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Author Topic: Breeding Journal, Species: Sparisoma automarium, aka. Greenblotch Parrotfish  (Read 20149 times)
mpedersen
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« on: April 22, 2012, 08:46:07 am »

Breeding Journal DataSheet
This first post should be updated regularly to include new information as events take place or changes are made to your system

General

Species: Sparisoma automarium - Greenblotch Parrotfish
Social Structure: presumed haremic in nature, as a pair in this aquarium at this time.  Keeping others in harems / groups.
Size of Individuals: Male 4", female 3"
Age of Individuals: unknown (wild caught)
Date added to Tank:both specimens obtained in mid 2012.  Were not paired and placed into the 92 gallon display tank until late March, 2012

Broodstock Tank Details
Size of Tank: 92 gallon corner tank (have other pairs in smaller tanks)
Substrate Details: sand
Filtration Details: large central filtration, 3 skimmers, biopellet reactor, carbon/gfo reactor, UV Sterilizer
Water Changes: none so far (system is too new)
Water Temperature: 78.5 F average
Lighting: 4 22 watt Par38 LED fixtures, 3 12K, 1 Blue
Lighting Cycle: 9 AM to 12 AM full lighting, 12 AM to 2:15 AM blue lighting, plus ambient daylight from outside may have an influence
Other Tank Inhabitants: At this time, 1 pair Serranus tigrinus, 1 pair Holacanthus tricolor.

Broodstock Feeding Details
Food Types: Various Frozen foods and Spectrum Thera A pellets, plus they graze algae constantly
Feeding Schedule: randomly, 2-3 times daily at this time

Spawning Details
Date of First Spawn: On this pair, 4/22/2012
Spawn Time of Day: 8:05 AM on first spawning (have seen this species spawning in the morning in multiple pairs now)
Dates of Consecutive Spawns: 4/26/2012
Courtship Details: pair swims parallel, corkscrews to the surface and releases eggs at the apex of the spawning rise
Egg Size: 0.6 mm (600 microns in diameter)
Egg Color: clear with a red-ish oil globule
Egg Count: unknown, but estimated at hundreds to a few thousand.

Hatch Details
Hatch Date: 4/27/2012 (from 4/26/2012 spawn)
Hatch Time of Day: between 10 AM and 12 PM (2 hour window)
# Days after Spawn: 1 (26 to 28 hours)
Larvae Description: prolarvae.  black spots along the back / spinal column, what looks like the oil globule well out ahead of the actual future head, at the very anterior-most position possible.  Yolk elongated / oblong compared to some other prolarave.  Measures at 1.65 mm based on the scale in the QX5 microscope.


Larval Tank Details
Temperature:
Size of Larval Tank:
Substrate Details:
Other Tank Decor:
Filtration Details:
Lighting:
Lighting Cycle:
Water Changes:

Larval Feeding Details
Food Types:
Feeding Schedule:

Metamorphosis/Settlement
Date of Settlement Start:
Days after Hatch:
Date of Settlement End:
Description of Fry:

Grow-Out Tank Details
Temperature:
Size of Grow-Out Tank:
Substrate Details:
Other Tank Decor:
Filtration Details:
Lighting:
Lighting Cycle:
Water Changes:
Size at Transfer:
Age at Transfer:

Grow-Out Feeding Details
Food Types:
Feeding Schedule:

Additional Information
Miscellaneous Information:
The spawn collected on 4/26 was incubated in a 0.25 gallon specimen cup which was water bathed in the broodstock tank.  It hatched in that specimen cup, and as of 4/27 the larvae are still in this cup under close observation for further development.


You will be required to provide photographic evidence in this thread of each event submitted for the MBI Program.
If your thread does not contain these photos the MBI Committee will not be able to approve your reports.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 12:04:39 am by mpedersen » Logged

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mpedersen
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 09:54:00 am »

This is a spawning rise I witnessed and recorded on a prior pair last year in late October - watch it on YOUTUBEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MiVIMrvjYE

Background with the Greenblotch Parrot (short version) - In a nutshell, I've been working with this species since Summer of 2011.  Once Kara and Philipp Rausch of KPAquatics nailed down collection of this species, it was easy to get set up.  I had a harem going in the 92 display, a group of 5 that the largest one quickly turned male, and they were indeed undergoing spawning behavior in the mornings.  However, I never collected eggs.  I lost 4 of the 5 fish during an outbreak of Cryptocaryon. Since then, I rebuilt; the pair I have for this report consisted of a larger male I'd kept for 8-9 months in a 24 gallon cube with Serranus annularis, Labroides dimidiatus, and Amphiprion percula.  The female in this pair is from the outbreak, the lone survivor.  Here's the pair that I'm reporting on as of April 22, 2012.





