View Full Version : OMG My fish are breeding

01-19-2018, 04:29 AM
Last night I was looking at my tank and all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye my my male ocellaris clown was swimming erratically carrying an Astrea snail by the foot almost as big as he was. He dropped it into the middle of one of my montipora's. I immediately thought this couldn't be, the fish couldn't be breeding. Sure enough there was a group of about 30 live eggs about ready to hatch. He was carrying the snail away from the eggs.

I know what everyone is saying nothing special my clowns lay eggs all the time.

Let me tell you why this is so special, at least for me.

In 1997 I purchased a large female Ocellaris clown fish from an over crowed 90 gallon hexagon tank in Richmond full of large angels. The fish was over 3" long. I brought her home and put her into my 240 gallon reef tank, mostly softies with a few LPS and clams. I purchased 2 small juvenile clowns to pair her up with. One of the two quickly grew larger and became a male. The other remained as a juvenile The 2 clowns started laying eggs almost immediately. They continued to lay eggs up until I moved to Burnaby in 2001.

During the move it took me a while to set my tank back up again and unfortunately the male died during this stressful time. The juvenile that I had purchased 4 years earlier quickly grew larger and assumed the role as male. They again began to lay eggs.

17 years later they have laid eggs again. I hadn't seen eggs for several years. I really hadn't looked that hard. The two would often act as if they were laying eggs and the male would fan a bare rock and go through the motions.

This female has been laying viable eggs for 20 years. I am sure she was at least 4 years old when I got her.

I wonder how long she will continue to lay eggs. She has outlived most of my other pets 2 fold.

There is not much information on the internet about how long they live and how long they can continue to lay eggs.

01-19-2018, 07:34 AM
I think the smaller of the two are the male and the later being be female. My clowns are mated and my female lays every Sunday. My small male will help clear everyone away while the female bites at the rock. Shortly after she beds down on the LR below the anemone and lays several bright orange eggs.

When I first got her I was told she laid eggs with the current male. I never saw this happen during his time. I transferred my 75g to a 150g and shortly after my male died. I was able to pair up a juvenile and it took a bit but the eggs began to be laid. Very interesting, if conditions are less then ideal eggs will not be laid as well. That’s awesome that you are now having eggs be laid.

01-19-2018, 03:32 PM
That's awesome. 17 years is a long time to wait, haha.

My female ocellaris right now was the male of the original pair that I bought ... in 1998. :eek: About a year and a half ago I inherited a second pair of patterned ocellaris (I don't know the variety, snowflake or whatever) from a friend shutting his tank down. I was sort of hoping the two pair would get along by basically setting up shop on either ends of the tank (or I'd rehome them or whatever). But what's happened is the male of the new pair introduced himself into the original pair, making it a group of 3 ("sharem"?). I have two gigantea carpets in the tank and basically each male associates to one of them, and my 20 year old female bounces back and forth between them, alternating back and forth egg laying sites. "Ok now it's your turn."

The spurned female from the old tank just chills out and basically stays away from them. I want to feel kinda sad for her, but OTOH she seems to prefer the single life.

01-20-2018, 12:16 AM
I am sorry if I was mis-understood. I was trying to be cute in the title.

My female has been laying eggs for 20 years and for 17 with this male.

I thought about 3 years ago they had stopped laying eggs because she was getting too old. But I was wrong she is still laying viable eggs for at least 20 years.

01-20-2018, 02:27 AM
That's awesome! I believe Frank Baensch wrote about Clownfish laying for 24 years or so in one of his books. I'd try to look it up for you, but his books are horrible to try to find stuff in. Haha

01-20-2018, 04:06 AM
Can you imagine how many clownfish babies have hatched into my tanks over last 20 years. Conservatively they lay several hundred eggs at a time and during their prime they would probably lay eggs at least a half dozen times a year.

If I had have raised 1/4 of these babies I would have saturated the clownfish market for Canada.

That's awesome! I believe Frank Baensch wrote about Clownfish laying for 24 years or so in one of his books. I'd try to look it up for you, but his books are horrible to try to find stuff in. Haha

01-20-2018, 04:10 AM
I wish it was easier to breed the clowns. That being said I don’t know what one would do with all of them as there are only so many people that would buy clowns ha ha.