Figure 1. Halichoeres melanurus egg on a 1 mm SedgewickRafter cell. Here at the Tropical Aquaculture Lab we’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to work in a field we’re truly passionate about. That passion inspires me to not only work on captive breeding of marine species here at work, but to also explore other fish by working from home. I’m pleased to announce that the first project I’ve taken on as an at-home aquaculturist resulted in the successful captive rearing of the melanurus wrasse, Halichoeres melanurus, using only cultured prey items. Although only a few fish were brought through metamorphosis, survival should be higher when larvae are raised in the controlled environment of a dedicated facility as opposed to the chaos of a household living room. I strongly believe this fish, and others in this genus, will have significant commercial potential. We now have broodstock at the Tropical Aquaculture Lab because of this early success. The work done so far will stand as strong supportive evidence to move forward with other wrasses as well.
Figure 1. 25 day post hatch Purple Masked Angelfish larva. Over the past year while working on our Rising Tide project, the larval rearing work has focused on the Purple Masked Angelfish Paracentropyge venusta. We had success on our fifth rearing trial in getting the larvae to the juvenile stage. That larval trial started in November of 2013 and the success was most likely brought about through the use of wild plankton collected from Kaneohe Bay. Plankton was collected almost daily in an effort to provide the larval fish with the necessary nutrients to get them through the larval phases, past metamorphosis and into the juvenile stage. Although we were happy with this accomplishment it meant that larval rearing of this species might be dependent and only possible in areas near a source of wild plankton.
Figure. Samantha Groene in the Rising Tide booth at MACNA 2014. My name is Samantha Groene, and I am a biological technician at UF-TAL. I’ve been with the lab for almost two years, but this is my first official introduction on the Rising Tide Conservation blog. This past week, some of you might have seen me in Denver. The annual Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) took place in Denver, Colorado this year and I had the privilege of representing Rising Tide at the conference! This year's MACNA was quite the experience!
Figure. 17 day post hatch Pacific blue tang larva. Credit: Kevin Barden. The newly revamped larval rearing room has been up and running since early May. In truth, there are still a few things we’d like to add to the filtration system, but that hasn’t stopped us from stocking eggs into the system as we get them. One of the first larval rearing attempts was performed with Pacific Blue tangs. We got roughly 4000 eggs; which we then stocked into a 210 liter tank (55 gallons).