I've been trying to establish a larger group, and have had 5-6 in QT in a 24 gallon tank, smaller sized (all less than 2"). I've had multiple fish quickly turn male even at this small size...creating a harem is very, very easy. I've had multiple jumping deaths - fish winding up on top of covers, in the back filters etc.  After seeing the fish spawning this morning, and hearing them repeatedly hit the cover glass, it goes without saying that this is a species that MUST have a FULL lid, particularly if kept in a social arrangement where they may spawn. 

4/22/2012

Renee has me up early because my folks are in town and Ethan is up, and we're sitting there playing when Renee says "Matt, your fish are going crazy at the top".  Sure enough, the Parrotfish are splashing around at the surface...at 8:00 AM.  I watched them hit the cover glass in their excitement multiple times.

when I investigated with a LED flashlight, I saw no eggs.  Renee said I scared them.  So I logged into the Apex controller for the system and manually turned off the Koralia circulation pumps.  I then also manually turned on the blue LED lighting (the thought was to maybe record more video).  However, by that time it looked like they had spawned, and sure enough, upon further inspection, there was a large apparent "string" of eggs on the surface.

By the time I returned from a downstairs to get a specimen cup to collect eggs, the "strands" of eggs had apparently dissipated.  It took a minute, but I skimmed off hundreds of eggs.  They were not all clumped together, so that meant collecting all of them would be very difficult / unrealistic.  Still, I easily collected hundreds, and am guestimating that there could be easily 1000 or more.  Here's the photographs, shot with the QX5.

60 X




200 X

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« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 03:51:02 pm »

4-22-2012 - 3:50 PM - the eggs that I left under the scope have not developed, which is suggestive that they might be infertile.  I'll have to check other eggs however, as these could have been killed by rising salinity (as the water drops evaporate).
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 12:18:03 pm »

4-26-2012 - 11:50 AM - I've had the Koralia pumps since yesterday evening when I saw the Serranus tigrinus courting (never saw a spawn).  This morning, I checked and found eggs again.  I am intially guessing that some, if not all, are from the Parrotfish, as everything I looked at under the scope fit the Parrotfish look.

The first eggs I collected did not develop - they appeared to be unfertilized.  Based on what I saw under the microscope, it again appears that the eggs are infertile,but I will check later today to confirm.

An interested side note is that my tank has a built in overflow, but it's slotted on both top and bottom and frankly skims very poorly from the surface.  But this may not wind up being a bad thing, at least from a pelagic spawner standpoint.  All I need to do is turn off the Koralia pumps, and enough eggs seem to stay in the tank and gravitate to the meniscus at the front of the tank that I can simply collect them at will.  So I've actually set up my Koralias to shut down during the known spawning times of the Parrotfish and the Harlequin Bass, so they get used to spawning without the heavy flow (I've often wondered if shutting down flow during an active courtship can put off the pair).  If I want to collect eggs, I just need to manually shut the Koralias off overnight (easy mouse click through my Apex) and just need to collect in the AM, simply skimming the eggs off the water's surface.  This will work, so long as the fish don't wise up and start eating the eggs.  I may have to leave the Blue Chromis out of this tank Wink
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2012, 01:21:32 am »

4-27-2012 - 1:20 AM

I shot these just a little while ago - turns out I was wrong about my eggs being infertile.  Looks like we're gonna have a hatch!  This is about 16 hours post spawn.


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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2012, 10:25:27 am »

Pretty cool, Your scope takes awesome pics. If you would get these eggs past post settlement, would this be another species tank breed first for you?
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2012, 10:51:50 am »

Yes, if I could get them past settlement, it would be a species first under my belt again.
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« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2012, 12:39:07 pm »

You are a breeding machine! What kind of scope is that? and how does it take picture? Sorry if this throws your journal off track...
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 02:00:56 pm »

You are a breeding machine! What kind of scope is that? and how does it take picture? Sorry if this throws your journal off track...

The one scope is a Digital Blue QX5 Digital Microscope.  The other one where I photographed through the eyepiece is an old binocular analog scope, and I used my little point and shoot to get the images.

