Delayed hatch & poor 24h survival in Snowflake Occelaris

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EasterEggs
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Delayed hatch & poor 24h survival in Snowflake Occelaris - Monday, July 23, 2012 1:05 PM
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I just hatched out my second batch of fancy Ocellaris larvae.  Last night was 10 dps, and there are still 30% of the eggs waiting to hatch tonight, 11 dps.  This same thing happened with the first batch.  Temp is 80F.  The eggs produced by this pair are much smaller than the eggs produced by my Darwins (not sure if that is normal or not) although the color looks good.  I am also having some trouble with this female being either partially egg-bound or constipated.  She is getting lots of algae in her diet in hopes to help things out.  I've also increased her PE Mysis consumption as her eggs haven't been sticking to the tile either.  So basically all she is getting are HBH Super Soft Spirulina pellets and PE Mysis for the last week.  Her belly still bulges, but it's tough to say right now because she is due to spawn in the next few days.  She had marks on her sides near her vent that someone said looks like bruising from constipation/egg-binding.  Any suggestions?  Is this all related?  Anything else I can do?
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EasterEggs
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Monday, August 6, 2012 3:58 PM
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Anyone?
 
Most recent spawn should be hatching tonight...10 dps again.  Is this normal for fancy Ocellaris?  I've looked through a bunch of the breeding journals, and there do not seem to be many people keeping logs of their fancy Occys.  Or maybe not many people raising fancy Occys.  I'm not sure if this 10 day incubation is a sign of something amiss or if this is normal for fancy Occys.  Anyone??
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Fishtal
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Monday, August 6, 2012 4:23 PM
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Never raised fancy occys. PE mysis can be a bit fatty, I wouldn't overdo it.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Monday, August 6, 2012 5:04 PM
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Thanks for the tip Tal.  PE Mysis is the easiest way to provide chitin until I make another batch of homemade food and can get some shrimp shells in there.  This is the pair that I was having egg sticking issues with.  I should just sell off my last batch of food and redo it.  Ack...
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luis a m
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Monday, August 6, 2012 7:29 PM
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Myndy,what you call fancy occys?.Meaning some ocellaris strain?.Why the weird spelling?

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Tuesday, August 7, 2012 7:49 PM
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Haha Luis, "Occys" is just short slang for "Ocellaris".  "Fancy" is a term used to group the various "designer" clowns like Snowflakes, Wyoming Whites, Picassos, Platinums...they are all "fancy".
 
Those dang eggs didn't hatch lastnight.  They are 11 dps today, and better hatch tonight!  Jeez...
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EasterEggs
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 1:22 PM
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Well, about 50% hatched lastnight.... 11 dps.  I see this afternoon there is massive die-off.  There were lots laying on the bottom this morning, and it seems all those ones died.
 
Please help...this is what I did:
 
Cleaned 10-gallon larvae tank a week ago with tap water and left dry.  A couple days ago I added 5 gallons new ASW to larvae tank at 1.020.  Temp 82F.  Airstone running fairly heavy.  Sterilized tank (new procedure for me) by adding 1 mL chlorine bleach per gallon.  Let run 8 hours.  Added 1 mL sodium thiosulphate solution per mL bleach.  Tested for chlorine with dip strip.  Cleaned eggs by soaking in hydrogen peroxide 1 mL in 1 liter new ASW for 15 mins. 
 
Added eggs to dechlorinated larvae tank.  Leaned tile against side of tank with eggs pointed in towards center of tank, moved airstone near eggs to gently move them.  Eggs were in larvae tank for 2 nights, half hatched lastnight (3rd night in larvae tank).  No fungus visible on eggs. This is 'normal' for these eggs to hatch over 2 nights.
 
Rotifers are eniched with N-Rich PL Plus overnight when I see eggs hatching.  First thing in the AM rotifers are sieved and rinsed well, added to the larvae tank at about 20-30 per mL.  Added 1.5 mL RotiGreen Omega, waited an hour and added 1 mL RG Omega again.  Then added 2.5 mL ClorAm-X solution.
 
This is the same procedure I use for Darwin clowns.  I keep getting this same massive die-off with the Ocellaris, and the Ocellaris always seem weak (laying on bottom rather than swimming).  I tend to get large Darwin die-offs too (50-75%), but not until 3-9 dph.  These Ocellaris are dying off pronto.
 
