First of all the great news is that Faith and Fabio have spawned the last four nights!
These are all relatively small spawns with only a few fertile eggs but the two of them are really going for it with pre spawning behavior lasting hours! Fabio must be feeling terrific as his color has brightened significantly with the purple and blue spots on his face brighter than I have ever seen them!
The Paracentropyge venusta larvae are 58 days old today and we still have 17 larvae! I moved them to a clean tank yesterday putting 12 larvae in the usual larval tank and 5 larvae into a grow out tank. The grow out tank is a regular 20 gallon tank with an under gravel filter. I feel that the larvae have stalled out somewhat in their development and want to see if putting them in a more natural environment with help them to fully metamorphose. Here is a link to the five larvae in their new aquarium.
For the last month I have noticed that one larva is different than the others and yesterday when moving them I caught that larva with a "normal" larva together in a beaker. Here is a short video comparing the two.
I have been referring to this different larva as the golden larva since she is lacking the darker dorsal pigment that the others have but since there is a Golden Angelfish and we know she is not that species I will refer to her as the "blonde". She is more of a platinum blonde and gorgeous! She is still pelagic in behavior whereas the venusta larvae are much more benthic at this stage. She also has a calm attitude compared to the venusta (and the venusta have a calmer demeanor than the G. watanbei raised last year). I know you are all now wondering what other species of fish are in the brood stock tank and I'm going to keep that to myself for now. I'm not sure which species this blonde larva is but I know which species I hope she is! :) It will be a surprise for all of us.
I'm also finding it so interesting to watch the behavior of the venusta larvae at this stage. They are already territorial, and show submissive and dominant interactions and they don't even have their color yet!