Every MACNA show has a “dark horse” of an exhibitor, and few would have guessed that a relatively small startup company would hold that title on the show’s floor in New Orleans. Occupying a tiny corner next to Piscine Energetics booth, Poma Labs gathered huge crowds of excited aquarists trying to catch a glimpse of the juvenile fish swimming inside the single Red Sea tank decorated with few man made coral rocks. Among them, the holy grail of reefkeeping, the Conspicuous Angelfish (Chaetodontoplus conspicillatus), a fish so extremely rare that only a few has ever been imported into the USA. A total of nine species and hybrids were successfully bred and raised in captivity and for the first time ever, they are being offered directly to aquarists.
A collaboration between longtime friends and reefkeepers at heart, Dr. Matt Wittenrich and Nuri Fisher (who is also the president of Piscine Energetics), Poma Labs is an excellent example of the enormous progress that the reefkeeping hobby makes every passing year. As Dr. Matt himself mentioned while speaking to me and few other aquarists gathered at his booth, 20 years ago nobody even dreamed of breeding saltwater fish in captivity, yet here we are, with another 9 fish joining the quickly growing list of captive bred marine species. I encourage everyone to go visit http://pomalabs.com/ to learn about the fascinating journey Dr. Matt and Nuri took to bring us these amazing Chaetodontoplus Angelfish. Our team at MACNA was honored to give Poma Labs the “Best of Show” award for their achievements in captive breeding marine fish species.
Poma Labs sell fish directly through their website and each animal comes with a Certificate of Identity and a unique fluorescent tag that helps track the lineage and ensures the fish was captive bred. In addition, Poma Labs offers an industry leading 30-day guarantee on all animals they sell.
Dr. Matt teased us with the fact that his team is working on bringing few more species to the market in the not so distant future, so stay tuned for more news about Poma Labs!