Am I doing anything glaringly wrong?
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wdt
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 2:15 PM
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What temp is the parents tank, where the eggs are kept before going into the larvae tank?
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 2:39 PM
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How are you rinsing your rotifers?
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 3:26 PM
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Someone much, much smarter than me (almost everyone) once posted that  95% of all larva mortality can be traced to the nutrition of the parents.  While I'm not the clown pro that others are, the first thing I'd look at is the parents food aka what is it and how much is it.  
 
We've all heard that too much chitin is bad for eggs, but unless you're feeding table shrimp 24/7 it shouldn't be a problem. Perhaps you need to calibrate your thermometer and/or get a new heater?

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, August 8, 2012 5:44 PM
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Thanks for the input everyone!  Much appreciated. 
 
I notice the larvae that are on the bottom of the tank will swim in small, fast circles when they are disturbed.
 
 
 
Quote Originally Posted by Arc Katana
Someone much, much smarter than me (almost everyone) once posted that  95% of all larva mortality can be traced to the nutrition of the parents.  While I'm not the clown pro that others are, the first thing I'd look at is the parents food aka what is it and how much is it. We've all heard that too much chitin is bad for eggs, but unless you're feeding table shrimp 24/7 it shouldn't be a problem.

 
They were having horrible sticking issues...like >50% not sticking.  I do wonder if the fish had poor nutrition before I bought them (bought from hobbyist, not breeder), and maybe it will take me some  to get their condition better.  I've had them over 4 months now though, so you would think that would be long enough...?  All the clowns get fed 3x per day, although I have not been feeding this pair super heavy because of the constipation issues.  I'm not totally convinced there are constipation problems though because the "bruising" on her abdomen has been there for about 4 months, and that seems a long time for constipation to be around without killing the fish!  She has only been getting the higher chitin diet for 2-3 weeks.  I've started again feeding my homemade mash (no shells in it...need to make new stuff), TDO EP1, and then the PE Mysis and HBH Spirulina pellets (new food last couple weeks).  I was having mortality problems were before the high chitin diet.

Quote Originally Posted by Arc
Perhaps you need to calibrate your thermometer and/or get a new heater?

 
I have many heaters and a few thermometers.  Theremometers have been checked against eachother, and I don't always use the same heater in the larvae tank.
 
Quote Originally Posted by wdt
What temp is the parents tank, where the eggs are kept before going into the larvae tank?

 
80-81F (27C).
 
Quote Originally Posted by Fishtal
How are you rinsing your rotifers?

 
I strain/drain them in a 53 micron sieve, then pour new ASW over them while they are in the sieve, drain, then repeat a few times.  Back wash into container and add to larvae tank slowly to achieve desired density.
 
 
Here's a pic so you guys can see her belly (male is the Snowflake).  They just finished spawning, so her ovipositor is still out:

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EasterEggs
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 12, 2012 6:21 PM
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Well, that hatch didn't go as well as it usually does.  There was a good 150-200 that got fungus.  The rest of the 750 hatched.  The 24h survival was only about 30-40, and today 6 dph, there are about 20 alive.  They are now about the same size as my Darwins on 1 dph.
 
They spawned again today, still lots of eggs not sticking.  I will have to take a closer look and count, but it is another very large spawn.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 12, 2012 8:23 PM
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Do you know what the prior owners were feeding? Could it be fatty liver disease?
- Brandon AKA Jedi Knight

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 12, 2012 8:56 PM
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Brandon, I sent an email to the previous owner to find out.  The lady who owned them before only had them for about 11 months.  Could they get fatty liver disease in that time and of such a young age?
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KathyL
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Thursday, August 16, 2012 11:49 PM
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At 10 days, and with small eggs, they may not have enough yolk to survive long enough to learn to eat. You may wish to try turning up the temp on the broodstock 2 degrees. Hatching on day 8 will likely work better for you.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 7:51 AM
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Mindy, been having similar issues as you are with my Darwins. Convinced it is diet related, but have tried everything and to no improvement so far. My reg. ocellaris lay just fine with massive hatches and survival. Interested to see what you come up with.

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 8:49 AM
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Mike, I'm out of ideas!  Aside from what someone can suggest in this thread, I'm dried up for ideas.  The broodstock are fed a great quality diet that is varied.  I suppose I could try feeding them more often, maybe 5x per day would help out.  I'm not sure...
 
Quote Originally Posted by KathyL
At 10 days, and with small eggs, they may not have enough yolk to survive long enough to learn to eat. You may wish to try turning up the temp on the broodstock 2 degrees. Hatching on day 8 will likely work better for you.

