Cypho purpurascens breeding log

Cypho purpurascens breeding log

Postby FuEl » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:05 am

After killing about 5 pcs of Pseudochromis flavivertex (can't seem to keep sunrise dottybacks :roll: ), I chanced upon a mated pair of oblique lined dottybacks at a local fish farm. The pair was being put on sale and was previously from a 4 footer tank. As the female appeared rather gravid, I decided to try my hands on them after much deliberation. This was so because a good friend of mine had killed about 5 oblique lined dottybacks trying to pair them up and they were not cheap fish to experiment on.

Went home and tied some pvc parts together and hung them at the front left corner of the tank. The tank they are in is about 15 inches (width) by 24 inches (depth) and 18 inches (height). I expected one of them to be rather beaten up (in this case the male as the female is supposed to be more dominant..this was the experience of my friend). However, the unique thing about this established pair is that the male is slightly more elongated compared to the female. Both fish are standing up to themselves rather well. Before the female was swelling up with eggs, I observed the male being more timid hiding at the corners of the tank. However the male seemed to become more aggressive as the female is getting gravid (I observe the middle portion of the female's body becoming more red as this happens, much like freshwater kribensis). The female would hide at the suspended pvcs during this period. No real drama so far, with both of the fish showing complete finnage. Hopefully if all goes well I should get an egg ball to play around with soon.

Perhaps the secret to pairing protandrous dottybacks are to keep them in a large tank, and waiting for the male to catch up on size with the dominant female. I'm experimenting this with my pair of queensland dottybacks (which also happen to be a protandrous species) by locking up the bigger female and feeding it less while giving the male more space and more food.
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Postby FuEl » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:58 pm

Egg ball was discovered today by pushing a syringe of water through the male's stakeout pvc. Bad idea..the egg ball went out of the pvc and the female immediately went for it. Nothing much the male could do. Now the female is stuffed and guess will just have to wait for the next spawn. :?
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Postby William » Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:21 am

Can you post pictures of the pair and how you have their tank setup?
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Postby FuEl » Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:52 am

Their setup. The male is at the bottom of the front viewing panel. The female is hiding in the pvc pipes suspended at the front left corner of the tank. Could'nt get a decent shot of both fish together as I'm stuck with using a camera handphone for now. :oops:

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Postby FuEl » Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:11 am

Less than a week after the egg ball was devoured by the female, discovered another egg ball today. These fish are so amazingly prolific! I decided to pull the eggs out for artificial incubation today as somehow the egg mass appeared to be kind of stuck to the male's mouth. It remained stuck as I caught out the male. The only way to remove the egg mass was to use a large syringe to pull the eggs away from the male's mouth. Now the eggs are in a tumbler and I hope they make it. The eggs still look rather fresh. :roll:
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Postby FuEl » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:23 pm

The eggs from the previous post turned bad even after a formalin dip. Now working with their third spawn. Hatch rate was about 60-70% as the egg ball was pulled on the night of hatching. As of now the larvae are around 4 days old. No significant mortalities yet. Enriching the rotifers with Algamac3000 and Nannochloropsis, using the same substances as "greenwater". Copepods seem to be present on the walls of the rearing vessel..hopefully the nauplii are available to the larvae.
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Postby mpedersen » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:59 pm

Congratulations so far, and best of luck going forward!

So, am I reading this correctly? Your prior batch you had pulled earlier than hatching, but this most recent batch was incubated by the male right up until the night of hatching? Do you think that played a role in getting the good hatch?

What type of rearing container are you using currently? You mention you're enriching the rotifers with phytoplankton - are you using any phytoplankton in the rearing container (aka. Greenwater Technique)?

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Postby FuEl » Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:10 am

Yes Matt you are reading it right. The previous batch I pulled was very premature, without any signs of eye development yet. I suspect that clutch was only freshly laid but I had no choice but to remove it as the male was swimming around with the egg mass stuck to his mouth somehow.

The batch I'm working on now, was cared for the male till the day it was meant to hatch. I almost missed the hatch as I thought it would take one more day but decided to pull it earlier just in case. No formalin dips or anything as Witt's book mentioned that eggs due to hatch should not be formalin dipped.

The rearing vessel was the same that I used for the orchid dottyback, the 8 liter black bin. Will start recirculation today and I will split the batch into two once they hit about ten days to decrease their density.

I'm using frozen nanno paste in the rearing vessel as greenwater, along with some blended Algamac3000 added directly to the water to keep the rotifers rich in DHA.
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Postby David M » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:15 pm

Just some basic info here, I had a pair of these for well over a year. A local store owner called me one day and said he had found them and I could have them for $85 for the pair. I didn't ask any questions :shock:

I kept them in a 180 gallon RK2 bin with 100+ lbs LR and had about a dozen SW acclimated mollies in there as dither fish. The male was dominant and larger than the female. He would occasionally kill a molly, apparently just for fun :roll: I rarely saw the fish, just an occasional flash of red or yellow streaking between the rocks, usually at feeding time. I'm sure they were spawning in there but I could not possiby locate the nest within all that rock.

After about a year the male began to morph to female, I don't know that any environmental cues would trigger that in an established breeding pair so I surmised it was just age, maybe that is the natural progression no matter what.

