Monday, August 31, 2015

Cute Little Bandit Angelfish

Today is day 47 for this A. arcuatus larva run and settlement has begun. The video (link below) shows three larvae going through metamorphosis. The furthest along started two days ago at day 45. I didn't think meta would happen this fast for them and I find it pretty amazing to watch their development. Almost like watching weeds grow!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Day 45 of the A. arcuatus larval run

Here's a video I just took of two of the larvae. One is the most developed in the group and the other is the least developed. As you can see the larger larva has more black pigment on the dorsal area of the body and if you look closely there is now a little bit of black on it's tail and fins. You can also see the white skunk stripe along the top line of this larva.
The other larvae in the group look pretty much the same as the smaller larva in this video. All of the larvae are showing behavioral changes as they start to associate with pieces of coral rubble and pvc that I've placed on the bottom of the tank.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A. arcuatus at day 40

Unfortunately I lost three larvae yesterday at day 40. I'll be happy if I get a single fish through this run. The three that were lost were the three smallest and the one in the photo although smaller was one of the more developed larvae. So sad to have lost her. The larger larvae that are left all look good and have been eating cultured copepods and Artemia for the past week.

I did decide to concentrate on this larval run and have not started another yet. I plan to start the next one in a couple of weeks with a new moon spawn and I hope these larvae are far enough along by then to move into a grow out tank.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A. arcuatus at day 36

Here's a video taken today of one of the larger more developed A. arcuatus larvae.
Larval rearing is an ongoing parade of developmental phases and this is my favorite part as the larvae get close to settling out. They will go through their transformation to the juvenile stage with both morphological and behavioral changes.  Some of the larvae have started to hangout next to the sides of the tank with their bodies in an S shaped curve.  Hopefully we'll start to see some juvenile colors coming in soon.

Monday, August 17, 2015

More Questions Than Answers

Today we are at day 33 of the Apolemichthys arcuatus larval run and what a challenge the last three weeks have been. There have been several setbacks and I'm now down to just a handful of larvae.  I think the underlying problem has been the record high temps and humidity we've been having which have turned the garage into a sauna. The higher temps probably had some direct effect on the larvae but I think that most of the losses are due to a bacterial problem with the bacteria benefiting from the higher temperatures.

I am pleased to have gotten past the barrier of day 22 that teased me 2 years ago when I was working with this species but I feel that I have more questions than answers after going through these last three weeks. I am considering keeping this larval run going and starting a new run but I know from experience how taxing that can be on food cultures, water, time and my energy level. Having said that, I'll be checking for eggs tonight and if I get a good spawn I know I won't be able to resist them.

Here is a photo showing the results of the last setback which occured at day 30 . You can see that the larger larvae have the darkened dorsal area which develops prior to settling out.  Those larger larvae are about a cm in length. (Their tails are clear and difficult to see in the photo but are included in the total length measurement).