 
Sorry, I didn't see your reply until now.  That's an interesting theory Kathy.  I thought it normally took 5 days for starvation though? 5 days down to less than 24 hours seems a bit of a stretch, no?  I will try raising the broodstock temp to 83F and see what happens.
 
I just hatched a batch of Darwins lastnight and the biggest of these larvae are the same size as the smallest Occelaris larvae that is now 11 dph.  There are only 7 from the last hatch still alive, and the biggest one is just starting to look like it might be nearing meta.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 10:31 AM
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Have you tried to keep the light on for 24hours a day on the late hatchers?
If they are dying due to starvation because they are small and have less of an egg sac to fall back on, then the 24 hours of light would allow the larvae more time to learn to hunt.  They will be using more energy but learning how to catch their prey is essential.

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 1:34 PM
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You say you've "hatched" your second batch?  How many batches have they laid since they've started? Two, or more? How many total?
 
She doesn't look healthy... that sucks, I hope she recovers!
-Adam

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:14 PM
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I think the problem is associated with the female rather than the actual larvae since when the eggs hatch 98% of the larvae lay on the bottom of the tank and then die within 24 hours.  If those 98% are disturbed they will swim in small fast circles - they don't swim normal.  The other 2% swim normal, act normal, but most of these will also die within a week.  My last batch is now 11 dph and is the oldest I have managed to get them (only 7 alive out of 752 eggs).
 
The temp in the broodstock system was actually at 79F when I checked this morning, so I bumped the heaters up today, and will have them set to 82F to see if that helps the eggs develop faster.  I know delayed hatch is well documented to be a bad thing.  I think my problems will be solved if I can get the eggs to hatch on the 8th night like normal Ocellaris eggs should.  I just need to figure out what is causing the eggs to develop sooo slow.
 
 
Quote Originally Posted by CableGuy
You say you've "hatched" your second batch?  How many batches have they laid since they've started? Two, or more? How many total?

 
I have hatched 3 batches of eggs from her, and she laid 3 times for her previous owner (larvae were not collected).  They are tending a nest right now that will hatch on the evening of the 21st and 22nd if they go their usual 10-11 days.

Quote Originally Posted by CableGuy
She doesn't look healthy... that sucks, I hope she recovers!

 
You mean the discoloration near her vent?  I agree it doesn't look right although I'm not sure what is wrong.  She has actually slimmed down after laying this last nest, and she looks a bit better than in the above pic.  I'll take a pic of her today and post it.  For the first time I noticed her pooping today, and it was normal looking poop (dark, small bits, not stringy).  I've never seen her poop before, which isn't strange though since I haven't seen most of my fish actually poop.  They DO poop though...it is there in the tanks!  Haha!

Quote Originally Posted by Zooid
Have you tried to keep the light on for 24hours a day on the late hatchers?

 
Yes, actually I have although I forgot to mention this.  I tried this on the second batch since I noticed the larvae seemed small I figured 24h light would help, but it didn't.  After they hatched I turned the light back on around 10 pm and it stayed on until 8 pm the next night when it went off with the rest of the fish room lights on the normal 14 on, 10 off schedule.  I will try this again on the nest that is due to hatch in a couple days.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:19 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by EasterEggs


Quote Originally Posted by CableGuy
You say you've "hatched" your second batch?  How many batches have they laid since they've started? Two, or more? How many total?


I have hatched 3 batches of eggs from her, and she laid 3 times for her previous owner (larvae were not collected).  They are tending a nest right now that will hatch on the evening of the 21st and 22nd if they go their usual 10-11 days.

Quote Originally Posted by CableGuy
She doesn't look healthy... that sucks, I hope she recovers!


You mean the discoloration near her vent?  I agree it doesn't look right although I'm not sure what is wrong.  She has actually slimmed down after laying this last nest, and she looks a bit better than in the above pic.  I'll take a pic of her today and post it.  For the first time I noticed her pooping today, and it was normal looking poop (dark, small bits, not stringy).  I've never seen her poop before, which isn't strange though since I haven't seen most of my fish actually poop.  They DO poop though...it is there in the tanks!  Haha!


 
No I mean, if she just laid eggs, she should not be that swollen. She looks like she has something going on inside of her.
 
My darwin female lays nests 400-600 eggs usually and is about that fat just BEFORE she lays, but after she lays she looks like a normal clownfish. This is the same for all of my other breeding pairs as well... they all look normal after they lay eggs.
-Adam

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:39 PM
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 2:45 PM
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I just got email back from the previous owner who says (in regards to feeding):  "I feed a variety of foods, NLS pellets, pe mysis shrimp, and a quality flake food, dont remember which one right now and I added vitamins also."
 
