Yee Haw! My RockFlower Nems have SEXUALLY REPRODUCED! Nem Babies!

Discussion in 'Propagation' started by Enderturtle, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Let me explain to you why I'm SO excited about this. First off as you may already know, corals primarily reproduce ASEXUALLY, in captivity. They're cloning themselves as they grow.

    In the wild, they reproduce asexually via growing and also SEXUALLY through the combination of gametes. This rarely occurs in the Aquarium. There are a ton of people who set up their tanks with a huge focus on promoting coral sexual reproduction, i.e., through the release of gametes. People change their light cycles, temperatures, moonlighting schedule to match the natural cycles of the seasons to try and encourage corals to get their sexy on. Though most of the time, the corals just don't feel like having sex in our tanks!

    By the way the other cool thing about Sexual Reproduction is..........GENETIC RECOMBINATION! Variation in the phenotypes! New colorations and patterns! :) :) :)

    Well it happened in my tank! And I'm so stoked to watch these guys grow and get their different colors.

    In July, through the Merith Group Buy we had, I bought 4 Rockflower Nems and added 2 of them two my tank. The yellow/red one and the striped green one. The two nems from this group buy were joined by the two rockflower nems already in my tank.


    I'm spotfeeding some corals and I noticed this little red dot on the left side of my tank. I think "wow that would be cool if it was a rock flower nem baby". I look at the rock structure on the right side of my tank and see two more of these little red dots on the rock. I'm thinking "wow what are these things!?"

    After lights out, I looked at my rockflower anemone rock with Jon's Blue LED light he gave me (thanks again Jon!) really quick to check on my Adult Rockflower Anemones to see SO MANY ROCK FLOWER NEM BABIES!


    I've counted 25 babies so far. Most of them are located near the parents. I've only seen 4 rockflower anemone babies attached on the rock structure. There are green center ones and red center ones.

    Often times you cannot see the babies because they are covered by the adults. Similar to how you might be surprised to find a jawbreaker baby underneath the adult. I'm speculating right now but I feel like they do not need that much light compared to the adults. I will be spot feeding them mysis/brineshrimp debris.

    Baby rockflower anemones hidden by adult rockflower anemones. Several other babies completely obscured by the adults.

    Sexy Shrimp aka Sir Francis Drake hosting one of his 3 rockflower anemones.

    Sexy shrimp hosting the anemones.

    My Thoughts on their Reproduction
    We think the baby nems are anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks old. I'm also noticing that the rockflower anemones are only located in areas where I did not vacuum clean the sandbed :( I think I sucked up most of the other ones in my last water change :(

    It's said in the Reef2Rainforest magazines that Fall is about the right time of the year when they reproduce.

    So I feel like my tank had just the appropriate conditions for them to spawn.

    What I think helped with them spawning
    1. I feed them mysis/brine.
      • Mainly because my sexy shrimp lives on top of them and he's hard to feed unless I blast some food at his face.
      • Althought Rockflower Anemones are photosynthetic, they still LOVE to eat.
    2. My refugium light recently turned on which resulted in a lot of dim Light bouncing back into the tank. I suspect this is acting like a moonlight.
    3. I regularly turn off ALL flow in my tank at night to look at coral or feed corals.

    Water Parameters:
    Alkalinity 7.0
    Calcium 400
    Salinity 1.029 (ouch! need to lower this)
    Nitrate Dunno
    Phosphate Dunno

    Here's a video I found online of what they look like when they spawn. If you look closely, you can see one of the anemones releasing a white milky substance into the water.

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
    BillT, WrightReef, gimmito and 11 others like this.
  2. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Very cool!
    Will be interesting to see the growth of the babies in the pictures
  3. jonmos75

    jonmos75 Supporting Member

    Congratulation Mike @Enderturtle this is so Awesome cant wait for
  4. Corallus

    Corallus BAR Sponsorship Coordinator

    So cool, looking forward to seeing how they grow!
  5. Yippee

    Yippee Supporting Member

    A Richard Ross topic.
  6. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

  7. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Wow! Didn't know they spawn. Looks very cool :)
  8. Baykes

    Baykes Webmaster

    Very cool! I really can't wait until they get their real colors!
  9. Merith

    Merith Guest

    Very cool man, can't wait to see what you got.
  10. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Awesome, well done. We should all aspire to keep our animals happy enough that they're able to reproduce in the tank.
  11. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    If you have like 25 babies, I would love to purchase a few once they start getting to big for your liking:). One of the ones I got during the group buy didn't make it and its one of the only corals my wife likes in the tank:D
  12. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    For sure I will have to find these guys some new happy homes once they get big enough.

    Their full size would easily sting the rest of my corals and that would be no bueno :p

    At this size they are still too small to move around. I did try to pluck one off the sandbed and glue his sand to a frag plug but he quickly let go of the sand and wanted to move on his own.

    So I imagine it will be at least 2 more months before these guys can start being sold/traded/given away.
  13. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

  14. humu

    humu Guest

    Damn...very nice...
  15. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Very cool! Our Jawbreaker mushrooms behave in the same way where the mother shields the babies initially and then either the babies move away or the mother does. It's pretty awesome to stare at a rock full of Jawbreakers. :)
    Nav likes this.
  16. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    How are the babies coming along? Are they still hiding under momma;)
  17. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Status Update:

    Something happened. I'm missing about 15 babies. Maybe they died? Maybe they moved?

    One thing I've noticed about these little rockflower babies is they're very mobile.

    About 2 weeks ago with the cold spell, my tank reached 75.9 degrees. All other corals appear fine but ever since that happened the cluster of babies sitting under momma nem have disappeared.

    Most of the baby rockflower nems that wedged themselves into the tiny holes in my live rock are alive and well.

    I'm also noticing differences in growth rates. Some have not grown much while a few have grown very fast and are at least 5 times larger than the others. Will have to take pictures.
    muhli, Nav and dochou like this.
  18. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Hrm, maybe just moved to another location?
  19. patchin

    patchin Facilities / Event Coordinator

    Congrats, you're a new dad!
  20. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Wow good job!

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
    Enderturtle likes this.

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