Hatching Ocellaris Clownfish

In a previous article I wrote about spawning Ocellaris clownfish.  Now that you can spawn the fish the next step is hatching the eggs.  There are two options that you can do if you want to try to raise the clownfish larvae.  The easiest thing to do is to let the eggs hatch naturally in the main aquarium.  Ocellaris clownfish eggs typically hatch 6-8 days after they are laid depending on the temperature of the water.  If the aquarium is at 80 degrees they should hatch in 6 or 7 days.  You can tell the eggs are getting ready to hatch when you can see silver around the developing eyes of the clownfish eggs.  The clownfish eggs will hatch about two hours after darkness (or in our case when the lights turn off on the aquarium and in the room).  The drawback to hatching them in the main tank is you have to collect the larvae and transfer them into a another tank to grow them up.  This is tedious and can make raising the clownfish larvae more difficult.  The other option which is better is to transfer the eggs to a larvae tank before they hatch. [caption id="attachment_98" align="alignnone" width="401"] Clownfish larvae tanks[/caption] First you need to prepare the larvae tank.  5.5 gallon and 10 gallon aquarium sizes are most popular.  I prefer 5.5 gallon tanks.   The larvae tank has a black garbage bag wrapped around it to prevent light from coming in the sides of the aquarium.  Clownfish Larvae's eyes are extremely sensitive to light so it is important to black out the sides to keep light only coming in from the top.  All the aquarium needs is a light, air pump and stone, heater and a thermometer.  First electrical tape the heaters light so you can not see it.  The clownfish larvae would be attracted to it and they could cook themselves trying to get to the light.  Then fill the aquarium between a quarter and half full with water from the aquarium where the eggs and parents are.  Add the heater and the airstone to the tank and set the heater to match the parent' aquarium's temperature.  Let the tank sit for 30 minutes to let everything stabilize.  Next add the eggs and what they were laid on into the larvae aquarium.

Next place the airstone in a position so the air bubbles move the eggs gently.  It is better to bubble them harder than not enough.  I use an air pump with adjustable airflow to have better control on the bubbles.

In the video you can see how I adjust it.  Once that is done I turn off all the lights in the room and aquarium and cover the aquarium with a towel to make sure no light gets into the larvae tank.  I then leave the tank alone and check back on the process two hours later.  I use a small flashlight to see if they hatched.  If they have not hatched I leave it overnight until the morning and check it then.  My preference is to turn the airstone down as soon as possible.  I feel the larvae can be damaged if they are bubbled too hard.  Once they hatch I remove the item the eggs were laid on and put it back in the parent's aquarium.  Once they are hatched it should look like this.   Check back for future posts on how to raise the clownfish larvae  

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