It amazes me still that even with the entire story documented here for the world to see, there are still people out there who get it wrong, and sometimes blatantly so. I was alerted to a discussion on Facebook today in a semi-private forum, so I’ll refrain from naming names and keep it strictly to the inaccuracies. Within this discussion, all sorts of factually inaccurate statements were made, and so, it’s time for another round of “Lightning Maroon Mythbusting” – let’s set the record straight.
Myth - “My company ********* is a official retailer for sea and reef aquaculture the original and only breeders for the lightning maroon clownfish”
Fact – While the company in question may be an official retailer for Sea & Reef, even Soren Hansen himself wouldn’t be so bold as to claim that Sea and Reef was the “original” (aka. first) breeders of Lightning Maroon Clownfish, nevermind they are certainly not the “only” either. I’ll just raise my hand here and claim originality (which is indisputable) and for a long time, until Sea & Reef produced their 2nd generation fish, I was also the only
Myth - “Soren from sea and reef aquaculture teamed up with Matt from bluezoo aquatics and they had joined forces..first pair to successfully breed was a joint venture.”
Fact - The first pair to successfully breed was my pair, here in Duluth MN, the wild-collected Lightning Maroon Clownfish with a wild collected normally patterned Maroon, both from Fisherman’s Island in PNG. Soren / Sea & Reef had nothing to do with the first pairing, and it certainly was not a “joint-venture” between myself and Sea & Reef or Soren.
Furthermore, I am not “from Blue Zoo Aquatics”…I am a customer of Blue Zoo Aquatics, but I do not work for them. I sell them the offspring of the actual “ORIGINAL” Lightning Maroon pairing, drop shipping them to Blue Zoo’s retail customers, but I am independent of Blue Zoo. There was no “joint-venture” in the production of the original F1 Lightning Maroon Clownfish offspring either – they were done by my own hand in my basement fishroom. Mike Doty, a good friend and fellow fish breeder who lives literally around the block, can be credited with helping rear the first, and some of the subsequent batches I’ve produced to date here in Duluth.
Myth - “Besides bluezoo lost their first breeding pair which one was a wild caught and one was a regular maroon”
Fact - Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, NOTHING in that statement is even remotely true. It would seem that the person speaking (who is retailing Lightning Maroons from Sea & Reef) is attempting to create the illusion of rarity / exclusivity in order to drive sales.
But…let me pick it apart point by point. This statement implies that only one of the fish in the pair was wild caught. My pair = F0 X F0 (all wild caught). Sea & Reef’s initial pairing was one of my F1 offspring, paired to another F0 PNG white stripe maroon (per Soren Hansen’s communication with me).
Blue Zoo never had a breeding pair, so impossible to lose something they never had. Let’s assume that the “blue zoo” pair this person is referring to is in fact MY pair, the one which has supplied the offspring which Blue Zoo Aquatics retailed – that pair is still alive and well and producing…heck they just laid their 43rd spawn yesterday.
Myth - “So when they had a hybrid and Soren had an original wild caught they teamed up to bring them to wholesalers for sale”
Fact - I’m not even sure in what context the commentator / retailer is using the term “hybrid”, but I will say this – hybrid has multiple definitions. In the context it is typically thought of, being intraspecific hybridization (the offspring of two separate species) then no, no hybrids here. There are interspecific hybrids (at least one individual out there would prefer I use the term “population hybrids”) but at the end of the day, short of saying that ANY pairing of ANY fish of ANY type = hybrid, there is nothing hybrid about any of the breeding I did here, nor the breeding I’m aware of at Sea & Reef. The Lightning Maroon Clownfish is pure Premnas biaculeatus “PNG White Stripe”, but carries a mutant gene / allele which causes the unique stripe pattern alteration.
I think there’s also a lot of implication that there was direct collaboration between Blue Zoo Aquatics, Myself, and Soren Hansen, and I must clarify that. While I clearly have met Soren, have had many conversations with Soren, there was no coordinated effort on my part, or the part of Blue Zoo, to team up and bring Lightnings to wholesalers for sale. Soren Hansen purchased his F1 broodstock fish at public auction from me via Blue Zoo Aquatics – anyone could have bought that fish.
It was Soren Hansen who had the foresight to be a commercial breeder which procured additional wild PNG broodstock when it was available, on the gamble that there would one day be F1 Lightnings for him to work with at Sea & Reef. So, the credit for that goes squarely to Soren…he planned thoughtfully and then executed on that plan when the opportunity presented itself. I commend him for that foresight and a job well done.
Myth - “I will correct myself [Sea & Reef is] not the only breeder with the Lightning Maroons just the only ones that have quantity and the original strain”
Fact - Sorry, flat out “wrong”. While Sea & Reef does have the largest available quantity, they are not the “only ones that have….the original strain”.
I’ll avoid getting into the jargon of “strain”…as it doesn’t really apply well in this setting at this time anyway, but I will say this and I know Sea & Reef won’t argue. The “original” pair is here, still producing offspring. It is arguable that my stock has the “original” inherited gene, but we must understand that Soren’s offspring, which are 2nd generation Lightnings by using of my first generation offspring as a parent, should carry the exact same “lightning gene”. So they have the “original gene”, inherited from their parent, who got it from my original wild fish.
Ultimately, there will be many lines of Lightning Maroons produced by breeders around the planet, but unless another wild Lightning is discovered, collected, brought to market, and successfully bred, all Lightning Maroon Clownfish will owe their unique mutant gene to the original wild fish which resides here in my basement to this day.
Now, whether other breeders will keep their Lightning Maroon lineages true to the PNG provenance is another story, and that one day could be a bone of contention (eg. anyone hybridizing Lightnings with Gold Stripe Maroons, or looking at white stripe broodstock outside the PNG provenance). Sea & Reef has respected the PNG provenance in their lines (both Morse Codes and Lightnings), I have as well, and I’m hoping that all other breeders will do so, because it does matter in the long term when it comes to conserving natural biodiversity.
Opinion - “You can pay 2k plus for garbage or you can pay $3-400 retail and get yourself a quality maroon. Its a no brainer those that spent big bucks not even a year ago I’m sure feel like crap after seeing the prices of these from sANDr”
Fact - everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they’re not entitled to their own facts.