OK, so I have to chuckle because people are already speculating about the going asking price on the F1 offspring I’ve produced.  I’ve seen the hypothetical numbers ranging from $300 to $600 to $1000 to $1500.  And then there’s this post on Nano-Reefs.com that takes the cake.  User iball1804 is making some pretty bold statements, starting with:
“My LFS is getting a pair in.”
I can state officially, on the record, that I have not made any agreements with any LFS anywhere to sell any Lightning Maroons to them.  But that’s not all that is claimed:
“They are $5,000 apiece. And everything’s already lined up. Our client is willing to pay, and so it will be. “
Now that’s awfully presumptive since that’s the first I’ve heard about this.  It may very well be that the highest bids for F1 Lightning Maroons may well be much HIGHER than $5000.  Who knows?  Of course, I’d love to know who’s willing to offer $5000 a piece for Lightning Maroons, but that’s getting ahead of things.  Why?
Because as I’ve stated all along, back when I purchased the Lightning Maroon from Blue Zoo Aquatics, I made a gentleman’s offer to Mark Martin that I would offer right-of-first-refusal to him on any offspring I might produce.    Mark (Blue Zoo), Dave (Pacific Aqua Farms) and David (SEASMART), all took a gamble on me being the best choice for this fish.  It’s my opinion that now it’s time for BZA to receive some of the monetary benefit they gave up in deciding to sell this fish to me vs. simply the highest bidder.
Now, there is no contract, no agreement, I am free to sell these fish to whomever I want and do what I please with them.  That said, Mark is aware that it looks like there will be some Lightnings to be made available in the coming months.  But that is the extent of anything that has been discussed, and I will be seeing what we want to do together before going beyond that… after all that’s what “right of first refusal” means.  And to my surprise, it seems the general aquarist community at large has been aware of this, and hasn’t been flooding my inbox with inquiries for the last 2+ years (thanks for that everyone).
So while I LOVE the enthusiasm and bold statements, I can categorically state that anything you read on “price” or “availability” that you didn’t read directly from my keyboard is speculation.  I have some ideas on how I’d like to see these fish be distributed, and I can tell you that making sure this natural variation is preserved is at the top of my priorities…a far higher priority than price.  I took this project on as a conservation-minded breeder, and until these fish are out in the hands of other breeders, that mission wont’ be complete.