We have established an experimental tank with a mixed breeding pair of Amphiprion clarkii and Amphiprion nigripes; they are becoming more friendly, so we are hopeful of breeding hybrids.
The Clark’s clownfish breeding pair introduced earlier this year has still not started spawning. Generally, we expect to see courting behaviour after 3-4 months, so if no eggs are laid by the end of November (9 months from capture), we will return this pair to the wild.
The Maldivian clownfish are showing cleaning practices normally associated with laying eggs, but are yet to spawn. The Oscellaris are reliably spawning, but they are consuming their eggs after several days (a common problem when breeding Clownfish).
The rotifers have been going through stages of high and low numbers, mostly attributed to sulphur bacteria and ciliate contamination during the previous months. Despite the continued presence of ciliates in our samples, the rotifer count has steadily risen from mid-October, and while there have been some dips, we are still working at over double the concentration from when ciliates were observed in large numbers.
We have been using UV-sterilised salt water and filtered freshwater to provide the best quality water for the rotifers, and committed to preparing yeast solutions in glass beakers instead of plastic bottles; both methods seem to have eliminated the presence of bacteria, and greatly reduced the levels of ciliates. We have kept the food ratio at 1g/200ml, to reduce the food available to the smaller ciliates, therefore limiting their growth and reducing the risk of competition. This method has shown daily increases of rotifers, with minimal increase of ciliate numbers. We are hopeful this method will eliminate any ciliates left in the tank, once the higher volume of rotifers out-competes the ciliates.
Little has changed in the artemia production. We are continuing to have greater hatching success by removing bleach from the process, and hydrating with saltwater only. We have also taken to keeping them outside, to allow maximum sunlight and a more natural temperature.
Algae production continues at half-capacity (since Apr 2020), as we do not have any hungry Clownfish larvae to feed.
Linckia multifora sea stars
- SS1 (large specimen) – started to look unhealthy, so we relocated it to our coral pool (larger, with better water circulation).
- SS3 (large specimen) – short arm has grown significantly this month (see image, depicting sizes from May to October).