Breeding Journal, Species: Paracanthurus hepatus

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CaptCrash
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Breeding Journal, Species: Paracanthurus hepatus - Monday, November 21, 2011 11:50 PM
Breeding Journal DataSheet
This first post should be updated regularly to include new information as events take place or changes are made to your system

General
Species:  Paracanthurus hepatus
Social Structure:  Pair
Size of Individuals:  6"
Age of Individuals:  Unknown, approx 3 years
Date added to Tank:  December 2009

Broodstock Tank Details
Size of Tank:  1800mm x 600mm x 600mm
Substrate Details:  Course Agronite
Filtration Details:  Skimmer, Live Rock, Macro Algae, Carbon, GFO
Water Changes:  100L weekly (15%)
Water Temperature:  26.5C
Lighting:  LED 50% white, 50% blue.  Sunrise and Sunset via Red/Blue LED strip
Lighting Cycle:  7am to 8pm.  Fade in and fade out.
Other Tank Inhabitants:   Reef tank, with other Tangs, clowns, Anthia, chromis etc

Broodstock Feeding Details
Food Types:  Spectrum Thera A+, Spectrum Salt H20 flakes, Enriched Brine Shrimp, Marine Green, Spirulina Flakes, Norrie, Home Made Mash (prawn, pipi clam, white bait, squid, garlic, norrie etc). Occasional live brine shrimp
Feeding Schedule:  Morning and night.  Pellets followed 10 minutes later with defrosted frozen food mix.

Spawning Details
Date of First Spawn:  May 2011 photos below from 11/23/2011,  11/26/2011
Spawn Time of Day:  Evening, as lights go out approx 7:00-7:15 (main lights start to turn off at 7:45 and are completely off by 8:00). Moonlight with sunset, comes on at 6pm and is at peak brightness at 7:45, fades to 11pm.)
Dates of Consecutive Spawns:  About every 10-14 days. Though, sometimes this can be several nights in a week, then a break for a week or so.  Since the start of this journal, every two to three days has become the norm.  It may be that I was only noticing it on the weekends when I was home at this time, rather than outside with my other brood stock during the lights out time for the inside tank.
Courtship Details:  Spawning occurs as the lights go out (one end of the tank to the other).
They swim together in tight formation, the more dominant one shepherding the other. This goes on for a few minutes, with them getting faster and more abrupt in their twists and turns. They will then release. At this point both of the tangs calm down and go their seperate ways. The release over the November - December 2011 period has become larger as they have got the process sorted.  Now there is a large grey cloud of release that is very clearly visible to the eye.  Previously this was much more disbursed.
Most of the other fish in the tank then spend the next 10 minutes or so on their free meal.
On observing the female, she is noticeably thicker (fat) near her cloaca immediately prior to spawning. 

Egg Size:  less than 0.5mm
Egg Color:  clear and shiny, can easily be confused with bubbles. Now with pictures below.
Egg Count:  Unknown approx 40 collected.

Hatch Details
Hatch Date:  11/28/2011 (11/26/2011 spawn)
Hatch Time of Day:  Morning
# Days after Spawn:  2
Larvae Description:  2mm long white piece of string to the naked eye.


Larval Tank Details
Temperature:  not measured, ambient room temp approx 25c
Size of Larval Tank:  4L, clear plastic container
Substrate Details:  None
Other Tank Decor:  None
Filtration Details:  None
Lighting:  CF Globe
Lighting Cycle:  24 hours
Water Changes:  None

Larval Feeding Details
Food Types: 
Feeding Schedule: 

Metamorphosis/Settlement
Date of Settlement Start: 
Days after Hatch: 
Date of Settlement End: 
Description of Fry: 

Grow-Out Tank Details

Temperature: 
Size of Grow-Out Tank: 
Substrate Details: 
Other Tank Decor: 
Filtration Details: 
Lighting: 
Lighting Cycle: 
Water Changes: 
Size at Transfer: 
Age at Transfer: 

