Fish breeding has come a long way in the past 50 years: What will the future of breeding saltwater fish look like?

BRS

What will the future of breeding saltwater fish look like?

  • Within the next 5 years there will be major breakthroughs in fish breeding.

    Votes: 39 36.4%
  • Within 10 years average aquarists will be able to breed most species because of available 'recipes'.

    Votes: 20 18.7%
  • Within 25 years most saltwater aquarium fish species will have been captive bred.

    Votes: 63 58.9%
  • Within 50 years fish breeding will be unnecessary because fish will be genetically reproduced.

    Votes: 6 5.6%
  • Other (please explain in the thread below).

    Votes: 5 4.7%

  • Total voters
    107

damsels are not mean

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
1,941
Reaction score
2,111
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I don't think it's likely "average aquarists" will ever be breeding saltwater fish. I mean anyone can breed many species if they want to do the research and put in the time, but I don't think the average aquarist is interested enough. "recipes" work for the few species which are already considered easy, but this is hard to apply when the foods become more complex to culture for the harder species of fish.

Within 5 years I think most of the popular fish will have been captive bred with varying degrees of repeatability. Within 10 it will be hard to get wild-caught. Within 25 it may be illegal or prohibitively expensive to keep an aquarium (at least a reef) in many places. In 50? we will be lucky if we still have wild reefs healthy enough to collect from. In many places water will be too precious to run a large aquarium anyways. And this assumes our economies are still able to sustain a luxury industry like ours.
 

fish farmer

2500 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
3,034
Reaction score
4,438
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brandon, VT
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Which is illegal first; fish keeping or Christmas?

Cloning as a step in mariculture processes might work but cloning live fish gets you old copies that have a much shorter lifespan.

I saw an advertisement for a green mystery meat (artificial product) hamburger.
I’m terrified that they will come up with artificial sushi and ban the real thing.
Here you go https://www.wildtypefoods.com/
 

MnFish1

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
17,868
Reaction score
18,077
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I could see where your going with that its actually crazy to think that people don't talk about cloning fish because its entirely possible to do and depending on how expensive it is to breed fish it may even be cheaper. You also wouldn't have to be guessing if a method works or not for difficult fish because you can bypass how hard it is to breed some species just by cloning.
In 50 years there could be multiple changes - everyone is guessing. But - agree - cloning was the topic - and cloning may very well the the norm.
 

Eric R.

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
Messages
492
Reaction score
547
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Vermont
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
My prediction -- Within 10 years, environmentalists will have shut down the wild caught industry and made import of wild fish illegal in the US.

I'm not sure why "environmentalist" is thrown around like some sort of derogatory term that can't also apply to people in the aquarium hobby. I'm sure a decent number of people who keep aquariums would self-identify as environmentalists. Some of us do support captive breeding. I would hope that most aquarists would be more concerned about the health of wild reefs than about our own ability to keep glass (or acrylic) boxes for our own enjoyment. Not saying we shouldn't have both, I fully enjoy my reef tanks and want others to be able keep reefs for their own enjoyment and education as well. But I feel like there's way too much of an us against them mentality here. We all should be environmentalists, in that we are all concerned about wild reefs and that we all support efforts to maintain the health of wild reefs, so that they are around for centuries and millennia, instead of gone within our lifetimes.

The biggest threat to the aquarium hobby I don't think is environmentalists, but climate change. We all know what happens if a heater malfunctions and cooks our tanks, or if the pH in our tank drops too low. That's what's happening to reefs all over the planet right now.
 

Devaji

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
6,444
Reaction score
6,131
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jackson Hole, WY
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I put 25 years most of not all will be CB. I think alot of it depends on money and fame.
just think what the big 3 is there more? have done its amazing ! I plan to support there efforts when i can. but think if we had 20 breeders or more around the world with funding then thng will start to move.

have CB moorish idols that eat pellets that keep them healthy or orange spotted filefish that likewise are raised with pellets that contain all they need?
^ this I want a morshih idol that is CB and eating! I think alot of people would haha

I could see where your going with that its actually crazy to think that people don't talk about cloning fish because its entirely possible to do and depending on how expensive it is to breed fish it may even be cheaper. You also wouldn't have to be guessing if a method works or not for difficult fish because you can bypass how hard it is to breed some species just by cloning.
interesting I have not thought of CB vs cloning before. hopefully if it's ever done it will be done in a way genetics are not changed.
messing with the DNA stuff I am unsure about..

Which is illegal first; fish keeping or Christmas?

Cloning as a step in mariculture processes might work but cloning live fish gets you old copies that have a much shorter lifespan.

I saw an advertisement for a green mystery meat (artificial product) hamburger.
I’m terrified that they will come up with artificial sushi and ban the real thing.
they all ready have that for meat. cells taken from cows and chickens are grown in to meat. it's 100% meat just no organs/brains etc.
 

