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Blenny spawning

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Hey guys,

just wondering if anyone might have any information on raising marine fish from eggs ? To many peoples dismay i have 2 lawnmower blennies inn my 3x2x2 reef tank (originally 1 but my friend closed down his tank so i took some orphans) turns out his is a female and mines a male and they like each other so no fight to the death as was originally expected.

anyways they did their thing yesterday which was really interesting to watch as the female laid out her pattern of eggs on the back glass of the tank the male kept dancing around her and sweeping over the egg rows as she lay them, so cool ! haha so now i have a mixed reef tank with about 200 blenny eggs on the back glass behind the rockwork. so far the female is guarding the eggs so no other tankmates have got near them which is my first concern as i feed fish eggs in their frozen diet so they would eat them in a heartbeat if she wasnt there. secondly if they make it through gestation and actually hatch i fear they will either get eaten as babies or straight over the weir and inevitably into the filter sock or skimmer...

so what should i do ? im about to do a water change but ill make sure i dont drop it too low that i go past the eggs and ill be refilling very carefully and slowly so as to not disturb them but im guessing without removing my 8 chromis, 2 anthias, foxface, niger trigger, occy clown pair, diana hogfish, spotted mandarin and clown goby i probably have very little chance of them surviving ?

thanks in advance for any valid information, as it seems these guys have not been successfully bred in captivity (generally due to near impossible pairing) i dont expect too much but my assumptions (i know never assume right?) are if the hard part (pairing the blennies and having them spawn) is already done i might just get lucky and see some baby blennies crusing about in a few days? fingers crossed anyhow :P

heres some pics for good measurepost-6585-14711634547022_thumb.jpg cheers!


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I have a pair that spawn every 10 days and done alot of research about raising fry.

The have a larval stage and the first foods are zooplankton which is next on impossible to find and you need to feed the zooplankton with phytoplankton which is impossible to know if you have any without a microscope.

Both types of plankton will need to be collected daily.

Once they pass that stage you will need marine infusoria to feed them then finally onto rotifers and baby brine shrimp.

I have spoken to a few marine breeders and hatcheries some of which have spent millions trying to find a way to breed these and similar larval stage breeding fish with no success, hence they are still wild caught.

I was told if i found a way then I would easily be a multi millionaire lol.

There is a hatchery in Hawaii that has recently had success with yellow tangs but they aren't very willing to share much info.

Cheers mick

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Guys it can be done and its the guys who aren't doing it telling you it is too hard....all I can say is get this book..all the info you need and yep a variety of Blennies bred in captivity :eyebrows:


The Complete Illustrated Breeder's Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes by Matthew L. Wittenrich

This book is INVALUABLE if you are keen on breeding anything marine wise and I recommend it for any serious fish keeper/breeder.

My own little thing here but ive watched beautiful fish(a massive majority of our marine stock is wild caught) come from the ocean and just not adapt or accept the glass box they get put in....just not accept a box over the ocean and pretty much die slowly in front of you...I personally don't think its cool to keep taking from the ocean (as no matter what people think its not an endless resource) and the sooner we get comfortable with breeding marine fish the better..don't forget even breeding freshwater fish had to be cracked guys and they've had decades even centuries of humans experimenting and learning from them to make the process what it is today...tank bred marines would not only be hardier,better acclimatised fish but would also ease the burden up on our oceans I reckon that's a win win...but yes GET THE BOOK IT WILL HELP WITH THE BLENNIES!! :beer: :beer:

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A little snippet/quote from the book to entice.....

"Blennies have several traits that make their captive propogation so promising.Blenny species produce large demersal eggs that are protected by the male until hatching.Most male blenny species will incubate several clutches of eggs deposited from different females at the same time within the same cavity.This allows a harem to be established and can create an almost-constant supply of larvae".....and yes they do discuss Larval Rearing and much much more(Blennies have their own chapter in the book as do many other varieties/families of fish!)

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I also think most people keep community tanks though which is a bit of a big setback unless you can get the little guys out and have a tank/grow out/system established to raise the babies..not too many people keep species only marine tanks and why I don't think a lot of successful breeding has occurred in the hobby(its not the aim!)..we do it with freshwater because we have the experience(a lot more with marine aquaria being so new in comparison) and hindsight and we aim to breed specific fish with aquariums to suit...

