Clownfish breeding set up questions - advise required

Clownfish breeding set up questions - advise required

Postby mandarin » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:04 am

Hi , I'm part way through setting up a small scale clownfish breeding system and have many questions to ask if there is anyone can advise ?



I have 3 tanks all identical that are 24" x 12" x 12" on shelving above each other and a 36" x 12" x 12" sump.



I have drilled all three tanks approx. 2" from the top of the tanks on the side glass and fitted a drain into the sump so it is all on one system.



Initially i'm just looking at breeding common clowns (ocellaris or percula) and have the following questions :



1. I was thinking about diving the two top tanks into two so I would have 4 small tanks 12" x 12" x 12" would this be big enough each to house a pair of clowns or would I be better leaving them at full size.



2. In the sump would a skimmer be essential or would small regular water changes suffice ?



3. What would be the best way to cycle the new system , I was thinking of having a 3 chamber sump with filter sock , skimmer (if needed) in 1st compartment , then live rock in 2nd compartment and finally pump return in the 3rd compartment.... Would the sump return pump / skimmer have to run 24/7 or would perhaps 12 hours a day be sufficient (i'm thinking of energy cost savings)



4. Obviously nitrates ammonia would need to be monitored but what other water parameters would need to be good , I assume I do not need to monitor / buffer parameters such as Ca , Mg , KH If it is just a breeding system.



5. Regarding the fish I was just going to get a few pairs of juvenile clowns from my LFS and wait patiently for them to pair e.t.c. , would this be a suitable way to start ?



Any help appreciated.



Regards

Chris.
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Re: Clownfish breeding set up questions - advise required

Postby mandarin » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:00 am

Anyone help ?
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Re: Clownfish breeding set up questions - advise required

Postby Amie » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:05 pm

I am sorry that you have not received a response before now. I will try to answer some of your questions. I have raised clownfish for years, however, I have not set up a breeding system for the broodstock, I have quite a few reef tanks with a pair of clowns in each of them, so I will not be able to address all questions.


mandarin wrote:1. I was thinking about diving the two top tanks into two so I would have 4 small tanks 12" x 12" x 12" would this be big enough each to house a pair of clowns or would I be better leaving them at full size.


Sorry, this is one of the questions I can not answer. But someone here should know.


mandarin wrote:2. In the sump would a skimmer be essential or would small regular water changes suffice ?

I have never used a skimmer, and have not had issues. I have always felt that good circulation/air and lots of live rock can take the place of a skimmer.

My question for you is, what is your background experience with salt water tanks in general? You obviously have knowledge since you mentioned live rock, do you have a reef tank?

mandarin wrote:3. What would be the best way to cycle the new system , I was thinking of having a 3 chamber sump with filter sock , skimmer (if needed) in 1st compartment , then live rock in 2nd compartment and finally pump return in the 3rd compartment.... Would the sump return pump / skimmer have to run 24/7 or would perhaps 12 hours a day be sufficient (i'm thinking of energy cost savings)


I understand the need to reduce cost, I am certainly making a list of things I can do to cut cost as well, but turning off a return pump at night is not on the list. If you turn off circulation, even for a few hours, the ph in the tank will significantly drop, and the fact that you want to do it at night, when the lights are out, is a double death trap. Your fish will be dead by morning. The only way you could successfully turn the return pump off at night would be to turn a powerhead on in the tanks as well as the sump (to keep the live rock alive). Then turn those powerheads off in the morning when the return pump is turned back on. Also add a heater in the top tanks so they stay at a constant temperature while the return pump is off. Having the return pump turn off and on every 24 hours will wear the pump out and you will be purchasing a new one within a year, which will probably cost you more than the money you saved in electricity. If your pump is too high in wattage, look for a lower wattage return pump. That will save you more money in the end.

mandarin wrote: 4. Obviously nitrates ammonia would need to be monitored but what other water parameters would need to be good , I assume I do not need to monitor / buffer parameters such as Ca , Mg , KH If it is just a breeding system.



Since this is a new setup, I would recommend monitoring the ph for the first few months.

mandarin wrote:5. Regarding the fish I was just going to get a few pairs of juvenile clowns from my LFS and wait patiently for them to pair e.t.c. , would this be a suitable way to start ?


It depends how long you want to wait. If you are really ready to start, you should get larger fish. If you sit and watch them in the store, you can start to recognise if two of the clowns are hanging out together or not. Ask the LFS to put two of them in a bucket together, before you take them home. If they swim on opposites sides of the bucket from each other or fight with each other, put one of them back and get another one. If they stay together, you will have a good chance of ending up with a pair.


I hope this helps.
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