Clownfishes Breeding/Spawning Overview - Amphiprioninae

Clownfishes Breeding/Spawning Overview - Amphiprioninae

Postby KathyL » Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:24 am

Amphiprioninae - Clownfish/Anemonefish - Breeding, Mating, Spawning and Rearing Overview

1 - Species covered in this forum:
The Family Pomacentridae - This family includes Damselfishes. Non Amphiprion/Polymnus damselfish species are covered in another subheading.
Covered here are popular species such as:
Amphiprion ocellaris - most common, frequently confused with percula, incorrectly called false percula, or Nemo.
A. percula - Percula, frequently confused with ocellaris.
A. akallopisos - Skunk
A. akindynos - Barrier Reef
A. allardi - Allard
A. bicinctus - Two band
A. chagosensis - Chagos
A. crysogaster - Mauritian
A. chrysopterus - Orange fin
A. clarkii - Clark
A. ephippium - Red Saddleback [Tomato]
A. frenatus - Tomato
A. fuscocaudatus - Seychelles
A. latezonatus - Wide-band [Lord Howe]
A. latifasciatus - Madagascar
A. leukokranos - White-bonnet Hybrid?
A. mccullochi - McCullock
A. melanopus - Red and Black [Cinnamon]
A. nigripes - Maldives [Black-footed]
A. omanensis - Oman [Blue-band]
A. peridaraion - Pink Skunk
A. polymnus - Saddleback
A. rubrocinctus - Australian
A. sandaracinos - Orange Skink
A. sebae - Sebae
A. thiellei - Thielle, Hybrid?
A. tricinctus - Three-band, Hybrid?
Premnas biaculeatus - Maroon [Spine-cheek]

For an overview of the Pomacentridae, see http://fishbase.org/Summary/FamilySummary.cfm?ID=350

2 – Common characteristics:
Very easy fish to keep. Stable marine water quality, temperature 77-82 F, regular light cycle, and omnivore diet are important. Astaxanthins in food provide good color. Some species are more aggressive than others, so one must be careful in choosing tankmates.

For more basic information, visit - http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm
3 – Reproduction:

3.1 – Sex determination:
Sequential hermaphrodites (protandric);
Meaning that they start out life with undetermined gender. As a group matures, the most aggressive one becomes female and the next most aggressive one becomes male, her mate. The rest remain undetermined until on of the mated pair dies or is removed. If the male dies, he is replaced with the next most aggressive one from the group. If the female dies, the male becomes female, and the next most aggressive in the group becomes male. Males may change gender and become females, but once a female, always a female. However, exceptions have been reported…

3.2 – Sexual organization:
Pairs;
All other clownfish in a group are undetermined gender.
3.3 – Sexing:
The female is always bigger, sometimes 3 times larger than the male. Except for Clarkiis!

3.4 - Pairing / Setting Up Broodstock:
Get two small ones, feed 2-3 times a day, and wait for them to mature. They almost always mature to female and male, a mated pair.
3.5 – Courtship:
Female will be very aggressive towards male, especially when feeding. She will grab a fin and shake him or nip at him. Usually there is no harm done, but the male may not be allowed to be seen eating. He’ll sneak a bite now and then.
On any occasion the female may appear to attack the male, he will go sideways to the female and quiver his body, as though in a seisure. This is an acceptance of her dominance, and usually she will stop the attack when he does this.
3.6 – Spawning:

Months, days, or hours before a spawning event, both fish will “clean” a hard surface near their hosting site. They will pick at algae and other bits on the surface. The place they clean is where they will lay their nest.

The day of the spawn, the female’s lower abdomen will expand with her egg filled gonads, and her ovipositer may become visible. She may not eat as much as normal. Spawning usually occurs in afternoon or early evening. The female, using a waddling swimming motion, lays a track of adherent eggs on the nesting site, and the male follows to fertilize the eggs. This behavior is repeated for an hour or more until all the eggs have been laid.
4 – Eggs:
Adherent, and may range in color from yellow to brilliant orange or maroon in the Premnas. Egg color may be tied to astaxanthins in the parent diet. Number of eggs per nest may be as small as a dozen, or as large as two thousand.

