Biota AMA

Biota_Marine

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Hey y'all,

Tom and I want to start to incorporate more customer feedback and questions onto our social media. I get tons of emails and messages about our animals, process, and ideas across all of our platforms and I was hoping to open up a discussion. We also want to do some short form videos on our Facebook and Instagram answering some of your questions you may have for us. Let some questions fly and I'll answer as many as best as I can and we're hoping to choose a few every week to give a bit more in depth answers on our Facebook and Instagram.

I appreciate all the questions and responses.

IMG_0900-s.jpg
 

BeltedCoyote

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I’m sure you get this question all the time, but are you all still breeding Hawaiian cleaner wrasse? If so I’m not going to ask for a specific time they’ll be available beyond possibly later this year?

also, how can an average hobbyist like myself help contribute to the overall aquaculture movement. I mean, I know buying aquacultured critters is part of it but are there other things we can do?
 

FishDaddy

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What challenges are you all having breeding additional tangs? I would think the success could also be incorporated with purple, gem, and hopefully powder blue/brown, and even archiles.

what about wrasses and additional anthias?
 
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Biota_Marine

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I’m sure you get this question all the time, but are you all still breeding Hawaiian cleaner wrasse? If so I’m not going to ask for a specific time they’ll be available beyond possibly later this year?

also, how can an average hobbyist like myself help contribute to the overall aquaculture movement. I mean, I know buying aquacultured critters is part of it but are there other things we can do?
So we are still breeding Hawaiian cleaner wrasse but I don't have a specific date of their availability at the moment. With the significant increase in demand for the yellow tang we used virtually all of our resources and space to increase the amount of yellow tangs we can produce. But while we had that going we did introduce a few new harems to our Hawaii facility which should be about done with their QT period and should be up spawning very soon. This means when we do get batches of them they'll be in much higher quantities.

I think the best thing hobbyists can do is to educate new hobbyists on the benefits of buying aquacultured animals or at least to start out with. One of the first things Biota did as a company was create our Marine Kit which was 100% aquacultured fish, corals, and rock in a package. Out of the hundreds we've sent out the vast majority had incredible success and either upgraded the tank size or the tanks are still going today.

Another great thing hobbyists can do is to request our livestock from their LFS or let them know about us. The companies that have done the best with our livestock have had designated captive-bred systems which really should be the future of the industry so hobbyists can make the choice and it isn't eliminating much of the work we do keeping our facilities biosecure.
 
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Biota_Marine

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What challenges are you all having breeding additional tangs? I would think the success could also be incorporated with purple, gem, and hopefully powder blue/brown, and even archiles.

what about wrasses and additional anthias?
The biggest challenge we had was increasing the numbers with the sudden increase in demand for yellow tang. We're always looking to refine our methodology and increase our success rates but never as rapidly as we have with the yellow tang. It took around 4 months, tons of new equipment, new employees, and much more space but we're very confident in the numbers we've got coming in from July to the new year.

I do think this methodology can be used for similar tang in the zebrasoma genus but it seems like it might be pretty different for acanthurus but I think it might just be a matter of time before us or some of the other companies crack that. We've also had quite a bit of success with successfully breeding hippo tangs but we're just making tweaks to the process to make sure the coloration is right.

Our Hawaii facility is working with and has success with Cleaner wrasse, melanarus, red coris, and yellow coris. But we do still have a bit of work to do on that. Many of the Cirrhilabrus species the people want to see captive-bred can be pretty hard because of their ability to fluctuate between sexes and their different life stages so it might be quite a bit before some of those are successfully bred. We're incredibly happy with how the pink square anthias production is progressing and I don't see why that methodology couldn't be used for other anthias. We have a few we think are incredibly important to the trade that we've set our sights on and hope to have more success in the future with this genus.
 

coralfishreef

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Jake,

People may have seen or heard about Biota because of captive bred yellow tangs, but Biota also sells an assortment of clams and corals.

I’ve previously purchased several healthy, captive bred fish, clams, and invertebrates from Biota. However, I don’t ever recall seeing a WYSIWG clam in stock. Are there plans on updating the WYSIWG section or are those there as examples of what someone might receive when he/she buys a non-WYSIWG clam?
 

FishDaddy

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The biggest challenge we had was increasing the numbers with the sudden increase in demand for yellow tang. We're always looking to refine our methodology and increase our success rates but never as rapidly as we have with the yellow tang. It took around 4 months, tons of new equipment, new employees, and much more space but we're very confident in the numbers we've got coming in from July to the new year.

I do think this methodology can be used for similar tang in the zebrasoma genus but it seems like it might be pretty different for acanthurus but I think it might just be a matter of time before us or some of the other companies crack that. We've also had quite a bit of success with successfully breeding hippo tangs but we're just making tweaks to the process to make sure the coloration is right.

