We’re not the first to sing the praises of this new offering that’s hooking rare fish hoarders and clownfish addicts alike. Heck, these aren’t the first captive-bred Latezonatus clownfish I’ve kept. I’ve been jonesing for more captive-bred Amphiprion latezonatus ever since I sold my first CB Latezonatus to help fund another purchase — the Lightning Maroon Clownfish.
When the opportunity came to restore this bold and beautiful species to my collection, especially as captive bred for a very reasonable price, I used the tool that opens the door of opportunity — plastic. As a fishy slum lord, I had no qualms about heartlessly kicking a pair of Maroon Clownfish squatters out of their anemones and moving them into a different tank, while doubling down to score some more favorable Latz tenants. Any fish junkie worth his Gotahavitus whenufinditae knows what I’m talking about.
We’re also not treating this as if it’s the first time Latezonatus have been spawned and reared in captivity — Karen isn’t the only one to have produced this fish (although she is STILL the only one to successfully spawn and rear any Genicanthus angelfish, let alone it happens to be the lust-worthy species Genicanthus personatus).
Captive Bred Latezonatus first hit the commercial market a couple years ago now. Old news. They were certainly a breakthrough, robust and active and seemingly invincible compared to wild caught counterparts. While highly likely genetically intact in every respect, they were misbarred, lacking the wide middle stripe that is their trademark and namesake as the Wide Banded Clownfish. They also showed other rearing-related confirmation issues and generally somewhat less vibrant coloration.
These first CB Latezonatus were probably best suited to the beeder, who knew that you could look past these shortcomings as they would not affect the next generation. What’s different about Karen’s hand-crafted, special captive-bred Latezonatus is the quality. Karen seems to have accomplished what few, if any, breeders before her have done. No misbars. No snub noses. No flared gills. Solidly reared clownfish that can be added into most any marine aquarium setup capable of handling them appropriately (and yes, that could mean some cooler temps, although it seems CB Latz might be more tolerant of warmth).
Still, we here at Reef Builders wanted to sample the product before sharing the story and rendering our verdict. The results are in — these are some fine Latezonatus coming out of Hawaii. They eat like pigs, they have exceptional color, perfect pattern, they shipped well, and like other captive bred Latezonatus before them, they will likely be robust captives that initially grow fast. Some even downright mean. The best part for connoisseurs of rare and more difficult clowns: the price is coming down as availability becomes more pervasive.
Gone are the days of wild-grown, wild-caught, dead shortly after arrival Latezonatus. Unless you’re a breeder who needs diversified genetics, you can avoid shelling out as much as $500 to $1,000 per risky fish at retail. Instead, depending on where you buy and who’s breeding them, you can probably expect to pay between $125 and $300 per captive bred Latezonatus. Prices are going to remain volatile as supplies are sporadic.
When buying captive-bred Latezonatus, you can take comfort in the fact that they’ll settle right into your aquarium as if they were made to live there – the robustness of these fish does not have me worried about disease in the same way I would over wild-caught fish. Heck, even if you are a breeder, I’d encourage you to use some of these CB Latezonatus to pair with wild fish and captive-bred fish from other pairings. A 50/50 wild and CB pairing has a lot going for it versus a traditional wild-caught pair.
If Latezonatus are your thing, or if rare fish in general are your thing, we think you need to seek out Karen’s captive bred specimens — they are the best commercially available captive-bred Latezonatus we’ve seen to date. Your “Reef Karma” will be through the roof for supporting captive breeding as well. Check out a few more views of KMB’s captive-bred Latezonatus Clownfish in the gallery.