Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:48 pm

Dascyllus and Chromis are the damsels that hatch less developed of all.Like prolarvae.Because of that, they are also the most difficult to raise.
They hatch sooner than other damsels,and unless you record when they spawned,and how many days yours are taking to hatch,it´s hard to tell when the eggs are ready,because you don´t see refringent eyes within the eggs.A way I found to find out when they will hatch,is to siphon some few eggs and put them in a Petri dish in the dark for 15 minutes.If they hatch,I can pull the whole nest.
Dascyllus frequently spawn on tank´walls.The way to solve this problem is to cover the walls in their preferred corners with thin sheets of glass,like those used for portraits.

I have a trio of D.aruanus spawning regularly on a large piece of coral.As I state in that old thread,eggs are difficult to be seen,and it´s hard to tell when they´re due to hatch.Mine are hatching in the 3rd night afer spawning;so I moved the rock with the spawn into a BRT on the 3rd.night.Thousands of very small larvae hatched :shock: .
Following is how newly hatched larvae look.Eyes are well developed,albeit unpigmented.The yolk sac is rather large for a damsel,with an oil globule.The larva presents rows of tiny witish dots.TL is 2.4 mm
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:02 pm

In the 2nd day,many changes can be seen!
Eyes are now refringent,mouth and rear gut are well developed.Pectoral fin is evident in the dorsal view.The yolk sac has been consumed,as apparent in the side view.
So now it´s feeding time! :wink:
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Amie » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:25 am

Wow, that is crazy that they hatch 3 days after spawn.

Your images are great, Luis.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:47 am

Amie wrote:Wow, that is crazy that they hatch 3 days after spawn.

Your images are great, Luis.


Yes,but see in what a primitive state they hatch! :wink:
This is considered as a primitiveness marking trait,being that the longer incubation time,with larger eggs and larger and more developed newly hatched larvae is a derived character;with Dascyllus and Chromis being the most primitive and clowns the most evolutioned.Not considering Acanthochromis,which has gone a step further in that respect.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:46 pm

4 days.Numbers keep dwindling,but still a nice lot survives :roll:
The head shape is now taller,like most damsel larvae.Completely transparent,except for the eyes and a line of small black dots in the lower margin.
The dorsal view (slightly out of focus) shows the large open mouth.Then the 3/4 profile and the full lateral view.The gut looks definitely packed with food stuff,up to the rear end.So the larvae are feeding! 8)
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby KathyL » Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:04 am

Luis, can you share what they are feeding upon? How did you hold them previous to the development of a mouth and pigmented eyes? Temperature? Lights? Greenwater? With or without copepods, ciliates, or something else? Black round tub, or glass aquarium? Air?
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Jake Levi » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:09 am

Luis, ditto on this please, you are the pro with these. They almost desperately need captive breeding. So many are captured with cyanide then sold cheaply here. You all know this, I well remember when you began with them, a lot of water has flowed since then, now we have more cultures available, and we should be able produce enough to greatly reduce collection deaths.

I am well aware I am preaching to the pastors, its just something I do feel very strongly about.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:07 pm

KathyL wrote:Luis, can you share what they are feeding upon? How did you hold them previous to the development of a mouth and pigmented eyes? Temperature? Lights? Greenwater? With or without copepods, ciliates, or something else? Black round tub, or glass aquarium? Air?

Kathy,eggs were hatched in a BRT at 26ºC.Very light aereation thru a central airstone.When they were ready for feeding I added 500 ml of T-ISO and copepods,Apo.panamensis and Parvo.
It is too early though to tell how it will work out :?
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:26 pm

Jake Levi wrote:Luis, ditto on this please, you are the pro with these. They almost desperately need captive breeding. So many are captured with cyanide then sold cheaply here. You all know this, I well remember when you began with them, a lot of water has flowed since then, now we have more cultures available, and we should be able produce enough to greatly reduce collection deaths.

I am well aware I am preaching to the pastors, its just something I do feel very strongly about.

