This petite blue spot butterflyfish, Chaetodon plebius, from Sustainable Aquatics may only be 1.25″/3cm long, but this little guy is a window into a very big future of captive reared fish. Sure it’s nice to have captive reared fish like the regal blue tang which is better suited to aquarium life when it is captive reared but, what really gets us excited are the common and uncommon fish which have a very poor track record in the home aquarium. Venustus, multibar, regal and Chaetodontoplus angelfish, purple and flashing tilefish and many more reef species are offered up for sale weekly but so many rarely adapt well to aquarium life. Offering these widely available species as robust, captive reared specimen will be a huge boom for the success rate of reef fish in the home aquarium. Even more exciting is the possibility to obtain full time and part time coral eating fish like the blue spot butterflyfish above which are plug and play with common aquarium foods and set ups. Normally a fish like the blue spot butterflyfish would be pulled from the ocean without the slightest clue about eating anything but Acropora and it would be doomed in captivity. Now with the captive rearing of these special needs fish we may someday get to open Pandora’s box of once unthinkable reef fish for aquariums like Chaetodon meyeri, C. ornatissimus and C. lunulatus. Could you just imagine some captive reared fish from the soutehrn Red Sea or northern Africa including the stunning Chaetodon melapterus? The thought of it makes us hyperventilate. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, the captive rearing project is still in it’s infancy and we can expect Sustainable Aquatics to first target the ‘normal’ fish that pay the bills. We very much look forward to seeing SA add to their roster of captive reared reef fish species in the future.