Clownfish metamorphosis is the next obstacle you must overcome in your goal to breed clownfish. Metamorphosis occurs when the clownfish go through changes from a larvae to a juvenile. This is when clownfish will begin to show some color on their bodies, and start to look like real saltwater fish. Metamorphosis occurs at different times for diferent species of clownfish. Most clownfish will begin metamorphosis by day 14.
Metamorphosis can be a good thing and a bad thing. It is wonderful to see your fish start to grow into real clownfish, but at the same time, it can be a time of loss. Many times the clownfish fry will not survive the metamorphosis stage. Everything you have done up to this point will show in the metamorphosis stage. If the fry’s diet has not been rich enough or if the aquarium water is fowled it can cause losses at this stage. Some clownfish species are more likely to die during metamorphosis than others.
Clarkii clownfish have been rumored to be the worst when it comes to losses during transition.
In order for your clownfish to survive the transition, you must have clean water and a nutritious diet. By this point you should be feeding your clownfish mostly live brine shrimp. Make sure they are fresh and have recently hatched. As mentioned before, brine shrimp lose their nutritional value the longer they are since they have hatched. If some of your clownfish have not made the switch to brine shrimp yet, it is still ok to feed rotifers. At this stage it is ok to add vitamins and trace elements to the water. This will help the clownfish to survive the transition. I always use Coral Vital. It is filled with all sorts of vitamins and trace elements found in the ocean including iodide which has been proven to aid in metamorphosis.
As metamorphosis begins you will notice colors to develop and usually a headband or stipe towards the front of the clownfish.
Over the next couple days stripes will become more prevalent. One major change you will notice is how your fish swim. After metamorphosis, your clownfish will start to swim like real clownfish. Up to this point, your clownfish frantically vibrated their tail and side fins to get around. After transition, your clownfish will start to wag their tail in wide motions to swim. This is similar to how adult clownfish swim. Now that the fish are better swimmers, you will notice that they tend to hang out more towards the bottom of the tank in schools. Sometimes after this transition, they will even start to make friends (and enemies) with each other.
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