View Full Version : School project clownfish breeding diary

01/26/2017, 08:48 PM
So as you can see, I am a student who studies in the field of biology and
this year I have a course of breeding of living organism. My team and i decided to choose saltwater fish cause i always wanted to do marine breeding to gain experience and learn more about aquaculture as an marine aquarist and that's what I'd like to do for my career. We decided to choose the clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris), cause its one of the fish that is the easiest to breed (read a lots of books and web) in captivity.

I decided to share my project in this forum, because there is a lot of peoples who reads thread on this forum and a lot of them are expert than me. So i can learn from the advice and share their experience with clown breeding. So dont be affraid to comment or write some fact to share.

(srry if my english is hard to understand...)

So lets get started!

Here Set-up info:
-40 gal. tank (i dont know if 40 is too big for a pair...)
-aquamaxx hang-on skimmer (for chemical/mechanical filtration)
-hang-on filter with carbon, marine pure and sponge (for bio/mechanical filtration)
-airstone (oxygen)
-flower pot (hiding spot for fish)

p.s one disavantage is that i dont have sump cause $$$.

Day 1.

The aquarium is installated, cleaned and filled with mixed saltwater at 1.021 sp. gravity. To start the nitrifying cycle and to established the tank faster i used the product Bio S from Aquaforest. Filter and skimmer are in function and the heater is set to 24C.

For now, i plan to wait at least 2 weeks(instruction from bio S) before adding the fish. The pair is already formed (sub-adult)and they are waiting at the LFS during the maturation of the tank.

Question for you readers:
1-is there something i miss in the set-up?
2-do i need to add a wavemaker?

thank you

to be continued...

01/27/2017, 01:59 PM
A couple small suggestions:

dump the air-stone and add a power head. The power head by itself will turn over your water to keep it oxegynated and keep detritus off the bottom so it can be filtered out.

I would replace the sponge every three days to avoid letting the trapped organics rot into nitrate. Alternatively just pull it out, you should get faster flow through the rest of the media that way.

Good Luck.

01/27/2017, 09:15 PM
When you say replace the sponge, do you mean clen it every 3 days or change to new one?
Also, it would be better with no sponge and the filter media will be only carbon and marine pure sphere?

01/27/2017, 09:26 PM
When you say replace the sponge, do you mean clen it every 3 days or change to new one?
Also, it would be better with no sponge and the filter media will be only carbon and marine pure sphere?

Yes he is saying just do carbon and the spheres

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01/28/2017, 02:26 PM
Day 2
no news

Day 3

test my water param and its going good:
Salinity : 1,021
pH: 8.4

I put a damself fish for test fish and to cycle the tank faster.
one problem i did a water change (5%) and used tap water witout using prime (shame on me)
do i have to start over cause i killed the good bacteria or it should be fine for dat quantity.(i know they are metal, phosphate and other bad stuff...)

to be continued

01/28/2017, 07:01 PM
1) why is your salinity not 1.025
2) cycling with a fish is now considered cruel and not a common practice
3) if you're raising clownfish eggs then it is important to have clean water for good quality fish. I don't know how important a 5% water change is but you need to use RODI instead IMO

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01/28/2017, 10:55 PM
-the salinity is 1,021 cause i read that its reduce the stress of osmoregulation to the fish, so less energy is waste.
-lot of bacteria product (atm colony, dr.tim's, bios...) allow to put a hardy fish from day 2 but with a small bioload.
-i wanted to say that i added new water instead of water change. for rodi water ill purchase it from my lfs next time.

01/29/2017, 06:54 AM
you can bring salinity lower
will be easier to raise the larva.

what kind of clowns are you going to try and raise

01/29/2017, 09:09 AM
what kind of clowns are you going to try and raise

its the classic Amphiprion ocellaris

01/29/2017, 05:05 PM
You are lucky there is so much info to be found here in the forums from past successes on breeding clowns it should be fun. Don't forget you will need another smaller tank to raise the fry. I used a 2.5 gallon for one month then moved them to a 10 gallon. Both with sponge filters. You tube was a great help too. Good luck.

