Clown Loach breeding and export study

RD.

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I heard back from a friend in Indonesia that used to be a fish trader & had plenty of experience in clown loaches collected in both West Kalimantan, as well as Sumatra. Here's what he had to say on the subject of commercial breeding of clown loaches in Indonesia.

Hi neil

Ive been off from fish industries for sometime. I am fine and hopefully you are fine too. There are some breeders which actually can produce clown loach through induced breeding. However, currently the portion is very small considering high cost of producing n raising the cl to the saleable size. Usually this is done in off season for cl in their natural habitat. At this season due to rarity of cl, its price will increase that can cover cost of production through induced breeding. But for large trader they will collect cl during its season n set aside some to be sold during off season.
 
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iinkeren

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I am loggin in again in MFK using my colleague ID since RD, my friend, contacted me about this thread.

Well, as you may aware there are two types of Clown Loach in market right now. Borneo and Sumatra.

During its season, you can collect WC hundred thousands of CL in borneo. This making the production of induced breeding clown loach is not profitable considering high cost of induced breeding production. Producing and raising them into saleable size very costly. During the wc collecting season, the sales price of CL is much lower than cost of producing the using induced breeding. So it wont be profitable. The only profitable way to sale CB CL is during the off season when the CL price hit the highest price. However, for big trader, where they have very proper facility, they prefer collect WC CL during the harvest season and sale some. So they will banking the CL stock and release some in the off season. That why CB CL in Indonesia is very small

Talking about the way of harvesting CL in Sumatra and borneo. In Sumatra the people is very skilled in collecting very tiny CL. It’ss like a rice-size and raise it in the pond. So, when Borneo in in the off season, they will release the CL to market. While in borneo, the people only harvest ¾ inch above. During the season of Borneo CL, trader prefer to buy borneo CL than Sumatra CL. Even one of big exporter in Sumatra also buy CL and Tiger fish from Borneo.

Yes, large CL is banned from export, but you can always find some exporters still ship some of large CLs to overseas. The ban is basically to protect source of CL parents in overseas which can be used for induced breeding.
 

RD.

Crazy Canuck
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Hey Irwin, thanks for posting that additional info!

Very interesting about the "rice sized" CL's collected in Sumatra. I agree about large CL's, they can still be found but the ones that I see all originate from Sumatra (many as large as 10"), and usually ship out of Singapore where no such ban exists. The only export ban that I am aware of is in Indonesia, where you live. BTW - I also prefer CL from Borneo/Kalimantan, vs Sumatra, but you already knew that. :)

Thanks again for the info, you need to visit MFK more often.
 

justin guest

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Please explain what you mean by "each generation".

If in fact CL's were being bred in captivity via hormones, the parent stock would be older loaches, meaning they would be wild stock. All offspring from such breedings would be F1. It's not like there would be several generations removed from the wild producing fry, as in F2-F10 specimens.

Back in 2009, when Ewurm made that comment he was incorrect. At that time, there was no mass commercial breeding of clown loaches taking place here in NA, or overseas. IMO, there still isn't. Not because of the cost of hormones, in Malaysia human chorionic gonadotropic (HCG) hormones have been used to induce spawning in various species of fish over the years, and as one can see by the prices in the link to Argent Labs it's not exactly expensive. In Malaysia 10,000 units probably cost less than a pack of cigs.

It's not the cost of the hormones that makes this type of breeding non profitable for farmers, it's the labor & time involved in these types of breedings. Just to get things going these hormones have to be intramuscularly injected into each individual female. Then with clown loaches one has to factor in their growth rate before they can be taken to market.

Did you see the pics that I posted of the farm bred clowns? They were teeny-tiny, 3/4" TL, in 40+ years the smallest that I have ever seen, and cost $13.33-$17.25 depending on quantity purchased. No one is willing to pay those kinds of prices for CL's that are not even 1 inch in total length. That's insane, and farms cannot compete with importers that bring in 5,000 2-3 inch pieces at a time, and sell them for a fraction of that amount. They are also very unstable at those sizes, and most if not all of those F1 loaches died before being sold.

