I've started another larval run with P. venusta eggs spawned on Valentines Day. :)
I've been itching to get another larval run going and getting frustrated with infertile eggs from the brood stock that are spawning. The venusta had not been spawning lately so this was a nice gift from them.
I would have liked to set up two larval tanks, split the eggs into two groups and compare wild plankton against cultured live feeds. Since there were only 295 fertile eggs produced this time which is very close to the 284 venusta eggs stocked on the last larval run, I've put them all in one larval tank. So although it is not the best scientific method, I will use only cultured foods this time around in a comparison against the last run which was fed wild plankton as well as cultured foods. I will do my best to keep parameters as close as possible to the last run for a good comparison. There are of course always going to be variables but as long as we learn something from it and move forward I'll be happy. :)
Our previous P. venusta larvae are at day 94 today and I have to laugh at that. They had such relatively fast development in their first two weeks of life that I had hoped they might be fully settled out by the New Year. Now here we are well into February and 94 days old without juvenile coloration!
In the 20 gallon venusta tank I turned up the heat a notch from 26C to 27C in an effort to see if that would help to promote settlement since they are a tropical species. I was worried that it might cause bacterial problems but thought it was worth a try. Unfortunately I can now only see one larva where there should be four….. :(
In the 40 gallon venusta tank some larvae have grown slightly over the past couple of weeks and some seem to have stayed the same in size. The larger are developing more black in the dorsal area towards the caudal and the golden yellow area at the first few dorsal spines is becoming a more vibrant yellow.
All 11 larvae in this tank are looking good including the unknown blonde.