Blog, captive bred fish

Why is aquaculture the future?

We love the ocean and everything it has. We love it so much we want a piece of it in our own homes. We make movies about sea adventures of fish that are box office masterpieces. We write books about sea adventures in the deep with scary sea creatures. A vacation paradise usually starts with white sandy beaches and reading a good book while listening to the waves crash on the shore. We walk for  miles on the beach collecting remnants of ocean life in the form of empty shells or starfish that have washed up on the sand.

The ocean is vast and undiscovered. There is more water on our planet then land. I think we need to keep her as healthy as we can, don’t you? There have been changes in the oceans lately, but they are not good. Coral reefs have been dying and that is pretty serious. Fish live on the coral reefs and they need each other to survive. We all know that this is a big problem but we are not sunk yet. Biologists are working hard to figure this out. They are also working hard to make coral farms in the ocean. A lot of the corals that are in fish tanks these days are aquacultured or (raised in captivity). This is great news for coral keepers and coral in general.

Some coral frags that we have had at our store

Many people will not care about fish in an aquarium and will think that they only belong in the ocean. That is a fine opinion, but not at all realistic. Human beings are so infatuated with the sea and sea creatures. It makes sense that you see aquariums in so many hospitals, doctor’s offices, and children’s hospitals. A fish tank is so relaxing. They can calm down a scared child, lower blood pressure, help with anxiety, and more. Public aquariums are always a busy place that captivate anyone. So let’s think about what would happen if we leave all the fish in the ocean. Everything I just said would be gone unless you raise these fish in captivity.

Our trip to the Long Island Aquarium

Aquacultured or captive bred means that these fish or corals are raised in closed systems where they can monitor water quality, food intake, temperature of water and more. These fish are acclimated to live in these conditions that vary from ocean life. They are given the perfect environment to spawn and everything is documented so this can happen again and again. The eggs are collected and put into a different tank. These researchers have to figure out what the newly hatched baby fish (called fry) will eat. Then they wait, and see who will survive. Many people don’t understand why fish are still taken from the ocean, but here is why. There is so much research that goes into successful captive breeding. Lots of trial and error also, because each type of species may need different food, water movement, temperature or  whatever else.

Three of the first aquacultred Yellow Tangs from the Oceanic Institute in Hawaii.

These amazing people are really trying to get these fish bred in quantity but it takes money and time. Its not just researchers that are making a difference. There are many hobbyists that are trying their hand at captive breeding too and making huge leaps. The industry is also on the right track as a whole.

Aqua cultured Banggai Cardinal

I think one of the biggest challenges is education of the public. Education that most saltwater fish are still wild caught. Education to choose the aquacultured fish over wild caught even though they cost more. Education to demand better from the average pet store or online retailer. Most stores don’t carry aquacultured fish because they don’t think they will sell. We need to convince them that yes they will sell. One organization is a shining star in this education. Rising Tide Conservation is amazing, they work so hard on educaton of the public. They are also the driving force behind all the tangs being aquacultured and so many other fish.

Tango one of the first aquacultured pacific blue tangs

This is where Tango comes in. One of the 27 original aquacultured pacific blue tangs. So many people have been educated at our store and through our blogs about the importance of aquaculture. Most of our customers will choose them over wild caught when they have a chance because we educate them. Tango is our shining star and the face of aquaculture. Tango is the future and Aquaculture is the future!

Blog, captive bred fish

Tango the Tang: One of the first Captive Bred Pacific Blue Tangs

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Once in a lifetime a fish comes along that changes everything……

Some people wont see our passion about these fish and some people wont care about a fish raised in captivity. But those people don’t see the future in the eyes of this Pacific Blue Tang that is swimming around in my tank. I look at this fish and I see the future of our hobby. I see my daughter and her sons or daughters sitting in their living room staring at these fish that are all raised in captivity. They do not know the harsh journey that a wild caught fish goes through to get to their tank. I see people forgetting that we ever took fish from the ocean and the ocean flourishing again. I see the fish in the future happy and healthy because of this tang staring at me. The reason I am so passionate about aquaculture is all about the fish. They are the reason I come to work everyday. Now for a fish geek like me, it doesn’t get any better then the first aqua cultured tangs. Look what aquaculture did for the clown fish. They were almost an endangered species and now they flourish. Being aqua cultured took the pressure off of the wild clownfish and made a sustainable source for the hobby. This is why its so amazing and important. I love showing our customers all of our aqua cultured fish. The list is getting longer and now I can introduce them to aquaculture with Tango our Pacific Blue Tang.

Aqua cultured or captive bred means that they were bred, hatched, and raised up in aquariums. They were not taken from the ocean so they are usually stronger.

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Tango and his siblings as eggs…Cute huh?
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5 days after hatching
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At 29 days after hatching

I have to say this is not the first tang breakthrough that we have displayed in our store. You cannot forget the amazing work they did with the aqua cultured yellow tang months before. The three aqua cultured yellow tangs in our 150 display tank are a thing of beauty and they helped to unlock the key to success for the aqua cultured Pacific Blue Tang.