This is how they looked when I first bought them (Mar 31, 2012):

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 3:10 PM
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Its funny... (off topic but we've talked about it many times)... they say Perc's have an orange cornea but a black iris, while Occy's have all black eyes... your "occy" has "perc" eyes, but the rest of the body looks Perc.
 
My female "Occy" of my female "Occy" and male "perc" look like this also. I wonder if ours "Occy's" come from a different geographical location.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 4:24 PM
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In my experience, it's tough to tell an ocellaris from a perc in a picture just from the eyes.  I can never seem to snap a pic of my ocellaris fish that show the eyes as they are in person.  They always seems to get the orange iris syndrome when I snap a pic of them hehe.

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:30 PM
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Quote Originally Posted by Zooid


In my experience, it's tough to tell an ocellaris from a perc in a picture just from the eyes.  I can never seem to snap a pic of my ocellaris fish that show the eyes as they are in person.  They always seems to get the orange iris syndrome when I snap a pic of them hehe.

Yeah, you can't use the eye test in pics.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:48 PM
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Just turn the flash off... LOL.
-Adam

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Thursday, August 23, 2012 5:12 AM
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Here are pics from the last hatch at 200x magnification.  Sorry I can't zoom out...it's just a Digital Magnifier.  The larvae are about 18h old.
 
Here is one that lays on the bottom and spins around when disturbed:

 
Here is one that has recently succumbed:

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Thursday, August 23, 2012 12:49 PM
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Only thing I notice is the size of the yolk sack that young - They look a little small.
 
The one that died looks "normal" and still has some food left so it is weird he died. I would start to wonder about your hatching techniques and or water quality issues...? Very weird.
-Adam

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Thursday, August 23, 2012 5:36 PM
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Interestingly, I have a much higher number of swimmers right now than I normally do at this point.  I will try to get a rough count tonight when the water clears a bit, and have my fingers crossed for the next week.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Saturday, August 25, 2012 9:14 AM
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Sorry for the double post here and in my journal.  I figure the update is relative to both threads.
 
My latest batch is doing really well (hatched 21st and 22nd).  I keep forgetting there were almost 900 eggs (I have the 750 number from the last batch stuck in my head).  Considering this, and the fact that I have collected only 200 dead larvae (I counted), although I imagine there are disintegrated ones that I am unable to count when I siphon them out, so say another 100, I still have probably close to 550 larvae or so.  Indeed, the water is teeming with larvae.  Most of the larvae have big, bulging bellies too.
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Saturday, August 25, 2012 5:41 PM
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Excellent....good job

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, September 5, 2012 8:02 PM
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Thanks! 
 
Still going strong.  Even though I have only lost a very tiny handful since my last post (like 3 or 4 that I've seen) it doesn't look to me like 550 juveniles in there.  I guess time will tell in a couple weeks when I transfer them to growout and count them. 
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 12:37 AM
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Mindy, what happened with this pair? Your experience in this thread sounds alot like what I'm going through.

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 9:47 AM
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Quote Originally Posted by president89
Mindy, what happened with this pair? Your experience in this thread sounds alot like what I'm going through.

 
 
I didn't have any problems with them after I last posted.  She always had that discolored area in the vent area.  As time went on her nests got very large - around 1200-1300 eggs.  When I moved the pair last year to my shop she stopped eating and starved herself to death.  I tried a few medications, but couldn't get her to start eating again.  I still have the male. 
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:25 PM
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Uhg, how awful.
 
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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:01 PM
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My snowflakes lay very small eggs and always look skinny. Cannot get them to eat much. I saw you say that your clowns had small eggs too. Mine I think has to do with their lack of appetite. Sorry to hear about your fish.

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Re:Delayed hatch in Fancy Occelaris - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:49 AM
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Quote Originally Posted by president89
My snowflakes lay very small eggs and always look skinny. Cannot get them to eat much. I saw you say that your clowns had small eggs too. Mine I think has to do with their lack of appetite. Sorry to hear about your fish.

 
I have a trick.  When I have a pair that doesn't eat well I will put a Peppermint shrimp in the tank with them.  The shrimps are aggressive feeders, and the fish learn if hey don't snatch the food quickly the shrimp will get it all.  They catch on pretty quick - within a week. 
 
That Ocellaris female had small eggs in the beginning, but they got better after she had been laying for awhile, and I changed up my homemade mash a bit (they needed chitin for the eggs to stick).
Don't let fear and common sense stop you! =]