I recently sold my baby Picasso clownfish, some on this forum. Someone asked me to start a thread to show how I was able to raise these little guys but unfortunately I didn?t take pictures the first time around. So I decided to raise another clutch and this time I will be taking pictures when I can (with an iphone sorry it?s all I have). Hopefully I can show how they progress and what I do to keep them alive. As well as spread the joy of being able to raise these guys from little fry to healthy clowns. Maybe even a few of you might spot one you would like to buy in the pictures ;). Feel free to post any questions you might have or how you might have done it differently as I want to learn the best method too. I really want this thread to be very helpful so if I don't post something you want to know about please ask, or if you want more detail about something. I have been meaning to start this sooner but I've been busy so the baby clowns are actually already 8 days old today. I will start with the day they eggs were laid and catch up to where they are now.
First off some background info about me, I got my first tank five or six years ago. It was just a cheap 30 gallon and I made all the rookie mistakes but I liked it and learned a lot. I have a 150 gallon reef ready tank now. I am 22 years old, and a pre-med biology student in my final year of undergraduate college. I began raising these clowns as a way to make extra cash so I could afford more reef stuff of course. When I first started I had no idea about raising fry as I had no previous experience. I bought a book called ?Clownfishes? by Joyce Wilkerson. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to try their hand at raising clowns, it gives a good foundation. Then do tons of research online to see what other breeders have done. This will all help but the best method of learning is just doing it.
As stated the parents live in a 150 gallon tank with 3 rose anemones (approximately 3 years in our tank, started as 1 anemone), 1 blue gig (approximately 2 years in our tank), and I recently purchased a pink haddoni carpet anemone (super excited about this guy, baby clowns actually funded this purchase and I expected it to just be a faded red haddoni but it has held its color for almost 4 months now, never seen one like him, even with my crappy iphone pictures he looks pretty good, better in person though). The parents host the 3 rose anemones, occasionally venturing over to the blue gig. I raise rotifers in 2 five gallon buckets and feed them rotifer diet. I raise my brine shrimp in an inverted 2 liter sprite bottle. Will go into more detail on everything as I post pictures.
Here we go:
Full tank shot to see what we're working with
Morning just opening up
Afternoon spread out and enjoying the light
Rotifer Growing Setup
Two five gallon buckets with airstones in each to keep water moving and oxygenated. Feed a few squirts of rotifer diet twice a day. Enough to keep the water a light green color. Harvest 1/3 of the rotifers each day by filtering water through a coffee filter which catches the rotifers but lets the water from the buckets through. The blue bucket under the two white buckets in the picture is catching this water. The water is then returned to the bucket or changed out for new water. I change 1/3 of the water in the buckets once a week. To feed the rotifers I just take the coffee filter and shake into the fry tank and ocassionaly into the reef when the fry don't need anymore rotifers. The flashlight is used to shine into the bucket to judge the rotifer density to see if more or less need to be harvested.
Brine shrimp hatchery
This is an inverted 2 liter sprite bottle with the cap on. I cut off the bottom of the bottle and ran airline down to the cap. The airline is taped on to prevent from falling out. When harvesting, I unplug the airline and allow everything to settle.Then start a siphon with the airline into a cup. This will pull unhatched eggs and live baby brine into the cup. I then let the cup settle. The unhatched eggs go to the bottom and baby brine will settle on top of the unhatched eggs allowing you to pull the brine out without putting eggs into the fry tank. Sometimes hatched eggs cases make it in as well but they usually float. The light above is used as artificial sunlight to make the eggs hatch. On the package it says it takes the brine 24 hours to hatch but it usually doesn't take that long.
Eggs day 1:
The eggs were laid on July 8 and hatched on July 16. The eggs are laid on a tile so they can be removed on hatch day. As you can see when first laid they are bright orange.
Momma clown letting me know I was too close to her eggs
Thanks for posting this... It is very cool and I will be following along!
Forgot to take pictures of the eggs on day 5.
Eggs day 6:
Eggs day 7:
In this picture one of the fry has actually began to hatch in the middle of the day. You can see his little tail hanging out of his egg case. First time I had seen this during the middle of the day. I was very worried the eggs would hatch on the 7th night. I actually put a flashlight on the eggs to help prevent hatching as they usually don't hath until the 8th night, but it is common for some to hatch on one night and the others the next night. Obviously this can make it difficult. But with the help of my trusty flashlight only the guy hanging out of his egg hatched on night 7.
On the 8th night the eggs hatched but unfortunately I forgot to take pictures until after they already hatched. But on hatch day I take the eggs out and put in a 2.5 gallon tank with the parents water in it. Put in an airstone to keep the water moving and well oxygenated then cover the sides to prevent the little guys from chasing their reflection instead of hunting. Then cover the top around time for the display lights to go out and wait for the little guys to hatch. This hatch I had a small snag. I usually set up the system described above and check in on them every 30 mins to and hour. Well somehow my air pump decided to shut off. Not sure how it was pluged in and after i wiggled it, it turned back on. Anyways this caused most of the eggs to die. I would say only about 1/3 of the eggs actually hatched the rest died during the "power outage."
This is great! Thank you for sharing!
Yes thank you for posting this so we can watch your progress as well.
Ok before I post pictures of the fry I will go into the fry tank setup.
Fry tank days 1-6:
As you can see the first 6 days the fry's eyes (say that 10 times real fast) are not developed enough to handle light from the sides. I cover the sides with black constructin paper to decrease glare in the tank. I cut a window in the side to sneak a peak when I want. Only light from the top is allowed to enter. I use the small 2.5 gallon tank because it is easier to keep the rotifer density high and less water changes as it can be difficult to not suck up the tiny fry as they zoom around the tank while your trying to clean. Inside the tank is a thermometer, a small heater, and an airstone. No filtration yet to prevent from damaging the tiny fry. I use air line to drip water back into the tank after a water change. As far as lighting goes you really have to just watch the fry. Too much light they will go to the bottom of the tank and do "head stands," not enough and they won't be able to see their food. I try to increase the light as much as possible until they do head stands then decrease a little to get them off the bottom of the tank.
Fry tank after day 6:
After day 6 the fry's eyes have developed enough to accept light from the sides, so the construction paper is removed. After day 3 they can accept full light from above, that is where the light came from. Same setup as days 1-6 just no construction paper and better viewing.
Fry right after hatching:
Looks like a lot of them but actually not as many as usual because most didn't hatch from the mess up with the airstone.