Clown Hatchery Blog

Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:15 pm

Here we go. Lets see if I can get the Algae Turf Scrubber to work.

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:07 pm

Just saw my Picasso's first nest. They are only 4 yrs old! Guess they just needed a new home.
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:26 pm

This is after 3 weeks. I had to add a second bulkhead to the tank for draining so I could increase the flow rate. After that, it started growing pretty good. I cleaned it 5 days ago I think. Its only lit on one side, with a standard 2 lamp shop light. I haven't checked nitrates... pre or post install. But with all my hatches coming up, I will be doing alot of 5 gal water changes.

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:12 pm

I had 4 tanks of babies hatch over the course of a week and all were doing good. When I see bubbles from the aeration lingering a while, that usually means a high bio load and a water change is in order. So I did one on my oldest tank and also added a hang on back filter with some bio media... standard practice. The next morning all was good, all 4 tanks got fed, and I left for work. When I got home, 2 of the 4 tanks were dead. 100% dead. No stragglers. 2 tanks were Ok. I've seen this a few times before. This happened 6 weeks straight last yr, and was pretty much what got me out of breeding for a while. But as I was tearing down the tanks with the HOB, I felt a tinge of electricity through a cut on my finger. Not a shock, but I could feel the electricity. Figuring it was the HOB that hadn't been used in a while, I took it off. Zap. OK, maybe its the UV I had in there, so I took that out. ZAP. Only thing left was the airstone... can't be that, but I took it out anyway. ZAP! I have one power strip on the 'hatching' table 4 ft from the tanks sitting on a block of foam. I turned it off. Electricity gone. Turn it back on... Zap! Through the moisture and salt creep on the table, the electricity flowed across the vinyl cover on the table, up the sides of the tanks, and into the water. So I moved the 2 tanks not affected, to another rack and cleaned and dried up the hatching table. Those 2 tanks are still doing great a week later. Stupid stray voltage! But hey... it was my fault for not keeping it clean in the first place.
On a 2nd note... the AlgaeTurf Scrubber is doing pretty good. I had to add a 2nd bulkhead to its tank so I could increase the flow rate since I wasn't getting much growth after 2 weeks. After that the algae growth increased dramatically. I've since only cleaned it twice, and when I checked the nitrates this week, they were 20. I never did a 'before' test as a basline, but usually my nitrates are 50-80. And I'm still only lighting only one side with a 2 lamp shop light. I will keep using it to see if it drops any lower. But even if it keeps it @ 20... thats a huge improvement. Guess I'll need to add one to the new grow out system when that gets built.
And finally... I need to give a shout out to my 'intern' Robin. Shes been coming over for the last 3 weeks helping around the hatchery. Its amazing how much work two people can do vs one. She's been a huge help, and will be a huge factor in getting back to full production, and then in growing the hatchery again. I'll have to start paying her at that point :) She has been able to keep 2 of my fish alive in a 5 gal tank for 3 yrs, so I figured she would be easier to train than a student. THANK YOU ROBIN!!!
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:37 am

Spent the entire weekend in the hatchery. Since I combined all my broodstock into one system a few months back, I didn't have a growout system anymore. So I built a new GO system out of the old broodstock 10 gal tanks. Then I built a new BRT hatching system. I was only able to find 3 BRTs but I will have room for about 10 -15 on the 4x8 table. I made 150 gals of saltwater total this weekend. My RO unit was running non stop! But hopefully all this will help with the issues I've been having getting restarted. I'm still having entire losses over night for no apparent reason. I lost 250 true percs on Fri. Fed them, they were fat and happy, and went to bed. Sat... entire tank dead. Ammonia badge was still at 0. And I Lost 10 or so Os that were 3 weeks old (only about 20 left of that batch). But the tanks I put he UV filter in, all seem to do OK. For that reason alone, I built the 2 new systems so I could continuously run UV and skimmers for all the hatch and growout systems.
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I hatched 2 small batches last night in the new BRT system. We'll see how it goes. Still having rotifer issues. The cultures are being taken over by some kind of pod that walks on the sides of the culture vessel, but is small enough to make it through my filters when I try to capture them. Not sure the fish are eating them. But I just ordered more live cultures from Reeds. Maybe they will be more 'pure' then Florida Aqua Farms rots which is where my last ones came from.
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Jjay88 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:29 pm

