Clownfish Eggs Hatch

So the clownfish (amphiprion ocellaris) eggs hatched last night, after 8 days of incubuation.  The clownfish eggs were initially laid on the glass of my display tank (75 gallon mixed reef).   In my basement, I had a 20 gallon black round tub filled (to about 2-3 gallons) with water from the display tank, rotifers, enriched with SELCON (from about noon to 8pm) and enough fresh nannochloropis culture to lightly tint the water green.  I placed an airstone in the center of the tub.

My plan was to wait for the clownfish eggs to hatch, attract the clownfish larvae with a flashlight and scoop them up with a cup or a turkey baster.  The back-up plan was to use a larval-snagging contraption, as outlined on MOFIB.  The test run, however, for the larval snagger did not impress me, and the other tank inhabitants, a large, hungry, curious Heniochus (bannerfin) kept pestering the adult clownfish, so, of course, I panicked.

Two and a half hours after lights-out, nervous and without confidence in the larval snagger (and uncertain that any would make it past the Heniochus in the first place), I decided to take matters into my on hands and siphon the clownfish eggs (using soft-flexible airline tubing) off the glass–which I had also seen on MOFIB, although the thread link escapes me at the moment. The number of clownfish eggs had slowly dwindled over the eight-day period.   I siphoned, what appeared to be about 25-30 clownfish eggs into an iced tea pitcher.  I placed the pitcher, inside the black round tub, with its own heater and aeration.  Two clownfish larvae had hatched almost right away–and I put them directly into the black-round tub.  The other clownfish eggs I left over-night to hatch.  Unfortunately, only four more hatched.  The remaining eggs became white/discolored.  Only one egg appeared to have been directly damaged (cut in half) and only one clownfish larvae appeared to have hatched first and then perished.

I suspect the clownfish larvae losses were due to the physical trauma of scraping (doesn’t even sound nice) and transfer.  I suppose settling could have also occurred within the pitcher, although the aeration was quite rigorous.  At the end of the ordeal, it was a bittersweet moment, to return home from work and find five living larvae.  No major feat of aquaculture, but a pretty cool experience so far.  No pictures yet–black round tubs make for good larval rearing (from what I read), but they make pictures harder to take, that’s for sure.


  1. congratulations!!!!!
    wish them grow well 🙂

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