The Lightning Project

The ongoing saga of the PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish Breeding Project

Browsing Posts tagged MBI Workshop

OMG Lightning Maroons

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A lesson to you all – beware of freakishly tall men in straw hats brandishing video cameras.

OMG Lightning Maroons

Come see ^ THIS GUY ^ give an epically animated talk this weekend at the 2014 Marine Breeder’s Workshop.  Yes. It has Lightning Maroons in it.

Thanks Kevin Erickson. That is all.

Back in June, we (I, Blue Zoo Aquatics, and Sea & Reef Aquaculture) announced an unprecedented raffle contribution to the Marine Breeding Initiative (MBI) in recognition of the 5th Annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop, which is coming up quickly on July 19th, 2014, in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. In short, Blue Zoo and I contributed one of my holdback Lightning Maroon Clownfish, Sea & Reef contributed two F1 Morse Code Maroons from unrelated PNG Bloodlines to get one to pair with the Lightning Maroon, and Blue Zoo Aquatics footing the bill to ship the resultant pair to the winner within the continental US after the workshop.

Well, the first hurdle has been seen, and passed. On Wed., June 18th, Soren Hansen of Sea & Reef Aquaculture shipped out two select Morse Code Maroons from Maine, to Duluth, MN. In a turn of events that I think has never happened to me before, poor weather somewhere along the route caused UPS to fail to deliver the package that Thursday. Soren and I were quite anxious to see what was in the box when it finally arrived on Friday, June 20th.

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My son, Ethan, was eager to see what was in the box too!

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The moment of truth – was it a box of dead fish, or had Soren’s packing stood up to the challenge imposed upon the fish?

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Yes, that was Soren just going 2 for 2, successfully shipping fish an extra day without issues. The fish were honestly a little stressed out from the extra time in the bags. Both were placed into a 5 gallon bucket with a fair dosing of ChloramX to neutralize ammonia, and then were drip acclimated to reside a cube that had, for months, held my White Stripe X White Stripe holdback pair.

Initially, I thought I might pair up the smaller one with the holdback Lightning Maroon (MWP3), so for the first few days it was given the freedom to explore the main tank.

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Meanwhile, the larger Morse Code Maroon was acting a bit jealously. Every time I walked up to the tank, this was what I saw.

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So, I switched things up, and allowed the larger one to be out and about, while placing the smaller one into isolation. Here’s the larger one…

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The best part? 24 hours after releasing the larger one, I allowed the Lightning (MWP3) to join him. So far…not a single bit of bickering whatsoever.

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They don’t sleep together yet, but they don’t bicker or fight and they are indifferent about each other’s presence. Therefore, it’s hard to say that they’re a bonded pair, but they are 100% on the road to more solid bonding in the days, weeks, and months ahead. So, barring any changes or unforeseen murders, this will be the pair of fish up for raffle at the MBI Workshop!

The 2014 MBI Workshop presents a SHOCKING RAFFLE made possible by Blue Zoo Aquatics, MiniWaters LLC, and Sea & Reef Aquaculture.  In recognition of the 5th annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop, and the accomplishments made by marine breeders globally, we present a shocking once-in-a-lifetime raffle drawing!  One lucky winner will recieve the F1 PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish, MWP3, shown here, donated by Matt Pedersen (MiniWaters LLC) and Blue Zoo Aquatics, paired with a F1 PNG Morse Code Maroon donated by Sea & Reef Aquaculture, shipped from Duluth, MN by Blue Zoo Aquatics to any destination in the lower 48 US states after the 2014 MBI Workshop!  MBI Workshop July 19th, 2014 Cranbrook Institute of Science Bloomfield Hills, Michigan  For MBI Workshop registration, visit www.MBIWorkshop.com  Raffle tickets are only available at the workshop - MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

The 2014 MBI Workshop presents a SHOCKING RAFFLE made possible by Blue Zoo Aquatics, MiniWaters LLC, and Sea & Reef Aquaculture.

In recognition of the 5th annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop, and the accomplishments made by marine breeders globally, we present a shocking once-in-a-lifetime raffle drawing!

