Saltwater Fish | Breeding Ocellaris Clown Fish

“What are those orange things on my live rock!?” I remember vividly thinking to myself as I ran through my usual water change regimen. Though, I knew exactly what they were, Clownfish eggs!

I have been keeping a saltwater reef tank for just about two years now after several years of freshwater experience. I have had my ups and downs learning the intricacies of keeping a marine ecosystem, but on this day I knew all my hard work had paid off. While a breeding pair of clowns isn’t the most advanced thing an aquarist can accomplish, it does mean you are doing a great job with general upkeep of your system.

After a few different setups my current system is a 29gallon Bio-Cube that I have modified a bit. With the stock Bio-Cube I removed the bio-balls and replaced them with a simple refugium setup. The refugium contains in order; a protein skimmer, filter floss, 11oz bag of Chemi Pure Elite, and a 100mL bag of Purigen. After a water change I may add a small bag of carbon to buff the water.

Once I modified the Bio-Cube and decided on my refugium setup things really started to pickup in my tank. The fish seemed to want to swim as much as they could. My coralline algae went nuts and so did my small collection of mushroom corals. I now have mushroom farm! But one other thing happened. My Ocellaris Clownfish began to lay eggs.

The Clownfish have now laid eggs 3 times about 2 weeks apart. Each time there were more eggs than the last. The last time they laid eggs,towards the end of the egg cycle, I decided I would try to see if I could raise the little guys to full blown clowns. While getting supplies together though the eggs hatched and I missed my opportunity. I will be prepared this time to try and raise them.

When Clownfish lay eggs they will do so near whatever they are hosting. Mine currently host in a big green open brain coral and laid their eggs directly on the live rock next to the brain. Over the next week the eggs will start to change color from bright in your face yellow to almost clear and then to silver. When the eggs start to develop eyes, little silver discs, they are close to hatching. At this point you would need to move the eggs to a system setup for raising clowns. I currently have a small 3 gallon tank and a special filter for fry raising which I will use the next time my Clowns do their thing. When Clownfish hatch, they actually float to the top of the tank. Over the next 2 weeks they will eat tiny rotifers then metamorphose into baby clownfish.

I will hopefully have updates for a series of raising tank bred Clownfish… Within writing this blog post tonight my Clownfish have laid eggs again. Here we go!


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