4.1 – Size:
a couple of millimeters

4.2 – Quantity:
25-2000. First spawns, or spawns after a break from spawning (due to aquarium transfers, death of mate, etc.) are usually small and frequently consumed before hatching. Successive spawns will be larger, and more successful. Some species typically have larger nests, such as A. Clarkii and Premnas. Number of eggs per nest may be as small as a dozen, or as large as two thousand.

4.3 – Characteristics
I don’t think there are oil droplets on their eggs.

4.4 – Incubation period/Hatching temp:
at 81F, 9 days. During this period, the male and sometimes the female will mouth, guard and fan the eggs. When they hatch, the larvae are dispersed into the water column to become part of the plankton.

5 – Larvae: Hatch as free swimming larvae with excellent eyesight, some pigmentation, fin buds, and long tail/body.

5.1 – Size at hatching: 3mm
5.2 – Yolk sac present at hatch: Yes, and is generally consumed by day 3 of life.
5.3 – Mouth present at hatch: Yes
5.4 – Eyes developed at hatch: Yes, larvae have excellent eyesight, and too much light can be stressful to them.

6 - Rearing:

6.1 - Breeding & Rearing Techniques
If lighting is too intense, they will dive to the bottom and stand on their heads. If lighting is too dim, they will crowd the surface. First feeding of larvae works best in water containing live food organisms, rotifers, and phytoplankton sufficient to tint and cloud the water. At least one airstone should be employed to keep water moving slightly and well oxygenated. Salinity can be slowly dropped to 25 ppt or so. Temperature should be maintained at around 80 for ocellaris. Higher temperatures will raise metabolism and shorten time to metamorphosis in well fed larvae. Water quality should be maintained as free from ammonia as possible.

6.2 – Day at first feeding:
Within the first 3 days after hatching, usually upon first light.

6.3 - Starvation Time:
If known, include the time post-hatch that larval will live without feeding. This can often be found in larval studies where scientists do not feed the larvae, as well a accounts of failed larval rearing attempts.

6.4 – Feeding scheme:
In captivity, the planktonic larvae are fed exclusively for the first several days on marine rotifers (cultured with phytoplankton or yeast, and then enriched (with high quality phytoplankton, selco, selcon, ratio hufa, etc.) before consumption.) Rotifers should be added to the larval tank for a final concentration of 8-15 per ml tank water, so that the larvae will see one frequently, and learn quickly how to hunt and feed.
Around day 4- 6 depending on size, newly hatched brine shrimp and or appropriately sized dry food may be introduced. New foods should overlap with established foods for a few days. These times are approximate for A. ocellaris, and may vary with species. Brine shrimp may be continued for several weeks or avoided altogether if the larvae accept dry food early. Larvae should be weaned onto a high quality dry food as soon as they will take it, with some overlap with live foods to prevent starvation of those who are slow to learn.

6.5 – Age at meta: Usually for ocellaris, 5-11 days
First sign of impending metamorphosis is tail curling. Next the larvae develop a white headband followed soon after with a middle band. Body deepens as intestines kink, and larvae become fish shaped. Ocellaris acquire an orange color generally, except for the white bands. As the fish grow they fill in the tail band, and black outlining of fins and bands.

7 – Species been reared successfully
Scientific name - yes

8 – References

8.1 - Articles

8.2 - Web Content
Another overview:
http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/s ... 0a9bb9abf5

http://wish.wodonga.tafe.edu.au/~kwaldon/species.htm - a clownfish link that simply must be included.

www.rareclownfish.com - another must have link for clownfish enthusiasts.

http://www.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/ebooks/intro.html - a species overview.

