raising clowfish fry

beachbum dave

New Member

My clown pair has been breeding for a few months now, laying about every 21 days. My wife and I decided to try and raise the fry. We have our fry tank ready, algae cultures going and rotifer culture going (I think). I started my rotifer culture Friday 4/29. The clowns laid a new clutch Sunday night 5/1. I expect them to hatch Monday 5/9. I have a couple questions after reading as many articles and watching as many videos as I could

1) how long should the lights be off after I transfer the eggs (they are on a clay pot)
2) I plan to black the sides of the fry tank - but what kind of light should I use on top and what cycle should I run it on each day? I've read some people keep lights on 24 hours per day?
3) I'm worried my rotifer culture wont be dense enough. I purchased a culture kit on line but couldn't start it right away because I had to go out of town - put it in the refrigerator and I think most of it died. I've ordered more rotifers to get some more cultures started.
4) I have to go out of town for 2 days on 5/13-5/14. they will be 4-5 days old if they survive. How can I feed them while im gone? can I put extra food and some green water in to last for 2 days of feeding or am I screwed? I thought about putting an ATO pump on a timer and pumping some rotifers into the tank but that scares me.

Thanks for helping a noobie!

bang guy

1 - I would suggest keeping the same light/dark rythm until they hatch. Sometimes moving them delays the hatch a day even if they are ready. They will only hatch in the dark and will not hatch if the dark is disrupted. I think this is meant to prevent them from hatching during a full moon in the wild.

2 - Something not excessivel bright. You just want it bright enough so they can see the Rotifers that are right in front of their face. I just used a 20 watt halogen and it was plenty.

3 - Is there a smaller container you can keep the larval Clownfish in until you grow more rotifers? They litterally need to just about bump into the rotifers for the first several days.

4 - I once had the same dilema where I had to be gone for a week. I didn't have much hope so I simply dumped them all into one of my rotifer rearing tanks with a bunch of extra greenwater. All of them survived.

The alternative is to not attept to rear this batch and wait for next time.

However, I think you should try just to see if you can keep them alive for the 4 or 5 days until you leave.

beachbum dave

New Member
Thanks Bang Guy! This helps a bunch. What kind of light schedule AFTER hatch?

I have a 2-1/2 gal tank I could use for the hatch. I might have enough rotifers for that if I can get my density up.

bang guy

I used 24/7 lighting after the hatch until metamorphosis. After that I ramped up slowly to 14 on 10 off.

I was thinking of doing an experiment with post metamorphosis fry to do 8 on, 4 off, 8 on, 4 off, but I never got around to it.