A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfish

A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfish

Postby WestOhooligan » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:48 am

For some of you, you'll be nodding and remembering when you started out! This will be review and nothing you don't already know. But, for some just starting out, I hope this helps.

So to elaborate on the low to zero survival rate, http://www.marinebreeder.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=169&t=10579, I was having; and to help any of closet breeders, or would-be breeders out, here are some things I was doing with poor results that since changed, has yielded much better survival rates. Warning!!! Super long post!

First off, I DO NOT grow my own green water. This is still done by some breeders, but most feel is an antiquated way of doing things with pastes and liquid algae feeds available; however, it is generally felt that this can be cheaper than buying liquid feeds continually on larger operations. One reason I chose liquid food for my rots, RotiGrow Complete, is that it is fully balanced with DHA and HUFAs which are good for the fry. Also when growing green water, you must find a way to make the algae more nutritious, by using liquid algae I don't have to do this. Here's one way I was doing things "wrong": I was using the RG Complete to tint the water in the fry tank. For those that don't know what that means, it's basically dumping some of the liquid food in the water with they fry, darkening the water. This is for 2 reasons: it protects the sensitive fry from light and gives the rotifers something to eat further enriching them as rotifers have no nutritional value. RG Complete is quite "oily" and I think this was fowling my water, causing more deaths.

Now, on to feeding rotifers. Yes, there can be too much seems the general consensus. I spoke with Mitch May of Booyahs Clowns, and he thinks the opposite, that's why I use the word wrong with "" around it. Because if it works for you, is it wrong? But regardless, I found I never had to add rots to my fry tanks as I seemed to basically have another culture going in the fry tanks. This is not really desirable. You should be adding just enough rots to the tank each feeding, so for example: I feed rots in the morning before work, I should have to add more around 12 hours later. You should also notice the tinted water, going from a dark green to light green, making sure the rotifers are fed in the fry tank is important. This is where tinting the water comes in, also I forgot to mention that tinting will also give the fry visual contrast to better see the rots. Like I said earlier, I was using the RG Complete to tint as well, but since I was having no luck, I recently switched to another of Reed Mariculture's products: RotiGreen Nanno. Nanno stands for nannochloropsis which is a type of zooplankton that is small enough to be consumed by the rotifers. When I used this to tint the water I noticed immediately a difference in water quality. When I was tinting with the RG Complete, the water was always a murky greenish brown, when tinting with the RotiGreen Nanno, the water was a really nice neon greenish color. I also took some advice and tinted the water REALLY dark, as in, can barely see in the tank dark. As mentioned, this helps the fry be protected from the light and helps them see the rots better. When I was having massive die-off, most of the fry where sticking to the bottom of the tank, probably starving to death because of light shock.

The last thing I did was crank up my air stone to a pretty strong flow. I had always heard you want just a tiny bit of bubble trickling from the stone to not hurt the fry, but when I really brought it up, I had a shower of fine bubbles, some fry would get pulled toward the current, but always were able to get out. Increasing the air obviously added more o2 to the water, but also broke the surface tension, as fry can literally get stuck to the surface of the tank water. Also, if you over feed the rots, it will make sure they don't out compete the fry for oxygen. A good rot count would be 15-50 per m/L. I use an API tube and add about one m/L to get an idea, of too many, just strain out and feed to my display tank.

Because of these changes, I was able to get my fourth attempt survival rate considerably higher than any other attempt. This morning, I siphoned about 10 deads, and still counted close to 70 fry, so I probably had about 85 hatch or so.

I feed the fry strictly on rots up to about day 3, then I start introducing Reed's Otohime, a very small powder food, on day 3. I use the combo of rots and Otohime until the fry hit meta at about 6-9 DPH (Days Post Hatch), I use what's called TDO, or Top Dressed Otohime. It has some additional ingredients and color enhancer. I do not use NHBBS, or Newly Hatched Baby Brine Shrimp, as I've read too many breeders experiencing what is called, Sudden Fright Syndrome. It has something to do with the fat content of the shrimp, interfering with the fish's nervous system, literally causing them to be scared to death. I have noticed a few that have died in the last couple of day, probably not getting the hang of dry food, but c'est la vie.

I have a mixed species clutch due to hatch on Wednesday or Thursday next week, by using these methods, I hope to have an 80% or better survival rate.

I hope this helped those that are still reading this far!
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby EasterEggs » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:22 am

Thanks for taking the time to record your efforts. :)
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby Luis A M » Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:35 pm

Nice to hear your experiences.Raising clowns is usually easy,because they hatch large and strong and their larval life is so short.Typically you feed rots once,give some algae,live or paste,and the rots proliferate faster than what the larvae could consume.Sometimes they reach very dense concentrations which is not a problem,since at that time you can move to bbs and open water flow. :wink:
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby Greshamh » Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:54 pm

Great rundown, sounds like you learned a lot :D

Just a few things...

RGcomplete should not be used as a greenwater. LIke you found out, use RotiGreen for that. APBreed will have a greenwater companion for RGcomplete shortly, until then, RotiGreen is the next best alternative from RMI (Reed Mariculture).

Nanno is not too small to be consumed by rotifers, just the opposite in fact. Its the number one phytoplankton used to culture rotifers. Most the the thousands of liters of Nanno we produce monthly goes to rotifer production/rotifer products. RGcomplete has nanno in it.

If you look at the ingredients on TDO and Otohime, you will notice krill meal is one of the main ingredients.
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby WestOhooligan » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:03 pm

Luis and Greshamh! Honored you guys showed up in my thread. Greshamh, you've been a tremendous help on the MBI Site for me, thank you!

I'm very grateful for sites like this and MBI, I've read and read and read, but when getting massive deaths on day 3, I had to figure it was something I was doing. The RotiGreen Nanno has been great! I do like the RG Complete for feeding my rot cultures too! I'm really looking forward to the new companion product for the RG Complete.

I really hope that article, and I'm sure there's tons like it here, can help fledgling breeders get started. I basically copy/pasted it from my local forum in Omaha. I started in the hobby 5 years ago, and I'm not in it the hobby just for aesthetics of a reef tank; I truly want to understand the biology/ecology of what's happening in my glassbox mini-ocean.
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby edandsandy » Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby Brooks » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:01 am

Thank you so much for sharing! Ordering my products from Reed Mariculture now!!
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby Picassoclowns » Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:39 am

Any updates, it's been over a year, would like to hear more
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Re: A Brief Write Up of My Success and Failure with Clownfis

Postby Jclaas » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:46 am

@WestOhooligan please provide me with links to the exact products you changed to and where can i get an API tube? I am in the same boat as what you were.
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