The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

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Lots of little updates

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Spawn #41 was left to go for itself because the Lightning X Lighting Spawn #1 took priority.  Unfortunately, by the time the eggs reached the anticipated hatch night, Wed, Oct 8th, there were only 7 eyed up eggs left.  I attempted to harvest them by using a rigid air tube attached to a flexible tube to scrape and siphon them out…this broke one egg but the rest went through intact.  By the next morning in the incubation cup (a half gallon specimen cup with broodstock water), the eggs were dead.

So back to the F0 Lightning X White Stripe pair; Oct. 11 they laid Spawn #42, and tonight, Friday, October 17th, 2014, I pulled the eggs and gave them the typical H202 Bath..about 11 minutes in, we (Paul Whitby of HighDefCorals is in town to speak at our club) noticed that larvae had begun to hatch, so the dip was ended and I placed the tile in the cleaned, readied 6 gallon BRT which had 5 gallons broodstock water and 1 gallon new water.

In other news, the Lightning X Lightning pair put down their second spawn somewhere between 5 PM on Thursday, Oct 16th and 4:30 PM Friday, Oct. 17th. It’s a much larger nest, which was expected. Despite having basically tiled the entire backside of the aquarium, the pair thwarted my efforts by spawning around the corner in a tight area of black plastic background. I don’t know when the proper “harvest” date will be for these fish; I’ll like try my Vossen Larval Snagger this time around. But I also know that I’ll be putting even MORE tile into their tank now ;)

The tile house collapsed over the weekend, and upon restoring it, the Lightning Maroon and her mate promptly ate all the eggs, which suggests they were dead from lack of parental care / circulation (the tile wasn’t completely down, the eggs did not appear to be smashed).  That’s all for Spawn #38

I discovered spawn #38 around 10 PM on 7-28-2014.  Typical big orange spawn on the sloped ceiling tile.

Yeah, spawn #30 was laid on 4-18-2014; I noticed it in the evening when feeding.  Large pale-orange batch on the far end of the vertical tile in their “tile tepee”.  That’s all.

This has been an interesting weekend for the Lightning Maroon.  It started Friday AM, when I woke up to find the Lightning Maroon with a cloudy and swollen right eye.  That alone ruined my day, although I didn’t freak out because I realized that this was likely a bruise / mechanical damage.  Still, in the name of precaution, I fed the tank Dr. G’s Anti-Bacterial frozen food, and am following the regime for that just to be sure and hopefully safe.  It is now Sunday night, and the eye has all but returned to normal.

Meanwhile, later on Friday, I noticed that my female Onyx Percula was looking extremely distended and swollen…definitely a spawn coming.  They’ve moved nest locations over the years and have slowly worked their way from the upper back, to the lower back panel of their aquarium.  So I placed a tile over their last nest in the hopes that they’d spawn on it.  VERY late that night, I found them doing this:

Onyx Perculas Spawning

Onyx Perculas Spawning

Onyx Perculas Spawning

Now, this is probably something like their 200th spawn (I stopped counting years ago).  Up here, we don’t have a huge market for Onyx Perculas (or any clownfish) so at best, I might raise a batch every year now.  This time, I had been waiting to do something in the “bag of tricks”, something clownfish breeder Mitch May (a.k.a. Booyah) likes to do, called a “Double Down”.  I *think* I’ve mentioned it here before, but if not, well, here’s a synopsis.

The jist of the “Double Down” is to take the nest from an actively spawning pair of clownfish and give it to surrogate or foster parents, in this case a pair of clownfish that has yet to spawn.  As Mitch tells it, they’re generally going to do one of two things.  Tend the next, or eat it.  If they eat it, no harm, no foul, the eggs are stellar nutrition for the non-spawning pair.  If they tend the nest, Mitch relayed that he’s found that it helps a reluctant pair to “get the idea”..that is to say, it often kicks them into spawning mode in short order.

So tonight, about 48 hours after the next was laid, I pulled it from the Perculas and gave it to the Lightning Maroon Pair.  The Onyx Percs are my longest living pair to date…they were the first pair of clowns we got when my wife gently nudged me into setting up a saltwater tank for her way back in the day.  They come from a tank that hasn’t seen a new fish in 9 months (and that “new” fish was removed about a month ago).  So it’s a solidly reliably, trustworthy tank.

Now remember, the PNG Maroon that was paired with the Lightning Maroon is in fact a fully functional male Maroon that was successfully spawning while paired with a large Gold Stripe Maroon (this temporary pairing was set up to prevent the PNG maroons I received from turning male).  I had very little doubt as to the male’s ability and instincts.  The nest went in with the Maroons, and initially, the Lightning tried to push the tile out of her territory.

Initially, the Percula nest was ejected from their territory.

I put it back, only to hear it whack against the glass.  Did it again, and this time took video.

So I really wedged it into the gravel, with a large rock pinning it up flat against the back of the tank, in the general area that they normally clean.  It’s probably been an hour now, and I haven’t heard the tile get thrown against the tank glass again, so hopefully it will stay in place.  Hopefully.  At any rate, once the tile was in place, it seemed pretty clear that the Lightning Maroon was having mixed feelings…given that she is tending the nest occasionally with the male.  Let me once again be undeniably, crystal clear.

THESE ARE NOT LIGHTNING MAROON CLOWNFISH EGGS, they are PERCULA eggs being FOSTERED by the LIGHTNING MAROON PAIR.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Lightning Maroon Clownfish fostering Percula Eggs in a "Double Down" scenario to encourage the pair to spawn.

Still, some IDIOT will NOT READ THIS and say “OMG the LIGHTNING CLOWN SPAWNED!”.  Sorry, NO.  They are FOSTERING Percula eggs ;)

I admit, it’s pretty cool to see even if it isn’t their own eggs…yet.

 

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