Jake, this has been always the problem with damsels.Too hard to raise and too cheap to import :twisted: This species is the cheapest fish at my local importer/wholesaler at 10 USD a piece.Fish here are much more expensive than in USA or Europe for some reason :roll:
So if I can raise them,I can expect to sell them at $5 to the wholesaler or $7.5 to LFS.
I recently raised a batch of beautiful Behn´s damsels (N.nigroris) and had a hard time placing them in our market,even at bargain price.I still have some few unsold :(
Therefore you won´t see much interest in captive breeding damsels from the commercial people.I am not commercial,I breed just for the pleasure of breaking new challenging species and pushing our hobby further in the self sustainable status.Yet,when I succeed with something,I still have to sell them. :wink:
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby KathyL » Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:30 pm

Thanks.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Amie » Thu Feb 26, 2015 2:08 am

Luis,
It is like Jake said, it is important to learn how to raise the fish that are captured via cynide, even if they are cheap in the stores. You are the best breeder I know, able to figure out how to raise some of the hardest species out there. So even if you only raise them once or twice, when you share your experiences with others, you are making a big difference.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Jake Levi » Thu Feb 26, 2015 8:17 am

Exactly as Amie says Luis, you are the pro from Dover showing us all the way. Captive bred is a price increase here for all species, even on the 'cheap ones' so maybe that will help. I still hope for an international ban on cyanide, but until then captive breeding is our one best hope for species survival.

There are several Damsels I would like to try again, just because I like and admire them. Your work makes it more likely that many of us can succeed on a great many such.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:04 pm

One week old 8)
TL is 2.8 mm now.There are some larger larvae though,but harder to catch! :wink:
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:21 pm

The same fish looks quite different under reflected light,in a dissecting scope! :shock:
See the early melanophores,as tiny black dots over the abdomen.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby KathyL » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:09 am

Congrats! I once got one to 16 days, but with numerous tries, they die at 4 days, washed in copepod nauplii. Same copepods as yours. How big is your BRT? I have been using a 17 gallon one, about 50 liters of water in it. Do you dim the lights until they get pigmented eyes? Perhaps I am blinding them. Or there is too little light….
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:58 pm

Kathy,sad to tell they didn´t make it :(
I raise them in a 10 gal BRT.Numbers were falling but there were still plenty.Full bellies and some were showing definite growth.One particularly had a white dorsal band.
Then on day 9,the scenario was much like those out of control rotifer runs.Water cleared and there were too many copepods of all sizes,including naups.Then I decided to stop adding copepods and changed some water and gave TET.Next day,I could only find a smallish larva alive,which didn´t make it to next day. :cry:
Food or environment?This time things point to environmental issues.Anoxia,due to too many copepods/too little aereation?Bacteria?.NH3 was not measurable with a Tetra kit.
Anyway 10 days is my new record for Dascyllus.Will keep trying later.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby KathyL » Fri Mar 06, 2015 10:30 am

Thanks Luis,
How do you manage the lights?
Mine died at 3 days this time, probably bacause of hydroids I noticed this morning. I am ready to quit, and do something that works.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Fri Mar 06, 2015 1:58 pm

I turned on the 24 L only when I started feeding.
You should avoid hydroids by giving a formalin bath to the eggs.And chlorinating larval water,in case it is not new. :wink:
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Jake Levi » Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:30 am

Luis any new starts? I have to hand it to you for keeping on keeping on. You are our example to follow. Every crash gives us a piece of the puzzle to solve. It will happen.

I am counting the days until my move, 16 to go, to get it started, I will have the fish room plus some bigger tanks in the living room as reef and grow out tanks.

As we come into our spring I am wondering how your coming fall will affect your work?
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Luis A M » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:26 pm

Not yet,Jake.
We still enjoy some nice summer days :D .I can let the fishroom door open to the outside air and keep it in 27C.
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Re: Dascyllus aruanus breeding

Postby Jake Levi » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:18 am

That's great, still got some plowed snow piles and much snow still in the woods. I am marking time building stands, first for the big tanks, then the smaller ones after.

The 2.6 mm TL is sure small for a started larva ! Somehow need to find a smaller feed, a live one. That's the holy grail to find. There are half a dozen of the Dascyllus species I would love to try, its going to be, soon I hope. I am going to have some small groups in each of the big tanks.

Which ones are you working with now Luis?
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