Devaji

5000 Club Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Aug 27, 2016
Messages
6,444
Reaction score
6,131
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Jackson Hole, WY
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I'm not sure why "environmentalist" is thrown around like some sort of derogatory term that can't also apply to people in the aquarium hobby. I'm sure a decent number of people who keep aquariums would self-identify as environmentalists. Some of us do support captive breeding. I would hope that most aquarists would be more concerned about the health of wild reefs than about our own ability to keep glass (or acrylic) boxes for our own enjoyment. Not saying we shouldn't have both, I fully enjoy my reef tanks and want others to be able keep reefs for their own enjoyment and education as well. But I feel like there's way too much of an us against them mentality here. We all should be environmentalists, in that we are all concerned about wild reefs and that we all support efforts to maintain the health of wild reefs, so that they are around for centuries and millennia, instead of gone within our lifetimes.

The biggest threat to the aquarium hobby I don't think is environmentalists, but climate change. We all know what happens if a heater malfunctions and cooks our tanks, or if the pH in our tank drops too low. That's what's happening to reefs all over the planet right now.

well said!
 

HomebroodExotics

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
753
Reaction score
836
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
There needs to be a fundamental change in the way we keep saltwater aquariums in order to make hobby breeding a possibility. We will never be self sustained on breeding fish without the help of hobbyists. Theres just no way a few companys can produce enough fish for everyone. We have to mimic the freshwater breeding practices to become sustainable.

No one will profitably breed fish when saltwater keepers believe they need a 10k setup to keep fish alive. Marketing and brainwashing is holding us back. We can keep simple systems and breed fish in these simple systems but it's not practiced widely. As long as vendors and their advertising forums continue to push expensive equipment that is not necessary we will never move forward and one day this hobby will probably die. But a lot of people will get rich along the way so I guess that's all that matters right.

This is my opinion and what drives me in my aquarium keeping philosophy.
 

Paul B

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2010
Messages
16,340
Reaction score
53,648
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Long Island NY
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
This blue devil spawned many times in my tank about 50 years ago but it could have been 1973 or so. Here he is over his nest of eggs in that barnacle shell. Besides him I had 6 females. I didn't try to raise them at the time because there was nothing to feed them.



Here are his eggs.



This pair of Banded Coral shrimp also spawned for about 6 years a few years later.
I never tried to raise them.

 

Sasquatchv

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 20, 2022
Messages
92
Reaction score
77
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Essex,UK
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
If done properly (avoiding the inbreeding and defects mentioned in another post) I agree that would be a major game changer, as - in addition to expanding the possible sales reach for people in the hobby who have smaller tanks - it would open up the hobby to a much wider potential audience (lots of people get into the hobby initially because of specific big fish that they can't afford a big tank for or that they don't have the space for a proper tank for). So, dwarf forms could actually be a big financial boon to the aquaculture industry if they could produce the dwarf forms fast enough while still maintaining good health (this is not an easy thing to do with most animals as I understand it, and that's a large part of why so many dwarf varieties of things have health concerns/genetic defects - breeding for dwarf-sized healthy specimens could take decades).

Personally, I would love to see some healthy dwarf specimens available in the hobby (particularly of the bigger fish like large angels, tangs, triggers, groupers, etc. - dwarf sharks and rays, while unrealistic for most species either because of their initial size or how long it takes to breed them, would probably make a lot of people's dreams come true), but I agree that making sure they are healthy despite their size is a big concern.

More on topic, however, I'd guess that the industry will see major advancements over the coming 5-10 years, and that the industry will have aquacultured most common species within the next 25 years - but, I don't know that they'll be producing all of them with any sort of regularity unless the harvest of wild specimens is greatly restricted/eliminated just due to the costs of aquaculture (it's usually a really bad financial decision to try and aquaculture cheap fish, as the costs of rearing one may well excess the costs of just buying a wild one - and not many people would be willing to drop $50 on an aquacultured fish that they could get for $10 wild caught).
Dwarf healthy anything is an oxymoron. One thing that should be stopped in pet industry is breeding defective "designer" breeds like french buldgs, sausage dogs, deformed goldfish, pedigree cats that can't survive without 3 surgeries within a 1 year of their life and the likes of them.
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 22, 2021
Messages
2,114
Reaction score
2,600
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Dwarf healthy anything is an oxymoron. One thing that should be stopped in pet industry is breeding defective "designer" breeds like french buldgs, sausage dogs, deformed goldfish, pedigree cats that can't survive without 3 surgeries within a 1 year of their life and the likes of them.
Yeah, most dwarf pets are dwarf because of genetic defects (sometimes fatal defects), but there are some breeds of different animals (like zebu cows, Shetland, Soay, and Ouessant sheep, etc.) that would be considered “dwarf” because of their small size that are generally healthier than many modern breeds. To get like that requires a lot of years of breeding though, and it usually happens naturally with feral populations (edit: this may be in large part due to farmers wanting livestock with more meat on them though, instead of tiny, largely useless livestock). When breeding for health is discounted in the pursuit of a faster track to get other traits is where issues usually come in.
 

