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August 30, 2017

Researchers at Biota Aquariums have reached a breakthrough in captive breeding Borbonious Anthias, which the company described in its announcement as “one of the most beautiful creatures living in the depths of our oceans.” The species is reportedly very difficult to breed in captivity.

The Biota Marine Life Nursery was founded on the island of Palau by Tom Bowling, co-founder of Biota Aquariums. According to Biota, the facilities hosted the California Academy of Sciences in 2016, during which deep-water species were collected for display and research. During the course of this mission, Borbonious Anthias were collected “to trial for breeding.”

As explained by Biota, the fish they collected had to be placed in pressure chambers and were then brought up to the surface and the pressure was vented over a period of several days. This allowed the fish to adjust without too much stress. After a week, the anthias adjusted in their new home and were feeding on a mixed diet of live feed and pellets. After about six months, they were fed as much as they could eat and kept at relatively cold temperatures.

By chance, the facility’s air conditioner broke, triggering the Borbonious Anthias to start spawning. The team reported that around 80 eggs were produced. Biota announced that the species is now available in limited numbers.

According to the company, the 100 percent cultured Borbonious will thrive in large marine tanks of more than 75 gallons (250 liters) once fully grown. In anticipation of North America’s largest marine aquarium conference, MACNA, Biota Aquariums will offer a limited number of the world’s first aquarium cultured Borbonious Anthias on the new Biota Aquariums’ Ocean Oddities website, which opens on Friday, August 25. Biota also noted that the new Ocean Oddities website will soon be updated with new livestock, including corals, invertebrates, fish and a “What You See is What You Get” section of rare species.

Marine hobbyists who sign up for the Ocean Oddities launch before midnight this Saturday will go into the prize draw to win one of the first ever 12 aquarium-cultured Borbonious Anthias’. Winners will be drawn live at noon on Sunday, August 27. Interested individuals can enter the drawing at the Biota Aquariums website.

The aquacultured Borbonious Anthias will be shown at MACNA 2017. Biota Aquariums will be exhibiting at booth #682.

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