One lucky winner will recieve the F1 PNG Lightning Maroon Clownfish, MWP3, shown here, donated by Matt Pedersen (MiniWaters LLC) and Blue Zoo Aquatics, paired with a F1 PNG Morse Code Maroon donated by Sea & Reef Aquaculture, shipped from Duluth, MN by Blue Zoo Aquatics to any destination in the lower 48 US states after the 2014 MBI Workshop!

MBI Workshop
July 19th, 2014
Cranbrook Institute of Science
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
For MBI Workshop registration, visit www.MBIWorkshop.com
Raffle tickets are only available at the workshop – MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!

Somewhere along the line I alluded to the fact that there was at least one US-based person involved in the Lightning Maroon auctions who had the foresight to obtain wild PNG Maroon Clownfish from Scott Fellman at Unique Corals with the express intent of  using them as mates for the offspring from this project.  I tried to do the same, but as I’ve shared before, the abrupt loss of exports from EcoAquariums PNG meant that once again, I was thwarted in my own attempts to beef up my base of wild genetics.

A wild (F0) Premnas biaculeatus "PNG White Stripe" Maroon Clownfish purchased through Unique Corals.

A wild (F0) Premnas biaculeatus “PNG White Stripe” Maroon Clownfish purchased through Unique Corals.

That person I alluded to is Brandon Mehlhoff.

Lightning Maroon fans, meet Brandon Mehlhoff.

Lightning Maroon fans, meet Brandon Mehlhoff.

I won’t share all the details, but we sat across the table from each other at the post MBI Workshop dinner this year and the topic of PNG Maroons came up, and the fact that he had one (the fish shown above).  I basically said “name your price”, at which point he revealed who he was and why the fish was not for sale, at any price.  The moment I learned of his intentions, my thought shifted completely from “I gotta get him to part with this fish” to “this guy really needs a Lightning Maroon, as his outcross pairing of a F1 from my breeding to a F0 from PNG, will help start a distinct line and expand the genetic base for the entire captive Lightning Maroon population”.

Lucky for Brandon, he got “the fish” he needed in round 2 of the auctions, the winning bidder of LM15.

Lightning Maroon #15 (LM15) - Brandon's fish.

Lightning Maroon #15 (LM15) – Brandon’s fish.

While most fish were destined to be shipped out, Brandon proved his dedication to the project by requesting that he personally pick up and transport his fish.  Brandon, a North Dakota native and rare clownfish enthusiast (he also maintains Mccullochis among others) made a 24 hour whirlwind trip to personally come to my fishroom.

Of course, it was a great excuse to get some much needed cleanup done (still an ongoing process as I’m setting up more growout for FW in my formerly open space in the middle of the room…I now have two aisle).  Brandon got to see his fish, and all the others firsthand.  Of course, he was able to pay his respects to “Mama Lightning”.

Brandon Mehlhoff did what any good aquarist would do...

Brandon Mehlhoff did what any good aquarist would do…

 

..asked if he could take photos....

..asked if he could take photos….

 

...and took lots of them!

…and took lots of them!

I certainly would’ve let Brandon stay all day if he liked, but he still had to drive home and put away some very precious cargo.  Time to bag ‘em up:

Very rare you get to see ME in the photos, here netting LM5 for the journey to Brandon's fishroom.

Very rare you get to see ME in the photos, here netting LM5 for the journey to Brandon’s fishroom.

Bagging up Lightning.

Bagging up Lightning.

After a long drive home and acclimation into the wee hours of the morning, Brandon was very happy to send me a few photographs of LM15 in the new fishroom.  This pairing is going to be an important one owing to the outcrossed genetics.  Depending on who’s interpretation of filials you care to go by, Brandon’s potential offspring are either F1 or F2 (from a more generalized viewpoint, they are F1 in the greater scientific community.  In the aquarium world, they *might* be called F2 by many since one parent is F1).

Either way, an important pair to follow in terms of genetic stability and known provenance for Lightning Maroon Clownfish.

Brandon Mehlhoff's Future F1 Lightning X F0 PNG Maroon pairing

Brandon Mehlhoff’s Future F1 Lightning X F0 PNG Maroon pairing

 

 

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