Saturday, August 30, 2014

Genicanthus personatus :)

Hey Everyone

Over ten years ago while I was working at the Waikiki Aquarium I had the amazing opportunity to spend some time over a couple of years to do larval rearing work with the Masked Angelfish, Genicanthus paersonatus.  We succeeded in raising one fish "Geni Babe".

Since then one of my life goals has been to work with G. personatus again. It was a goal that I believed might not ever happen but I kept it swimming around in my head as a dream. This last spring that dream came true with an unbelievable opportunity given to me by rebreather diver Rufus Kimura. The information was to be kept under wraps until it could be announced at MACNA in Colorado this weekend. So now I am free to share the information with you.

The following video footage and photos were taken by me and if you've visited this site before you know that I am not a good photographer. A friend of mine, Leighton Lum has taken some lovely photos of the adults and juveniles as well as other fish from the Faith and Fabio Project. You can visit his site at

So here's how it went down.

Rufus went down, deep. He collected a pair of masked angelfish.
The male was the largest I've ever seen and became known as Jumbo.
The female is lovely and is known as Hina.
Here is a photo of each. The photos do not do them justice!

The pair was collected in the winter and spawned on March 2. I was busy with the Paracentropyge venusta of the Rising Tide Conservation project and had to fit the G. personatus into my free time. The following two months were the most hectic, exciting, stressful and fun months as I made the journey through the most successful larval rearing run I've had to date.

Here are a couple of photos of the juveniles taken yesterday at six months of age.

The following are video links to You Tube so that you can see how the larvae progressed starting with the most recent.

Here they are at day 91 feasting on Herbivore  Frenzy provided by Larry's Reef Services

Here is day 57. G. personatus juveniles casually swimming around their grow out tank.

Day 49 playing peek a boo.

Here we are at day 40 when the first laval personatus settled out to it's juvenile form.
A very exciting day!!!

Day 36 when I transferred some of the larvae to a bare tank which had my "magic rock" in it. This is the rock most of my clownfish have started spawning on and the rock that Geni Babe settle on over ten years ago.

Day 30 of the larval rearing run.

This larval run was done using wild collected plankton and I think it's interesting to note that this was my best ever larval run and has been a year of amazing reef fish recruitment in Hawaii.

Rufus requested a video giving my perspective on this "G. personatus Project".
I would like to leave you with the video and a message that I wrote to a friend regarding the video.

I think that video may come back to haunt me.
I'm not good at being in front of the camera and I'd never done a video with the computer. My husband set me up with photo booth on the lap top and went to bed. I tried four times and on the fifth I thought, that one wasn't as bad. I must have thought that out loud because my husband says from the bed "I heard you say UM at least ten times". So I tried several more times and finally felt OK with it. The sound wasn't very good but I had the volume all the way up so I stuck with it and sent it to Rufus.
The next morning I played it back and it looks freaky with the lighting. I look like a cabbage patch doll! My contact lens had been bothering me and my eye looks swollen. I said to my husband "you have to watch this and tell me how bad it looks". I push play for him and he starts laughing uncontrollably. He says "It looks like you're missing teeth". And sure enough it does! Now I start laughing and he says "I think these people are going to start an Indigogo campaign for you to get your teeth fixed!"

Oh the sacrifices I make for this hobby!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Day 55 for the P. venusta

Just a quick update at day 55 for the P. venusta in trial 8.
I took some video this morning and the larvae continue to develop juvenile coloration. We can now see more blue on the dorsal compared to just two days ago.

I'm very happy with this group since their larval phase has been quite a bit shorter than our previous successful trial and this batch has been reared on only cultured foods, (no wild plankton). They are still on living foods, currently being fed Artemia as we slowly introduce non living foods.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Day 53 for P. venusta trial 8

We're at day 53 and seeing some signs of pre settlement in the P. venusta larvae.
Here's a video showing what the larvae look like today. This larva seems to be the furthest along in development.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 44 Paracentropyge venusta

Well we are at day 44 of trial 8 for the P. venusta and we've started having a few deaths.
In an effort to get all of the larvae moved into clean tanks I had to move some into a 20 gallon grow out tank. I moved a total of 34 larvae to this tank over the last few days and they have settled in fairly well. This is quite a change for them at this early age.
Here's a video of them exploring their new home.

Once they were moved and I could set up a new tank where they had been I moved the rest of this batch (56 larvae) to a clean larval tank. So we currently have a total of 90 larvae and I do expect to lose a few more over the coming days after all this moving.

I also have a photo of one of todays dead larvae and would like to share that as well since they are so beautiful at this stage and the video doesn't do them justice.  This is one of the larger larvae which is 1.6cm total length.

Friday, August 1, 2014

It's day 33 of trial 8 for the P. venusta

It's day 33 of trial 8 for the P. venusta and things are going well, (knock wood).
The larvae are currently feeding on Artemia with a supplement of copepods.
We are at approximately 25% survival which is great. I don't know the exact percent survival since I am estimating the number of larvae at 120. We'll know better when all the larvae are moved and counted.

Here's a video taken today. You may notice that I'm getting better with the camera. :)