We added a large specimen of leather coral (Sinularia), which has acclimatised nicely, and is proving popular with visitors due to its impressive size. We also repopulated the Acropora hard corals, lost in October.
Our resident pair of boxer shrimp (Stenopsu hispidus) were seen with eggs, so were relocated from the main aquarium into a dedicated breeding tank in the Fish Lab. We also have a new Sargassum frogfish (Histrio histrio), found by staff members in the lagoon.
Our clownfish breeding pair in tank #3 has continued to produce eggs on a regular basis, but parental predation remains an issue (beginning from day five).
Our clownfish breeding pair in tank #1 produced a successful spawn, and the larvae are currently eating well and growing, with few mortalities, on a diet of rotifers and algae. New protocols are on trial to improve survival rates.
We have introduced tiles into the breeding tanks, to encourage spawning on a removable substrate (to reduce risks of damaging the larvae when removing them from the parent tank). Increasing feeding, along with the addition of a new prepared feed component to the diet (high protein/high fat), will hopefully induce more breeding pairs to produce eggs on a more regular basis. Parental egg predation is thought to be a result of low-quality eggs, which should be corrected by this change in diet following the introduction of vitamin-rich nori seaweed.
Populations of algae, rotifer and Artemia are all good, following current protocols.
- The algae population is continuing steadily on a four-day turnover, and providing ample food for Artemia grow-outs, which are used at various sizes as food for our fish breeding pairs, post metamorphosis larvae and the new frogfish.
- The rotifers have been largely consistent, but numbers dropped towards the end of the month due to increased harvesting for larvae food.
At the end of November, we observed a large bloom of bioluminescent zooplankton (Noctiluca scintillans) [photo]. We transferred a sample to an aerated conical flask, to try to culture the species for display.