Build a MIMF Zoanthid Collection

MIMF Zoanthid

ORA has long been asked, “why don’t you raise more zoanthids?” Well, that time has come! These colonial soft corals have become more popular than ever lately, with new elaborate names and more extravagant per polyp prices popping up at every frag swap. Meanwhile, ORA has been working on bringing affordable and attractive zoanthid frags to hobbyists utilizing the endless broodstock varieties available around our tropical Micronesian coral farm, known as MIMF. We have created an assorted collection of vibrant colors and two tone polyps and sustainably grown them on easy to conceal discs. These readily available zoanthid frags are now shipping to local fish stores near you!

Success! Our First Ruby Red Dragonets

Juvenile Ruby Red Dragonet - 34 Days Post Hatch

Behold! The first aquacultured Ruby Red Dragonets from ORA!  We are excited to announce our progress with this strikingly beautiful fish as we work to bring them into commercial production. Did you know that this is a new species that has yet to be named by taxonomists? Since their initial introduction to the aquarium hobby just over three years ago, this bright red fish has been simply known as Synchiropus sp. or the Ruby Red Dragonet. However, they are often misidentified as Red Scooter Dragonets (Synchiropus stellatus) or Moyers Dragonets (Synchiropus moyeri), both completely different species.

As this is only our first batch of true Ruby Red Dragonets, we still have a lot to learn and a long way to go before they will be available for sale.  Here is what we do know:

This species does not spawn as frequently, or produce eggs in the quantities that its Regular and Red Scooter counterparts do.  Additionally, the larvae are smaller and develop slower. In spite of these exciting challenges, we are confident we will be able to get them into commercial production in late 2016 or early 2017.

In the meantime please enjoy our other wonderfully charming Dragonet species. You can read more about them HERE.

 

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Scooter Dragonets

Scooter Dragonet

Scooter Dragonets, or Scooter Blennies as they are often called, have always been one of our favorite fish.  Way back in 2010 when we were intensively raising Mandarins we tried our hand with Scooters countless times with little luck.  We were only able to raise roughly 1 Scooter for every 5000 mandarins!  We were frustrated to find that we were missing a suitable prey item for their first feeding.

Juvenile Red Scooters
Juvenile Red Scooters

We learned something important from the few Scooters that we managed to raise though: they grew quite fast once the larvae settled to the bottom of the tank.  With Mandarins, under our culture conditions, you will have a few fish that shoot up to 1.25” in around 8 months but the majority of the batch will take up to 14 months to reach that size and 18 months or more to reach 1.5”. Much to the chagrin of hobbyists, this timeframe is the reason we are not actively culturing Mandarins today; their slow growth makes them too costly to raise.  Scooters on the other hand start spawning at less than 1″ in length and reach 1.5” in just 4 to 6 months!

A few years ago we made significant improvements to our Live Feeds program allowing us to increase the variety, quantity and quality of the food we were raising for our larvae.  Our most important addition was a consistent supply of a variety of copepod species. These new copepods were just the thing we had been missing for our beloved Scooters.

Once we began setting up spawns from regular and red Scooters with our new supply of copepods we started observing excellent survival and high settlement rates.  It was encouraging to see the juveniles accept a pelleted diet at a very young age.

With their rapid growth and eager acceptance of a prepared food diet, Scooter Dragonets are proving to be very receptive to our aquaculture conditions and will thrive in a wide array of hobbyist home aquariums.

We are excited to announce that retailers have access to the first batch of Scooter Dragonets now.  The Red Scooter Dragonet will be available soon.

To learn more about species of Dragonets we’ve raised, check out their livestock page here: http://www.orafarm.com/products/fish/dragonets/

New! ORA Radial Filefish

Radial Filefish

Several years ago, two Radial Filefish were collected from a coral reef around Cebu in the Philippines. Shortly after, they were flown 7,340 miles across the entire Pacific Ocean to a marine wholesale facility in Los Angeles, California. Following a brief stay, these small fish were bagged, boxed and flown another 1,727 miles to Rhinelander, Wisconsin where they finally settled into the established 28 gallon reef aquarium of LiveAquaria’s own Kevin Kohen. They thrived there, eating three to four times a day, surrounded by a variety of Goniopora, Clavularia, Zoanthids and Mushrooms. Continue reading