We have started to see spawning from our Clownfish breeding pair in tank #3. The eggs were few and of low quality, but it is a promising start.
- Our rotifer numbers have been steadily climbing, and we are due to start harvesting for use in the coral bleaching experiment and feeding the main tank. This will allow us to monitor the rotifer production to see if harvesting increases growth as indicated by the feed manufacturer (keeping the population between 3-5 days old, which is when they are most reproductive).
- We have continued the same method of hatching artemia, with consistent results. We are hydrating an additional 2g of cysts twice weekly, to freeze as cubes for the juvenile jellyfish medusae.
- Our Nannochloropsis algae cultures continue to thrive, with changes required every four days and little waste at the end. We are keeping two of each culture volume all the way through, and leaving the 100L containers to run for eight days each.
While waiting for our final kit shipment to arrive (nets, flow-metre, microscope, scales) we have been restructuring the Fish Lab to better accommodate our new plankton research station (housing the dehydrator, splitter, and nets). With the kind assistance of the Resort engineering team, we have constructed our own Motodo splitter (saving $600+).
With valuable input from Hannah (Manta Trust), we have also drafted protocols for: (1) the safe use of formalin, and (2) plankton sampling. These will be reviewed by our overseas mentors at MBA [UK] (Dave Conway) and CSIRO [AUS] (Dr Anthony Richardson and Frank Coman).
Small Aquarium One
On 12 May, some of the resident corals started to pale, and there was an increase in algal growth during the first half of the month. One of the Mushroom coral specimens appeared stressed and bleached, and its health has been deteriorating (presenting discoloration and tissue loss). Slight bleaching is also present in the Porites specimens.
- Mini coral frame – one fragment died, and another was detached (likely by the feeding crabs); the remaining fragments are healthy.
- Maldivian clownfish (Amphiprion nigripes) breeding pair – no updates.
Small Aquarium Two
Paling was also seen in some of the resident corals (species of Goniopora and Porites), and there was an increase in algal growth.
- Mini coral frame – two of the recently attached fragments have bleached; the remaining fragments are healthy.
- Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkia) breeding pair – laid eggs three times this month (which were eaten by aquarium inhabitants within three days).
Linckia multifora sea stars
- SS3 (large specimen) – the two shorter arms have grown.
- SS4 (new Jan 21) – healthy and active, but with no increase in size.