Ocean Painting

Paintings and Murals of Fish, Corals and Anemones

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New Painting: Ghost Dance (Bangaii Cardinalfish Mating)

There are not many saltwater fish that can be easily bred in an aquarium environment. Bangaii Cardinalfish are one of the few that can. Cardinalfish are mouth-breeders, meaning that the male holds the fertilized eggs in his mouth until the fish hatch. Once they are big enough he spits them out and they are off on their own. It is this behavior that makes it possible for hobbyists to breed them.

I used to have 2 Bangaii Cardinals and they were a bred pair. Unfortunately the female mysteriously died one night after she and the male mated. I think she might have been worn out from mating and got caught in a pump (where I found her). The male had the eggs in his mouth after she died, but he ended up eating them so I was not able to breed them. I was fortunate enough to get a video of them engaged in their pre-mating dance before she died (see below). I still have the male and hope that one day I can find him a mate, but it will be difficult since these types of fix are hard to sex.

My latest painting is called ghost dance. It is a small 8″x10″ portrait of my 2 Cardinalfish engaged in their pre-mating dance ritual. Bangaii Cardinals are black and white with beautiful striped and spotted patterns. I wanted to accentuate their colors by doing a simple painting of a black canvas with only the white stripes visible. This painting, albeit simple in design, has alot of meaning to me since it is of 2 fish who had mated but are no longer able to. Maybe her ghost comes to visit her mate at night and they engage in this ghost dance once again. For now all I have is the video and the painting to remember her by.

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