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        In the past few months we have received a series of bad news:
      1.    MODEL BT-2 EDUCATIONAL BREEDER TANK IS CURRENTLY SOLD OUT AND IS BEING REDESIGNED.  This is due to our former supplier being acquired by another company who is not yet in production of a needed component.   
      2.    BREEDER TANK LIGHTS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.  We have been notified by our supplier that they have discontinued production.  The current BT-1D has been modified and limited quantities are currently available only without lights under the model item #BT-1(M) priced at $90 + $12 FedEx U.S. Shipping and subject to prior sale.
      3.    THERE IS NOW A "$45 HAWAII INTER-ISLAND MICRO-LOBSTER INSPECTION SURCHARGE FEE" due to requirements that all Micro-Lobsters must be physically taken to the quarantine inspection station prior to going from the Big Island to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or other neighbor islands.  We are trying to obtain more information to resolve this issue so the surcharge can be removed.  Please write for more information.  This does not affect shipping of Micro-Lobster units to the Continental U.S. 



          Our new interactive order form allows you to type in all order information.  Print and mail in with check or money order and earn a  5% cash discount!   Or print, FAX to (808) 982-9883 and phone in your credit card information. THIS IS NOW OPERATIONAL!  Upon ironing out any kinks, we will install a button to allow transfer to the secure PayPal site to allow credit card processing even for those without PayPal accounts!  PAYPAL CREDIT CARD PROCESSING
Fuku-Bonsai's smallest, most economical unit!
    MICRO-UTOPIA is our smallest most economical unit with some of the same highest quality features of our proven larger more costly units. It's ideal as a unique gift or as an entry-level unit.

3.5" in diameter; 4.5" overall height



        The objective was to create a long-life compact introductory unit that would perform well, but at a significant cost savings! This smaller unit as an exceptional item for Hawaii visitors to handcarry home (including to Japan and Canada)! It has many of the same high-quality features of our larger proven premium breeding tanks including high-velocity pumice ejecta aquascape, bacteria inoculated gravel, and premium Micro-Lobster food!

$34.95 + $15.00 shipping each to any part of the US
4 or more to the same US address:  FREE SHIPPING!
(Various Micro-Lobster tank sizes and True Indoor Bonsai can be mixed to qualify for free shipping.)
We are now required to have all Micro-Lobsters and Micro-Lobster units physically inspected at the quarantine station prior to shipping from the Big Island to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or other neighbor islands. We are trying to obtain more information to resolve this. This does not affect Micro-Lobster shipments to the continental U.S. Alaska continues to have a $10 per parcel FedEx surcharge.





           Fuku-Bonsai is committed to the highest ethics and the MICRO-UTOPIA is the finest unit of its type, size, and price. It is far superior to sealed glass ecosystems that never reproduce. But unlike our larger 1/2-gallon INTRODUCTORY MINI-BREEDER TANK and 3/4-gallon EDUCATIONAL BREEDER TANK, it is less likely to consistently reproduce in the smaller MICRO-UTOPIA.

        Our original trials included various sizes, shapes, materials, and designs.  We concluded that "high-velocity pumice ejecta" was an exceptional material and we committed the time and costs necessary to clear the use of the material. The cylinder shape was consistently superior to all other shapes. By feeding, our Micro-Lobsters grow to their full natural size, retain their lovable sociable personalities, and are active. BUT DO NOT OVER-FEED AS THIS WILL POLLUTE THE WATER AND CAUSE THE SYSTEM TO CRASH (all Micro-Lobsters die)!

        When it came to size,  there was a noticeable difference between the smallest unit vs. a 1/2-gallon or 3/4-gallon.  The 3/4-gallon produced an exciting additional amount of activity and I consider our Educational Breeder Tank as our exceptional current "top-of-the-line" product and our pride and joy! It is large enough to capture the attention of students, but small and portable enough to move to the next classroom when a teaching unit is complete. To support this use, we have a $25 educational discount when purchased by teachers, schools, or for donation to schools.

        The outstanding 1/2-gallon Mini-Breeder Tank was our introductory product in June of 2003. It was a solid compromise and is an excellent product with over 20 Micro-Lobsters.  We are increasingly getting reports of successful reproduction and believe that the maximum population for the 1/2-gallon Mini-Breeder Tank is closer to 50. So it will take a huge amount of success to reach capacity. 

