ORA Bundoon Blenny – From Shipwreck to Captive Bred

The newest addition to the ORA Meiacanthus family is the Bundoon Blenny. We have always loved this fish but finding high quality wild fish to start our breeding program proved to be difficult.  While they are common in their native range, they are rarely exported from Tonga.

A few years ago Dr. Bruce Carlson, former Director of the Waikiki Aquarium and Chief Science Officer of the Georgia Aquarium, visited Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and the ORA facilities.  During a dinner Bruce shared with us the amazing tale of how the Bundoon Blenny was discovered.  We had no idea that this colorful little fish with a funny name was part of such an amazing adventure story. Continue reading

ORA Kamohara Blenny

 

ORA Kamohara Blenny

There are an untold number of marine fish that go unappreciated for their beauty and behavior due to the challenging nature of their collection or the remoteness of their habitat. With a keen eye for such fish, ORA has sought out such animals and worked to bring them to a broader audience. Our newest release, the Kamohara Fang Blenny is an exquisite example of just that fish. This elongated black and white blenny is endemic to the shallow waters off the subtropical, southern coasts of Japan. The Kamohara blenny is common in Japan but almost incomprehensibly rare in the international aquarium hobby, we believe that the majority of wild specimens in the United States are members of the ORA Broodstock Program. But not anymore. Continue reading

2014 Year In Review

ORA 2014 Year In Review

As the curtains fall on 2014, ORA looks back on our most productive year to date. While other ornamental aquaculture facilities spent the year figuring out how to put more stripes on a clownfish, ORA has been focused on the development of new species; aggressively pushing the boundaries of marine aquaculture. While clownfish remain the cornerstone of our operation, the aquarium hobby deserves and requires more than just designer clowns.

This year we have added over 16 new items to our lineup. Including 13 new fish, eight of which are industry firsts. We even completed our second entire genus. Not all of these new fish are colorful, not all of them are particularly remarkable by hobbyist standards, but each of them have been important stepping stones. Each new species provides us with insights that help us overcome the challenges we face as we work with new and more difficult species. We even learn new things that improve our ability to raise the species we currently work with. Continue reading

ORA Hector’s Goby

ORA Hector's Goby

We are pleased to announce our recent success with the popular Hector’s Goby (Koumansetta hectori).  This attractive little fish measures only 2” at maturity and spends its time hovering over rocks and substrates out in the open water column. Known for their bold yellow stripes, peaceful disposition and diet of filamentous algae, the diminutive Hector’s Goby is a nano reef favorite.  Many aquarists know this fish as Ambylgobius hectori but accepted name is actually Koumansetta hectori.  C-Quest in Puerto Rico is reported to have raised the closely related Rainford’s Goby in the late 1990′s but we believe that this was the first time the Hector’s Goby has been raised.   Continue reading

Pink Spotted Watchman Gobies

 

We are adding another new goby species to our list this week.  This fish has several common names in the hobby including: Pink and Blue Spotted Goby, Singapore Shrimp Goby, Leptocephalus Prawn Goby….ORA chose to stick with the Pink Spotted Watchman Goby as its official title.  This interesting little fish prefers loose coral rubble and sandy substrates to construct it’s burrows. They will share their home with members of the opposite sex, or a select few species of sightless crustaceans known as pistol shrimp. Continue reading

Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish (Rudarius ercodes)

ORA Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish

Found naturally in waters around Japan and south to Taiwan, the ORA Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish is an exciting addition to our expansive collection of captive bred animals. Typically hidden in temperate waters surrounded by macroalgaes and sea grass beds, this diminutive filefish only reaches a maximum length of 3 inches. They have the amazing ability to adjust their coloration and patterns depending on their surroundings, from distinctly spotted to solid shades of green. Continue reading

Orbic Cardinal (Sphaeramia orbicularis)

ORA Orbic Cardinal

ORA continues to overcome the challenges associated with commercial scale production of captive bred marine fish. We were the first to tackle the entire Assessor genus with the production of the Yellow, Randall’s and Blue Assessor. With the Orbic Cardinal and Pajama Cardinal, we’ve now completed the entire Sphaeramia genus. Continue reading

White Bonnet Clownfish Now Available From ORA

 

The ORA White Bonnet Clownfish story begins nearly 15 years ago. Over the years we have acquired numerous White Bonnet clownfish in an effort to create harmonious pairs but our success was limited.  At one point we even had eggs from a spawning pair in Texas shipped to us, but we never found success raising this species.

Our luck all changed in 2012 Continue reading

Blue Polyp Capricornis Now Available From ORA

 

ORA is continuing to expand our inventory of beautiful and unique corals for the home aquarium. Our newest addition is the ORA Blue Polyp Cap, a spectacular plating Montipora variety. Check out our product page for more information!

 

 

Experimenting with Priolepis unlocks the mysteries of the genus

Developing new species of aquacultured marine life comes with welcomed challenges to ORA.  We work tirelessly to maintain commercial scale production on hundreds of varieties of aquacultured animals while researching and raising a steady stream of new species.  Unfortunately, not every new species we raise is a good candidate for commercial ornamental aquaculture. Sometimes we keep these species a secret, like the first Pseudoplesiops wassi we raised last year (not a secret anymore now is it?).  However, this next one was too cool to keep under wraps. Continue reading