First Record of Captive Larval Culture and Metamorphosis of the Pacific Blue Tang, Paracanthurus hepatus
June, 2017 Update:
In 2016, University of Florida researchers Matthew A. DiMaggio, Eric J. Cassiano, Kevin P. Barden, Shane W. Ramee, Cortney L. Ohs and Craig A. Watson successfully cultured 27 Pacific blue tangs through metamorphosis by first feeding Parvocalanus crassirostris copepod nauplii, then secondly Brachionus plicatilis Marine L-type rotifers enriched with Ori-One and then lastly with these same rotifers enriched with Algamac 3050. This feeding regimen was chosen after studies determined that after feeding ciliate species, including Euplotes sp., no larvae survived past 8 days post hatching (DPH).
By 78 DPH, the surviving 0.054% of the Pacific blue tang larvae had completed metamorphosis and had adult coloration in this University of Florida larval culture trial.
Three more small cohorts of P. hepatus were also subsequently raised during the continued work to refine rearing protocols.
Original BR blog post from August 20, 2011:
by Tom Lang
Yuan-Hsing Ho, an associate researcher at Taiwan’s Fisheries Research Institute – Eastern Marine Biology Research Center, has reported spawning the Blue Surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus) and preparing to ramp up production by 2012 to a large scale.
Ho was quoted as saying that deterioration of coral reef ecosystems has led to a dwindling of the supply of these popular aquarium fishes in the wild and that the program will also be researching the possibility of releasing some of the aquarium-bred stock back into their natural habitat around Orchid Island.
Most interesting to us at The Breeder’s Registry was how Ho “found” a ciliate that he feeds to the larval fish, later switching them to “algae, seaweed and other types of food they ingest in nature.” This may bode well for raising larvae of other algae-eating tangs and other marine fishes by first offering cultured ciliated protozoa such as Euplotes sp., which are often much more abundant in coastal marine waters than copepod nauplii.
Another benefit of using ciliates as a first food is that they can be of smaller size and more appropriate for smaller larvae.
From: Taiwan Today