I am very happy that I found this thread :D Awesome work!! I will be starting up my system in the up coming weeks ( waiting on the wife to go though her stuff in the new "hatchery room")

Looking forward to your next update

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:12 pm

Back to my old tricks... Lost all but a hand full of fish from the growout system. I believe it was bacterial since every other parameter was in check, but I found the motor in my UV pump was siezed. It could have been that way for up to a week. I put a much bigger sterilizer on it this time. I am back to a few hundred little ones in grow out, but it will be a couple months until they are big enough to sell. But on top of that, we are closing on a new house in 3 weeks, so I'll have to move the hatchery AGAIN!! Hopefully this time it will be permanent. The garage is probably 30% bigger to add more tanks :) We got a crazy deal on a huge house so we couldnt pass it up.
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby AusMatt » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:18 pm

Thanks for this thread!

Really awesome information on here to give me a helping hand to kick start my breeding adventures :)

Thanks again,

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Miles » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:44 am

Its definitely an adventure!! (un) Fortunately my adventures are over. The Clown Hatchery was handed over to Tank Bred Aquatics in Destin, FL last week. It has been left in capable hands and I know they will continue on the legacy in a professional, storefront environment. If anyone is ever in the area look them up.

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:52 am

Thank-you Miles.

The fish are doing great and a welcome addition to our hatchery. They've settled in nicely into their new homes and im hoping they start laying soon :D. You've raised some beautiful clowns and hope to continue from where you left off. I'll try and keep this thread going and keep you updated on their progress.
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:35 pm

All the fish have finally settled in with our other brood stock pairs. Hurricane Isaac and a laundry list of other unforeseen events took a while to get our operation off the ground, but its finally all coming together. Ive been asked to post pics of our operation, and thought where else to then here on mofib..

Heres how it all started...

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Picassoclowns » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:49 pm

Where's the pics of his fish
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:12 pm

I need to brush up on my photo skills but heres some pics of Miles black and whites and onyx..I really need to clean the glass on the fronts of all the tanks to get some better pics and turn off the flow.. guess i know what I'm doing this weekend..


This is one of Miles' jet black female clowns.. she's big and a beast of a fish.. Hoping now that she's moved in to her permanent tank she'll start laying again.

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MIles originally had this beautiful onyx female paired up with a mis bar oscellaris. I just recently paired her up with this younger smaller male who has promise of turning jet black like mama. he's already very black and the tail is filling in nicely. He's gonna look just like the mama when he's grown up. I hope they she started to lay again soon now that she's in her permanent tank, and I'm hoping the male is mature enough to fertilize her eggs..


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unfortunately due to a heater malfunction i lost 4 of his other pairs. I still have the cinnamons, other black and whites, maroons,oscellaris and percs..will post some pics once their tank glass has been scraped.
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:37 pm

And heres some pics of a few of my pairs i took while i had the camera out.. The change in weather, loss of power and heater malfunction really took a toll on my brood stock and took a pretty big hit. But its a lesson learnt and now I'm ready to start breeding on a bigger scale.. Always have a back up plan, air pumps, stones, heaters, generator if you can, you'll never know when you'll need them..


my onyx / picasso pair

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my misbar oscellaris / naked pair

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my extreme snowflake pair

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Picassoclowns » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:24 pm

Very nice thanks for the pics, got to love clowns...
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:11 am

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Last edited by Amie on Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Picassoclowns » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:26 am

Beautiful babies
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Picassoclowns » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:28 am

Is that just one batch
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:53 pm

The above was a total of 3 clutches. A black and white , oscellaris and onyx babies..
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:39 pm

ok back to breeding.. So im starting to back down my hours at my "real job" so that i can concentrate on the hatchery. I have over 100 pairs of clowns and maintainance is challenging. I tested the water parameters and between feeding heavily 6-8 times a day i knew my levels would be off a little. but i was shocked to learn my nitrates were over 100 in all my systems. In most this was because i have no biological filters in my systems except for live rock. (i run bare bottom tanks)I thought my weekly water changes would be enough.I did a large water change in one of my systems today (90%) . yes its large but acclimated all the fish very slowly and they did well. im going to test the nitrates tomorrow to see what levels i reduced that system to and going to do the same to the rest. I've added cheato to this system, to see if this maintains my nitrate levels. i am 100% certain this is why my clowns havent resumed breeding, I plan on doing another 90% water change on another system and am going to add a bio pellet rector to this system. I want to see what works better, and i think i may do vodka dosing to my third system.

So in summary i will have cheato in one system, bio pellets in another, vodka dose in another and if i can figure out hot how to do it (space is comprimised) an algae scrubber in the fourth. It be a nice little experiment to see what brings down/ maintains nitrate levels. i have four systems in total , all designed the same way, all with 36 pairs of fish in each system. Each has the same pump, same skimmer, same lighting and same heaters, so it should be a fair experiment. Will keep everyone posted
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Luis A M » Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:02 am

You should also try a DSB.They are pretty efficient. :wink:
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:48 pm

I thought about a deep sand bed, but seems like it would be hard to maintain and would be worried about crashes. I actually thought about using 5 gallon buckets and filling them with sand and placing them in the 100 gallon rubber maid sumps i have under the breeder tanks, that way if i needed to remove them it would be easy to do so.

I checked the nitrates in the system i did a 90% water change and glad to report a nitrate level of 5ppm..now the hard part to try and keep it there. I ordered a new 600 gall water container to make water changes a little easier and that should arrive next week. then ill be able to large water changes and drop the nitrates in all my other systems..

The water is crystal clear.. forgot how clear water should be. the yellow tint in the water sure is noticeable in the other breeder systems now.. im hoping now the clowns will get back down and do there thing. Im implementing new protocols to keep the nutrients reduced, including siphoning the remains on the bottom of the tank daily. Im also thinking about cutting down the feeds to 2-3 times a day to help keep nutrients down. I plan on doing ALOT more water changes as soon as my 600gall container shows up. Only problem is thats alot more salt to go through.. Ive been talking to marine enterprises and may start using their fish only salt. its a fraction of the price of the instant ocean im using right now. With no coral in my breeder systems this may be the way to go. Ive never used that brand before only instant ocean. I dont need the high mag, calcium levels like in reef salt and as long as the ph/ alk is good i may change brands..
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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby Scottt » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:15 am

Very nice work!
I'm excited to see the results of your experiments on reducing nitrates. Carefull with cutting back feedings on broodstock, but 3x should be enough. Having enough food is a key part in making them want to spawn.

We used the Crystal-Sea salt for a while, it works totally fine. We use IO now, just because where we live the price is the same. However, the transition between the two is scary. Some kind of weird chemical thing goes on that can really screw things up. I have no idea what it is, but it was not good.
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Re: Tank Bred Aquatics Blog

Postby Miles » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:51 pm

I had good luck with the turf scrubber. I added it to the system, and although it didn't cause a fast reduction in Nitrates, it kept them from rising. So with every water change, the nitrates dropped. I tried to keep them below 40, and with the scrubber, I was able to keep them 10 -20 with half the water changes. 100 is high for the breeders. But inevitably... water changes were always the best thing. Sorry to hear of the losses, but I've been there. Generators are worth every penny. I had the fish room running for 3 days on one, and only the fridge and TV in the house. The wife was not pleased, but it saved the fish. Clean water and fish roe... they'll drop eggs in no time.

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Re: Clown Hatchery Blog

Postby TANKBREDAQUATICS » Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:10 pm

Gonna give the scrubber a go one of of my systems after reading your write up. The nitrates are starting to creep back up (10 today). Yeap it totally sucked to lose some of those pairs, but back up on my feet.The fish are definatly eating more on each feeding because i ve cut back the number of feeds a day. ive had to hire someone to feed at lunchtime between my morning and nightly feeds and to siphon..(did i mention how long it takes to siphon left over food :!: ) it was getting too much for me to feed that many times a day.

still waiting on my 600 gall vat to show up.. will post pics when i get it.. its a beast.. cant wait to do large water changes on the other systems and get the water clear. Its a challenge right now as each system holds nearly 550 gallons.
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