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.

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       Then, in March 2016, after a number of emails and conversations, I have come to find that the Skiffia "Black Beauty", a fish that has been 
       carefully raised here over 5 years from 2 weak pair, may be extinct in the US, and their status in Europe is being determined. For those of 
       you looking to exploit these fish financially, the last time they were posted on Aquabid, about 3-4 years ago, they were priced at $90 a pair
       (Sale by Rit F.) They will be sold here for $40 a pair when they are ready to distribute. I currently have about 40 here.

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

       As an example, it takes about 12-18 mos. to breed up 15-20 pairs of Xiphophorus montezumae, Tomosopo, and 50-100 young for Fry Deals.
       Then, when offered for sale they are generally sold out in 2-4 months. Yes, I could personally benefit and simply charge more, but I would rather get
       more out into the hobby so they do not disappear. A single pair at an ALA convention about 5 years ago went for $75, and I have been told they 
       have not been seen at a convention since. I am focusing here on the X. montezumae, and have further expanded the number of tanks for them.

       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. I did locate 2 pair from another fishkeeper that, like the Black Beauties, were in poor shape, and
       after 5 years of carefully breeding them out, I am up to about 100+ fish, and have begun offering them for sale. 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 in your tanks. Aquabid and BidForFish.com are easy. Very easy, and I could not have done
       what I have done without those types of 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 healthy 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?

 

       ABSOLUTELY.



       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
       Jenynsia lineata, the "One Sided Livebearer"
       Poecilia velifera, the "Giant Sailfin Yucatan Molly"
       Characodon lateralis/audax, the Red audax morph
       Characodon audax, The "Black prince"
       Skiffia "Black Beauty"
       Skiffia multipunctata La Isle Zamora
       Xiphophorus Birchmanni, "The Swordless Swordtail"

       * - The montezumae, multipunctata, birchmanni, lateralis, lineata and Black Beauties may be available again over the next few months.
       The velifera are available in groups of 6 2-4 monthold fish. The audax I no longer have, but may be able to locate.

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

       Limia nigrofasciata
       "Tiger" Limia

       - Both of these are in good numbers here.

       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.  Some of these fish I receive requests for 3-4 times a month..

       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
       hobby.

       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
       selectaquatics@gmail.com , 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 selectaquatics@gmail.com.
 

       Thank you!

 

       Greg Sage
       selectaquatics.com
       selectaquatics@gmail.com


 

         





 

 

 

 

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