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It was the draw of live coral that got me into this hobby but my pride and joy are my two Black Ocellaris and their host anemone. They are a wild-caught pair from Darwin Harbour in the Northern Territory,  Australia where this particular variation of ocellaris are native to. They came with a Stichodactyla gigantea carpet anemone which (according to the collector) was their natural host anemone. I have had them since mid February 2005.
The Happy Couple
Amphiprion Ocellaris 
These guys are so cool. The female is around 7cm, the male about 5cm. They rarely leave the safety of the anemone but this is not unnatural. They frolic around in the anemone and look so comfortable tucked up in it. 3 months after being added to the tank they spawned for the first time and seem content along with their anemone in their new home. They are fed daily (I do skip a day every now and again) a homemade combination of marinara mix, brine shrimp, nori and crushed flake.
Sunday 8th May 2005 (Mothers Day) they spawned for the first time approximately 50-100 eggs, as I had insufficient time to prepare the rotifers etc for raising the fry, the first batch failed (that's a nice way of saying died). A day after hatching they spawned again (approx 200 eggs), I crashed my rotifer culture at the vital moment and fed the larvae on Golden Pearls (100). Surprisingly enough although my success was not blinding I have managed to rear 2 juvenile clownfish from this batch. This is not a good success rate considering the 200 larvae I started with but does prove that it is possible to raise larvae without live food - possible, not productive however.

Since then I have now got the hang of maintaining the rotifers and the nannochloropsis, determined which was the best larvae tank setup for me and experimented with a number of different methods and came up with a formula which worked for me. I have detailed this in Tips for Breeding Clownfish .

The Twins
Carpet Anemone
Stichodactyla gigantea
Admittedly one of the harder anemones to keep but I have to add that these wild-caught pairs are hard to come by even in Australia. These were only available to me if I bought the anemone too. Kept in a 48x24x12 tank under a 400W metal halide. It gets the crumbs from the clowns daily but about once a week I direct feed it a piece of prawn. The anemone did not move since being placed in the tank, I took this as a positive indication that it was content in it's environment.
 
Gallery
Some Photo's taken at feeding time.
48x24x12 tank , just over half dedicated to anemone & the ocellaris pair, remainder for pumps & coral propagation.

When we left Australia in 2006 I left the clowns and the anemone with some friends to look after for me, unfortunately the anemone didnt make it and died a couple of months after the move. Fortunately the clowns settled back down again after losing their home and are going strong now.
I will post up some photos when I can get some.

 

Reefing The Australian Way
Australian reefing forum, excellent resource.


Reefpedia
RTAW site, a searchable wki knowledgebase.
 

 

Oceanarium

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

 

Reefculture

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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