Probably the most important thing for successful breeding, next to water quality, is the proper diet. Both for your broodstock and your juvenile fish.
While many types of fish will spawn in an average reef tank, quite often the eggs won't be viable or of low quality due to deficiencies in the parental diet. Spawning fish need to feed often and have a well balanced diet, just like us.
I feed my broodstock pairs four times per day, every four hours. Feeding like this would rapidly cause issues in a reef tank, that is why most breeders choose to isolate their breeding pairs.
I'm not going to get into the scientific dietary details but you can find my feeding recipes below:
Spirulina (Brine Shrimp & Mysis)
Brine Shrimp Plus
Dry & Other:
Spectrum Pellets (My clowns love these but my Banggais and Dottybacks don't.)
Enriched, adult Brine Shrimp ( I enrich these by feeding them with Selcon and or IA for 4-6 hours. These are only fed occasionally as a treat and to help induce spawning.)
I know this looks like a long list. I don't feed all of this every day but over the course of a few days I use most ingredients. It's my feeling that providing a varied diet helps to promote healthy fish and viable eggs.
Another recipe that can be found in Matt Wittenrich's book contains the following:
4 ounces fresh frozen shrimp
1 once squid
1 ounce clam
1 ounce crab meat
1 ounce marine fish flesh
1/2 ounce nori or other dried seaweed
1 gelatin packet
1 teaspoon liquid fish vitamin supplement
If frozen, the ingredients can be shaved into bite-size pieces with a cheese grater or a food processor, if fresh. The ingredients are then mixed together in a bowl. The gelatin should be dissolved as recommended on the package and added to the other ingredients. The resulting "mash" is them placed in plastic bags and frozen flat. In this way small pieces are easily broken off for individual feedings.
The "weaning" diet is for juvenile fishes that have progressed beyond rotifers and/or copepods.
Top Dressed Otohime (TDO)
TDO is the top-selling hatchery larval finfish diet "top dressed" with Haematococcus (astaxanthin source), natural feed stimulants, a natural immune-stimulant, and more! I can't say enough good about TDO! It is available in seven different sizes to accommodate fish of all sizes, from settled juveniles to adults. The "top dressing" with astaxanthin provides excellent coloration in many species of fish.
More detailed information on TDO can be found here: