TR / CB Jawfish at Sea Life Inc.

TR / CB Jawfish at Sea Life Inc.

Postby mpedersen » Wed May 02, 2007 2:45 pm

As you all may know, Tank Raised Jaws are NOT a regular thing like clownfish or dottybacks, so when they're available to the public it's worth taking note. I'm totally going to plagerize what is posted at Sea Life Inc.'s website for posterity. Oh, also, for what it's worth, the asking price (retail) is $20. Larger, WC Pearly Jawfish are sold from Sea Life Inc for $12.50, with WC pairs costing $30. I guess it remains to be seen how Ken does marketing thise fish.

Here's a link to the offering (while it's active) - http://sealifeinc.net/catalog/product_i ... 056d70c1ac

The content of the add is quoted below:

These are a rare offering of tank raised Yellowhead Jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons, spawned and reared in captivity here in the Florida Keys by Martin Moe. I’ve included this short note by Martin that gives you a history of these fish and some tips for caring for them. I don’t know when he will have time to rear any subsequent spawns or work on spawning an second generation of them in captivity, so when we sell this first batch, they will be gone for awhile.

This fish is from the first fish spawn in my small experimental marine culture laboratory in the Florida Keys. I am doing basic research on the reproduction and culture of the long-spined sea urchin Diadema antillarum of the Florida coral reefs and also, as time allows, various culture experiments on different species of marine fish and invertebrates. From time to time the juveniles that result from this work will be made available to hobbyists. They are now large enough to ship so now we can offer the first of these to hobbyists. Hopefully there will be more in the future.

I first spawned and reared the yellowhead jawfish around 1978 at the Aqualife Research hatchery in Marathon in the Keys. It was not very successful, only a few made it through to juveniles, but then we were concentrating on angelfish and didn’t pay too much attention to the jawfish. I was always fascinated by these beautiful little aquatic construction engineers, however, and I vowed to someday return to jawfish culture. Well that day has come. We had a small spawn on January 21, 2007. The male successfully incubated the eggs for 10 days and the larvae hatched on the evening of January 30. The larvae began eating the day after hatch. We fed them wild plankton, the fraction under 150 microns; actually they fed on the smallest of the copepod nauplii in the plankton collection. They continued to feed on copepods and brine shrimp nauplii (which were fed very sparingly) and they began to drop out of the plankton and move sand around to build burrows at 19 days of age. In the larval stage, they have a transparent body and a darkly pigmented head. I noticed the development of yellow heads on day 20 and both the dark and yellow head phase were building burrows on days 20 and 21. (Note: It is only the O. aurifrons from the Keys that have the bright, intense yellow heads.) At day 34 they were all in the juvenile stage with bright yellow heads. They were feeding avidly, building burrows, and behaving just like the adults by spitting sand, posturing at each other with open mouths and shaking bodies, and even engaging in fighting over burrows by locking mouths and shaking each other. We moved and counted some of the juveniles in early March and found that we had reared about 125 from this spawn, not bad for a small egg ball. On April 10 they are 70 days old and the largest of them are about 2 inches total length. It is difficult to sex young jawfish so we don’t know males from females

It is not necessary to provide a deep sand bed, 4 to 6 inches, but they will do well with such a substrate. They can do fine in 2 to 3 inches of sand if a relatively large flat rock or a half section of 2 inch pvc pipe is set concave side down in the sand. The rock or half pipe section should be supported off the bottom of the tank so that the removal of sand will not cause the rock to settle. This gives them a substrate that allows them to build a burrow that won’t cave in on them. A handful of small pebbles and shells, quarter to half inch, is also important as they use them to line the entrance to the burrow. Then at night they close up the burrow with these pebbles and one would never know that a little jawfish was snug for the night in his little hidey hole. They will take most any marine fish food, but grated frozen shrimp and/or squid is a good basic food for them.

Martin Moe

mpedersen
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