Adventures in Captive Breeding of Marine Ornamentals

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Neon Gobies again

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I raised many neon gobies from the first batch, and saved some of the juveniles for future broodstock.  That plan didn't work, as the fish never spawned, and i ended up selling them. Still wanting to make a go of this, I ordered 5 gobies, and put them in QT where they remain today. Minus one that didn't make it. 

That was last summer.  I waited and waited, and still no spawning activity.  I almost gave up, but this morning when I peeked into the PVC pipe in their tank, my patience was rewarded! We have eggs!  It will be fun to raise neon gobies again, and I have hopes, now that one pair has spawned, that I can get the other pair to spawn as well.

Bluestripe Day 9

Posted on May 6, 2012 at 9:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I've got one brave soul left. He's eating. I've added copepods, Apocyclops panamensis, a couple of times. There is now a sponge filter in the tank, making a circular current, weakly. I've been trying to get him to eat Otoheim A, and I think I saw him strike and eat a particle.  He is fish shaped, but I don't see any stripes yet.

Bluestripe Day 6

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Now at day 6, we have one left.  This one is clearly eating and may be close to metamorphosis, as it has taken on the fish shape and some dark color has formed on its body after the tummy.  I've given it a 18 watt fluorescent light during the day, and the blue light at night.  I've started trying to wean it to dry food.  I've added a sponge filter.  Still plenty of rotifers.  After metamorphosis, they are bulletproof, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that metamorphosis happens sooner rather than later.  I won't take pictures, because this one is too precious.

Now at day 7, I've noticed a larvae stuck to the side of the tank, just above the meniscus.  He must have jumped into the tank wall, and got stuck there.  Since it was already dead, it was easy to get a picture under the microscope:

Bluestripe Day 1

Posted on April 28, 2012 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

The larvae are still swimming energetically, but don't have fat tummies despite an abundance of rotifers.  I guess we'll know in a couple of days if they are eating or not.  I'm feeding the rotifers in the BRT mostly Isochrysis, because a few drops of the new bottle of RGcomplete seems to create an oil slick.  

The larvae seem to really like the blue light, as they are gathered underneath it.

After looking at some of the babies under the microscope, I'm afraid that they aren't eating.  I decided to add some Apocyclops panamensis to their tub.  It's a cyclopoid copepod that is slightly larger than a rotifer, but has copepodites that are smaller.  And they are very nutritious.

Here's a picture of a Day 1 larvae:

Looking at the shiny belly region, perhaps they are eating....time will tell for sure.

Bluestripe clownfish

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

My friend Kevin has a pair of Amphiprion chrystopterus that he, by magic, got to survive and spawn.  He is a really skilled aquarist! These clownfish don't ship well from the wild, and few survive captivity.  He has them spawning!  He is also a really generous guy and this time, he shared the eggs with me. He scraped them off the rock upon which they were laid, and gave me half.  I hatched them in an upturned, bottom-cut-off soda bottle with air bubbling up from the capped end, now the bottom.  I partially submerged the Hatcher in a partially filled, and heated Black Round Tub (BRT) to keep them warm.  After 2 nights they hatched, and now I am the proud keeper of 50 - 100 day old chrysopterus larvae!

Here is a video of one of the eggs: Note the heartbeat!

Here is a picture of one of the hours-old larvae:

Road Trip to Inland Aquatics

Posted on April 23, 2012 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Just got back from a road trip with the SEASL club to Inland Aquatics in Terre Haute, IN.  It's about 3 hours away by car, so it's a semi-annual event around here.  I had a great time visiting with old friends and new, and seeing all the great changes and improvements Morgan Lidster and crew are implementing at their amazing warehouse facility.  

The vision that's come to life at Inland is that saltwater systems can use natural filtration, including algal mat dumping systems that both filter and oxygenate the water as well as create flow for corals and fish.  Gravity is our friend here, in that the type of see-saw algae screen filters in use at Inland provide much greater flow than could be had with the relatively small pump used to fill the filter.  Water accumulates until a threshold is reached, whereupon the fllter tips and the water flows out all at once (by gravity) into the tank.  The filter, now empty of water, tilts back to its original position, again using gravity,  and resumes collecting water.