Soon there was only one fish, a large female. I have no idea if it was the original female or the changed male but due to it's size I guessed the latter. I think the male morphed and then killed the existing female. A few months later it was gone. As both were large and mature when I got them I could only assume it was just age that caused the second fish to die.
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Postby FuEl » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:07 am

Hi David,

Interesting observations. I got to admit that these fish are rather shy in my tank as well. Even with just pvc pipes, the male is usually only seen during feeding time. The female is usually seen in the open, when it has yet to lay the egg ball. After laying, the female disappears into the pvc shelters at the top of the tank.

It's unusual for the red male to be bigger than the female, considering that the dominant fish usually becomes the female. It's the same in my case as well.
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Postby FuEl » Sat Sep 06, 2008 12:44 pm

Larvae are exactly one week old. Still on rotifers at this moment. The dreaded massive die-off period has not set in yet. Copepods are all over in the system, many of them "crawling" below the water surface as well. The rotifers seem to be reproducing faster than the larvae are consuming them so I guess I won't have to split the larvae into two batches. :roll:

Discovered another egg ball today but passed it on to my friend as I do not have the time to meddle with another batch of larvae. Seems that the pair is laying every 11-12 days. :)
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Postby David M » Sat Sep 06, 2008 1:04 pm

What method are you using to hatch the eggball? I have a fridmani nest that wll hatch tonight, last week I used a kreisel and got a lousy hatch, I'd like to try something different tonight.
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Re:

Postby FuEl » Sun Sep 07, 2008 3:50 am

David M wrote:What method are you using to hatch the eggball? I have a fridmani nest that wll hatch tonight, last week I used a kreisel and got a lousy hatch, I'd like to try something different tonight.


Hi David, I tumble the eggs in a simple egg tumbler using water. The "egg tumbler" is just a wine glass. :lol:
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Postby fin farm » Sun Sep 07, 2008 9:20 am

I have good luck hatching in this jar. The mesh over the holes is coarse. the egg ball will float about or get hooked on the air line. the larvae are expelled through the coarse netting into the rearing tank as the water flow is up through the bottom holes and out of the top holes. adjust the airflow accordingly
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Postby David M » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:35 am

Drat, I completely forgot and missed the hatch. Forgot about the watchman goby hatch too :roll: The orchids will spawn again in 3 days and the gobies in about 2 weeks. Thanks for the ideas, I have a tall tapered beer glass I've used before, I think I'll try it again with some course mesh around the top this time. Previosly I just placed it in the tank and kept the flow so low that the nest stayed inside. Poor hatches though, with the mesh on top I can increase the flow.

I have observed males really tearing up a nest at hatching time, I know from experience I can duplcate that, like shaking a neon goby nest to induce hatching. If I really agitate the fridmani nest I can get a lot to hatch but I have to spend a lot of time at it.

How are the oblique's doing?
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Postby FuEl » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:47 am

Hmm David I can't really see much larvae left. Not sure if they died or are dwelling at the bottom of the bucket. That's the main problem with a black bucket, coupled with greenwater. The last time I thought my orchid dottyback larvae had mostly died. Then one day I forgot to put back the airstone and after few hours I could see hundreds near the surface. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow and see if I have much larvae left. Good news is that the larvae that I can see have full bellies that appear whitish. Few more days to the mass mortality period, think I will skip the antibiotics this time and see how the obliques do.
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Postby FuEl » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:00 am

Estimate numbers to be below 50 larvae. Not sure where the other larvae went, no dead bodies could be seen. :shock: I'm thinking that the booming harpacticoid copepod population could have feasted on the larvae carcasses. This could be worrying, as I'm not sure if they will go after live larvae.

The larvae are 9 days old now. They are showing a dark spot on their flanks. The adult copepods are too large for them. Hopefully they grow quickly and feast on the adult pods as the pod population is starting to get me worried. :?
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Postby FuEl » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:00 am

Day 10 today. Did a very careful siphoning of the bottom today. No carcasses found. But lots of copepods teaming in the detritus. Don't see much larvae, probably less than 20.

Pulled another egg ball from the pair today. 3 days after I discovered the last egg ball. These guys seem to breed like rabbits, so much faster compared to orchid dottybacks. :shock:
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Postby FuEl » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:45 am

Saw a larvae swimming frantically trying to dislodge what happens to be a copepod from itself. I emptied the black bucket and only found 2 larvae. Apparently the copepods must have been preying on the fish larvae somehow. Transferred the 2 remaining larvae to a big round green basin, the new hatch of obliques will be going into this as it has a much larger surface area/volume ratio. Think it would facilitate my siphoning. Going to use natural sunlight this time.
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Postby David M » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:10 pm

How did the 'pods get in there in the first place? Maybe you might try filtering the intake line to eliminate or at least slow them?
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Postby MikeT307 » Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:52 pm

I'm with David. At least you could filter out the adults with some larger micron screen. What type of pods do you have in there?
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Postby FuEl » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:35 pm

I seeded the bucket with the pods before I even got the larvae in. Perhaps this was what killed my previous batch of orchid dottybacks as well. :roll: The two remaining larvae are doing well, along with some larvae which hatched prematurely today (somehow they hatch prematurely when I removed the egg ball too early).

The next batch I will let the male hatch the egg ball. I'll cut off the flow through the tank at night and siphon out the larvae instead.
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Postby FuEl » Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:44 am

Got access to my digital camera. Here is a better pic of the spawning pair. :P

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Postby Luis A M » Tue Sep 16, 2008 4:55 pm

Nice Junkai,good luck! :D
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Postby bratyboy2 » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:26 am

any news? i really like these fish and cant find them for nothing here
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