Black Ocellaris Pre-Spawning Behaviors?

Discussion in 'Breeding' started by Euphyllia, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    Background

    I'm expecting my pair of Black Ocellaris to lay eggs this year. I picked them up from the LFS 16 or more months ago or more and they were already bonded. They were wild caught so I don't know exactly how old they are. I'm guessing they were from the same family group because they were both the same size which means that they were probably both juvenile males in the hierarchy. Anyways, they remained the same size for about a year and then I moved them from my 14g to a brand new 34g Red Sea Max. They slowly changed size over the last year and now one (the female) is 3" and the other (the male) is about 1.75". I notice that the female is continuing to get larger and the male is continuing to get smaller. There's no doubt that they're a pair now since they sleep in the same anemone at night. :love:

    My Questions


    OK so now on to my questions! For the past few months the male has been biting (cleaning I guess?) the same place on the shaded underside of a rock. He hits it with his tail, too. He cleans off the sand around it and does this a lot while I'm watching them. The female doesn't seem to be too interested, but she occasionally helps. The place on the under side of the rock is right next to a 10"+ GBTA and right below a 10"+ RBTA. I think this is where they'll lay eggs if they do and sometimes after the male cleans it he'll do his special vibration dance. I think the male is very overly enthusiastic and the female doesn't really care. The female will sometimes "kiss"/bite the male's stomach. Not like as a threatening bite or angry/dominant bite, but more of a gentle "kiss" sort of thing. I'm guessing that these are pre-spawning behaviors but they've been going on for a few months. Are these actual pre-spawning behaviors? Are there any other behaviors I should be looking for? What are some other pre-spawning signs? I want to know what exactly to look for so if they do lay eggs later this year I'll know in advance to do my reading and research on raising their babies so that I can hopefully successfully raise and sell/trade the babies. Any information/conformation on my information and experiences will be well appreciated.
     
  2. mobert

    mobert Guest

    Joyce Wilkerson's book called Clownfishes is the book to get. They can clean rocks for a long time before anything happens but once the eggs are laid, the male will be fanning regularly.
     
  3. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    I'll try and order it on Amazon tonight. :)
     
  4. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    In my experience, I had a bonded pair and the little male clown would dance his heart out for the female, cleaning and prepping of a spot for several weeks, then months and nothing. I introduced a bigger clown, and what I thought was the female of the original pair now is the male and they started spawning last July. Now the three of them share the anemones (yes, it's a complicated thing)
    My brother experienced the same issue with black clowns, wild Australian from AC in San Francisco; bonded pair but nothing, no eggs no prepping of nest, nothing. He introduced them to his tank and boom, love at first sight with a false percula female. Now they spawn regularly and the smaller black clown is always close to the breeding pair.

    You may search RC too for a used one, if I come across one I'll let you know.
     
  5. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    have you read Matt Wittenrich's book? By far the best one on breeding out there. Joyce's is good, but many of the culture techniques/feeds/etc are highly out dated.

    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Illustrated-Breeders-Marine-Aquarium/dp/1890087718

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Is there a good (single?) resource for up-to-date feeds etc to supplement the book?
     
  7. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    The book I posted is the best thing out there at the moment. It covers more then just clowns.
     
  8. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    I'm not sure what adding another clown would do, but the pair I have had spent 6 or more months bonding in the LFS and I've had them for 16 months so they've has a strong bond for 2 years. For 16 months of that time they were the same size, but now that I look at the female, she is at least 2 times bigger than the male. I'm pretty sure that they're a couple, I just want to know what pre-spawning and spawning is like for clowns so that I can identify it and when they lay eggs I will know my facts on raising them from eggs, to larvae, to juvenile stage so I don't screw up and kill them.
     
  9. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    Also I notice that when I add new sand/siphon sand and make it flat that the male will go down on the sand bed right in front of his selected place to spawn and shimmy to make a crater in the sand. Sometime's he randomly does it but between the pair's big 10"+ GBTA and the far right and the place where the male chose as their future spawning rock, there is a huge 1" deep crater in the sand that is about 10" log and 6" wide. This might be to keep the area clean or redirect the flow to keep the rock clean. Sorry for double-posting! :p
     
  10. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Matthew I'm not suggesting adding another clown; is something that I noticed.
    A bonded pair might be together for a long time and not spawn; I had hopes on the clowns to spawn but did not happen until I adopted a bigger female; I don't know what did the trick.
    Took my family on a short four day vacation in July, when we came home I noticed an orange maze on a rock right next to the anemone; we were so excited end ever since they lay eggs ~15 days; 10 days for them to hatch and a few more days for them to prep the nesting site and they do it again.
    Similar happened in my brother's tank but he already had the female.

