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Thread: Clownfish Breeding Newbie

  1. #1
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    Clownfish Breeding Newbie

    I am a newbie at this.. I have had clowns laying eggs/making babies for quite a few years now, but never attempted to catch/raise any of them until I got a bug in my a few days ago to give it a try (even though I knew I was not ready).

    Friday night, 1/2 the eggs hatched (very odd, first time I have ever seen 1/2 hatch and not all). I catch a dozen or so and with no prep at all, try them in an old sump with a heater and air stone. Since I have no live food for them (which I read is 100% critical, without it they will not make it) I decided to just try what I have on hand. Well, dummy me, first attempt was a massive failure on my part. I should have kept reading the how to's to see they do not need any food for about the first 24 hours, but after that they need a lot. I put in way more "Brightwell AminOmega" (used for soaking food with) than I should have and wiped out the babies by morning. No biggie, first attempt, did so in a hurry right before bed. I was expecting failure.

    Saturday night, cleaned out the sump, started over. Caught 2 dozen babies that hatched that night.. still about 50 eggs left, but at 2am I was done waiting, but morning all the eggs were gone. So I have 24 baby clowns in the tank at 11pm Saturday night. I put in just a couple drops of Vita-Chem this time so I don't foul the water. They are in about 2-1/2G of water in the chamber in the sump (this is obviously a sump not in use). I changed out 1G of water every 4 hours for the last few days, all the while putting in a lot of "coral food", frozen cubes of H2O brand food, along with Vita-Chem. The babies are EATING IT UP! They are like pac-man munching away. So I read babies usually will not make it past 48 hours unless they have live rotifers.. I have passed the 48 hour mark and some how I have not lost a single one so far. I was expecting to come home from work today and see them all dead, but to my suprise, the opposite, all alive and active.

    I understand I am a long way from calling this a success, but if things work out like I hope, I am thinking I may be the first person to raise baby clown fry off nothing but "dead" food, which goes against everything I have read. If anyone knows/read of others that had success without using live foods I would love to read about it. I went from "eh, not really into that part of the hobby" to "OMG I wanna figure this out and have 100% success now if it is possible" within a couple days. LOL. I am betting at least a few people on here have tried their hand at raising clown fry... if anyone has any tips, suggestions (other than the obvious, get live foods growing) I would love to hear them.

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    These little guys are incredibly hard to take a picture of, especially with a point and shoot camera that was made in 2001. After a hundred tries this was the best I could get from the side. They are about 3/4 the size of a grain of rice. Mysis shrimp are bigger than them right now.

    At 11pm tonight, 4 hours from now, they will be 96 hours post hatch (4 days).

  3. #3
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    Well, sad news, no one made it past day 8. Still amazing they lived that long though off nothing but dead food/vitamins. I thought at day 7 I had a few strong swimmers left but by the end of day 8 they were goners. No biggie, my clowns laid the biggest clutch I have ever seen on Saturday, got to be 500 eggs easily, seriously 3-4 times bigger than I have ever seen them lay before. Mommy has been huge since the babies hatched and I thought she would lay sooner, but is seems she held out and kept making more eggs this time. Tomorrow I am ordering a Rotifer starter pack and TDO food from Reef Nutrition/APBreed to raise my next batch properly.

    http://reefnutrition.com/specialty_feeds.html

    Anyone have any suggestions on what I should do when I do have success? There are only so many clowns one can give out, and really, that is my only goal, to grow them and to give them away for FREE, just like I have done for over a decade with corals, never once sold a frag, it is my personal belief that I am in this hobby for pleasure and education, not to make it a business, so I will never accept $ for anything that has grown in my tank. Even the dozens of LED lights I have made for other people I have not made 1 penny off of, actually lost $, but just a few dollars and I don't even think about it. Used equipment is different, and I take a loss on that stuff anyway, and I have probably only sold 5 pieces of equipment in 20 years, but I have given away thousands of pieces like external pumps, light setups, even a complete acrylic 60G reef setup.

    I have been asking co-workers but it is hard to talk someone into getting into SW, especially if they have never had a tank, or at most a betta bowl on their desk at work. Most LFS would take some, but probably not all, and I really don't want to give them to someone else who is just going to turn around and sell them, I would rather give them to someone who will enjoy them, so the LFS option is the last option.

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    So this is my setup. Quick 10 minute DIY stand and a 29G tank I had laying around.


    2 babies that survived from the last batch. I went to bed before they hatched after spending many nights waiting and by morning most were gone, only caught a few and 2 made it so far. Today they are 9 days old swimming in a sea of rotifers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mXhv8yTSb8

    Video of Mommy and Daddy clown making babies on Valentines day.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7NwRcOKArQ

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    Quick video showing the 2 babies @ 1 month old.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS32OgJ-7gc

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    New batch hatched at 3am on 3/12/12. Something else seems to have hatched at the same time. I was up from 3am-5am collecting these things thinking they were clown fish but today after some sleep they are definitely not baby clown fish. I much have over 100 of them easily along with around 30 clownfish. I think they may be peppermint shrimp (only other thing in my tank that could make babies) and they do have a shrimp tail on them, but they don't look like the pictures/videos I see of them, but maybe it is too soon to tell.

    Floating specs = rotifers, bigger white specs that float down and jerk upwards are the "unknown", and the big blurry things and the day old clown fish.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2r3fMSj6Yc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhOC6rLUdWc

  7. #7
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    Thats very interesting, thanks for the vid.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

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    I still have not been able to identify the "unknown" creatures. I really was leaning towards peppermint shrimp but they absolutely do not look anything like what I find on google as far as baby peppermints. The ones in my tank do not have any arms, just a shrimp tail on them and the shrimp belly (all those little legs which I see when they grab onto a rotifer, which is funny because a rotifer is only about 1/4 the size of these shrimp). So after deciding it wasn't peppermint shrimp, I had to try and figure it out... copepods.. nope (I have some LARGE copepod looking things in my tank, the size of a rolly polly so I though maybe it was them), isopods.. nope, brine shrimp... nope. I have spent hours searching scientific drawings of saltwater larval stages of things and I have yet to find anything that closely resembles what I have in my tank. The best way to describe them is they look like sperm (bodies and heads) but they have a distinct shrimp fan tail on them. And NO, I don't love my tanks THAT much. I work at a college, and we have a marine biology dept. I even asked the people there and showed them videos and none of them even had a suggestion as to what they might be. If you have ever worked for a school/college, you quickly realize the teachers are the least knowledgable people on campus for the vast majority of them (there are always a few exceptions, unfortunately no exceptions in the marine bio dept where I work), and the saying "those who can't... teach" holds so much more truth to it than most realize.

  9. #9
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    Couple more quick videos from today. The second video is a closeup and actually came out decent I thought.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNgcJEJnkgw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICxY5X5kRFY

  10. #10

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    Wow, thanks for posting! Please keep this thread going!

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