The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged spawning

Back on November 23rd, I made a change in diet for most of my fishes to try out the insanely popular LRS feeds; specifically the new Fertility Frenzy.  I purchased four 8 oz. flats for use in my fishroom, and 4 more flats went to Mike Doty’s fishroom to try on some problem spawners. As of today, I’ve gone through two of them; I’m using about 8 oz of this food per week.

While hardly a scientific and controlled test, I figured changing one variable in the routine (feeding a different food, and more frequently) would at least provide some insight.  And if pairs which were not spawning suddenly sprung into action, well, wouldn’t that just be great?  There’s been a lot of positive feedback but also some rather remarkable claims made about these feeds…on the one hand almost too hard to believe, but also too hard to ignore.

I instantly saw some fish willing to gorge themselves on feed in a way that perhaps they wouldn’t on others. The small particle size and gel binder is very reminiscent of Repashy’s Spawn and Grow formulation…so much so the cynic in me mused “is LRS just repackaged and augmented Spawn and Grow?” I’ve offered this food to just about every fish in the room…freshwater, saltwater, juveniles to adults.  Most take it and “enjoy” it….my Altums (Pterophyllum altum) have a hard time with it, but the Betta smaragdina “Guitar” juveniles pounce on this food.

One of the Clownfish pairs that initially showed the most promise was the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair.  Upon going onto the LRS Fertility Frenzy, I remember confiding in a fellow breeder that I thought the fish looked uncomfortably fat, and I was actually worried that this could lead to a problem such as egg binding.  Well…my concerns were unfounded, the pair put down their most recent nest on Sunday, November 29th. This is their 25th spawn.

This first nest was no larger, or no better quality, than any of the prior nests. Perhaps only 6 days on the food is not enough to see the impacts of the new diet that most hobbyist feedback would lead me to expect.

Another possibility here is that whatever is driving nest size and quality might not be dietary in this pair. A third possibility might be that the prior staple diet, Spectrum’s Thera A, represents a comparable source of nutrition and thus, the switch to LRS could simply effectively be a lateral move (everyone knows Spectrum is a very solid, premium pellet).

It’s going to take several more weeks of feeding to make any sort of anecdotal observations that I’d put weight behind. But it does remind me that in breeding there probably isn’t a shortcut or magic bullet.  Feed, while important, is only part of the equation.

First up, housekeeping.  I’ve been lax on recording spawn dates because these days, since I’m not actively rearing fishes until the fishroom rework is done, the info just doesn’t REALLY matter all that much.  Still, might as well record them.

For the original wild Lightning X White Stripe pair, their most recent spawn was Sunday, September 20th (#64).  That was proceeded by Monday, September 7th (#63). They had earlier spawns on August 1st (#61), and August 26th (#62) if my memory and documentation serves correctly.

For the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair, their most recent spawn was now Friday, October 30th, 2015 (#23). Before was Monday, 10/19/2015 (#22); prior was Thursday, 9/24/2015 (#21). Before that, 9/15/2015 (#20). Prior was Sunday, Sept. 6th (#19). Earlier spawns were August 1st (#17), and August 21st (#18).

Finally, Mike’s holdback pair is producing; parents are MD1 and MD2.  Mike HAS been rearing, so we have a lot of F2 Lightnings and White Stripes which for the moment are becoming available through my livestock wholesaler.  Ask for more info (retailers, wholesalers only please).

Before I simply forget, I need to note that the wild Lightning X White Stripe pair, the foundation pair, threw down a spawn I found on Sunday, 7-12-2015. This is their 60th documented spawn in captivity!

And now, 2 days later, the F1 Lightning offspring were putting down a spawn around 5:30 PM, 7-14-2015. This is the 16th spawn for the pair.

LxL Spawn…

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We were away from the 4th of July holiday weekend, and at some point during our absence, the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair put down Spawn #15.  I’m going to guess that it was on the 3rd; it’s now the night of 7-10 going into 7-11, and there are just a few unhatched offspring left at 2:45 AM.

Yes, when you’re not actively rearing any spawns (due to a planned fishroom redesign) tracking them seems to fall out of priority rather quickly.  That said, it’s a habit I should stick to, even if it makes for rather mundane blog updates!  Gotta record the data.

Wednesday, June 24th, the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair spawned, putting down what is now their 14th spawn.  For whatever reason, they’re taking a slower incubation period…most of the eggs hatched 7 days later, the following Wednesday night, July 1st going into today.  Roughly 1/3 of the nest remains…and presumably will hatch tonight.  I should point out that the pair is currently receiving no foods other than Spectrum’s Thera A, and has been on such a diet for quite a while.  I’m pretty impressed with the nests I’m seeing from fish eating only pellet foods!

The F0 (wild) Lightning Maroon and White Stripe spawned this week again, spawning on Tuesday, June 30th.  Based on my records this is their 59th spawn. Crazy to think about.

Yes…it’s that time again, more spawns to just track for now.

First up is the F1 Lighnting X Lightning pair; they threw down a nest on 6/14/2015; the eggs hatched out the following Sunday night leading into Monday, so 6/21.  That was the 13th spawn.

Meanwhile, downstairs in the fishroom, the original F0 pair of fish put down another nest, I suspect on Wednesday, 6/17/2015.  As of tonight (6/22, going into 6/23) they haven’t hatched yet and are not looking fully developed even, so I could be a day off (eg. maybe it was Thursday they laid) or if the hatch tomorrow night, they’ll be right on schedule basically.  This is their 58th recorded spawn.

Yes, the monotonous drone of logging spawns continues….the 57th spawn from the wild pair (Lightning X White Stripe) was found on Saturday evening, June 6th, 2015.

It looks like things are slowly returning to normal here.  The wild Lightning Maroon’s spawn mostly hatched out Sunday night (May 31st going into June 1st).  Oddly though, their eggs, while viable, continue to appear very small.

And then yesterday, June 2nd, the F1 Lightning X Lightning pair spawned…a smaller nest, but frankly they’ve not been getting intensive attention and we’ve taken some trips where the fish just fast for a day or two.

On May 12th, 2015, the wild (F0) Lightning X White Stripe pair threw down their 55th recorded spawn.  It looked like a good, solid, quality nest…and once again, they moved it.  On a related note, I also found a spawn of the unrelated wild PNG White Stripe pair; I didn’t notice it the day it was spawned, but I am guestimating it was laid on May 9th or 10th based on its current progression. This is only their 5th spawn that I’ve actually recorded…they remain a very sporadic pair.

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?

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