Aquamarine Fukushima, Japan, 2008: While doing a pre-tour before the Shanghai 7th IAC (International Aquarium Congress), we discovered a fascinating biotope aquarium, in which a school of several thousand of golden sweepers were swimming.
Ten years and a tsunami later, that incredible tank fascinated us once again while we were attending the 10th IAC in Fukushima. Unfortunately, this fish is a very sensitive fish that even if it’s quite easy to catch, it’s not easy to acclimate and ship properly. But once acclimated, it’s just the perfect aquarium fish and an ideal candidate for a captive breeding program.
This is where the project started, right in front of that aquarium, in November 2018.Together, by pooling our efforts and skills, we decided to acclimate and breed this species in France with the aim of displaying 100 % sustainable schools of this marvelous species in our respective aquaria.
Back in Europe, we shipped a batch of future broodstock from Japan. As soon as they arrived, on October 11th 2019, the fish were distributed among the French aquaculture breeding centers of Marineland of Antibes, the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, and Océanopolis Brest.
After a period of acclimation of these animals, which are particularly sensitive to transportation, we spent days and nights waiting for the eggs! They were slowly acclimated to the broodstock feeding regime, and fed 4 times a day.
Two months later the first eggs were finally collected and were quickly moved to a mesocosm or live culture inoculated with CFeed copepods. larvae are very active and drop down the bottom of the mesocosm among the algae within 10 days. And within a month the very young golden sweepers were all swimming together as a uniform school. Each facility got roughly the same results together where everyday up to 300 eggs are collected and put into a series of different larval rearing tanks.
The first batches we started to raise were successful, meaning that, for the first time in the world, golden sweepers are now captive bred in aquarium! And the next step, of having schools of 100 % captive bred golden sweepers, is right around the corner! The target is to quickly get school of 10,000 fish ready into an exhibit as soon as possible.
The golden sweeper is not necessarily the kind of fish any hobbyist would like to have in their tank, but we have to admit it creates fantastic displays. So perhaps one day some large tank owners could be interested by such a showy school of fish, if it’s available from future Breeding programs.
Jean Philippe Catteau [email protected]
Olivier Brunel [email protected]
Dominique Barthelemy [email protected]