        Opae'ula have long lives with life expectancies that are longer than dogs!  Opae'ula are known to have lived for more than 20 years. But the key is having the best possible environment and I believe all of our units meet this criteria.  I will be looking forward to your reports!

~~~David W. Fukumoto, president & founder, Fuku-Bonsai Inc.
      February 2005
       Our first unit introduced in June 2003 has been improved and upgraded continuously. There are now a steady stream of reports of successful reproduction!
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      The Introductory Mini-Breeder Tank includes over 20 Micro-Lobsters.  Usually only about 50% are visible. This photo was taken at the start of feeding when just a few are at the surface.
      Easy-care pets for homes and offices that reflect the nature and spirit of Hawaii!
        These tiny creatures are indigenous to Hawaii and full size adults are only 1/2". This complete premium desktop unit includes a 1/2-gallon canister tank with aquascape, canister light unit, background panel, cleaner stick, 16-page color Breeder Tank Handbook, Premium Micro-Lobster Food, and a generous number of Micro-Lobsters!
         The high-energy food is the key to creating a sustainable breeding colony!  The Micro-Lobsters are active, retain their size and sociable personality, and reproduce. It's fun to watch them filter-feed up side down on the surface!  Feeding can be 1 to 3 times per week, but its okay to not feed for a month at a time! 
          Very easy care with no water changes. Give them low to moderate indirect light.  If excessive algae grow, gently clean with the cleaner stick, leaving the residue in the aquarium and move to lower light. As evaporation causes the water level to drop, add distilled water. The lava seamount aquascape and gravel are bacterial habitats ("live rock and gravel").  Bacteria convert waste to non-toxic algae nutrients and are food for Micro-Lobsters. Keep between 65F and 85F.  Do not subject to loud noises or sudden shaking.

        Fuku-Bonsai has met all Hawaii State and USDA-APHIS requirements to allow shipping or taking to all parts of the United States. Also cleared for handcarry to Japan and Canada. The 5"diameter x 7" tall canister holds about 1/2 gallon of cultured brackish water and mounted on a bonsai-type display stand.

$90 + $15 shipping each to any part of the US
4 or more to the same US address:  FREE SHIPPING!
(Various Micro-Lobster tank sizes and True Indoor Bonsai can be mixed to qualify for free shipping.)
We are now required to have all Micro-Lobsters and Micro-Lobster units physically inspected at the quarantine station prior to shipping from the Big Island to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, or other neighbor islands. We are trying to obtain more information to resolve this. This does not affect Micro-Lobster shipments to the continental U.S. Alaska continues to have a $10 per parcel FedEx surcharge.
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     Left:  1/2-gallon  Introductory Mini-Breeder Tank (BT-1D)
     Right: 3/4-gallon Educational Breeder Tank (BT-2)
      This is an outstanding but economical unit designed for larger executive desks,  for homes,  and for use in educational institutions.  When one class completes a unit, it can easily be moved to another classroom to be a teaching aid on another subject or different grade level! The complete unit includes a 3/4-gallon canister tank with aquascape, canister light unit, background panel, Breeder Tank Handbook, cleaner stick, 2 vials of Premium Micro-Lobster Food, and 30 to 35 Micro-Lobsters!  Except for 50% more height and water, a larger background panel and 50% more Micro-Lobsters,  the Educational Breeder Tank is similar to the Introductory Mini-Breeder Tank.  The taller unit seems to encourage more lap swimming and allows easier viewing and study.  It includes email resource assistance and teachers are invited to participate in developing lesson plans and curriculum materials.

More FedEx & shipping information

Micro-Lobster Limited Warranty information

Third Edition; 24-page handbook (51/2"x81/2") with color cardstock cover with a total of 40 photographs and diagrams.
Item ML-1A:  $6 includes first class postage to any part of the US.
         Fuku-Bonsai's Micro-Lobsters are happy, healthy, active and retain their size and personalities as a sustainable breeding colony!  This concisely written handbook covers the entire subject.  It is included as part of all breeder tank units, but also offered as a separate item for those who prefer to read and understand before purchasing a breeder tank. 
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     A 5x loupe is ideal as it focuses about 2" into the breeder tank.
(Item ML-2:  $6 each + $5 shipping when ordered alone; 
no shipping charge when ordered with other heavier items)
        Fuku-Bonsai offers a 5X loupe as an optional item because we believe that it adds to the wonder and increases the interest and enjoyment. It includes a viewing sample of "high-velocity pumice ejecta" lava that was hurled over 1,000 feet into the air to create very frothy porous material that is ideal for Micro-Lobster aquascapes and bacterial habitats.
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     Feed only what can be eaten in 1-2 hours.  Leave a "no-feed day" after each feeding day. 


