Hi, Dave again. This past week I attended the annual Global Pet Expo in Orlando. Global is the biggest pet trade show in the U.S., where many vendors show of their new products for the year, as well as show off some prototypes for thing to come down the road.
When you think of new products, fish don’t exactly jump to mind, after all we don’t make fish…or do we? Captive bred fish have been the driving force in freshwater aquariums for many years, with many manmade fish on the market, freshwater and saltwater. Fish like the many types Fancy Goldfish, Bloody Parrots, Flowerhorns and more recently the bioengineered “Glo Fish” are common to the freshwater aquarium hobby. Selective breeding and hybridization have resulted in many manmade fish over the years.
Until recently, saltwater fish hobbyists have had little to choose from in captive bred marine fish. The bulk of what has been available have been Clownfish, Dottybacks, Sea Horses and Gobies from a number of breeding facilities. One of the pioneers of the captive bred marine fish industry are the folks at Oceans Reefs and Aquariums (ORA), and they have been working hard over the last few years to bring some manmade variants to the marine aquarium hobby with their “designer” Clownfish. At Global this year ORA debuted their latest addition to their designer list, with the Naked Black Ocellaris (sorry about the fuzzy iphone pictures). This is a stripe-less black ocellaris, who’s only white markings will be on the outer fin margins, They start out orange entire body will be solid black in the adult fish. The Naked Black Ocellaris, joins the “regular” Naked Ocellaris, the stubby Ocellaris, the Picasso, and the Snowflake Clownfish that they have brought to market in recent years.
Also making their ORA debut at Global were some fish that will create a lot of buzz when they come to market later this year. The Blue Mandarin, Synchiropus splendidus, and the Green Mandarin, Synchiropus picturatus, are both in production at the farm, and will be available for sale later this year. These mandarins are a challenging fish to keep when collected from the wild, since they are almost exclusively live food eaters and require a steady diet of amphipods and other small crustaceans to survive. They should only be kept in larger, well-established aquariums that can provide enough food for them. ORA has solved this problem for the hobbyist, by producing a captive bred Mandarin that has been raised on commercially available frozen foods and flake foods as a food source. ORA says that the goal is to get the program to where the fish are large enough and have been trained to eat pellet food before they are sold. This is great news for the reef aquarium enthusiast! Mandarins are beautiful fish, and a healthy, captive-raised version would be a welcome addition to any tank.
Keep your eyes open, and check in with us for these cool new fish to arrive here at TFP. I’m sure we’ll let you know when they get here!
Until next time,