ORA Announces Availability of Captive Bred Blue Fin Watchman Gobies

Oceans Reefs & Aquariums has been very very busy over the last month or so. Since the beginning of December, the aquaculture experts have released two new fish (the Eastern Hulafish and Yellowstriped Cardinal), along with a gorgeous algae and even a brand new coral. And they are continuing with their strong performance in 2014 with the release of yet another new fish, the ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby (Cryptocentrus fasciatus), which was just announced earlier today on their blog. Somewhat similar to the yellow watchman goby (C. cinctus), the blue fin watchman are only subtly different from their yellow cousins. Despite being predominantly grey in coloration, the blue fin gobies can take on a more yellow appearance, which of course depends on the environment in which it resides as well as other external cues. So, to better distinguish the two, you have to look at other key differences. The blue fin is a tad larger than the yellow watchman, and its dorsal and anal fins have more of a blue coloration to them (hence their name)

Overnight Sensation: New Captive-bred Reef Fish from ORA

Eastern Hulafish, new captive-bred reef fish native to New South Wales, Australia. Image: ORA. Meet the Eastern Hulafish, Trachinops taeniatus, the newest aquacultured fish for the reef aquarium and exclusively available from its breeder, ORA in Ft. Pierce, Florida. This sub-tropical species is from New South Wales off southeastern Australia  and is related to the Assessors and Comets, all in the family Plesiopidae. The fish is not unknown to marine aquarists and divers who study the reef fishes of Australia, but it comes from cooler temperate waters where little commercial collecting takes place. “The Eastern Hulafish is native to the southeast coastline of Australia where the water temperatures average 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees C),” says Dustin Dorton of ORA.  ”While these fish have fared very well in our Florida greenhouses, they can exhibit distress in water over 78 degrees (25 degrees C).  Care should be taken to ensure their aquarium temperature always remains below 78 degrees.” They are very colorful fish with a black stripe running down the middle of their elongate body from the operculum towards the tail. They are red and yellow above the black stripe and their ventral portion is white.  Some have iridescent blue scales on the face.  As they age, their caudal fin grows into a spade shape, with the males having more exaggerated filaments. These are shoaling fish, and ORA recommends keeping them in groups of 4-5 or more. When kept in groups these fish exhibit a unique swimming behavior,  hovering at an angle which is said to suggest a cluster of hula dancers. Trachinops taeniatus grow to a maximum size of about 4 inches (10 cm) and are micropredators, eating small food items such as copepods, Artemia, Mysis, small pellets and flakes for carnivores. ORA says, “They are peaceful fishes that do not harass other species.  Eastern Hulafish are extremely fast swimmers and are prone to jumping out aquariums so is important that their tank be kept covered.” Available in limited quantities now from ORA. (Announced December 13, 2013.)  Sources Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums - ORA Fishbase: Trachinops taeniatus
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