Genicanthus personatus, the masked swallowtail angelfish is a holy grail angelfish species that is endemic to the Hawaiian Island chain. Paradoxically, this is one of the few angelfish species which has been raised in captivity and it is the only species that has been raised on cultured food. Advanced amateur fish breeder and MOFIB moderator Andy Berry shares some info about this accomplishment:
I just want to point out to all of you Reef Builders out there that Bruce Carlson has released a video of Karen Brittain’s work spawning and rearing(!) Genicanthus angelfish. If you don’t know, Genicanthus angels produce incredibly tiny, pelagic eggs that hatch into equally tiny prolarvae. Rotifers (the first food of choice for rearing marine fish with relatively large larvae like clownfish) are enormous compared to the angels’ tiny mouths. Included in the video are scenes of the ciliated protozoan that Karen found that could be used as a first food for the angel. You’ll also see various stages in the life of the young fish, including images of freshly-reared juveniles in the aquarium. This video gives a first-hand look behind-the-scenes of the heady days of the race to rear captive-bred angels in Hawaii a few years ago. This video also proves that it is possible for even difficult fish like Genicanthus angels to be captive-bred and raised in captivity should give new hope to every marine aquarist that has ever dreamed of rearing an angelfish in their own basement. Keep an eye on the plankton in your reef. Maybe you, too, can find the next magic first food.
Huge thanks to Bruce and Karen for producing and sharing this video with the aquarium community, be sure to read Karen’s very detailed article on the process on MOFIB. Also check out the other spawning video of the G. personatus pair belonging to Dr. Wing Hung Chung
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