    Thx Gresh on the info on the book; I find JW's book to have lots of info on different types of clowns but will keep an eye open for the other one.
     
  11. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    I think I'll just wait this one out instead of getting another clown. Also, how long should I wait to order rotifiers once the eggs have been laid?
     
  12. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I would get them sooner then later so you can work on culturing them. They can be fickle for some people.

    Check out one of our rotifer sites on how to grow them
    www.Rotifer.com
    click on: Small Systems (Home or Lab)

    You are in luck as well, we just dropped the price and upped the count on our smallest culture by 250K. 1 million will run you $20 plus shipping (or you can ask an RN dealer (All About or Concepts for you) to order them to save you shipping.
     
  13. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    Thanks for letting me know about the price change! When I looked yesterday it was 2 times more expensive! I'll order from there if my clowns were to lay eggs. I won an 8g custom made acrylic tank at a BAR meeting once and I was wondering if they would be OK to use for a rearing tank if my clowns do lay eggs. I have a heater for it and a filter for it, but the filer is too powerful for clownfish larvae so I think I'll use an air stone and do a 10% water change every few hours to keep the ammonia and other toxic stuff out. I'll start using the filter once the fry are a few months old. What equipment do I need to raise clownfish fry? I have a heater, a few air stones, an air pump, an air tube, 2 one gallon tanks, a 3 gallon tank, an 8g tank, and a 10g tank. Are there any other things I would need? And also, will the wrasse or cleaner shrimp try to eat the eggs? The clowns bully the wrasse, the banggai, and even the cleaner shrimp. Do you think it would be a good idea to remove the wrasse? I've been trying to catch him for ages but I just can't get him and I don't wanna take the rock structure apart just to catch him. Will a fish trap actually work for a fish as smart as the wrasse?
     
  14. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Odd, I've been workign on that page and it was changed a few days ago :) It must not have taken until today :)

    tank should be fine. Remove the filter, get an airpump and corner sponge filter.

    Cleaner shrimp will try to eat the eggs as will the wrasse *but* the parents should defend them for the most part.

    I would get a tile to place near tehm so they'll hopefully lay on that. It's much easier to remove that then a rock.
     
  15. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    I've read that there is a higher survival rate when you catch them straight from the tank as they hatch. I think the tile/pot method would be easier, but about how many would you say actually survive out of the 100-200 eggs that they lay? Do you think I should use a put or a tile? I've heard pots are better, but IDK if it really matters. Also, what can help "inspire" the clowns to spawn? I know that diet is important, but what else would help? I've tried to feed them lettuce, but they hate it. I normally feed them frozen mysis or Red Tiny Bits pellets and about once a week I feed them frozen brine enriched with multi vitamins that makes the water I thaw it in green... They hate krill but I haven't tried squid, muscles, or anything like that, yet. What foods should I pick up this weekend to help with a better diet?
     
  16. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Not sure where you got that but capturing causes stress which causes high mortality rates.

    more later, slammed ATM

    join www.marinebreeders.com
     
  17. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    Which do you think I should try - a tile or a pot? And I should use the ceramic pots or tiles, right?
     
  18. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    Tile IMO. It's easier to stick one of them by your fish then a pot IMO.

    Ask Robin (fingerwrinkles). He breeds clowns :)
     
  19. Euphyllia

    Euphyllia Guest

    Since I have a bunch of other fish and corals in the 34g do you think the clowns would be happier all by themselves in the 28g NC-HQI (if I get it) with their anemones? I could put a tile or pot in there with them and it could be a breeding tank. :)
     
  20. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    That would be best IMO. That way you could not have shrimp, fish, etc that may prey upon the eggs as well as stress the parents out.

    Like you said earlier, nutrition with the adults is key.
     

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