The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged TDO

I made a rare 8 PM trek down into the fishroom tonight (6/4/2014) and discovered the Lightning Maroon and her mate putting down Spawn #34. Based on how things are going, next Tuesday night should be the pull night.

My attempt to get a second night’s hatch out of Spawn #33 utterly failed. I did place the tile back with the parents come morning, and I went through the egg sanitizing protocol (with H2O2) for another 15 minute bath. I saw ONE larvae hatch out…a total dud.  My plan for the next spawn will be to pull the tile and 20 gallons out of the broodstock tank (BIG water change); 10 gallons each will go into two BRTs, and then I’ll simply move the tile from the first night’s hatch into the 2nd BRT for the 2nd night, sticking with the egg sanitizing protocol (as it seems to be helping?)

Those larvae that are alive from Spawn #33 are doing reasonably well..they are plowing through rotifers at an alarming rate; I’m adding in new saltwater along with RO/DI Water daily, as well as small feedings of TDO A to supplement for what I think might be a rotifer shortage. Low doses of ChloramX and RotiGreen Omega continue to be pulsed in as well.

Did a big 50% water change, Rotifer cultures failing due to too much harvest, lots of losses due to settlement issues presumably due to insufficient rotifers.  Nevertheless, a sizeable group of Lightning Maroon offspring is undergoing settelement starting tonight; first headstripes seen.  They’ve been getting TDO A1 for the last couple days…I hope they’re all transitioning over to it now.

It’s the morning of January 13th, 2014; time to play a little catch-up.

Back on January 9th, I split the larvae from Spawn #20 from one 10 gallon tank into the 10, plus a 15 gallon BRT on my larviculture racks. When I did the split, I took the opportunity to take a photograph of the babies I moved to the BRT (Black Round Tub). I finally took a moment to do a headcount this morning. First, the unedited shot:

DSC_0305_1200w_nodots

Now, since I scooped all this water out by hand into a clean 5 gallon bucket, in theory EVERY little smudge / smear / blurry little dark spot *should* be a baby clownfish. Remember, you have to keep in mind that the depth of field was pretty narrow on this shot – babies at the bottom of the bucket, or even just a few inches deep, were not captured in-focus. So the headcount is an estimate at best, and I’m going to say it’s probably high, and if it is, it’s high by 20 or so fish, ballparked.

DSC_0305_1200w_140plus

So my rough headcount puts it at 140 babies moving into the BRT. What I don’t know is how many were left behind in the 10 gallon tank!

On Friday, January 10th, the larvae got their first small taste of TDO A. This has been added to the diet daily since then, and they’ve taken to it well. By Sunday evening, 1/12/2014, I noticed the first little whitish-blue spots on the tops of the heads of a few babies, which means only one thing. Metamorphosis has started.

I’ve been sticking with the water changes…they might not get done every day, but they get done at least every other day.

That’s the story of Spawn #20 for now. It could be a very productive run if things go well.

I let Jake Adams break the news on ReefBuilders, sending him shots in the late/earlier hours (depends on your frame of mind).  I’m quoting an excerpt from Jake’s great writeup from ReefBuilders here, because he really presents an objective view.

Even though the maroon lighting maroon clownfish was paired with a related Premnas biaculeatus from Papua New Guinea, we don’t think anyone really expected to see expressions of the lightning pattern in the first generation of the lightning maroon’s offspring. All observers of the lightning maroon project who know anything about mendelian genetics realistically thought that we might see some traces of the lightning pattern in the second, F2 generation of lightning maroon clownfish once they were back-crossed with each other a bit. However, for Matt to observe the lightning pattern in his very first batch of offspring from a half-cross of lightning maroon but full cross of PNG maroons clownfish must be very encouraging…

Since my last update, I DID opt to start feeding brine shrimp nauplii.  They are being rinsed well.  I’m using 16 month out-of-date decapsulate eggs from SeahorseSource.com / Dan Underwood, and they’re still hatching great (I keep them stored in my fridge).  I’m doing daily water changes, occasionally siphoning the bottom, and I’ve been using nothing but Marine Environment salt by AquaCraft (thanks Mike Del Prete – who contributed enough salt to last me and the Banggai Rescue project years).  I also started offering the APBreed TDO A1, as well as older Otohime A I had on hand from Reed Mariculture.  I cut way back on the RotiGreen Nanno I was adding; basically just 10 drops or so once or twice per day, just to keep the rotifers in there from dying en-masse.  I am currently trying to weed them out.

These photos (and the video at the bottom) were shot after midnight, so technically this morning (7-9-2012, but almost 24 hours ago now).  This puts these larvae/juveniles at 10 days post hatch, and most have gone through settlement. I have included multiple variations / crops / zooms of most photos so you can get a sense of scale and overall view, as well as the maximum zoom I could give you.

MORE TO COME….

I am still owing the world a full post, but in the interest if simply keeping you all relatively updated, here’s some short tidbits.

Based on an egg photo count, there was 310 eggs on the tile and all hatched.  There have been some larval losses, but that is to be expected.  Mike Doty did an excellent job watching the babies in my absence – plenty of live larvae when I returned from Boston this past Sunday, July 1st.

Since returning, larval maintenance has been a study routine of upping the water volume with drips of pre-mixed saltwater (for those who will ask, I am currently using AquaCraft’s Marine Environment – they donated a palette of it for Banggai-Rescue).  The SG is probably running around 1.021.  I am using Reed Maricultures RotiGrow Plus to culture my rotifers, and using their RotiGreen Nanno for greenwater (I may have preferred the Omega variant, but Nanno is what I had on hand).  I’ve been dosing RotiGreen and CloramX (a solution mixed from the powder) at roughly a 2:1 ratio, and averaging 30 drops twice a day now on the BRT. I have been harvesting up to 4 gallons of rotifer cultures daily (2 in the AM, 2 in the PM) to keep rotifer levels up.  As of tonight, we are at basically 6 full days post hatch, so I introduced the larvae to their first taste of APBreed TDO (Top Dressed Otohime), Size A (smaller than the A1 I’m more normally accustomed to using).  All is going well with these larvae, and I look forward to settlement soon.

The Lightning Maroon herself continues to be a problem…the Foureye has been removed for a while now, the Maracyn + Maracyn II treatment was long since done yet low level bacterial problems persist, most recently some very light markings on the male’s face, and then I found what looked like an enlarged light area on the leading spines of the left pelvic fin.  These fish just can’t get a break.  I am continuing to work with Dr. Kizer on some alternate ideas, as we’re really ruling out all the normal causes at this point.  Me, I’m stumped.  Without diagonistics, I think it’s fair to say that Dr. Kizer can’t really offer any other insights either.  We may try yet another antibiotic course, another one dosed through the food, that seems to be where we’re heading.  But I’m also thinking I don’t want to overreact either, so most likely we will try to have the prescription-based feed on hand, ready, should another large-scale problem crop up.

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