Clownfish Breeding the easy way.
Thanks to Disney's Motion Picture 'Finding Nemo,' almost
everybody is familiar with clownfish.
Clownfish, or Anemonefishes, from the family Pomacentridae, are
one of the easiest tropical marine aquarium fish to breed.
Clownfish regularly lay eggs in aquariums. They have quite large
eggs and larvae, and since the larvae easily eat cultured live
foods, raising them is somewhat simpler than it is with many
other marine species.
You need to get a pair if you want to breed clownfish, and that's
quite interesting - believe it or not, clownfish are all born as
males! When they are adults, the largest and the most dominant
fish of the group will undergo a gender change and become a female.
The second largest usually becomes the breeding male, while all
the other fish remain juveniles and gender-neutral. If the
breeding female disappears, the breeding male will change to a
female, and so on. Buying an established pair may be a reasonable
way to go, but it is often better to have a group of juveniles
growing up together. If you choose to buy a pair you should look
for a pair that goes around together. Sometimes you can be lucky
enough to get a pair already spawning. Anyhow, establishing an
adult pair can be a little tricky; and you need to keep your eyes
on them to make sure that the female doesn't kill the male.
The next thing is to set up the tank. The tank should be large
enough, approximately 200 liters for the breeding pair. It is
better to keep a pair alone in an aquarium when trying to spawn
The aquarium should be furnished with a nice anemone, a few live
rocks and other rocky substances with a vertical surface, a layer
of coral sand on the bottom, bright lighting, good filtration,
and a protein skimmer. Your clownfish should be stress free,
which means no aggressive tank mates and good water quality. As
for feeding, clownfish need a mixed diet of fresh raw seafood and
vegetables. A good diet includes prawns, mussels, and squid. It
is best to feed small bits at regular intervals.
Spanning can begin 1 to 12 months after the fish have settled
into their new home. When the fish are ready to spawn, they
become very aggressive. The male clownfish will dance up and down
in front of the female (also known as "clownfish waggle"). They
will also start to clean their selected rock by robustly biting
it. The spawning itself usually occurs in the afternoon or early
evening. Once the spawning is complete (within several hours) the
male takes on responsibility for attending the eggs, whereas the
female acts as protector of the eggs and supervisor of her male.
Spawning is likely to occur again at intervals of 12 to 18 days.
The eggs should be left in the care of the parents and not
removed, unless the parents are known to be egg eaters. At first
the eggs are a bright orange colour, but after several days this
diminishes and the eyes appear. Hatching usually takes from 6 to
15 days, depending on temperature.
The most critical stage of the fry is the first 10 days of their
larvae span. If you can get your fry to survive this period the
rest of their raising should be easier.
Article by William Berg writer for Aquatic Community with more
then 20 years of aquarium experience. Find more of Williams
articles about Piranhas or maybe something completely different
like a Clown loach
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