RSS Sustainable Aquatics debuts captive-bred Allardi Clownfish and Molly Miller Blennies

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  1. MASA Admin

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    8 May 2007
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    [​IMG]Light-colored F1 juvenile captive-bred Allardi Clownfish from Sustainable Aquatics

    The crew at Sustainable Aquatics has been continuing to push the boundaries of*commercial*captive breeding with two new introductions made late last week: Allardi clownfish, Amphiprion allardi and the Molly Miller blenny, Scartella cristata.*Neither fish is a “species first”, both have been propagated in the past. *What’s new is that they are now available as captive-bred through the traditional commercial basis (you’re not going to have to seek out some hobbyist breeder’s basement to find them).

    The first is the commercial offering of captive-bred*Amphiprion allardi, the Allardi Clownfish from East Africa. *This species is a close relative of the infamously difficult Blue Stripe Clownfish,*A. chrysopterus, *but is perhaps a more ideal fish for commercial propagation as juveniles are more attractive than the utterly drab baby Blue Stripes. *This may be the first commercial offering of the species as captive-bred; I am aware of only one other breeding*occurrence*with this exceptionally beautiful member of the Clarkii-complex.

    Sustainable Aquatics has years invested in breeding the Allardi clownfish…a common story of time and patience that becomes more familiar when you delve into clownfish breeding. Matthew Carberry *credits the move to a larger aquarium as a possible factor for getting over the hump and he had this to share:

    “The broodstock were purchased from Live Aquaria (Diver’s Den) about 4 years ago I think. I’d credit that as a good start for success; we have several pairs that have originated from the Diver’s Den, and I can always count on getting healthy fish.We kept them in a 30 breeder with a BTA for a few years before moving them into a 600g reef “pool” that serves as our “proof of concept” tank for the SI project–it houses some (now very large) tank-raised fish…The pair was put there with their anemone to see if a more natural (large) tank with better flow, lighting, etc would help them to spawn, and a few months later, they did.*I realize it’s not exactly a big splash for the trade, but it’s another species made available through the efforts of tank-breeding, and there will be a limited number of people looking for something different—maybe a more “natural” species rarity rather than a selectively-bred designer fish. As far as rearing, Joe [Lichtenbert] is right; they’re clarkii; fast-growing and energetic”.

    [​IMG]A dark version of the Allardi juveniles - this is what most wild caught juveniles look like.

    We beg to differ – adult Allardi are some of the most stunningly beautiful natural clownfish species available in the trade – deep mocha to black flanks with yellow fins, white tail, and striking blue bars. The Allardi clownfish is a species to be coveted. *The juveniles that SA is raising are actually, surprisingly, divergent in their coloration. *Some of the juveniles are initially turning out very light colored (like the ones pictured earlier), while others are already “dark” – a coloration that really sets off their markings and*over-sized*fins. *Wild-caught juvenile Allardi almost always look like these dark juveniles.

    The second addition to Sustainable Aquatic’s captive bred marine fish roster is Molly Miller Blennies,*Scartella cristata.

    [​IMG]A group of captive-bred Molly Miller Blennies

    Sustainable Aquatics seems to be embracing the notion of if it can be bred, we should try to offer it captive-bred. *We’re pretty sure that wild caught Molly Millers are easily obtainable from the Caribbean and are relatively inexpensive, but there is something to be said for the notion of a fish like this being the perfect addition to a “zero impact” reef. *For too long (and to this day) I can point to many of my aquariums and say “everything in there is captive bred, except the fish”. *This gets us one step closer, and perhaps inspires the next breeder to do some other oddball fish.*Plus, these captive-bred Molly Millers are potential pest-control godsends.

    For the Blennies, which BTW are not a species first (someone did them before according to MBI records), Carberry tells us that the breeders in the audience should indeed be encouraged. *” I think a BRT [Black Round Tub] and some good rotifers should do the trick! They aren’t too demanding, but they do eat a LOT of food. The eggs incubate well and can be moved and put under an airstone in the hatching/larval tank whenever it’s convenient.” *Sounds like a great fish for a hobbyist to springboard, and starting with captive-bred broodstock from SA may make it even easier.
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