02/02/2017, 05:22 PM
little update

day 8,

Water param are doing fine and the little damself is doing a great job for cyclying the tank with no stress.

water parameters:
pH: 8.3
kH: 10.5
salinity : 1.021

My thoughts on the product BIO S from aquaforest:
-its a great product and the tank can be cycled faster than they say in the instructions (2 weeks). It took me 3-5 days.
- Compare to other bacteria product they are highly concentrated, good price and less quantity to use to cycle.

to be continued

02/02/2017, 05:48 PM
good luck with your project you can look in to reed mariculture ap breed have good products you can get rotifer cultures and feed they are very helpful also

02/05/2017, 08:17 AM
where in Canada are you

02/05/2017, 11:32 AM
where in Canada are you

Quebec city

02/06/2017, 07:58 PM
Hopefully you're just a freshman or sophomore in college. Those clowns can take 2+ years to start breeding. Good luck with the project.

02/13/2017, 08:01 AM
Hopefully you're just a freshman or sophomore in college. Those clowns can take 2+ years to start breeding. Good luck with the project.


Unless you are buying a breeding pair, which can be pricey, this can take quite a while. There is a big difference between a bonded pair and a pair that is actively laying eggs. Honestly you would be well served if you could find a hobbiest breeder in your area to befriend. I helped a high school student out with a similar project. Her fish weren't laying, so I gave her some two week old fry to raise. The forty gallon tank is much bigger than breeders typically use for the parents. More common would be ten gallon tank. The 40 is a good size for the grow out tank.
You should have a second 10 gallon for the nursery tank. I'd invest in RODI, you will go through a lot of saltwater breeding clownfish.

Check out Pickle's clownfish breeding thread. Google, it's on another site.

I also have a thread in this section.

Good Luck!


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02/24/2017, 08:15 PM
little update on whats going on,

its been 2 weeks that our bonded couple pair of clown was introduce and they are doing great.
From the first week the female was already eating like a pig then the male and they began to show some reproductive behaviours.

At first, the female started to shake her body and head, chasing and bitting the male to show dominance. Then after few days, the male started to tending and cleaning with his mouth and caudal fins the substrate on the flower pots.

im planning to raise the temperature from 25 to 27 C and start feeding them more (3 times per day)
Also, i would like to know what the best for daylight hour time. Currently, i give them 7 hours of daylight and the rest of hours with no light.

to be continued

02/25/2017, 06:42 AM
double the light to 14 to 16 hrs

02/26/2017, 05:30 AM
Joyce Wilkerson recommends 12 hours and that works for my clowns. My tank temperature stays in 80-82 degree range.

03/04/2017, 05:41 AM
I good trigger to bring a fish into breeding condition is feeding more often- 6-8 times a day in smaller than normal amounts. Agree with above, Increase the lighting period over a couple of weeks to 12 hours. Thinking back on when I first tried breeding clowns, from the point of laying their first batch of eggs to the point of having a successful batch to raise was almost a year.... You may want to have a back up plan like breeding fancy Flag Fin Mollies in a saltwater tank vs freshwater. "Just saying"

05/30/2017, 01:02 PM
Any updates?

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Diana A
05/30/2017, 01:30 PM
I would think that college bio class has ended.

06/28/2017, 03:09 AM
One of the things that worked well for me to induce spawning with clownfish pairs is adding pairs of dottybacks (P. fridmani is ideal), damsels or Marine Bettas. Especially the dottybacks and Marine Bettas spawn quickly if you make pairs of sexed adults. I had Marine Bettas spawn 2 weeks after pairing them. Dottybacks generally get going after a month or two.
My theory is that the released hormones from the other pairs get the clownfish going.
Of course you could also add the hormones directly (should be available from suppliers of fish farm equipment, foods and medications). It's a pretty common method in the commercial fish farming business (the ones breeding food fish).

07/14/2017, 09:09 PM
This time the fish farming is too bored, the fish disease throughout, this year harvest losses or poor breeding, the water he always filtered it regularly that fish disease. May my consultant with you. I have not had much experience.