4/27/2012 - 2:00 PM - a couple hours ago I found the hatch.  Here's the shots:







« Last Edit: April 27, 2012, 02:17:16 pm by mpedersen » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2012, 11:20:39 pm »

4/27/2012 = 11:20 pm - I think Tal may have been wanting me to note that I used a 0.25 gallon specimen container to collect and incubate the eggs on the 4/26/2012 spawn...there are still babies in there as of tonight.

Also, I just rescued the male out of the overflow chamber, again.  I have no clue how it ended up back in there again....it has to jump at just the right angle to make it through a narrow gap between the top of the overflow grate and the plastic lid above it.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 12:03:04 am by mpedersen » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 01:50:34 am »

Doing my research on Parrotfish breeding / mating / larval information...

From - http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2984/65.1.087
"Scarids showed consistent mean standard length at settlement and pelagic larval duration (mean standard length: 7.1–7.6 mm; pelagic larval duration: 29–42 days, five species, 25 individuals). " - so in Southern Japan, the average pelagic duration of a Parrotfish larvae is 29-42 days...that's in line with fish like Dottybacks.

http://vertebrates.si.edu/fishes/larval/labroi.html
Shows a larval Sparisoma sp. at 10 mm, and it says the ID was determined by rearing...so suggests that some culture occurred at some point.

From - http://www.coralreeffish.com/scaridae.html
Looks like tons of settlement-stage larvae around the 10 mm mark for Caribbean Parrotfish, with full on juvenile characteristics as early as 12 mm (with 15 mm being more like a full on juvenile fish).

Perhaps my favorite, this one from Thresher's book:
"The only report of anything resembling spawning of parrotfishes in captivity is by Breder @ Rosen (1966) who reported observing pairs of Sparisoma radians, a small western Atlantic species, assuming vent-to-vent position at hte bottom of an aquarium and making sudden lunges towards the surface...Due to their large size at maturity (even the smallest parrotfishes  are typically 6 to 10 cm when mature as a female and larger than that as a mature male) and the space requirements for successful spawning, it is unlikely that parrotfishes will be spawned in anything less than large public aquaria".

Seems I've already beat the odds according to Thresher Wink
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 11:25:18 pm »

4-28-2012 - 10:55 PM


First, larval photographs from around 10-11 AM today: (so 1 day post hatch)



I think this prolarvae died just from the act of collecting it and photographing it.  It literally went from viable to just curling up and dying underneath the scope.  Note that the oil globule's position changed dramatically, the overall look of the prolarvae has changed (I also noticed pigmentation on the fish).

I don't think that there are any prolarvae left this evening, but I'll check the 0.25 gallon specimen cup again in the morning, just to see.

Now, new Eggs tonight.  Ok, so here's a weird one.  The Serranus annularis were courting this evening, and I found eggs.  So one would assume that since all experiences with Sparisoma automarium spawning has been in the morning hours so far, that these eggs should be from the Serranus.

Well, putting them under the microscope, they look like they are Sparisoma eggs.  Which is confusing to say the least.  Plus, they look "fresh"...no cell division or decay...so they're not from this morning.  The parrotfish were courting a bit too this evening, but I didn't see any actual spawning activity going on.  Plus, it wasn't like I collected large numbers of eggs, maybe only 1 or 2 dozen.  And the eggs collected tonight are bigger, even to the naked eye.  The QX5 confirms this, putting the eggs at ever so slightly under 0.8 mm - side by side, as shown now, the differences in eggs are potentially considerable, and yet, they look strikingly similar.



Here's a few more shots of the mystery egg, at 60X and 200X magnification via the QX5:










And a couple through the analog scope:





So are these Serranus or Sparisoma?  Could it be the female is just shedding overly ripe eggs?  Or did I really just get proof of another fish I know is trying to spawn?  I think the development over the next couple days will give me the answer.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 12:08:34 pm »

5-15-2012 - 12 PM (noon)

So I'm sitting here working on my laptop when out of the corner of my eye I see the Parrotfish going through their "courtship" dance, and it appears that they spawned.  So much for the assumption that they are morning spawners???  Water temp was 78.8F
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 05:35:06 pm »

Maybe they are like us?? The Morning is a great time to spawn, after a long nights rest, your energy levels are up, the males testoterone is up, etc. but if that didn't work out... nights work too! And from time to time you should throw a nooner in there to keep things interesting.  Fish that spawn this often must just figure if it doesn't work this time it will work next time.  Smiley
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