Clownfish in anenome

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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9 Comments to “Clownfish Metamorphosis”

  1. scott — March 31, 2009 @ 8:08 pm

    how much CORAL VITAL should i purchase?

  2. Scott — April 1, 2009 @ 10:10 pm

    The small bottle of coral vital will be enough for a couple batches. You do not need to add very much. Maybe a cap full. Please use the forum.

  3. Ari-Joan — April 11, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    How much shrimp brine shrip do you feed them a day?

  4. Scott — April 15, 2009 @ 6:55 pm

    When it is time to feed the clownfish fry brine shrimp, I usually feed them about 2-3 teaspoons of brine shrimp (water) 2-3 times per day. Use a turkey baster as noted on the site and only put the live brine into the tank, not the egg shells. Keep us posted in the breeding clownfish forum.

  5. Shelly — June 11, 2010 @ 5:42 pm

    Wow. Interesting stuff. I have two clowns who continue to lay eggs, and this site really helped me know what to do when they actually hatch. Thanks!

  6. Grant — January 2, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    I just wanted to thanou for all the help your site has given me i just recently bought a pair of black percula’s the large more dominate of the two is not fully developed into a female yet so they are not producing eggs however they are absolutely beautiful and shoulp begin laying in a few months. I’ll post pictures and what-not on your forum when she lays her first batch.

  7. jamie — April 1, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    i have the eggs almost day 8 and dont know how to grow or where to get brine eggs or rotifers there is so much eggs i am hoping to keep them all alive that would be sweet this is my first batch of clowns what should i do i already have a 10 gal set up with a foam bubble filter i got from a breeder but got no info on feeding the fry.

  8. Scott — April 2, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    Forster Smith has brine shrimp eggs as do most online retailers. The rotifers you will need to get from a site like eBay. The rotifers will need to eat Nanochloropsus. The info is all here just read up.

  9. jamie — April 7, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    thanks nanochloropsus? what is that and where do i get that sorry idk alot about this and my male ate my eggs so it will be a while before i get eggs again idk what happend

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