Biota has the most amazing customers. In 2021 we brought you the story of Keefe Brock who took his fish on a road trip across the US, and his fish even went to the Grand Canyon with him! Almost 2 years later, we asked him for an update on his well-travelled fish.
It all began in summer 2021 when @keefesreefs posted this picture on his Instagram of his captive bred Majestic Angelfish with the caption "same fish 4 months apart! One of the main reasons I fell in love with angelfish is due to their drastic color metamorphosis, and while this fish is not done this change is pretty drastic in such a short time!!"
During a chat with Keefe, I learned that the transition isn't even the most remarkable thing about this fish. He said, "It did a lot of that transitioning on a trip across the country in a travel aquarium from California to Maryland. It's been to the Grand Canyon, Zion national park, and arches. It's a well traveled majestic angelfish."
I had to know more. Keefe explained that he and his spouse moved across the country, and he couldn't bear to part with his fish (among them a captive bred Marine Betta and Majestic Angelfish he bought from Biota), so they decided to take the fish with them on the 2 week trip.
His degree in environmental science with a biological focus surely came in handy when he designed these portable fish and coral carrying coolers. The pipe on top leads to a DIY macro algae reactor to help with nutrients, and both tanks were biologically managed with sponge filters powered by a rechargeable battery operated air pump. The lights are Aqua Illumination Primes that they were able to shine into the open coolers once they settled into the hotels at the end of each day.
I asked Keefe why he chose captive bred fish. He replied, "I choose captive bred over wild caught because if people don't invest in captive bred fish now, there [may not] be fish available in the hobby eventually, especially with Hawaii closing down its export, and one of the provinces of Canada creating legislation to ban a lot of exotic pets, there is a lot of writing on the wall." Today, all of Keefe's fish are captive bred with the exception of one hogfish.
We asked Keefe for an update almost 2 years later, and he says, "All the fish that I took across country are all still alive - 1 majestic and a blue face x Majestic hybrid, Mocha (real close to a black storm) clown, and the marine betta and a toadstool leather."
The marine betta was about an inch and is now ~ 4in with its tail. The non-hybrid angel was ~an inch and is now 3in. The hybrid was ~2in and is now ~4in, and the clownfish was about an inch and is now 1.5-2in the clown, non-hybrid angel and betta are all in a 150gal acrylic (170gal total volume) run with ozone, that I keep at ~350 orp, as well as a algae scrubber. At most, I've done 50gal total volume water change since I set the tank up in Aug 2021. The hybrid angelfish is in 40b that has a freshwater Ai Prime light, a tidal 110, a heater, and a surface overflow pump that gets a 20gal water change every month or so.
Water parameters are all kept around 10ppm nitrates and 0.03pmm phos, alk at 8.5 DkH, and pH from 7.8-8.3
I have a male radial Filefish, a stary goby, in with the hybrid angel. And the 150 has an 8in goldlined rabbit fish, and a multibar angel!