Grow-Out Feeding Details
Food Types: 
Feeding Schedule: 

Additional Information
 
(No Pictures or Videos in the Section Please)
Miscellaneous Information: 

04/05/2012 Spawning is now every day to two days and has been getting more oftern since the beginning of the year. With either one or both of the females spawning with the male.
They seem to be getting more aggressive with their behaviour during spawns.  The actual swimming around with each other is more frantic and its quite common for very large splashes to occur as they spawn.  They (im fairly sure its the male) have also at times hit the glass lids of the aquarium when exiting their little dance hard enough to lift it up.
2015/10/21 S 2015/10/22 H
2015/10/24 S  
2015/10/26 S  


You will be required to provide photographic or video evidence in this thread of each event submitted for the MBI Program.
If your thread does not contain these photos the MBI Committee will not be able to approve your reports. PHOTOS AND VIDEO S MUST BE PLACED IN ADDITIONAL POSTS, NEVER IN THE FIRST POST IN A JOURNAL.


<message edited by CaptCrash on Monday, October 26, 2015 11:05 AM>

aomont
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8:59 AM
Following with interest !
Anderson.

CableGuy
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 9:25 AM
?! Seriously? Regal tangs. Awesome.
 
I want to see vids!
-Adam

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 22, 2011 10:06 AM
Quote Originally Posted by CableGuy


?! Seriously? Regal tangs. Awesome.

I want to see vids!

 
Yup, my blue tangs (I thought I had got the scientific name wrong there for a second).
I have got to edit down 3 hours of video, to just the interesting bits, so dont hold your breath, but its coming.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:14 AM
Well, they spawned tonight, just before lights out.
I have some video of it and Ill try to publish it tomorrow.
I was also able to collect an egg before the other tank members got to it.
 
Sorry for the picture quality, these were my setup pics, but I managed to knock the container with the egg onto the carpet floor when I went to move the camera.  Ill try again next time.
 
The photos follow!

 

 

 

 
I also had the following in the water (I am not sure if they are related)
If anyone can suggest what they, please do.
 
Bad Egg/Fertilized Egg?

 
Sperm?

<message edited by CaptCrash on Saturday, November 26, 2011 10:24 AM>

CableGuy
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:19 AM
Or Prolarvae...?
-Adam

woodstock
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:44 AM
Awesome!!
Doni Marie~

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Friday, November 25, 2011 12:49 AM
This is a video of my Blue Tangs spawning in my tank.

It is at the end of the day with the lights going out, so the quality is not that good.

Prior to the video starting they has been swimming in formation for approx 15 minutes, with lots of following and quick turns. The male (larger) also lost most of the blue colour in his "dot", this was almost white.
After the spawn the other fish move in for a free meal.

Unfortunatly, I had the camera pointed at the wrong end of the tank, as they normally spawn at this end. Also most of the pre-spawn chasing is normally at the end shown. 

 
Next spawn Ill try again.

luis a m
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Friday, November 25, 2011 12:03 PM
Darren,this is very interesting.Some people expected that the yellow tang would be the 1st acanthurid to spawn in tanks,given their small size and being such a frequently kept fish,but alas,it is P.hepatus the one that has been reported to spawn on some occasions.
Your pics show clearly a pelagic egg.I can´t tell about the last two;one could be a hatching egg,only that it is opaque and not translucid as it should be.Was it pictured some hours after the spawning?.And sperm cells could not be seen under that magnification
You will need a diss.microscope to enjoy this journey.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 5:36 AM
Another spawn tonight.  No video, but I did manage to collect about 23 eggs.
 
The first two pictures are approx 30 minutes post spawn.
 

 

 
The following pictures are approx 90 minutes post spawn

 

 
I have the eggs in a container with approx 4L of tank water.
 
