The real deal – captive-bred Yellow Tangs, Zebrasoma flavescens. These F1 fish are the first captive-bred tangs in the world, spawned, hatched and reared at the Oceanic Institute at Hawaii Pacific University. I am fortunate enough to have acquired several of these fish through Segrest Farms (who has pledged that the gross profits are all being given back to the Oceanic Institute). We do knot know if/when these will sell out, and if/when there will be more.
They are not “perfect”, in this second batch there are minimal signs of HLLE or epithelial thinning. Most fish from the first group in 2016 have fully recovered. All captive-bred tangs are “graded” subjectively, and all are sold as-is with no health guarantee (again, note the possible HLLE). Overall fin condition has improved as well when compared to the first group. “Best In Tank” literally means the best out of the fish I have to offer. “Regular” is the general average of the actual group on hand and may show some fin damage or other imperfections. “Scratch & Dent” fish are reserved for those which have major flaws, for example completely missing or multiple missing fins and/or major fin deformations.
Again, these first-ever, first-in-the-world captive-bred Yellow Tangs “are not perfect”….but industry wide, there is a call to “not repeat the mistakes of captive-bred Mandarins”. I am grading them and pricing them according to their flaws. We all rush out to by the newest iPhone or latest gadget; we need the same early-adopter mentality to take captive-bred Tangs from a “novelty that happened once” to an “everyday occurrence”. It’s taken decades for Clownfish to become mainstream offerings as captive-bred, and Angelfish are still relatively rare as captive-bred, but it can happen.
The story of captive-bred Yellow Tangs, and how they came into being, has been substantially covered by CORAL Magazine. Here’s a rundown of how this story has progressed.