Live Aquaria just continues to wow us here at AquaNerd with their success with the rare McCulloch’s Clownfish they have bred. We first wrote about them in early June with our Live Aquaria Breeding McCulloch’s Clownfish article, and in later updates.
Here is the update provided by Kevin Kohen of LiveAquaria…
09/03/09 UPDATE From Kevin Kohen:
Great news! Things appear to have turned the corner with a major breakthrough for us regarding rearing the larvae McCulloch’s clownfish! Focusing our efforts on nutrition, we began to experiment with different enrichment supplements for the Rotifers and Artemia, with very good results. Through the utilization of vitamin and Micro-Algae supplements that are designed for the enrichment of Aquaculture feeds and are
high in Omega-3 HUFA Fatty Acids, DHA and EPA, I am happy to say we finally have what I would call a decent-sized batch of post-meta McCulloch’s babies.
Moving forward, our next step is to experiment with different hatch techniques. Although these fishes spawn on a piece of tile so that it can be removed from the aquarium and placed in a rearing vessel the evening of the hatch, this technique has been problematic as the hatch rate of the eggs has been low. Removal of the tile and eggs to a different tank appears to stress the nest, causing the larvae to hatch out over the course of three evenings, as opposed to one or two. When this happens, the bulk of the hatch is later than normal, and the larvae are very weak. In the past, we have incurred substantial post-hatch mortality.
The best method for a successful hatch yield appears to be leaving the eggs in the aquarium where they were laid so they can be tended to properly by the parents who continually fan the nest with their pectoral fins to provide the proper circulation. We have utilized a home-built larvae catcher on two separate occasions to collect the larvae fishes so they can then be transferred to the rearing vessel. This catcher slowly pulls water from the surface of the parent’s aquarium, and collects the larvae fishes into a small box with a 54 micron screen at one end to stop them from being drawn into the return pump, and pushed back into the aquarium. Although the larvae catcher does a fantastic job at collecting the larvae fishes, the area for the larvae fishes is a bit too small, and the slow water flow is not gentle enough, as it pulls most of the larvae into the screen which subsequently damages the fragile larvae causing mortality in less than 24 hours.
The parents continue to spawn now every 10-11 days, and it’s amazing to see that they consistently spawn in the exact same place on the ceramic tile that leans up against the side glass of their aquarium. We are in the process of fabricating a larger larvae catcher so that we can provide more space for the larvae, and have the ability to fine tune the water flow so that we can avoid damaging the larvae fishes. Stay tuned as we should have another hatch as early as next week!
We will continue to keep you updated as progress is made by LiveAquaria.
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