The latest innovation to come out of ORA Farms is here–and they are calling it The Goldflake Clownfish.
What is a Goldflake Clownfish? It is the offspring of a Gold-Striped Maroon Clownfish with a unique striping pattern that was specially selected because of its own individually unique and attractive striping pattern. Aquaculture facilities like ORA Farms have been cranking out designer clownfish over the past few years, as saltwater aquarium hobbyists gobble them up.
According to the ORA Farm blog:
“Each Goldflake will have a unique pattern and, depending on the degree of white on the fish, these fish will be graded as regulars or premiums. Some of the premium fish have white that covers nearly half of their bodies. These fish will look absolutely spectacular when the white turns to gold as they mature. While the standard Goldflake will be readily available from ORA, the Premium Goldflakes are still exceptionally rare, perhaps one in 20,000 fish making their availability VERY limited.”
Premium Goldflake Clownfish
What creates misbarred striping in aquarium fish seems to be a bit of a mystery. In some cases, environmental queues have been thought to be a major factor (for example, poor water quality or inadequate nutrition during the larval rearing phase), but according to the ORAFarm website, these Goldflake Clownfish appear to create more misbarring than their Gold-Striped Maroon Clownfish cousins.
What’s next? The ORA website hinted towards the next innovation in Maroon Clownfish Breeding–the 24k Solid Gold. These will be the Gold-Striped Maroon Clownfish equivalent to the Platinum Perc, where the entire body of the fish will be covered by the gold–and no real striping pattern will exist.
24K Solid Gold Maroon Clownfish
I think the whole move to designer clownfish over the past few years has been an interesting thing to observe. Kudos to the aquaculture facilities to figuring out a way to heighten demand for these rare (dare I say mutant?) fish. It makes a lot of sense for any breeder to ask a premium for the ‘pick of the litter’. But the latest foray into Maroon Clownfish gives me a little bit of a pause.
Maroon Clownfish are notoriously aggressive fish, and they grow larger than their Amphiprion ocellaris (Common Clownfish) and Amphiprion percula (Perc) cousins–which may create an unhealthy dynamic of people trying to put the cool new fish into an unsuitable habitat.
I also wonder what segment of the aquarium hobbyists market they are going after with these latest fish–given the rather lengthy lifespan of clownfish in captivity, I wonder how many of the hobbyists who bought Picassos, Platinum Percs, Wyoming Whites, Snowflakes, Naked Ocellaris, Midnight Ocellaris and Domino Ocellaris have room for one more premium-striped clownfish.
If you are in the market for a new clownfish–or if you are an aquarium hobbyist who absolutely has to have the latest and greatest, you should check out the new Goldflake Clownfish from ORA. Just be sure you have a large enough aquarium to house an adult fish–and make sure you don’t have shy fish that will be bullied by a big maroon clownfish.
All images were originally posted on the ORA website and were re-posted here with their permission.