Types of Clownfish on RareClownfish.com - http://www.rareclownfish.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14

Clowns You Can't Buy (and Why) on RareClownfish.com - http://www.rareclownfish.com/forums/sho ... .php?t=663

Clown/Host Grip on RareClownFish.com - http://www.rareclownfish.com/forums/sho ... .php?t=188

Images of the Chagos and Theilli clowns.
http://www.gocool.co.il/home/fish/clown ... index.html

Wide Bar Clownfish (A. latezonatus) information about spawning cycles in the wild. http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/156/m156p175.pdf

The effects of photoperiod on A melanopus development.
http://www.worldfishcenter.org/naga/23-2/aq3.pdf

8.3 - Books
Clownfishes, by Joyce Wilkerson

Conditioning, Spawning and Rearing of Fish With Emphasis on Marine Clownfish by Frank H. Hoff

9 - Compiled By
Kathy Leahy - KathyL - your email (optional)
Last Update: 12 SEP 07
more later
Last edited by KathyL on Mon May 19, 2008 5:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Postby mpedersen » Tue May 01, 2007 10:51 pm

http://wish.wodonga.tafe.edu.au/~kwaldon/species.htm - a clownfish link that simply must be included.

www.rareclownfish.com - another must have link for clownfish enthusiasts.

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More links to add to the Clownfish Group Overview...

Postby mpedersen » Thu Jun 14, 2007 1:33 pm

http://www.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/ebooks/intro.html - a species overview.

Types of Clownfish on RareClownfish.com - http://www.rareclownfish.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14

Clowns You Can't Buy (and Why) on RareClownfish.com - http://www.rareclownfish.com/forums/sho ... .php?t=663

Clown/Host Grip on RareClownFish.com - http://www.rareclownfish.com/forums/sho ... .php?t=188
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Postby HereFishyFishy » Fri Jun 15, 2007 3:21 pm

In the case of clarkii's the male can be larger then the female.
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Postby KathyL » Thu Aug 16, 2007 11:12 pm

LOOK! We've been updated!
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Postby spk » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:09 am

Great News Kathy,

Thanks for updating this.
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Postby mpedersen » Wed Sep 12, 2007 11:48 am

http://www.gocool.co.il/home/fish/clown ... index.html - posting this here as it's the only place I've seen images of the Chagos and Theilli clowns.

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Postby mpedersen » Wed Sep 19, 2007 2:02 am

http://www.marshreef.com/files/raising_clownfish.doc

This is the Marsh Reef Clownfish Rearing Doc by by Karen Bradley...good step by step.

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Postby mpedersen » Thu Sep 20, 2007 4:13 pm

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Postby mpedersen » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:30 pm

Another really neat website link I came across - http://www.morphbank.net/Browse/BySpeci ... n&submit2=

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Postby mpedersen » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:55 am

A note on a more recent breeding event - A. chrysogaster - http://www.marineland.com/seascope/ss2004_issue1.pdf

FWIW,

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Postby anemone123 » Wed May 21, 2008 2:49 pm

Very informative Kathy!

One note: It is not recommended to pair Premnas biaculeatus (maroon clownfish) by raising two from juveniles. They will continuously fight. It is better to mate two fish of different sizes. Although this has varying results as well.
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Postby mpedersen » Thu May 29, 2008 11:29 am

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Postby mpedersen » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:02 pm

The Wadonga site went offline a while back, but you can still access this great species guide via WebArchive:

http://web.archive.org/web/200608190950 ... pecies.htm
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Postby mpedersen » Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:15 am

Interesting Article on Percula "strains" aka ONYX and Picassos.

http://www.reefhobbyistmagazine.com/arc ... e_8-20.htm
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Postby mpedersen » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:33 am

Need to add two old articles I found as PDFs on Dynasty Marine's Website by Forrest Young:

http://www.dynastymarine.net/Publicatio ... bbyist.pdf

http://www.dynastymarine.net/Publicatio ... nefish.pdf
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