But Mandarinfish I think that you could try captive breeding yourself. Its a big step and one that I think many hobbyists must try to do. Captive breeding now is limited to a few types of fish and no one knows much about all the life cycles of those that you mention. Scott Michael has quite a bit of info on the anthias in his books yet thats not enough info to breed them. I think it will be up to hobbyists to concentrate on one species at a time. Reading on the article in AFM from Frank Baensch - He states that he concentrated on different Pygmy Angels since 1996 before his success. Reading Martin Moe's book you can see all the work he put into rearing dottybacks. These guys must have been on shoestring budgets. I think that you should pick a species that you like (mandarins?) and try to learn their secrets. I saw your earlier thread on if any has been bred. I hope you didnt get discouraged because no one replied in a positive way. Yes they are probably cheap as dirt and no LFS will want to pay you more than the wholesale price and breeding them may never reward you retirement wise. But just look at how many mandarinfish die in the hands of inexperienced hobbyists and poorly maintained LFS + transit. If each of us could choose on breeding just one fish we like - think of how many could be done. Just look at how many hobbyists have joined this org. (7000+) in addition to other BB. I think it is in our hands to do something and not rely on the commercial hatcheries to do so. I think that many hobbyists just try to get a pretty looking tank and dont concentrate on a one species only tank. Times are changing - more info on live foods will appear which will help us all - just will you be ready with the initial life history in order to complete the life cycle. I hope that this long reply will inspire more hobbyists to go this route. (maybe I should start flaming indiscriminately to get more responses.) Louis Z.
I agree Louis that it is important for hobbyists to breed their fish.
For me, I want to breed Mandarins because I know it can be done in captivity.
For some fish, it takes massive resources to unlock the secrets of both:
A) getting the fish to sense the right conditions to breed in the first place
B) be able to raise the young to any kind of decent, healthy size
Waikiki Aquarium is having some luck with research, but they are full time marine biologists.
I'm a guy who is eco-concious and wants to minimize the carnage of depleting reefs of their living jewels.
Problem is, I am new to it and struggle. A lot. I just put too much krill into my 135 and this morning I woke up to find my tangs dead. I feel like an idiot.
I respect the challenge you offer and am literally building my tank for the purpose of breending Mandarins. I have a refugium, sump, 135 gallon tank, and am avoiding fish which deplete 'pods (unfortunately most do) as well as not buying crustaceans (opportunistic feeders).
I appreciate the encouragement. Someday when I'm not struggling as much and know a whole lot more, perhaps I'll try to breed Anthias or Wrasses.
Until then I have to try to get over losses like my beloved tangs and keep pushing my tank forward until the system is stable and rich enough with 'pods to support a mama and papa Mandarin.
Good thoughts Louis. Much appreciated that you replied. [/b]
hey mandarinfish your system sounds awesome for a pair of mandarins - I wouldnt add anything else to that tank- think of the money you would save if you only spent money on a pair of mandarins and nothing else. I am just trying to think where we could get vorticella and euplotes to start culturing. The thread about the DATZ article on mandarinfish breeding sounded great - I just cant imagine how cool it was to see a larval mandarin. Sounds like it didnt look like a fish or plankton but a worm or something. I cant really say that I want to concentrate on mandarins but I would like to start with a wrasse. What live prey works for one species may help with another . I have used vorticella in freshwater yet I have never seen anyone talk about a SW version until that article was brought up. As for euplotes I think that most people have that one in their tanks and never know it. Well to get back to your situation- you might have to culture the copepods in a seperate system or just batch culture which probably doesnt take much to do. Although you would have to culture a microalga to grow them. I believe Inland aquatics sells copepods - dont know which ones. Randy at ReedMariculture will start sometime this year. The other source for copepods would be a researcher at a university or hatchery. The reason why I state that you would have to culture them in a seperate system is that I dont think you want to dump a lot of green water in your aquariums. Just having copepods in your main aq. flourish doesnt necessarily mean that they are nutritionally adequate. I know its a huge endeavor yet I think that once you figure one mandarin out then the rest of the other mandarins and scooter blennies will fall in place. Thanks Louis Z.