Todd Gardner’s breeding efforts at the Long Island Aquarium have had our collective attention for well over a year now. Late Thursday, Todd officially broke the news of his success raising Liopropoma reef basslets, showing a photograph of a now very sizable captive-bred juvenile Liopropoma Basslet. The species is still up in the air, as Todd has once again been working with both the eggs of L. carambi and L. rubre. Consider it done – the first successfully captive-bred and captive-reared Liopropoma Reef Basslet!
Todd hasn’t yet divulged the full methodology that worked, but at 69 days post hatch,with the first of roughly a dozen juveniles settling out, he has “done it” in my eyes. I can still remember the giddy feeling of hard earned success when I first reared Oxymonacanthus longirostris, and I’ll gladly go on record and say that from what I know, Todd Gardner overcame significantly larger obstacles in the larval rearing challenge. The least of which, for comparision, is the Liopropoma having almost 2 more full weeks of pelagic larval time in comparison to O. longirostris.
If Todd’s successes can be replicated, all the better. Could Liopropoma be the next Pseudochromis for home and commercial fish breeders? Quite possibly they could, someday, if the techniques can be refined into the formulaic approach that breeding is with more commonly produced species. Still, for now, I’m guessing this is more on par with the many Centropyge successes we’ve seen, where it takes tremendous effort just to eek out a few babies. That massive dorsal extension surely doesn’t help things.
All the more reason that Todd Gardner earned some very well-deserved recognition with this success. Todd has already promised the aquarium world at least one article detailing the entire methodology behind this accomplishment – we’re all eagerly awaiting those insights! Bravo once again Todd!