If we just stumbled across a random youtube video claiming to be documenting captive bred marine angefish we’d be skeptical to say the least. However we are a lot more credulous when we see that the video of captive bred watanabei angelfish was uploaded by Karen Britain and that the baby angelfish are very much of an uncommon size.
You may recall, Karen Britain first grabbed the attention of the ornamental aquarium world by being the first person to breed and raise the famous masked angelfish, Genicanthus personatus. As far as we know this breeding and successful rearing of the Watanabei angelfish is the first this has has ever been accomplished with this species.
In a forum post Karen details that she fed the larval Genicanthus watanabei “wild plankton then added in cultured plankton” and that the offspring “started showing benthic behavior at day 50 and started showing adult color development at day 80”. In the short video you can see some larval and post-larval watanabei angelfish that are between 87 and 88 days old wherein the colored individual has settled out and the grayish one is still in late larval development.
The Watanabei angelfish is one very popular and highly sought after reef fish which often suffers from issues of decompression and buoyancy control. Karen says she’s got about 40 pages of notes on the process of rearing the Watanabei angelfish with all the relevant details so that hobbyist and commercial breeders alike may be able to follow her recipe, bringing us ever closer to more captive bred angelfish for aquariums in the future.