Edited by goldenswimmers
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Cheers for the tips [MENTION=2649]goldenswimmers[/MENTION]

You are correct that alot of people have put it in the too hard basket, i have some ideas I'm going to try I'm just organising tank space.

My first attempt will be a tank full of algae for places to hide and a food source.

I will try to find that book.

Cheers mick

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Few marine life with breeding are too hard, they just vary in how hard one is from the other.

The planktonic stage is the work, I made up a mix that would get blennies over the mark, four bags frozen all up, but with me, far to lazy to do anything with it, invertebrates are far easier!

If you have the time and the room, its just work, but if you want to sell, what is wild caught will always be cheaper and make it hard to take it to the next level, well for some years anyway.

Mutations are the go, the clown fish variations that do not work in the wild, that's why you do not see them out there usually, but have become popular, that's where the money is and the subsequent drive to keep going.

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I agree to a degree [MENTION=3166]liquidg[/MENTION] but there is starting to be a shift in the marine scene and people are happier to pay a little more for sustainable fish/coral.

It isn't huge at the moment but it is gaining momentum.

Personally I would be happy to break even knowing that I am doing my small part to help the long term protection of marine species, i know my small part won't make that much difference but for every fish i sell its one less being caught.

Cheers mick

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but for every fish i sell its one less being caught.

Cheers mick

Try to not take this in an overly bad way smicko, but that is some thing I have herd and had thrown at me a thousand times, and i am not saying its at me about preserving marine life, but is still a wasted comment!

To breed marine life is good, as in a learning thing for you and can truly help the hobbyist, but help reduce "what may be extracted from the ocean", you have been mislead as with 99. 9 percent of every one else as well!

The ocean can never be depleted to any serious or permanent affect by us in the not to distant future, but in the distant future much of the ocean will not be able to house many species any more.

The oceans as they were are dieing, I am seeing it as it progresses and its quite fast as well in the over scheme of things, as David Attenborough's show shows and many of us have known it is coming for many years, out there will be quite bad, quite soon.

Not taken, just dead or not capable of existing there any more.

The load of rubbish about supposed recycling saving anything once delved into, is rubbish, buildings going up and not out and all the forms of extended growth for food production just clears more land and puts much of the lands make up into the ocean too fast for it to process, all of this just makes it possible for more of us to exist to make more seen and hidden pollution which is destroying what once was quite beautiful.

Even in my time of just 44 years of everything ocean, it has changed so much and it was unchanged for thousands of years and due to our numbers it changed dramatically in just one hundred years, just think of how it will be in and another hundred years, so you see my point?

Even if you wanted to try to keep them alive in man made areas as they disappear from the oceans, what about jean pool issues and mutations, the ocean does not easily except mutations so it would go on as it all ways was, but not with us in control.

Your intensions sound good and you should do it, but if you could skip into the future and look at it, you would not bother and most likely feel quite depressed at how stupid we all were at letting all go, just so we could exist in such immerse numbers!

You get a 1 foot square box, with six different things in there including a couple of us and add the rest of one square foot of us and that one thing is all that is there, which is us, but you know what makes it so dam stupid, is we need much of those other things to exist!

Mate 50 percent of the barrier reef died and s not coming back just in the last thirty years, "just thirty years" holly smoke that is so fast, where d you think iy will end as our numbers keep exploding.

To many of us live in a manufactured dream world and will not allow them selves to see what is coming and is partly already here, if they did, there would be a lot of tears!!

Ocean acidification.


The life blood of the planet, phytoplankton


How incredibly important phytoplankton is.


Atmospheric Oxygen Decline



Phytoplankton and the ocean carbon cycle


Global warming links.






crown of thorns


coral losses on the reef


population growth




Edited by liquidg
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I'm not exactly sure @Sclero p, i have been told that they need plankton for food but I'm going to try a batch with rotifers. I will let you know if it works. Cheers mick
Egg size is a good starting point, can you measure them ?

No not JP's Matt, another native that is not cultured, currently only wild caught.

Edited by Sclero p
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Egg size is a good starting point, can you measure them ?

No not JP's Matt, another native that is not cultured, currently only wild caught.

Luckily I have a constant supply of eggs in the bottom of my skimmer.

Egg size is 0.5mm, tiny.

Does that you any ideas on what would be a good first food and if so would you share your thoughts?

Cheers mick

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