Charles Zinn

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
125
Reaction score
84
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Ft. Myers
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It won't affect or apply to me....I'll be pushing up daisies or burned into fish food. Just enjoying my RBTA explosion. Mo ed 5 months ago. Now have doubles to quadrupled my rose and Rainbow bubble tips. Looks like the Seabae lost the battle
 

damsels are not mean

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
1,941
Reaction score
2,111
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Not sure if this is off topic, but I think breeding dwarf versions of everything would be a game changer. Imagine tangs that only grow to 2-3" and can live comfortably in a nano tank. Would completely solve any of the ethical dilemmas.
I think that would be hard to do. It hasn't really been done even in freshwater except maybe goldfish (?) and those designer varieties are often riddled with health issues.
 

damsels are not mean

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 14, 2021
Messages
1,941
Reaction score
2,111
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
My bet is fishkeeping since about half the USA population is conservative give or take so no way Christmas will be outlawed except talking about it to get people angry but fishkeeping doesn’t have a lot of money behind it relatively speaking.
It's closer to about a third of the overall population, the young even less, but it doesn't matter because nobody cares or wants to outlaw christmas. Even many young people are still christian in some form.
 

FSP

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 26, 2022
Messages
209
Reaction score
225
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
AZ
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Comparing saltwater to freshwater reproduction just isn't fair in most cases. Livebearers, parental care of eggs, fish that feed their young, fry that take artemia or even dry food from day 1, most hobby fish mature in under a year, popular fish fit in small tanks, water changes that cost a ~cent per gallon, etc.

It can and has been done, but there are real challenges many people can't deal with in a home setting or work schedule.
 

HomebroodExotics

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2020
Messages
753
Reaction score
836
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
United States
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Comparing saltwater to freshwater reproduction just isn't fair in most cases. Livebearers, parental care of eggs, fish that feed their young, fry that take artemia or even dry food from day 1, most hobby fish mature in under a year, popular fish fit in small tanks, water changes that cost a ~cent per gallon, etc.

It can and has been done, but there are real challenges many people can't deal with in a home setting or work schedule.
Yea, I think you are wrong and we only beleive that because of marketing. You don't even need to do water changes to keep fish so there goes one of your costs. And I'm not saying this to be mean to you in particular. What you are saying is exactly what everyone else says.
 

Rjramos

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Messages
1,555
Reaction score
1,323
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Miami
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It’s hard to say if average hobbiest will be able to raise most species at home. Sure clownfish and many large mouthed larvae species have been started on phyto enriched rotifers. If there is a breakthrough 5, 10 , 25 years it will probably be on the discovery of a micro food for larval fish. I have raised clownfish and neon gobies. I also had the opportunity to spawn and produce larvae of Midas Blennies, back in 2014. Attempting first feed with s- type rotifers success was not met despite multiple attempts. The larvae would die off within 8 days post hatch. What I was able to do, I documented a journal, which is still existent on MBI (marine breeders initiative). I go back periodically to see if success has been achieved with Midas but nothing further on this site since then . I have not heard of successful rearing of Midas blenny to date. I would love to see it happen for such a popular and beautiful fish.
 

FSP

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Sep 26, 2022
Messages
209
Reaction score
225
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
AZ
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I'm not sure how marketing has fooled me into believing many saltwater fish larvae are very difficult to rear. Many have tried, few have succeeded, even fewer have decided it was ultimately worth their time. Even in the freshwater scene, ask anyone who has bred discus or angels (piece of cake by saltwater standards) if it was ultimately worth their time as an adult with a life outside of aquariums. Only the most hardcore fish heads do so with any consistency.

"You don't even need to do water changes"
This isn't a reef tank, this is breeding fish to make the hobby "self sustain[able]" (or for fun :)). We're rearing 10s or 100s of fry in tiny quarters and feeding them many times a day. I'd like to see the filtration system that makes this possible without water changes.

Again, it's not impossible, and people like Kathy Leahy exist, but I don't think marketing the is only reason we don't see many cb tangs or angels.
 
BRS

How difficult is it REALLY to keep Acropora corals?

  • 1 - easy to keep

    Votes: 19 3.5%
  • 2

    Votes: 6 1.1%
  • 3

    Votes: 13 2.4%
  • 4

    Votes: 13 2.4%
  • 5 - average

    Votes: 146 27.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 48 8.9%
  • 7

    Votes: 140 25.9%
  • 8

    Votes: 82 15.2%
  • 9

    Votes: 20 3.7%
  • 10 - difficult to keep

    Votes: 53 9.8%
Tunze
Top