An Open letter to Serious Hobbyists, Universities, 
                                      Fish Sellers and Breeders


       We are at a pivotal point in the rare livebearer hobby. Stick with me, I was recently contacted with new, important information.

       Select Aquatics was begun in 2009 after selling fish at ALA conventions (American Livebearer Association) since 2000. I hoped to provide
       the most desirable fish seen at those events year around. I priced everything at just enough to meet expenses, I do not pay myself, and when
       funds are available, they go to improvements to the facility. Since then, Select Aquatics has distributed just under 10,000 livebearers out
       to the hobby, and 3-4,000 other types of fish. (Plecos and Odessa Barbs) As well, the number of tanks has more than doubled, with additions
       of monitoring equipment, filtration and aeration upgrades, emergency generators, etc.

       Over the past 6 years, these 20+ species are now rarely seen at club events. As well, "Species Maintenance" efforts in the national and larger
       local clubs have not been effective, or kept track of the species that are disappearing.

       I was concerned that some of these species may be about to disappear, negating the past 20-30 years of hobbyist conservation effort.


       Recently customers have written that even fish that are not rare in the wild, and once fairly common in the hobby are also disappearing.

       These fish, with some searching, are still available. For those of you looking for an opportunity to save a species and make a little income,
       this is the time to do so, and these species need to be bred and distributed out to the hobby, or they will disappear.

       New tops were put on tanks here 5 years ago, and I lost the la Isle Zamora Skiffia multipunctata population. I contacted 6 customers to restart
       the line, and no one had kept them going. These, too are nearly gone from the hobby, as well as being endangered in the wild.

       Today, it has never been easier to sell the fish from your tanks. Aquabid is easy. Very easy, and I could not have done what I have done
       without those internet marketplaces. Yes, a few of these fish have appeared on Aquabid in the past, but each of these species is
       suggested because they are in high demand, and must be bred in larger colonies to maintain overall appropriate health and  
       reproduction. A tank of 3 pair that crank out fry that are immediately posted on Aquabid is not the way to help maintain a healthy
       population of the species. I try to follow the rule that no fish is sold when there are fewer than 30 here, and every species is kept in
       at least 3 tanks to protect the colony, if something should happen to one of the tanks.

       Am I asking that some, or even many of you breed these rarer fish to sell - possibly even to compete with me?



       In fact, focus on the species I have the most difficult time meeting demand with, and I can guarantee that if you offer truly quality stock,
       you will always have buyers.

       Here is a list of species I recommend:

       Xiphophorus montezumae, either the Tomospo or the Capuchin
       Poecilia velifera, the "Giant Sailfin Yucatan Molly"
       Characodon lateralis/audax, the Red audax morph (No longer Carried by Select Aquatics)
       Characodon audax, The "Black prince" (No longer Carried by Select Aquatics)
       Skiffia multipunctata La Isle Zamora, Lago de Camacuaro (No longer Carried by Select Aquatics)
       Limia perugia, Boca de Cachon
       Ataeniobius toweri, Anteojitos, San Marcos

       and email me at for others-

       * - The montezumae, toweri, velifera and perugia, email for Availability.

       Other slightly more common but still disappearing from the hobby, that are carried by Select Aquatics:

       Limia nigrofasciata
       "Tiger" Limia
       Ameca splendens
       Xenotoca lyonsi
       Xenotoca doadrioi

       Of course, there are many other species that need this type of conservation help. Those above are the most popular species that
       I hear most often about from customers, and that I have focused on here.

       Those species are all chosen for a reason, all have their issues, and some are difficult to breed up and grow out in large numbers,
       but it can be done. You will likely find that from the time the first 2 pair are obtained, it will be 6-18 months before you will have bred
       up numbers to sell, and some may take longer. The X. montezumae is not a just another swordtail, and the P. velifera is not the same
       as any other molly. Both require a slightly higher level of care than either of their pet store equivalents, in part explaining why they
       are not seen on these internet sites more frequently. But they are doable for the moderately skilled aquarist looking to improve  the

       To offer one of these species for sale, you will need at least 4 tanks, two 30s or 55s (depending on species) and two 10s. And I will
       even help you get started. After viewing the Select Aquatics Filtration video, and reading any information on this site on the species
       you wish to work with, but have further questions regarding diet, feeding, handling fry, shipping, whatever- simply email me at , and I will answer any questions you may have to help get you started. We can even meet by video chat, 
       and I will look at your setup and make suggestions, while showing you how everything is done here.


       Lastly, on a personal note, I passed my 50th year as a fishkeeper, and hope to place these out into the hobby so that they are in good
       hands, and are bred and distributed so that they are not lost. More fishkeepers need to do what I am doing to keep these fish around, as  
       the independent fish stores, shows and conventions that once kept these in the hobby no longer provide fish as they once did. Now is  
       the time to act, or these fish will be lost to the hobby forever.
       As well, if you have any questions about anything I have written here, please do not hesitate to drop me an email at

       Thank you!


       Greg Sage







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