Clownfish spawning! Todd Gardner’s Marine Lab at Suffolk County Community College
I can’t seem to keep my hands dry. When I’m not at ReefGen(or playing music), I moonlight at the Suffolk County Community College Marine Lab, run by former MASNA Aquarist of the Year, Professor Todd Gardner. I feel so lucky to be exposed to all manner of interesting and weird things…such as clownfish breeding rituals.
I personally find it ridiculous that Ocellaris clownfish are being petitioned for endangered status. They are the marine hobby’s prime example of the success of captive breeding. We now have many strains of domesticated clownfish of various species. In fact,this pair is showing their comfort in captivity by breeding right in front on me, just minutes after after I had cleaned their tank.
In this video, we can see the female make several passes at the inside of the PVC, pressing her ovipositor to the inside of the pipe and depositing her eggs. Shortly thereafter, the male takes her place and fertilizes the new eggs. As you can see, it is not a foolproof way to breed, and the male does not always get his sperm on all the eggs, and nothing but the eggs. There have been numerous reports of accidental hybridization in plumbed breeding systems.