, recessive trait.
  • does not rule out straight dominance. If it was straight dominance, and each parent is “single dose” aka. heterozygous, represented as L/+, then 25% of the offspring would not get a gene from either parent, and thus, 25% would be white stripe maroon clownfish.
  • nor does it rule out partial dominance. This of course, would work the same way as dominance, except that 25% of the offspring would get a lightning gene from EACH parent, and would be homozygous for Lightning, represented as L/L. This is the scenario that most people are hoping for, because with the new homozygous state, there comes the potential for a new phenotype that could be different from the Lightning that we know.

As of today, 12-8-2014, I spoke with Mike briefly and have to relay this news – while he doesn’t have many babies left, he believes that the phenotype split is roughly 50/50.  That is to say, half white stripes, half lightnings.  So far, he also has not seen anything unique or new in this F2 generation.  I have yet to see the babies for myself, and have yet to take pictures or do a headcount, but these cursory, informal results, mirror another clownfish mutation that seems to not fit the mold as we’d expect – SNOWFLAKE in Ocellaris.  It’s my hope to get over to Mike’s today yet to see for myself.

In other news, the 6th spawn of the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair was put down on 11/29/2014. It appears I finally won the battle of the tiles:

LxL Spawn #6

LxL Spawn #6

Meanwhile, I brought some new clownfish into the fishroom earlier in November (the 19th and 22nd) and was trying out the new Ick-Shield food from New Life Spectrum.  This is basically a Chloroquin-laced pellet food that is meant primarily to prevent disease such as Crytopcaryon, Amyloodium, Brooklynella etc…pretty much the things which are sensitive to the active ingredient. I decided to not simply feed this fish to the new arrivals, but also to feed it to one of my holding systems AND the wild Lightning Maroon and her mate as preventative medication, just in case.

Well, it turns out that there is an unfortunate side effect to this feed; it seems to shut down breeding activity.  All my routine pairs stopped spawning. The Lightning and her mate did finally put down a spawn on December 1st, 2014, #46.

DSC_1472_600w

DSC_1474_600w

 

Unfortunately, it appears as though the spawn was not fertilized…the eggs didn’t develop, and after 48 hours they were gone. A few days after that, I read, anecdotally, that Chloroquin can cause male sterility??? Not permanent according to the rumor, but certainly a potential setback. As far as the efficacy of the food, my jury is out. The larger fish which were feeding well on it by and large remained disease free, but not all did.  I still had a Brooklynella outbreak, although not in the fish I would have necessarily expected. Once that outbreak started, it then affected other fish as well despite their feeding on the pellets.  I’m also seeing either Cryptocaryon or Amyloodium on fish which were visually “clean” upon arrival, which were in dedicated QT systems, feeding on this food from day one.  So the question here is were they simply getting ENOUGH feed as they were small fish which cannot readily eat the small pellet size.

So of course, one is left with questions, not answers.  There is no way to say the food didn’t work, nor is there any way to prove that it does work. Absence of disease is not proof of prevention, that much I know for certain. Lack of a cure, or lack of prevention, which IS documented, only raises questions about why it didn’t work as suggested and certainly requires investigation (eg. would a smaller pellet size be better accepted…could these failures stem from simply lack of feeding, or lack of sufficient feeding, thus insufficient dose to the fish?).

Circling back to LxL Spawn #6, as the week progressed an interesting change in behavior occurred starting around December 4th, 5 days post spawn.  The larger female F1 Lightning became belligerent towards the male, and over the day drove him from nest tending duties.  December 5th, a Friday, would have been 6 days post spawn, and the night of the first hatching.  I was simply swamped with preparations for sending our dog to live with my brother, and failed to pull the tile.  By morning, Saturday, December 6th, 2014, it appeared that I had not missed much…most if not all the eggs were still there. The pair remained at odds.  We left for the weekend to ship our family dog, and upon Sunday, December 7th, there were still a few dozen eggs remaining, although they appeared potentially dead and disappeared throughout the day.  By nightfall, the pair was starting to be less antagonistic, but I am still keeping a close eye on them.  Hopefully, we’ll get another spawn soon – this was the only mature pair in the house that didn’t receive Chloroquin-laced foods (as they don’t reside in the fishroom with the rest of the fish).

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