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Marine Ornamental Fish & Invertebrate Breeders • View topic - Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby jeff@zina.com » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:37 am

With the increasing pressure on wild caught fish such as the Bangaii Cardinal and the fact that it is so easy to breed this species in captivity, is there a viable market for captive bred specimens? Especially moving the industry to captive bred only for these fish?

I ask because every single LFS I've questioned over the last three months, about 30 total, does not carry captive bred Bangaii Cardinals. They tell me two stories. About two-thirds of the LFS tell me they do not have a source for captive bred, the other third tells me they are too expensive to sell. A number of years ago, captive bred Bangaii Cardinals were the direction the industry was headed. Has that changed? Is it just not profitable enough to breed them? I understand that the same effort in breeding will get you 20-30 Bangaii Cardinals or 200-300 Snowflake Occilaris, so the economics isn't there for the quantity, but is it really that simple?

Thanks for any insight.

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby EasterEggs » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:05 am

What are they going for in your area (retail)? I find a person has to be at the same price point to sell captive bred because 95% of the reefing community doesn't give a crap if the fish is captive or wild.

I raised them in my area for a couple years. They were selling for about $25-30 retail, and most LFS would pay around $8-12 for each baby Banggai. I just had one pair, and I didn't make a huge amount of money, but I did make some. The pair were good producers though; about 40-60 eggs every 3 weeks. I stripped the eggs around 10 days and tumbled them.
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby Scottt » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:38 pm

I heard someone who used to work at a major ornamental hatchery talk about this. The issue as they described it was that the Banggai Cardinal did not fit into the mold of a commercial hatchery. People walking by spooking the male, who then eats the eggs seemed like a big issue. Everyone moves fast fast fast in a production farm. Also, the tedious nature of keeping the female away from the male during incubation. Or having a large enough tank w/ hiding places so that they coexist happily makes removing the male difficult. Big tanks that take up a lot of space for fish that don't produce many offspring...I can see where your comment on economics rings true there.

It sounds like the issue is that breeding banggai works best on the hobbiest level, so far. So that is perfect for everyone here, we are hobbiests right?
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby Suzy » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:09 pm

We should be able to flood the market ourselves. I just can't get mine to hook up!
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby EasterEggs » Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:12 pm

I guess I should have gone into it more like Scottt did.

The males do stress easily, which is why I started stripping the males. I was able to avoid separating the two. The two were always together. There was the rare time when the female was ready to go again around 14 days (eggs were not good quality), but usually she took ~21 days before she would be ready with eggs again. I did not find a reason to separate them during incubation...I'm not sure the reasoning behind that? I found the pair could co-exist with other docile fish which would help offset their need for a bigger tank in a commercial setting. I also covered the tank on all 4 sides. I would gently tap the rim of the tank 3 times before opening the front to feed them. They got used to this, and would not startle. I found low lighting and adding Feather Caulerpa to the tank really helped calm them down. I made sure to keep one third of the tank clear so I could herd the male that direction to net him for stripping. Funny enough he got used to this process, and didn't fight being caught after a few times.

I have a bonded pair now that I plan to put into a 25 gallon tall tank (24x12x21") with a pair of Mandarins and a trio of Peppermint shrimp on a central filtration system. I believe these fish/inverts will coexist well in this size tank and be happy with the layout.

There are ways to work around the commercial issues, but one has to be creative. One nice thing I found is that because the batches are so small compared to other fish I could divide a 20 gallon tank and have a batch on each side.
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby jeff@zina.com » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:24 pm

Locally, they're retailing for about $18. Means they would probably need to wholesale for $4-6 from a breeder. At least they're popular, but they really may not fit into the "economically smart" choice for a business. When it takes about the same resources in space and food to raise 50 Snowflake Occilaris and wholesale them at $25 each, it doesn't make much sense to raise 20 Bangaii Cardinals at $6 each.

This is the real reason wild caught fish are in the market. And will likely stay. At least until someone comes up with a way to maximize production. And profit.

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby William » Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:04 pm

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby EasterEggs » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:44 pm

Given sufficient thrust, pigs will fly just fine.
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby PaulG » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:23 pm

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby PaulG » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:29 pm

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby EasterEggs » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:50 pm

Last edited by EasterEggs on Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby PaulG » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:07 pm

Yes, but after awhile they come around to what your telling them. Don't get me wrong its the same here they wil buy the cheaper fish and then complain when it dies 2-3 weeks later (like majority of WC Bangaii) even though you warned them and offered them the CB alternative for an extra $15.

CB Bangaii sell for $40-$50 each locally and WC are $25
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby jeff@zina.com » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:18 am

But cheaper is relative. 10% more expensive may be worth it, 100% may not be. FWIW, on Bangaii Cardinals at least, I get no die off from my LFS. And it still doesn't answer the question, can Bangaii breeding be a viable enough business that there is no reason to go for wild caught?

Think of peppermint shrimp. It's cheaper to catch them than to raise them. Same with hermits. There's no current risk that the global population of peppermint shrimp will vanish, so no economic pressure for conservation. Will commercial breeding of peppermint shrimp ever become viable?

Keep in mind that conservation of a species is rarely the driving force behind a captive breeding program outside a zoo or institution.

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby EasterEggs » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:46 am

Given sufficient thrust, pigs will fly just fine.
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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby PaulG » Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:04 pm

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Re: Is a Captive Bred Bangaii Business Practical?

Postby Ben » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:14 am

if you had enough pairs to produce enough fry to sustain a wholesaler or 1 or 2 lfs maybe yes
i have 2 pairs both eating the eggs at the moment am at the cross roads with them as they could make room for something else which could produce more fry for the same amount of money per fry
I might try Eastereggs method of covering all sides and see what happens
I have Bangaii with pep shrimp and they are fine
Took the shrimp a little while to get confident but now there antenna even touch the bangaii to scare them of when i feed them some brine shrimp so they can get them before they do
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