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alexcyf

Alex's Clownfish Breeding Journal

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Hi SRC reefers! This is my 3rd attempt at harvesting my clown fish fries. Din worked out very well the first couple of times but I've learnt much from my mistakes. Here's a video of my previous fry feeding on baby brine shrimps. 

 

Currently, I still have a 3 month fry still surviving and feeding on pellets. 
IMG_2573.JPG 

Hopefully this attempt, I will be able to increase the survival rate! I will be documenting this attempt's journey on SRC.  Firstly, to record down this exciting journey and consolidate everything I had in a thread and also, to seek advice!! Do feel free to give me any suggestions and feedback to help me improve the survival rate!

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Hatch Night - minus 10 days

As many know of you may know, on the day, or sometimes, days before the eggs are laid, the mated clowns will be cleaning up the surface that they intend to lay their eggs on by fanning or cleaning the dust/algae etc off with their mouth. Here's a video of my pair of Picassos doing that. Well, its actually a footage from last year.

 


Previously, I had much issues with the low eggs counts, and possibly malnutrition eggs. The clowns usually ended up laying less than 50 eggs, which would have dwindled down to less than 5 by hatch night. The main reason I guess is probably due to insufficient feeding, or the right food. So I up their diet, and fed more of a locally mixed frozen food by one of the LFS.

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I heard from some other reefers that they need prawn/squid meat to increase the 'stickyness' of the eggs, probably also to ensure that the sacs are nutritious enough for the babies.

Thats probably why I guess this attempt, my clowns laid 200 over eggs. Sorry for the poor picture! IMG_2454.JPG

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Preparation Phase - Hatch Night Minus A week

The promising batch of eggs has prompted me, to start my preparation, and I need to ensure that nothing goes wrong this time around.

Usually it takes exactly 10 days for my clowns' eggs to hatch. So yup, I hope I did my preparations work well this time around. The toughest thing about breeding I suppose its what to feed the clowns. Usually that is the first challenge of the fries to survice. To find suitable food! Essentially within a few hours, the fries need to feed on rotifers.

I have tried a few different methods to established my own stable supply of rotifers. I can't be going to LFS to buy rotifers just to feed the fries. So, I have tried cultivated my own plankton.image.jpg.2641b8d4fc88b45b038669aeb12b77db.jpg

Well, it din worked well. The plankton crashes too easily. A single bit of contamination, perhaps a stray drop of water with tens of rotifers, will wipe out the entire plankton culture. My home setup is not proficient enough to ensure healthy sustainable supply of plankton.

image.320x240_mc_noborder_crop_90.jpg
So I found the best solution, that is Reed Mariculture's Rotigrow. Frozen plankton culture that rotifers can eat! And I don't have to worry about contamination anymore. So, I got my culture of rotifers up easily, buying a small batch of rotifers from my LFS and growing it for a week.
IMG_2577.JPG

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Hatch Night - Day 0

And it is the night, once my lights go out. I have about 30 minutes to 1 hour, before the first fry appears. 2 hours odd for all of the eggs to hatch. So its time to set up my fry tank with newly transferred tank water, so that the fries can adapt easily to the parameters. Added a few essential items!

1) A thermometer and a SeaChem Ammonia alert to help me monitor the water parameters easily. 
2) To ensure that the tank water don't go over 28 degrees Celsius (Singapore is really hot...) I installed a fan to cool the water down. 
3) To ensure optimal light conditions, I have also covered the fry tank with opaque paper, and installed a little LED study lamp. Essentially, just enough light for the clowns to hunt for their food.
4) Yup of course, food! So that the fry can start hunting the moment they are added into the fry tank
5) Lastly, most importantly, an air stone :)

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Next, it is to wait for the moment! I stopped all the return pumps, as the eggs are in my sump/refugium. Armed with a torch and a scoop and 3 hours of my time, I caught about over 80 fries this time round. Not too shabby, considering my next highest count was 13. Worth sleeping at 3.30am for these babies!

Here's a vid of the harvest!

 

 

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Day 1

Important, and of course most tiring thing, is to ensure good water conditions by changing water daily. So, it is gonna be a daily 5 litres water change with my Main Tank water. Including the addition of sufficient rotifers to keep the fry going. Drawing motivation from them feeding happily. You can noticed them in the video swimming and stopping and curling the tails, that is a sign whenever they eat something :)
 

 

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54 minutes ago, s17oopy said:

Nice Andrew!

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Haha, Andrew is andtsg! I'm Alex :)

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Nice documentation learning from here

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Alex,

Your post is so inspiring and fascinating! I can't wait to read on.

Thanks for sharing.

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Alex,

Your post is so inspiring and fascinating! I can't wait to read on.

