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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Breeding clownfish
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Breeding clownfish

Planning on breeding fish or already breeding them.

Breeding clownfish

Postby Mick » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:42 pm

One of the most popular marine fish has to be the clownfish. It's cute antics and beautiful markings have made it a firm favourite with many keepers and definately many of the younger generation.One of thew bonuses of keeping a pair of these in the tank is that more times than not they will become a breeding pair and spawn, often unexpectedly thus creating even more interest in your tank.
One of the biggest drawbacks of trying to breed these fish is the high mortality rate of the fry due to the problems of providing them the right food etc., but once a bit of experience has been gained it is possible to be successful with these fish.

Obtaining a pair:
There are a couple of ways of obtaining a pair for breeding purposes, the most obvious one has to be by purchasing a pair that has been proven. This is not always possible so the other alternative is to purchase a group of juveniles and getting a pair that way.
All of the juvenile fish are going to be classed as neither sex and as they grow the largest member will morph into a female, the second in the chain of dominance should morph into a breeding male. If the female dies then he will morph into the female and the next juvernile in the chain will be promoted up to the breeding male and so on.
You can purchase a widowed female and introduce her to another clown that is still classed as genderless, this should then hopefully get you a mating pair but the smaller clown will take a lot of harrassment from the female initially.
When you see the two fish resting together you can be sure that a bond is forming and the smaller clown is changing to a breeding male. For breeding purposes it is better to seperate your breeding pair into their own tank so that there is no chance of them being disturbed and can get on with the business.

Setting up the spawning tank

When you set up your breeding tank, include a lot of rockwork with crevices that the fish can choose as spawning sites or add to the set up slate leant against the tank glass. Some breeders prefer to use the slate method as it makes life easier when the eggs need moving to the fry tank.
Add a lighting systen that is set up with a timer, it is important that there is a set time for daylight hours and night-time hours.
Spawning will commence by the pair cleaning the spawning site of any algae or debris and 24 hours before the female is ready to lay her eggs, the ovipositor should be visible. The female will lay a few eggs at a time closely followed by the male who will fertilise them, a few hours later the spawning process should be over and most of the parental duties will be performed by the male. He will fan the eggs to provide water movement over them and he will also, if required, drive away any would-be predators.
After a few days little silver specks should be visible in the eggs, this is the first sign of the eggs being correctly fertilised. Healthy eggs should be orange or pinkish in colour, unfertilised or fungus ridden eggs will be white

Raising the fry
It is best to move the eggs 24 hours before they are due to hatch, with experience you will know exactly when to do this. The fry tank should be set up with the same water parameters and the same lighting system as the breeding tank.
The eggs will hatch approx. 1 hour after the lights have switched to night time mode, and for the first 48 hours, the fry will consume their yolk sacs. When they become free swimming the biggest problem of all starts, feeding them. Never try to feed them crushed flake they have to hunt for live food, rotifers are the only food that should be placed in the tank. You can either culture these yourself or buy them ready for feeding. The fry will need feeding 4-5 times per day so this can quickly foul the water, daily water changes will be required to keep the quality high.
After 1-2 weeks they ashould have grown enough to accept newly hatched brine shrimp, this can be enriched by feeding the brine shrimp with phyto plankton first if you wish to do so and as the fry grow more they will start to develop their colouration.
This stage is known as the metamorphosis, basically the fry are now becoming juvenile fish but this is also when most of the young seem to die. Once the fish are past this stage they should accept commercial feeds as well as live food.
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Mick
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Re: Breeding clownfish

Postby reefphyto » Sun Aug 16, 2009 11:01 am

Mick, great post and very informative.

We get many customers frantically calling to say they have a batch of unexpected clowns fish eggs and could we send them some rotifers urgently.
Best Regards
Darren Wordley
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reefphyto
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