Eight Week Update on First Clownfish Fry

Well today is exactly 8 weeks from when my first batch of clownfish were hatched. I’m really excited that I’ve been able to get them through the toughest parts of being a baby clownfish. Well, two out of the three that hatched (hey, I’ll take 66% success at this point!). Specifically, from larvae through metamorphosis and now to just young clownfish that are eating well and growing!

Unfortunately, those are still the only baby clowns that I have. No other spawns have made it to hatch night, each time being eaten by the parents before the 7th day. It’s been quite frustrating, but I need to stay positive and realize that they are still young clowns. They are still getting the spawning routine down. Plus, I’m inexperienced and I’m sure I’ve made mistakes along the way, which could have impacted the health of the eggs. So I’m going to try to focus on a few areas that I could improve:

  1. Maintain a healthier and more stable environment for them. I now have a large protein skimmer attached to their system and I plan to add more live rock. I have also started using a filter sock and plan to change the water more often. Another plan is to try to get the pot off the bottom of the tank and remove the tiles that are on the bottom. I know this may mess them up again, but in the long run it will be less space for worms to get under and make it easier to keep the water clean. I’m undecided on whether or not to remove any sponges and anemones (aiptasia) from their tank. I don’t necessarily mind them in the system because they help with water quality and since they don’t move I really don’t think they bother the fish.
  2. Feed, feed, feed. And not necessarily more food, but better food with more diversity. These fish are picky! They seem to only like certain foods and barely pick at other foods I put in the tank. I’d like to try some live foods (black worms, adult brine shrimp, etc.) and possibly try making some home made foods – if I can stomach it!
  3. Keep learning, reading, researching, etc. Always try to improve something.

A Great Breeding Blog

There aren’t too many many breeding blogs out there that I’ve found. I think a lot of people possibly keep “journals” on various forums, but to be honest I find it hard to find time to read through too many forums. They will suck you in! I did find one that is very interesting to me, however. It’s the Lightning Maroon Project. I’m not sure if I can use his pictures here so I won’t, but I do suggest looking at the images on his site, they’re stunning (for a fish geek like me at least).

If you have never seen or heard of these fish they are pretty amazing. It’s a maroon clownfish with incredible lightning patterns throughout. The site owner, Matt Pedersen, has been breeding various types of fish for years. With that in mind it’s nice to see that such an experienced breeder would have the troubles he has had, although much of it has to do with unfortunate diseases that the fish have contracted. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not nice to see anyone struggle, but it’s nice to know it’s not just me.

I sincerely would wish him much success. A few of the offspring have hit the market and have sold for a lot of money. Some for incredible amounts of money for one fish. However, it would be great for the industry to have marketable lightning maroon clownfish in the future. Also, he has a focus on conservation and seems to be the type of responsible breeder that I would strive to be.

Future Updates

Well, that’s about all I have for now. I will try to keep updated on any successful spawns. So far there have been 6 clutches and I’ve hatched 3 fish from one (the first one), with 2 fish remaining. I hope to get some good pictures of them soon. Right now, they still look basically like young percula clownfish, with only one head stripe and no pattern through the body. I’m hopeful *fingers crossed* that they develop some color and pattern soon.

My ultimate goal is to become a professional breeder and to be able to sell clownfish offspring. But that’s putting the cart before the horse I guess!

Update April 2016: I’ve learned a lot since I first started breeding clownfish. Recently, I published a guide on how to breed clownfish. Feel free to check that out and learn from my mistakes!