Blog, captive bred fish

Reflections in Aquaculture

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As we celebrate the one year anniversary of our Aqua cultured Yellow tangs I am taken back to a year ago. When i opened an email from Segrest farms that talked about the first aquacultured yellow tangs being available for sale. I remember telling my mom and dad about it and thinking that we had to get some. It was such an amazing piece of history.
I had no idea in that moment that our lives would shift to a different path. One with endless opportunities and one of giving back to this amazing industry that has been our life for years. In the past year we have brought in so many amazing aquacultured species and our goal is 100 % aquacultured fish.

I love how this industry is at a turning point and that there is so much support. Rising Tide Conservation is the driving force behind this turning point. They have been a part of these historic accomplishments and continue to lead the way in research and most of all education of the public. This is where we need to really step up. Aquacultured fish are an amazing accomplishment and have changed the industry forever, but all of that work will be nothing without the education of the public to buy these fish. We need to shout from the rooftops how amazing aquacultured fish are and how they are healthier and happier, how they will not only survive, but thrive! We need to tell the story of Tango our captive bred pacific blue tang. We need to make it known that the oceans are dying and if we want our kids and grand kids to know what its like to have saltwater fish, then captive bred fish have to be the answer.

Our Yellow tangs have been here a year and are thriving, not surviving. How could they not thrive? All they know is aquarium life.  They eat frozen food, pellets, flakes, nori, and any other type of food we throw in there. They are not afraid of us. I imagine that they do not look out longingly and think of ocean life, they just keep swimming.

Maybe the 14 year old clown fish tells them stories from her ocean days but she likely has forgotten them too. I can imagine the tangs all sitting in their caves tucked in after the lights are out and listening to her stories, in awe. Maybe she had adventures like Marlin and Dory did. Maybe she tells of the day she was caught and thrown into a tank. Whatever the story is I hope its epic.

These are the days we will look back on in history and our story could go one of two ways.

The first could be:

Wow the beginning of the century sure was great for aquatic life and that’s when we started to get serious and save the oceans. Aquarium fish are now being mostly raised in captivity, and everyone can still enjoy them in their homes.

Here is the second way it could go.

Wow they made such advancements in aquacultured fish back then but not enough people cared and bought them.  Now the only way to see these beautiful fish is in public aquariums, or in books and online. Home aquariums are a thing of the past.

These two scenarios are of course extremes, but they can turn into reality if we don’t change our ways.

I support aquaculture, will you?

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.

 

Blog, captive bred fish

Aquacultured Yellow Tangs

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Walking around anywhere that has a saltwater aquarium you will hear excited little voices say “Look, I found Nemo” and “There is Dory”! The next fish they will recognize is Bubbles the yellow tang. He was the one in the the aquarium obsessed with the bubbling ornament.

The yellow tang is one of the most recognized saltwater fish by children and adults alike. That bright yellow color is what makes them a staple in most home aquariums. What most people dont realize is that there are very few captive bred saltwater fish, most of them come right from the ocean. Luckily there are aquariums and research facilities out there working very hard to change this. The most recent triumph was 10 years in the making, they have successfully bred yellow tangs in captivity. The Oceanic Institute in Hawaii won the prize.

After months of special care and love the captive bred babies were ready to go to their new homes. Most of them went to public aquariums and research centers. 3 swam their way to their new home at Colchester Pet.  We are so honored and excited to have these special and historic fish at our store. They live in a 150 gallon reef tank with Jock (the shrimp) and Nemo.

If we keep taking these popular fish out of the ocean for our own aquariums then someday there wont be any left. There is still a long way to go until we have captive bred yellow tangs in every fish store, but at least its a start on the way to “Saving Bubbles”.