The Larvae Tank


New Zealand Nanoreef
Sea Apple Page
Black Ocellaris Central
The Family Room Tank
The Big Tank
Propagation/Breeding Tank
Larvae Tank
Steve's Corals
Steve's Inverts
Steve's Fish
This is my larvae tank specially made for my attempt at breeding Black Ocellaris Clownfish. For more details on the breeding process see my Black Ocellaris page here.
The top section is where the larvae go. When clownfish larvae are first hatched they need to be housed in a container with blacked-out sides & bottom so this black plastic tub (33L) was ideal. A hole has been drilled in the middle of the bowl (and the table it sits on to allow a standpipe to run down to a sump underneath. The sump is where the heater is housed.
A return pump (750lph powerhead) is then used to return water to the larvae tank giving a gentle water flow. Live rock or a skimmer could also be added to the sump.

The top of the standpipe and the return pipe into the larvae tank both have filter material over them to prevent larvae leaving the tank and sand etc entering it.


Whilst this tank was great in theory it had a number of pitfalls. One of my biggest problems had been retention of larvae on hatch night. I had taken a macro shot of the eggs pre-hatch and estimated roughly 400 to 500 viable eggs. I seemed to largely end up with 30-50 larvae on hatch night. These would then dwindle down to around 10-20 by metamorphosis. I was leaving the eggs too long after lights-out before starting to collect, I was starting about 45 min after lights out. Now I am starting about 15 minutes after and I am getting at least 200-300 on hatch night. I think a lot were probably hatching and swimming directly into the anemone with no light to attract them.

I then used a 10 gallon glass tank, half filled with a skirt around the bottom half to block light out from the sides. 50W heater with the light blacked out and an airtube, air bubbles running at a constant boil. A white bottom is essential, all the buckets I used was mainly because I liked the idea of the circular water movement (no dead spots) but they all had dark bottoms. With the white bottom I can see all of the larvae, I can remove the dead ones easily, the rectangular tank shape is a small price to pay.

Using this tank I was succesful with 3 batches in a rown all yeilding approx 50 fish post metamorphosis. All fish were found homes after we left for New Zealand by a friend of ours.
Reefing The Australian Way
Australian reefing forum, excellent resource.

RTAW site, a searchable wki knowledgebase.



Licensed WA collector, Pete & Leanne run an excellent business with a real focus on sustainable collection and propagation.



Great online source for equipment, supply food cultures.


ATJ's Marine Aquarium Site
Very comprehensive site, reliable source for accurate well-researched information.


Oz Reef

Great resource site with a comprehensive DIY section.


Reef Online

Another recommended online shop for marine products. 


Age Of Aquariums

Very good source for low budget pumps and equipment.


GARF (Coral Propogation)

The ultimate resource for coral propagation, a seemingly endless supply of articles on coral propagation showing step-by-step from fragging to grow-out.

All content & pictures Copyright Steve Strachan 2006, no pictures or content to be used without the authors permission.

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