While details are sparse, news broke today of reports out of Taiwan claiming success in the captive propagation of the Hepatus Blue Tang, Paracanthurus hepatus. This species has been “rumored” to have been captive bred for many years, but historically these purportedly “captive bred” fish always wind up being what we’d call “tank-raised”; small juveniles harvested from the wild, acclimated, sometimes barely even grown, and then shipped out.
The news, published on the Taiwan Today, broke rather matter of factly – “An associate researcher at the Fisheries Research Institute’s Eastern Marine Biology Research Center has succeeded in artificially breeding the popular aquarium fish paracanthurus hepatus, or blue surgeonfish.” Ho Yuan-hsing, presumed leader of this project, relayed that they hope to see larger scale production within a year’s time. The magic-bullet for the captive rearing of these tangs? Not a copepod as many would have suspected, but another lesser-considered option — an undisclosed ciliate.
Sadly, we may not be learning the secrets to captive breeding of tangs from these efforts. Taiwan news reported that “Ho said he expects the blue surgeonfish to contribute to Taiwan’s ornamental fish industry, especially when Taiwan has the propriety breeding technology.” Won’t be very proprietary if they give away their secrets.
Of course, the skeptical reefer in us still says “show us the proof”, and hopefully that proof is not simply a slew of juvenile tangs. No, we’d really like to see a full larval-to-juvenile photo series please! Afterall, this reported success may very well be the long-awaited first true success in captive breeding a Tang or Surgeonfish of any species.
Thanks Edgar for bringing this one to our attention!
[via Taiwan Today]