This past weekend the Marine Breeding Initiative Workshop 2011 was held at the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, MI (Detroit area). Since the workshop was only about 3 hours from where I live, I decided to drive there for the day to meet some of the area breeders and listen to the speakers.
After getting lost on the way (address mix-up), I finally made it to the Cranbrook Institute of Science about an hour after the workshop began. Fortunately the first speaker started late and ran long so I was able to still hear quite a bit of the first presentation.
Todd Gardner’s presentation was the first presentation of the morning and his talk was about “Rearing difficult marine species.“
After that, Matt Pederson gave his presentation on “Passion Incarnate and the Ultimate DIY Project: Marine Fishrooms.” He led the audience through all of the bullet points that a person would need to address when setting up a breeding room. In addition, he showed many in-depth photos of eleven different breeding rooms and pointed out unique ways these breeders addressed issues with space, lighting, live foods, etc.
Following Matt’s presentation, Jay Hemdal talked about his work breeding the boarfish at the Toledo Zoo. It turns out the boarfish is a hard fish to breed and it presented all sorts of problems for Jay and his staff.
I talked to Tal Sweet a bit during the conference between sessions. Overall, Tal was very pleased with the turnout this year and was excited about what the next conference in 2012 will yield. He mentioned that last year they had roughly 40 attendeed. This year they had attendance in the upper 50’s with people traveling in from quite a distance. I personally talked to a gentleman over lunch that drove in from Iowa for the event.
After lunch, Randy Reed of Reef Nutrition (an Advanced Aquarist sponsor) gave a very in-depth presentation on rotifers and larval nutrition titled “Part 1: Everything you wanted to know about rotifers but were afraid to ask… and Part 2: Far more than you ever wanted to know about rotifers and larviculture nutrition.” Randy, as always, wowed the audience with his knowledge of rotifers and phytoplankton. At the end of the presentation, Randy mentioned their new product: Top Dressed Otohime. The below photo shows a batch of clownfish larvae that were split up into three groups: the top-left was a standard growout diet, the top-right was the standard growout diet plus astaxanthin, and the bottom-center one was fed Top Dressed Otohime. The color of the bottom-center fish were much more intense and it’s definitely worth a look if you’re a breeder.
The last speaker of the day was Dr. Matthew Wittenrich who spoke about Trends in Breeding Marine-Aquarium Fishes. He started out with a timeline of where marine ornamental breeding started all the way up to present day and what we need to do to continue to advance the breeding side of the hobby.
To conclude the workshop, prizes were given out to attendees: nine copies of the latest issue of Coral Magazine along with a number of other things.
Reef Nutrition and Live Aquaria sponsored the workshop and all of the free stuff that was given out at the event was well worth the workshop entrance fee.
Reef Nutrition provided all sorts of goodies: seven (!!!) sampler packs of their new Top Dressed Otohime (EP1, EP2, C1, C2, B1, B2, and A), workshop lanyards, a copy of Reef Hobbyist Magazine, and product use charts for all of their foods. Live Aquaria (another Advanced Aquarist sponsor) provided a tshirt, Brine Shrimp gel, Marine Chips, Marine Stabilizer, Reef Accelerator, and Sera Marine Granules to each attendee.
I encourage every one of our readers to attend in 2012 when the event is held again.