Day 3: The male clownfish rarely leaves the site of the nest. He typically only ventures out for food, or to chase away a tankmate. The female clownfish stays in close proximity to the nest, but takes a wider berth and appears to be less strongly tethered to the nest. They do both share the responsibility of harassing would-be egg poachers–although surprisingly they have managed to keep the two tank bullies in check–a Yellow Tang with an attitude (and weapon) and a ravenous, always-eating Heniochus (bannerfin). Cleaning/aerating the eggs appears to be strictly the duty of the male. He constantly hovers, fans the eggs with his pectoral fins, and rasps the eggs with his mouth.
Since Day 2, the clownfish eggs have changed color–from a light, fleshy colored orange, as seen in the top picture, to a darker, more subdued gray. The color change is quite noticeable in the pictures shown above. Eyes are not visible yet within the egg case, but the embryos appear to be developing. “Well, I’ll name one of them Nemo, but I want most of them to be Marlin Jr.”
I have the rotifer and phytoplankton cultures bubbling. Wish I could fast-forward to Day 8.