Initially the eggs were all separate, however with no current, they have grouped together.
If I squirt air at the eggs they separate and then come back to the group over time.
I have been able to repeat this several times.

aomont
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 6:24 AM
So they are fertile !
Any follow up pictures of the eggs, Darren ?
Anderson.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 7:59 AM
I took some more photos at about 4 hours post spawn.  They are basically the same as the 90 minute ones, just a more dense in the grey section of the egg.
 
I had quite a bit of difficulty with lighting tonight.  I will get some more photos tomorrow.
 
Should be visible change (or not) by then.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 10:34 AM
I think the latest series of photos shows cell duplication within the "grey area" as marked on the first photo.

at 1.5 hours


at 6 Hours

 







luis a m
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:43 PM
Awsome,Darren! you have embryos!.
Perhaps the 1st known images of early developmet of this sp?
And I thought you weren´t equipped for microphotography!

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:58 PM
This is all taken with a canon 50D.
I use a set of macro rings and a macro lens.

The change in quality of the photos is primarily due to them being photographed over a shiny black sticker. This gives the better background.
I then either top light the subject (grey/washed out pics) or side light (more colourful)

The side lighted shots are 40-50 second exposures.

A microscope would probably be easier and quicker, but I don't have one.

I'n my full resolution versions of these shots, I can see the internal cell boundaries in the "grey area".

I am going to take a couple of the photos into photoshop and see if I can provide a clearer image ( I'll try to white balance and sharpen the images), then present as much detail as I can.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 1:03 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions for how long these take to hatch or how they should be incubated?

At the moment I have them in 4L of tank water. Large flat container, about 8cm deep.
I am not heating it, as it's summer here and the eggs are in a warm room.
I have not added anything to the water, there is no flow or airline.
Only ambient light.

aomont
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 2:14 PM
I don't know it helps but Z. flavescens hatch after 15-16 hours. P. hepatus start feeding by the third day when the yolk is gone.
Here is a paper:
Effects of marine ciliates on survivability of the first-feeding larval surgeonfish, Paracanthurus hepatus : Laboratory rearing experiments.
Naoki Nagano, Yukio Iwatsuki, Takashi Kamiyama and Hideaki Nakata
http://www.springerlink.c...tent/l118n34n1m04477j/
Don't get too excited as they couldn't them past day ...
 
Check the tang breeding info compiled by Agathos at MOFIB too
http://www.marinebreeder....ic.php?f=192&t=186
Anderson.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 7:28 PM
16 hours post spawn

 

 
The eggs are getting harder to find.  They are taking on a cream white appearance to the naked eye.
They are also no longer floating at the surface.  Some were resting on the bottom of the container.
 
I have added a CFL desk light over the water container, to add a little heat and light.
 
Whilst the eggs are definitely changing in appearance and do appear to be still growing, They look to have a significant amount of development to go, or what I am seeing with the changes is some sort of decay/fungas etc.
 

aomont
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Saturday, November 26, 2011 7:53 PM
I think they may be gone... There should be, at least, a visible larvae inside. If it was Z. flavescens they would be hatching actually.
Anderson.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:39 AM
These were taken at 26 hours post spawn.
 
Eggs collected for photo

 
This egg has small animals infested on its surface.  They look like rapidly moving bean bags. I watched one move from one side of the egg to the other, navigating around its friends in about 2 seconds.  They are fast!
 

 
Is this a fry developing in one of the eggs (or do I just want to see that?)
    

 



CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 5:44 AM
Quote Originally Posted by aomont


I think they may be gone... There should be, at least, a visible larvae inside. If it was Z. flavescens they would be hatching actually.


I am incline to agree with you.  I was hoping for a big cell division type of picture to be able to show that they are fertile and everything was good.  Or a picture of a curled up fry (a bit like a clown still in its egg).
 
