This week ORA has started shipping the long awaited captive bred spotted mandarin fish, Synchiropus picturatus. The two pictured above (looks like a male and female!) are destined for a new picture frame tank to show them off, but are currently residing in a 30 gallon tank on my ceph/rearing system where they are happily munching away on whatever little critters they can find, and small pellet’s. The fish are healthy, fat and sassy (The two captive bred Synchiropus splendidus from ORA that are now in QT and should be on show in the next month or so – those fish are another story that we’ll pick up in the future). A complete win win for captive breeding, ORA and our hobby! Well, a complete win as long as people rush out and buy them!
At retail prices from $50 to $100, I think there should be no issues – the fish are easily worth that price. Captive bred animals tend to do better in captive environments, have less problems adapting to their new homes, and eat a wide variety of available foods (especially important for Mandarins). Supporting captive breeding efforts leads to more information and understanding about marine animals. Captive breeding can even lessen the collection pressure from abused collection sites. For so long, so many people have been saying ‘if only it was captive bred I would buy it’, now here is our chance. Get out there and pester your LFS for these guys, and for all the rest of the fish that ORA and others are currently making available. Captive breeding is only really successful if it makes money, so get out there and buy some captive bred animals and do your part to stimulate the economy of captive bred marine aquarium fish.