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Monday, October 26, 2009

Clownfish Babies Born Last Night

Well, the eggs hatched last night!!!

No pictures, sorry. But here is an update and observations:

I think I ended up with over 100 fry. I have 2 bangaii cardinals that hung out int he mid level of the tank and just ate them as they hatched and swam to the light. The large amount that gathered outside the filter pad were easy to grab by submerging my rectangular fish box (catcher thing used in pet stores) righ next to them and they flowed right in!

The move to their basement tank went smooth with one, possibly fatal, mistake. In my rush to get them food (which I now read didn't need to happen until this morning), I scooped up rotifers and instead of filtering the water back into the rotifer containers I just dumped that (probably nasty water) right into the fry tank.

This morning I turned on the lights in the basement so they will have ambient light and I fed them (correctly this time) with a ton of rotifers. There were definitely some fry alive, but I noticed that some were on the bottom of the tank. Not sure if they were dead or sleeping ?????

Follow up questions for those following along:
1. What should the bubble rate be in the fry tank? I have a 10g square glass tank (covered on three sides right now). I have a small heather in the middle on the bottom of the tank and a bubble coming up around it to circulate the heat. Because it is a rectangular tank, I also added a second bubble line in the one corner to provide added circulation. The only other thing int here is an ammonia badge.
2. I have read differing stories on lighting for these fish. Too much and they spiral and die. Too little and they can't see to eat. The tank has a fairly powerful light (forget what right now) on it, but it is not on. Its not MH or anything. But I think it is 36w of T5 lighting. When can I turn this on for them?

Now I am away overnight and counting on my wife to take care of these little guys until i return tomorrow night!!! fingers crossed!

In the meantime, my new ATO malfunctioned and flooded part of the basement. To compensate for that screw-up I opened the drain valve (directly to sewer) and then forgot I did it, emptying both my sump and fuge!!! So, in the middle of this birthing I was scrambling to make new salt water and refill the tanks!!!! Not quite done yet, but getting close!!!! ARGHHHHH!

Oh, and my wife bought us a puppy this weekend.... joy!  Its a golden doodle and it is very cute...  I am NOT a dog person, but may be turned around.


Justin said...

So you just snatched the fry when they swam to the surface? They tend to swim to the surface when they're born? I remember you were hoping they would lay the eggs on the clay pot. That turned out not to be an issue?

Derek M. Rodner said...

It wasn't that easy. I built a thing called a snagger, its what you see in the last picture in the post above. Basically a 2-liter bottle with some PVC and airline tubing. Then you put a very small light in it. The baby clowns are drawn tot he light so they go towards it and the bubbles created a small current that sucks them up and into the 2-liter bottle.

But, I caught less than half of the fry. My two bangaii cardinals were hanging in the area and just picking them off one by one.

If they had laid the eggs on a tile or clay pot, then I could have taken the whole thing out before they hatched and they would have then had a better chance of success. That is the preferred way and ensures you get more live fry.

Whether mine will accomodate me and lay on the pot remains to be seen, but a new batch of eggs should come on Friday if their timing is right.

Justin said...

How do you know when to check for hatchlings? How do you ensure you don't miss it? Sounds like you were ready when they came.

Derek M. Rodner said...

Babies hatch approximately 30 minutes after lights out. They also hatch 7-10 days after they are laid. So, when the lights go out starting on night 7, I turn off all the pumps and set up the snagger. I clamp it to the tank so I can leave it there and come back and check it. So, after 2 horus on the first night, I took it out and turned on the pumps fish. On the second night, within 45 minutes there were fry in the snagger. From that point on, I stayed with the tank and caught the other ones that didn't make it in the snagger. After about 1 1/2 hours I was done!

Now, they should conitnue the same exact pattern. Eggs laid every 20 days (this Friday), eggs hatch exactly 8 days and at the same time (based on the pattern of my particular clowns and their environment.)