On the other side, they continue to change, so as long as they keep doing stuff, Ill keep taking pics of them doing the stuff that they do.

aomont
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 7:24 AM
That is a larvae developing in that egg !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're seen it right.
Also, look how clear it is compared to the others.
I don't know what came first, the critters or the eggs opacity, I'm betting on the later one. but lots of infertile eggs may turn water conditions bad for the fertile ones. Wait  moment and many more experienced folks will chime in here.
Anderson.

luis a m
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 8:19 AM
Yes,it is an embryo,definitely!
Clear eggs are healthy,while hazy milky ones are dead.And you see lots of ciliates scavenging on them.
Keep up with the good work,we all want to see P.hepatus prolarvae! 

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:42 AM
On going back and looking at all of the eggs
 
I have 12 that are "BAD", 2 that are probably going to be bad.  These all sink and are fairly easy to find as they are cream coloured.
 
 
I have 25 that are good and have fry developing
 

 
These remain clear to the eye.  They float and if submerged, quickly return to the surface.
 
I also took some videos with my iPhone of the Camera's LCD screen.  So the quality is not great.  Im very happy that so many eggs are good.
 
The first two video's are of ciliates scavenging on a bad egg.  Its worth a look, just for the impact they have on the egg.
 

 

 
The last video is of fry moving around within the egg as a reaction to movement/light and me tapping the table.  It is so unbelievably cool!
 
 

 
I want to say a big thanks to Luis and Aomont for their comments and help so far.
 
Also to thank everyone here who has been so encouraging, especially when correcting my report errors (JimWelsh and FishTal thank you for your efforts). 
 
I know that I wont be able to feed these guys when/if they hatch.  But at this stage, its step 1.  And hopefully as I get better at looking after the eggs, maybe some steps forward can be made.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:59 AM
Eggs and videos were taken approx 30 hours after spawn.

Duck
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 1:17 PM
Fantastic work Darren! Good luck with your venture!

Fishtal
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 1:31 PM
Awesome! Very cool indeed.
http://www.fishtalpropagations.com/#!home/mainPage
"Making captive breeding easier."

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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 1:35 PM
awesome videos!!!! Very cool.
RLTW

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Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 7:53 PM
Quote Originally Posted by luis a m

Keep up with the good work,we all want to see P.hepatus prolarvae! 

ok, here you go
 
Profile of Prolarvae

 
Top Down of Prolarvae

 
This morning all of the good/clear eggs appear to have hatched.  I cannot find a single floating clear egg.  I can however find lots of prolarvae.
I counted 15 and then started taking some photos.  They were near the surface of the water (less than 1cm deep), mostly stationary.  When the container was bumped then a few would move.  They would all react by swimming away if I put a pipette close to them.
 
Total length for the two measured (separate prolarvae in each photo) was 2mm each.
 
I do not have a hatch time so I dont know the period for spawn to hatch.  These photos were taken 52 hours post spawn.
 
All of the eggs that were assumed bad or questionable are unhatched in a separate container.



<message edited by CaptCrash on Monday, November 28, 2011 10:48 PM>

EasterEggs
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:11 PM
Wow, fantastic photos Capt!  I'm excited just looking!

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Monday, November 28, 2011 5:01 AM
I'm not expecting to be able to feed them, but it's a good start for me.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what I could feed them, it needs to be a lot smaller than a rotifer from what I have read.

I'm thinking some sort of coral foods?

Any suggestions are welcome

luis a m
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Monday, November 28, 2011 4:20 PM
Simply awesome!The feat and the quality of the pics
You say that you don´t use a microscope to take them?
I am not aware of any previous report on captive beeding of this species.Somebody has seen any?
See my threads on pigmy angels.As the challenge seems so unsurmountable,I divided the task in 3 stages.
Obtaining many prolarvae
Culturing them until I get many larvae.
Raising the larvae.
Seemingly in the 2nd stage,they like still water,and they are prone to bacterial kill outs.
You could start by keeping them in a tray or in a dish.
Wish you the best of lucks and we all are holding our breath! 

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Monday, November 28, 2011 6:34 PM
Quote Originally Posted by luis a m

You say that you don´t use a microscope to take them?

 
Nope, its a digital SLR and an older one at that.
Here is a couple of pictures of how I am storing the prolarvae (its a container of water with a light).

