Monday, September 30, 2013

While we're waiting.....

While we're waiting for Fabio and Faith to produce more eggs, the Paracentropyge venusta pair that also lives with us has produced a good fertile spawn.

The venusta larvae are heavily pigmented and look much darker than other angelfish larvae I have worked with. Below is a larva 22 hours after hatching.

Here is a larva at 46 hrs post hatch. You can see that the yolk sac is smaller and the eyes are developing. Soon the larvae will be ready to catch their prey and start feeding.

Today is day 3 post hatch and here is a not very good photo but you can get an idea of the developmental stage of the larva. Eyes and mouth are now developed and the larvae are feeding. This larva has a full gut but it's difficult to see at this angle.

Here is a close up of the gut taken at 400x to check gut content. Unfortunately we cannot identify anything in the gut because the content of this gut is very well digested and that's a good thing. The reddish spots show that this larva is consuming some copepods.

This batch of larvae are being fed wild caught plankton and cultured parvocalanus copepods and ciliates. They are being fed more cultured than wild food since I was ready with copepods in hopes of a Faith/Fabio spawn. These larvae look healthy but it's only day 3 so keep your fingers crossed for them to continue on strong in their development.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Still waiting.....

We are still waiting for another spawn from Fabio and Faith. Faith has not looked hydrated in the past week and Fabio continues to do the spawning dance each evening but it is not as intense as when Faith is hydrated and ready to spwan. Hopefully we'll have a spawn with the next new moon.

Meanwhile, the African Flameback Angelfish pair have been moved to a larger and taller tank. The male flameback has begun a nightly spawning dance and we could have eggs from them soon as well.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting for eggs....

Just letting you all know that I've set up the larval tank and have food cultures ready.
Faith and Fabio have not produced any eggs in the last several days and I will continue to check each night for eggs. I do often get the largest spawns from angelfish around the new moon which is two weeks away but I hope to get even a small spawn soon.

patience is a virtue :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 6 of Faith and Fabio's first larval run.

Today is day 6 and unfortunately I have decided to stop this run.
Over the last two days the number of larvae have dwindled down to about three. It is time to clean everything up and restart. I feel that this was most likely caused by a bacterial infection that I didn't catch soon enough. We had plenty of food items of the correct size which is less than 100 microns. (Translation- the hole size in regular window screen is about 1000 microns (or 1 mm). So 100 microns is one tenth of the hole size of window fly screen.)

I did get photos of the remaining larvae for you to see.
Here is a 6 day old C. interrupta. Keep in mind that these larvae were not developing well over the last 2 days and you should see a difference in future photos of 6 day old larvae.

Here is a closer look. You can see that there is food in the gut but in a healthy larva the gut would be more full than this. Also note the pinkish hue which is vascular development. We should be seeing more of that if this were a healthy larva at 6 days old.

It should take about a week to clean up and get the live food cultures at the right stage. We need to have the adult copepods producing nauplii (baby copepods) for the larval fish to eat as their first food when they are at 3 to 4 days old.

Try Try Again!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 4 of the Faith and Fabio first larval run

The larvae are looking good today and have full tummies :).

I'm trying to keep the smaller food items at a density of at least 5 per ml. I'm using cultured parvocalanus nauplii and ciliates as well as sized screened wild plankton. The ciliates are from older copepod cultures and are the same size as parvocalanus nauplii but move a little differently, (quick and random but not moving very far). I'm also adding small amounts of microalgae. Just enough that the water has a tinge of color.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Faith and Fabio's first larval run.

Today is day 1 of the first larval run of Faith and Fabio. The eggs for this run were collected on Thursday evening, September 5 at 10:30 pm about 20 minutes after spawning. I estimated approximately 500 to 600 eggs were collected.
On Friday morning I siphoned out 118 dead eggs and the rest of the eggs spent the rest of the day incubating in an eight liter plastic tub. (large pretzel jar from Costco). It was a warm day and the eggs hatched before I got home from work so I was not able to get an accurate count. (It's much easier to count eggs than newly hatched larvae). The newly hatched larvae were transfered by beaker to the larval tank.
This morning the larvae look good and most are hanging vertically in the water column which is normal. Some ciliates from an old copepod culture were added to the larval tank so that they may reproduce and be available as food for the larvae when the larvae are ready to feed which will most likely be the end of day 3 or beginning of day 4. I also added some wild plankton screened to less than 100 microns that I collected from Kaneohe Bay. And some microalgae was added to keep the plankton fed.
This is considered a small number of eggs to start a larval run with but is worth doing to get a feel for this species of larvae and I hope I learn something from it! :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Faith and Fabio produce fertile eggs!!!

This has been an amazing journey with all of the help to acquire Faith, fly her to Hawaii, get her through quarantine and introduce her to Fabio. And Five days after meeting each other Faith and Fabio produce their first fertile eggs!!

I thought this blog would be slow to start but here we go...
While I was doing fish chores last night and watching Faith and Fabio out of the corner of my eye I thought Faith looked a little more plump than normal. I set an egg screen on the outflow thinking that Faith was probably just plump from all I had fed them that day and the possibility that she had hydrated eggs was crazy. Setting this egg screen is just to check for spawns and not to actually collect the eggs since the eggs tend to get damaged with so much water going through the outflow. I checked the screen this morning and couldn't believe my eyes, There were eggs! Just a few and mostly damaged or infertile but they were eggs and a few were fertile.

This photo shows a fertile egg (the egg at the top) and two infertile eggs.

Next is a closer look at the fertile egg where you can see the developing larva within.

I was not prepared for this and so will not attempt to raise these eggs. I plan to collect any fertile eggs starting Thursday night and that will be our first larval run!
I still can't believe things are going this fast!
Huge thanks to Wayne and his connections for 'finding Faith' (move over Nemo here comes the next Disney film) and another huge thank you to all of you who made donations to get Faith and Fabio together!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Fabio gets his groove on

It has taken all of three days for Fabio to get over Mattie the female bandit and fall head over fins for Faith his new tank mate.
Watch Fabio as he shows off his pre-spawning moves.

I don't think Faith can resist that!