Captive Bred Filefishes: ORA vs Biota

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Hermie

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Hi people I just wanted to share my experience considering how much money it cost I figured I'd share for the community.

Disclaimer is that this is my personal experience, not all individual fish are the same.


I first bought an ORA captive bred filefish about a month ago in the hopes that it would partially solve my aiptasia problem. It arrived in great condition however it was a bit smaller than I expected. Somewhere around 0.5 to 0.75"

The bottom line: it was wayyyyyyyyyy too small for any tank that has decent water flow. I'm not even talking about SPS or crazy flow, but it seriously was overpowered in my tank. In my opinion and experience, ORA needs to raise their filefish a little bit longer maybe a month or two before selling them. This delay would not impact production IMO but the overhead to raise the fish would go up a bit. That said, ORA is more expensive than Biota in my case for these fish; so I would have expected a larger specimen.

My ORA fish died in my tank I blame myself honestly but there was no where in the acclimation guide or anything that really stressed what I'm trying to stress to you now: these are sold very small and really can't be expected to survive 100% in our coral tanks in which aiptasia is the pest we are likely targeting by purchasing these fish. Even if your fish surives one day there's a decent chance it could get predated on or stung by a coral/aiptasia or get sucked into a powerhead etc.

So I didn't want to give up on my plan to include a filefish in my tank and I found a great deal from Algaebarn on filefish from Biota. I decided to give it another shot and surprisingly the fish arrived slightly larger than the first fish (from ORA). It's probably a few milimeters larger which isn't much but it's more than I got with the first filefish.

So basically paid less and got a slightly larger specimen from Biota instead of ORA. I still very much appreciate ORA. I got a captive bred target Mandarin from them that is doing EXCELLENT. However I wish they would stress how small these fish are and that they are really not appropriate for reef tanks until they get larger than the size they are sold at. Most of my aiptasia are bigger than the fishes (both ORA and Biota!).

Any question let me know thanks.
 
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pecan2phat

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I also went the Biota filefish route in an attempt to control my aiptasia outbreak. Fish came in nice small size but never adapted to consuming aiptasia, it's been 18 months and I finally took him out because I would catch him nipping on SPS.
 

areefer01

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The onus is on the hobbyist as you sort of indirectly noted. Sorry for your loss but it goes without saying that aquaculture fish be it captive bred or raised have a delicate balance act as to the right time to sell a fish. Doesn't matter if it is ORA or Biota or Bob our Uncle. Aquaculture fish more or less are known to come in small so the hobbyist has to plan accordingly. The good news is that some of these fish grow rather fast so only spend a short time in an isolation room or refugium. I personally use my refugium for this but that is just me.

My experience has been all on the small size with the exception of my Sapphire Damsels. All arriving between the size of a US dime and quarter if that. I learned a similar lesson when I introduced my first matted filefish to my display. Never made it to the lower area of the display, over the overflow it went, into the sump. Caught it, placed it into the display, back over the overflow and into the sump. Now they all spend about a month in the refugium before display.

Direct from Biota:
Matted filefish
Forktail blenny
Starry goby
Radial filefish
Gold Lined Rabbitfish

From LA/DD:
Sapphire Damsels (larger side of things and went right into the display)

People complained a bit about the yellow tang size and now Biota offers a larger size option for an additional cost. Personally speaking, if you couldn't tell already, but I'm a fan of captive bred/raised. I know the rough age of the fish, known eating habbits and product, and when direct purchase never touch a middle system which is huge.
 
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Hermie

Hermie

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I also went the Biota filefish route in an attempt to control my aiptasia outbreak. Fish came in nice small size but never adapted to consuming aiptasia, it's been 18 months and I finally took him out because I would catch him nipping on SPS.
I also have peppermint shrimp on order, and the tank has had a plague of bristleworms previously that I'm hoping the filefish might positively impact.
 

areefer01

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Honestly, everything captive bred is usually on the very small side. It's great that they're now offering larger yellow tangs, but they're still ridiculously expensive in the first place.

But it is also the only place we can obtain Yellow Tangs. Who knows maybe one day the only fish we may be able to own are captive bred or raised. Another topic I guess.

If you haven't seen it yet Saltwater Aquarium dot com did two videos with ORA. It gives an idea of the effort to bring these fish to market. Does that justify the price? I don't know and that is another conversation. Just throwing it out there if you haven't seen it yet. It is pretty good and relatively short and to the point. Not selling just what ORA does.

I do see your point and it is one thing I believe that turns people away. I just hope that they can also see it from the other side and effort. Hope your day is going well!
 
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areefer01

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I also have peppermint shrimp on order, and the tank has had a plague of bristleworms previously that I'm hoping the filefish might positively impact.

I've not witnessed my matted filefish eating bristleworms. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen just that I have not seen it. If you have a Matted from Biota they put rubble in the holding tank that has aiptasia from what I understand.


 
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Hermie

Hermie

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In my experience filefishes don’t do well with any sort of current. I had a pair from ORA a few years ago. Mine blew around and eventually died also. They never seemed comfortable. I won’t try that again.
Yeah... I definitely had to reduce my flow and I even turned off my powerhead the first few days. Now, I have my powerhead on and mesh on it to slow the flow and keep the fish from getting sucked in.
 
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But it is also the only place we can obtain Yellow Tangs. Who knows maybe one day the only fish we may be able to own are captive bred or raised. Another topic I guess.

If you haven't seen it yet Saltwater Aquarium dot com did two videos with ORA. It gives an idea of the effort to bring these fish to market. Does that justify the price? I don't know and that is another conversation. Just throwing it out there if you haven't seen it yet. It is pretty good and relatively short and to the point. Not selling just what ORA does.

I do see your point and it is one thing I believe that turns people away. I just hope that they can also see it from the other side and effort. Hope your day is going well!
I'm sure there's a lot of effort involved - I just find it hard to justify $250+ for a yellow fish that was far less than that just a year ago. Maybe if it wasn't a tang...
 
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