 
And of the camera, macro lens and extension tubes.

Quote Originally Posted by luis a m

I am not aware of any previous report on captive beeding of this species.Somebody has seen any?
See my threads on pigmy angels.As the challenge seems so unsurmountable,I divided the task in 3 stages.
Obtaining many prolarvae
Culturing them until I get many larvae.
Raising the larvae.
Seemingly in the 2nd stage,they like still water,and they are prone to bacterial kill outs.
You could start by keeping them in a tray or in a dish.
Wish you the best of lucks and we all are holding our breath! 

 
at 72 hours post hatch spawn

 
at 81 hours post hatch spawn 

EDIT: updated the text from hatch to spawn.  I wrote the wrong one.
<message edited by CaptCrash on Monday, November 28, 2011 10:37 PM>

aomont
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Monday, November 28, 2011 8:09 PM
Hey Captain are you using post hatch or post spawn time in the pictures ?
In the first two you used post-spawn and the last ones, post hatch. Also it hasn't passed 3 days since hatch.
Anyway, the development pictures are exciting !
Anderson.

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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Monday, November 28, 2011 9:15 PM
This is simply awesome!  Keep up the great work.  I know it may not help, and I haven't skimmed all the comments, but if you didn't already see it, there was a rumored report of success with this species using ciliates as a first food.  While we lack the "proof" we all want (namely photographs), I wouldn't fully discount the report either - http://reefbuilders.com/2011/08/19/hippo-hepatus-blue-tang-taiwan/
 
I think what's most amazing is that they're spawning in such a small tank!

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Monday, November 28, 2011 10:38 PM
Quote Originally Posted by aomont


Hey Captain are you using post hatch or post spawn time in the pictures ?
In the first two you used post-spawn and the last ones, post hatch. Also it hasn't passed 3 days since hatch.
Anyway, the development pictures are exciting !


whoops, I listed the wrong one but you figured it out.  Its from spawn.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 9:28 AM
The following photos were the hardest to take so far.  The prolarvae are very active now when I try to take photos.
 
Previously they were reasonable still and quite calm.
 
Today, not a chance.
The following photos are the best from about 40 attempts.  Most are a blurred mess or have overlapping images of the same prolarvae two or three times.
 
Photos at 4 days from spawn

 

 
Side lighting to show internals

 
I am going to separate the prolarvae  tomorrow into 4-6 separate containers.
 
I will then add "food" of various sorts to each container plus a control with no added food.
We can then see if any of the food is good (or just makes the water bad really quick).
 
My intentions are to add the following, one to each container.
 
1. Tetraselmis
2. Nannochlorpus
3. Rotifers (I know they are too big but its an experiment, maybe larvae will work?)
4. Coral food, the smallest I can find (yet to be decided)
5. Golden Pearls 5-50um fry food
6. Control (No Addition)
 
The downsides are that the algae that I have is Reeds frozen stuff so its not mobile, but its better than nothing.
 
If anyone has any suggestions, please pipe up now.

luis a m
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 10:54 AM
Pics are good enough to see your progress
And you are not noticing bacterial attack.Which is seen as milky dead PL which are "reabsorved",like burned in acid.
The mouth and cloaca are almost finished and otoliths can be seen.I am not sure what the opaque tube that runs behind the yolksac is?
I wouldn´t start offering food before the eyes are pigmented.

CaptCrash
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:14 AM
Quote Originally Posted by luis a m

I wouldn´t start offering food before the eyes are pigmented.

 
Cool thanks for that.  Ill wait till I can see the pigment.

justreefinit
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Re: Breeding Journal, Species: [Paracanthurus hepatus] - Tuesday, November 29, 2011 12:53 PM
possibly add some salina moina to that list?
 
granted that the adults would be farly too large to eat but the newly born one may do the trick
 
just an idea
 
i know that when i was raising celestial peral danios i had to culture paramecium for the fry

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