Recent Advances in Captive Breeding of Saltwater Fish

Captive-bred Saltwater Fish: Four Recent Advances

Captive-bred Saltwater Fish: Four Recent Advances

Recent advances in captive-bred saltwater fish took FOUR major steps forward recently.

  • Captive-bred Marine Bettas, Calloplesiops altivelis,  became available from Sustainable Aquatics.
  • 3,200 French Grunts were raised by a partnership between Disney and the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory (Matthew L. Wittenrich)
  • Captive-bred Randall’s Assesors will be available soon from ORA Farms, according to a recent release on their blog
  • The Watanabei Angelfish was reported to have been successfully bred and reared in captivity

Four new species of captive-bred saltwater fish will soon be available:

Captive-bred Saltwater Fish Breakthrough 1: Marine Bettas

Marine Betta is now available as a captive bred saltwater fish
saltwater fish image by Lonnie Huffman

The Marine Betta is a popular saltwater aquarium fish and best-known for pretending to be something it is not. Marine Bettas are generally brown/black and speckled with white spots. They have large, lobe-like fins–and an eyespot towards the back of its body. When scared, or threatened, the marine betta pulls back into a rock crevice, leaving its tail and the eyespot exposed. At first glance, Calloplesiops altivelis looks like a moray eel–a species not likely to be ‘messed with’ on a reef.

Matthew L. Wittenrich wrote about breeding the Marine Betta in his book,

The Complete Illustrated Breeder’s Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes

which is probably the best reference for you if you want to learn how to breed these fish (or any other marine fish, for that matter.

Five years later (the book was published in 2007), the elusive Marine Betta may now become a commercially viable option. Read more about their availability here. Incidentally, these fish have not yet been added to the Sustainable Aquatics website.

Captive-bred saltwater fish breakthrough 2: French Grunt

Captive Breeding of the French Grunt now a reality

Rising Tide Conservation Blog announced the successful breeding of the French Grunt, Haemulon flavolineatum. When researchers at The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends, in Walt Disneyworld’s Epcot Center, noticed their French Grunts were spawning, they contacted Matthew L. Wittenrich and the Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory. More than 3,200 juveniles were raised.

You can read the full article here:

Captive-bred Saltwater Fish Breakthrough 3: Randall’s Assessors

ORA currently sells Yellow Assessors and Blue Assessors, and in the near future they will bring captive-bred Randall’s Assessors to market in early 2013. Yellow Assessors are mouthbrooders, whereas Blue and Randall’s Assessors spawn in nests. While any Assessor species may exhibit the characteristic upside-down swimming behavior, ORA reports that part of the charm of Randall’s Assessors is that they may be more likely to display this behavior than the Blues.

Here is a YouTube video posted by ORA:

ORA Randall's Assessors

Captive-bred Saltwater fish breakthrough 4: Watanabei Angelfish

The Watanabei Angelfish, Genicanthus watanabei, was reported to have been captive-bred by Karen Britain. Not a lot has been written about this–or about breeding angelfish in general, but I am optimistic about the results. Learn more about the Watanabei Angelfish and their care. Since this is just a report from a hobbyist–these fish are not likely to be commercially available for quite some time, if at all–but nonetheless, this is a major milestone in the captive-breeding of saltwater fish if the results from this hobbyist are scalable.

Check out this video of a juvenile Wantanabei Angelfish

Genicanthus watanabei at 87/88 days old

If you are interested in breeding saltwater fish, here are two more articles you may be interested in reading:

Written by Albert B. Ulrich III.






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