Inland also recommends and uses deep sand beds to provide habitat for natural marine fauna and flora, including naturally occurring saltwater copepods, worms and crustaceans.  They sell refugium kits full of all these critters.

The most striking thing I noticed about the animals at Inland, is the amazing color and condition of every one I saw.  Their fish are in the peak of health, as is evidenced by their energetic swimming, great appearance, and color.  My friend Jim is a coral guy and commented that when he looks at a saltwater display, the fish are just a distraction for him, getting in the way of his view of the corals.  He and I agree that, like the fish, the corals are amazingly varied, healthy looking, colorful, and strikingly beautiful.

I enjoyed getting back in touch with old friends who don't always attend club meetings, and getting time to chat with Morgan about fish and business. I think everyone had a good time, and we thank Morgan and the crew for letting us invade their place of business for a while.

Here's a picture of Morgan Lidster with a spider he caught  in a huge plastic bag while we were there:

New Website!

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Kathy's Clowns has a new Website! We hope you like the look!

 We are also starting to sell fish  to stores ONLINE for your buying convenience.  Now you can order fish anytime you have access to a computer! After your store is  registered and approved, just click the "Fish for Sale" tab or the "Buy Fish" buttons on each page, and it's an easy flow from there.  

We are planning to add more tabs with "Frequently Asked Questions", etc. , and are working on a way to include FEDEX in the checkout section.  

We want to make this as easy as possible for you and for us.  Happy shopping, and please contact us with any questions: 

Email is best:



Posted on April 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We were listening to the radio this morning on our way to church and a guy was talking about kindness, a topic near and dear to our heart. He noticed that whenever he was driving around looking for a particular place, his GPS would guide him.  If he made a mistake, or in other words, failed to follow the instructions, or messed up in any way, his GPS would never get angry with him, it wouldn't yell, or throw a tantrum.  It would simply say, "Recalculating...".  :)

We've been doing this fish breeding business for many years, and have been reasonably successful at it.  Like all things, changes happen; the economy gets bad, the economy gets good, competition arises in a normally non-competitive field, day jobs come, day jobs go.  Enthusiasm for various projects waxes and wanes for both good and bad reasons.  On our path to being better fish breeders and better business people, and better, kinder people in total, we sometimes take a wrong turn, or decide to go another way, but it's nothing to get excited about.  We are just "Recalculating!"

We've decided that Recalculating is a good title for this part of the blog, where we can describe some of the changes, departures, and adventures that are not about a specific species of fish.  We hope you enjoy reading!

Banggais Now

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 7:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Now Matt Petersen, a fellow marine fish breeder, has started a project with some friends called Banggai Rescue! These cardinalfish have become endangered, and since they are found only in a small secluded area of the ocean, it is easy to see why.

The Banggai Rescuers will attempt to discover the source of the virus that has been the demise of many a Banggai, devise methods of breeding them in situ for the Fishermen and women of the Banggai Islands, and also methods of breeding them that are scalable for the US and European markets. They will publish a book of their adventures, with illustrations by a fine scientific illustrator, sell T-shirts, and other decorated clothing as well.

If you want to contribute or get the first copies of the book, etc. go to

I'm going to try the Banggai breeding thing again. I'll be emptying one of my small systems of clownfish soon, to use it to house 4 pairs of broodstock, to see if there is anything I can contribute to this project. I'll keep you posted. 

Banggais in the past 2

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I gave up on these as despite having a couple of mated pairs that spawned with some regularity, none would hold the eggs more than 3 days, and 4 days is the earliest one can expect to artificially incubate and hatch those eggs.

I gave the pairs to a fellow aquarist and aquarium service guy, who placed them in wonderful reef tanks for their owners to care for and enjoy.

Now Matt Petersen, a fellow marine fish breeder, has started a project with some friends called Banggai Rescue! These cardinalfish have become endangered,