At the wholesale level CL's are dirt cheap, 3-4" CL's cost as little as $1-2 US in Indonesia. Even with freight costs added on, one can pack a lot of juvie CL's into a decent size box that will only cost $50-75 (for shipping) landed here in NA. But even if one is the average LFS, that doesn't import themselves, but buys through local suppliers, decent sized CL's are still usually only a few $ a piece. Most LFS have a min of a 100% mark up on fish, many 150-300% mark up, so just keep that in mind when viewing store prices. So why would any store in their right mind pay $3-5 for a 1" clown loach, when they could get one 2-3 times that size for the same price?

IMO that's why commercial farming of these fish has never taken off, and I suspect that the farmers in Florida learned this the hard way. If there was $$$$ to be made, the Asian farmers would have been all over this years ago. Hormone induced breeding is certainly nothing new in Asia, they have been doing this type of breeding for decades.

There are different collection locations in the wild, and the CL's from Borneo (Kalimantan) do look different than those collected in Sumatra. They are actually genetically different fish, which may explain why some people are seeing different looking loaches from time to time.


I'm afraid I'm going to need to see some solid proof of commercial breeding taking place, before I buy into the possible increase in oddball loaches in some areas (if that's even statistically factual) being caused by hormone induced commercial breeding.
Just an update... in my lfs here in south germany I went in to check out the cl stocks and from about 20 individuals only 3 had the normal 3 bands... all others were oddballs - mostly with 4 stripes and/or spots. Another lfs nearby only had the normal wildform. It seems to depend on which wholesalers the stores are getting their cl's from. I asked in the first shop whether the owner could get me some wildform cl's in as i prefer to do business with him and am looking to get in to cl's again. His wholesaler said he'd try his best but the way the owner was talking it seemed that the wholesaler mainly only had oddballs in stock at the moment. I used to work in the aquarium industry over here until about 5 years ago and I never saw such a high percent of oddballs in the past. I'll look into it a bit more and see whether I can find out where the wholesaler gets his cl's
 

RD.

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I believe that if you read the post previous to yours, Irwin explained the situation rather well.
 

justin guest

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Not quite sure what Irwin's last post has to do with oddball percentages in shop stocks in germany. He only talks about the indonesian side of the trade. You seem to be assuming that nobody is commercially breeding cls in Europe. Or do you have another explanation for so many oddballs turning up? I'm still waiting for info from the wholesaler so no clarity at my end yet
 

RD.

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You seem to be assuming that nobody is commercially breeding cls in Europe.
\

Until someone proves otherwise, that's exactly what I am assuming. As far as an alternative explanation, please see my other comment to you, in the other thread you just bumped. I'm not interested in a debate, show me some actual proof and I'll be glad to change my opinion - which right now is nobody is breeding CL's on a large commercial basis. Having said that, it would not surprise me if breeders in the Czech Republic are now doing just that. Fair enough?
 

RD.

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Bumping up an old classic thread for those that might have missed it first time around.
 

RD.

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Direct links to the various papers published by the same authors involved in the power point presentation linked to in the previous post, Marc Legendre et al.

This should finally end the debate about whether clown loaches are being bred and produced on a large scale commercial basis. They aren't, and the authors explain in detail why at this point it is still not cost effective to do so. Yes, they can be bred in captivity, but it is simply cost prohibitive to do so on a large commercial scale. It is far cheaper for aquatic wholesalers to simply buy juvenile wild caught clown loaches from suppliers in Indonesia. At least for now, stay tuned .....


http://www.alr-journal.org/articles/alr/pdf/2012/02/alr120008.pdf


https://www.was.org/documents/MeetingPresentations/AQUA2012/AQUA2012_0621.pdf


http://www.alr-journal.org/articles/alr/pdf/2012/02/alr120009.pdf


http://www.alr-journal.org/articles/alr/pdf/2012/02/alr120012.pdf
 
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