Thanks for sharing.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Alex,

Your post is so inspiring and fascinating! I can't wait to read on.

Thanks for sharing.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Haha thanks for reading! Will try to post pictures and video regularly. In a couple of days, I will be starting to hatch baby brine shrimps. Will share a little more about my DIY hatchery and a workable process of successfully separating e BBS from the eggs :)

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Day 2
 
The saddest part of breeding is it is difficult to avoid casualties. On Day 2, according to many online sources, is supposedly a high mortality period. Well, very true, i have 23 fries dead thus far, and I found 10 just within the Hatch night + 45-48 hours 
 
image.jpegimage.jpeg
 
Good news is, this morning when I wake, no more new losses. About 50+ left. Let's hope for the best!
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Breeding clownfish can be such a heart wrenching learning process. One simple mistake can lead to a major tragedy.. This morning, I wake up to 45 casualties. image.jpeg

on inspection, I realised that my rotifer culture has seemed to crashed. I have been feeding dead roti or very few roti this couple of days to my fries. Well should have went back to the same LFS to get a more stable source of Rotifers. No wonder many were dive bombing last night.. 

Another possible reason might be that I have adjusted the light source too close for the tank, this may lead also to fright and dive bombing for the fries. Probably need to fine tune the amount of light required. Also, I will need to change the paper to ensure that the interiors of the fry tank is black.

well, the consoling news is another batch of eggs are on the way. Probably over a hundred of them. The clowns lay 2 days ahead of schedule, guess that affected abit of the eggs count. Anyway, Thursday will be another hatch night. Will post more detailed process of the hatching process then. Do stay tuned.image.jpegimage.jpeg Eggs are at 2 days old now

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Well, it's been a while since I last posted. Haven't been very successful in e last batch. Only caught a few fry and currently left with 1 healthy fat fry which is 13 day old. Feeding mainly on baby brine shrimp which also reminds me to share on my diy set up.

To make a baby brine shrimp hatchery, you should get yourself ready with this few items

two 1.5litres bottle

a hand drill

airline tube 

1 acrylic air line tube

1 adjustable valve

glue and eproxy

and of cuz, good healthy brine shrimp eggs, an air pump and lights

 

The crucial idea of the setup is that we will need to make the device to be able to separate the bbs from the unhatched eggs by creating a funnel-sieve like device. The end product should look something like this

image.jpeg

First, make a hole out of the bottle cap using a electric hand drill, big enough for the airline tube to go through. Fix one end of the tube through the hole with less than 5mm (to ensure its still relatively flat at the bottom of the cap for the bbs to filter through. glue/eproxy to waterproof and hold the tube in place. Dry for few hoursimage.jpegimage.jpeg..

Then, cut out the 1.5 l bottle at the bottom to make an container/funnel. You will also need to cut another bottle, this time cut off the top as you will need a stand for the "funnel". this bottom half, it will be good to cut out a "window" for the airline tube to come out front the side, you need some space/length for the bbs to be filtered out of the container.image.jpeg

As you can see, I also added an optional holder, by cutting a harder container, to keep the device stable, and stop it from toppling.. (It will be a mess if it does..)

the device is almost ready! 

Now add in the bbs eggs. I use this brand, seems to work for me. But ensure its not expired!image.jpegimage.jpeg

add about 1 teaspoon and 500ml of tank water. Let it sit for an hour, for the eggs to hydrate so it doesn't float in the space when u aerate it.

then, insert the hard airline tube to the bottom of the cap. Hard line will ensure that the airline doesn't move. If not eggs might gather at dead spots at the bottom of the funnel. 

Lastly, shine the lights over. Don't know why but it helps the hatch rate! Bbs should hatch within 24-48hours

image.jpeg

Hope this helps! Bbs can be used to feed other fishes and corals too! Especially difficult small fishes!

 

 

 

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Bro so can baby brine shrimp take over Rotifers or Rotifers still key food for the frys

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6 hours ago, Daniel_k said:

Bro so can baby brine shrimp take over Rotifers or Rotifers still key food for the frys

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Rotifers contains the vitamins necessary for fry's nutrition which is crucial in e first few days after batch. While newly hatched baby brine shrimp contains e proteins that helps the growth rate. Usually after 5 days can feed bbs with a mix of rotifer. After 11 days should be okie with bbs or even fry pellets.

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6 hours ago, Daniel_k said:

Bro so can baby brine shrimp take over Rotifers or Rotifers still key food for the frys

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Rotifers contains the vitamins necessary for fry's nutrition which is crucial in e first few days after batch. While newly hatched baby brine shrimp contains e proteins that helps the growth rate. Usually after 5 days can feed bbs with a mix of rotifer. After 11 days should be okie with bbs or even fry pellets.

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