Our Hawaii facility is working with and has success with Cleaner wrasse, melanarus, red coris, and yellow coris. But we do still have a bit of work to do on that. Many of the Cirrhilabrus species the people want to see captive-bred can be pretty hard because of their ability to fluctuate between sexes and their different life stages so it might be quite a bit before some of those are successfully bred. We're incredibly happy with how the pink square anthias production is progressing and I don't see why that methodology couldn't be used for other anthias. We have a few we think are incredibly important to the trade that we've set our sights on and hope to have more success in the future with this genus.
Well I’m glad to hear the increase of captive breeding. I studied oceanography at HPU in 2002, and worked as a scuba instructor on oahu. Really excited to see the breakthrough! One less stressor against corsl reefs is a good thing. Hope to see more and more new captive fishes. I know you have some, but I wish you guys did more education of why captive breeding is important. Hard facts of number of fish/coral taken out of the wild, or how regions or customs have an inability to differentiate between species for sustainability, etc. I’m looking forward to having a large mix of different captive bred anthias one day! Thanks.
 
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Biota_Marine

Biota_Marine

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Jake,

People may have seen or heard about Biota because of captive bred yellow tangs, but Biota also sells an assortment of clams and corals.

I’ve previously purchased several healthy, captive bred fish, clams, and invertebrates from Biota. However, I don’t ever recall seeing a WYSIWG clam in stock. Are there plans on updating the WYSIWG section or are those there as examples of what someone might receive when he/she buys a non-WYSIWG clam?
So we do have a section called "Ocean Oddities" which we should advertise a bit better, but that is our WYSIWYG section. Usually when we get larger batches of clams we pick out an assortment of 50 or so and grab some nice photos of them under daylight lighting. We plan to also use this in the future with oddities or morphs that are a bit different from our normal stock, like a white yellow tang or clown trigger with stripes instead of spots.

We recently added some crocea clams to the site and the photos under those products are actually the exact one's customers can expect to receive (https://shop.thebiotagroup.com/products/ultra-grade-crocea-clam). I separated those baskets for retail customers so it's going to be exactly one either shown in that photo or one that may have gotten cut off. For other clams the stock photos we take are from our population and there isn't a ton of variation with the derasa and squamosa.
 
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Biota_Marine

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Can you tell us what (if any) new species you guys are working on?
I can say we are working on many more species of these nano gobies that everyone has been loving. I have a few more species of damsels looking to be available next month, a new dwarf angelfish, and we're finalizing our research with the hippo tangs so those will hopefully be available soon. There's also a few key anthias found in Palau that we have begun some research on.
 

Tamberav

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Are you still breeding multibar or venustus angelfish?

Any plans for a potters angelfish?

My tank needs an angel :) I keep checking your website for something unique that won’t completely destroy my wallet.
 
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Biota_Marine

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I have one (a question),

if you do have breeding facilities in a greenhouse type building, what do you do when heavy storms or hurricanes come through?

I can't imagine moving all those tanks!

I recall hurricanes affecting the live rock availability in Florida.
Right now our Florida facility isn't operating with any greenhouses but we do have outdoor tanks at both our Hawaii and Palau. Both facilities have significant cover to help prevent any major catastrophes. Preparation is key so sometimes fish are moved to indoor portions of the facility and tanks are shut down but the most important thing is all of our facilities have major generators to prevent any fish loss. A few years ago during Irma we were on generator for 7 days at our Florida facility when tons of companies had major losses: https://www.amazonasmagazine.com/2017/09/15/after-the-storms-the-aquarium-trade-checks-in-part-44/
 
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Biota_Marine

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Are you still breeding multibar or venustus angelfish?

Any plans for a potters angelfish?

My tank needs an angel :) I keep checking your website for something unique that won’t completely destroy my wallet.
We hope to have our first Potter's angelfish available later this month. They will be in very small quantities but it's sounding like consistent production going forward!

We also do get in both venustus and multibar angelfish every few months but they are in small quantities as well so it's best to have notifications on for those species.
 

Tamberav

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We hope to have our first Potter's angelfish available later this month. They will be in very small quantities but it's sounding like consistent production going forward!

We also do get in both venustus and multibar angelfish every few months but they are in small quantities as well so it's best to have notifications on for those species.

This is the best news! Thank you so much. I will remain patient until one comes in stock :)
 
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Biota_Marine

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Hey Biota, what's up with those Labyrinth Angels? Any idea what they look like later?
I haven't seen the adults personally here but we have photos of some of the older ones at the Bali facility:
grow up1 (1).jpg

grow up3.jpg


I assume they'll get a bit more of the maze patterning as they get older and mature more.
 

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