Item ML-4; $6.50 each + $5 shipping to any part of the US if ordered alone;  free shipping if ordered with larger heavier items. This item is include with each Micro-Lobster Breeder Tank package.)
          Pure 100% ocean chill dried spirulina microalgae powder is nature's most nutritious whole food with over 60% protein and containing all amino acids and carotenes.  Providing energy without filling the stomach capacity, there is no need to grow algae in the tanks and a higher population density is possible.  High tech vial is light proof and lined with a desiccant to assure optimum preservation of nutrients.  Includes "food-scooper" and feeding information sheet. Contains about 1/2 ounce;  enough for a year's supply for a Introductory Mini-Breeder Tank (20+ Micro-Lobsters).
For more information about Premium Micro-Lobster Food


              With the participation of some of Hawaii's top aquaculture researchers,  our business associates, and our enthusiastic customers,  we formed a Micro-Lobster Team and are rapidly learning more about these amazing creatures!  Opae'ula, the Hawaiian Red Anchialine Pond Shrimp, are endemic to Hawaii and are a threatened specie due to loss of habitat. Ponds are being filled by development or become unsuitable due to the introduction of ornamental or food fish that prey on them.

               Micro-Lobsters are truly amazing creatures with very low oxygen and food requirements!   Fuku-Bonsai's breeding tanks are based upon "open systems" that Hawaii researchers have had on their desks for many years and the story on one such unit set up in 1988 is on this website.  There are others that are older that have never ever been fed with no water changes!  These are larger tanks that began with only a small number of opae'ula and very different from the small cheap cubes being sold as "the perfect pets that never need to be fed."  

                Our units are also very different from "sealed glass eco-systems."  To really work,  "closed sealed glass eco-systems" need the right amount of light to grow enough algae to provide both food and oxygen. It would become difficult to see into the unit which cannot be cleaned.  

                In contrast, our large bacteria habitat will handle all waste and makes reproduction possible. Our premium microalgae food omits the need to grow algae in the jar. It produces very active, healthy, happy creatures and our units can, therefore, support larger Micro-Lobster populations. To differentiate, we've trademarked THE AMAZING HAWAIIAN MICRO-LOBSTERS!  Fuku-Bonsai's breeder tank units are amongst the first commercially available units to reproduce for customers throughout the United States!  Like in a zoo,  successful reproduction is proof of providing a very high-quality environment. Other opae'ula units cannot and will not claim a history of reproduction and there units may last for only a year or so.  Remember, scientists believe opae'ula have an expected life span of 20 years or more!

        1.     AS ECO-SYSTEMS IN SEALED GLASS CONTAINERS. These are based upon NASA or space technology in which only light enters, the waste is said to be converted by bacteria into algae nutrients, algae converts carbon dioxide into oxygen and becomes food. It works for a while if enough algae grows.  Unfortunately, people want to see what's happening and when they reduce algae growth, the creatures run out of oxygen and food. These marginal environments can sustain only a few creatures that become inactive or almost lifeless, actually shrink each time they molt, lose their personalities, and rarely if ever, breed. The units last longer if a hole is drilled into them to allow oxygen to enter.  But then, it would not be a sealed eco-system.

        2.     AS "PERFECT PETS THAT NEVER NEED TO BE FED."  These open-top units are superior to sealed systems if produced by a person who has extensive aquaculture training and experience.  Unfortunately,  they are usually produced by crafters with very little knowledge. Carbon dioxide gas simply leaves the jar and oxygen enters. To sustain an eco-system without any feeding, it is necessary to grow a lot of algae in the tank and fairly strong light is needed. Then algae develops to such an extent that it coats all the tank walls and it's not possible to view the creatures!  So, the recommendation is to then place the tank in lower light. To "clean up the tank," some people add snails, and while it removes the algae, the creatures again start starving! It's really a "no-win" hopeless situation. The kind of algae that will grow indoors has very low nutrient value. Even if there's a lot of it and the opae'ula completely eats to capacity, they will still be under nourished! It's like a diet of only watermelon! So over time, the creatures become inactive or almost lifeless, actually shrink each time they molt, lose their personalities, and rarely breed. We believe that people who produce such units are subjecting the creatures to cruel and inhumane punishment. Most producers of such units will not identify themselves nor give an address and phone number. In Hawaii the most reputable producers of this type of units will identify themselves and offer a maintenance program whereby for a set fee, they will clean, recondition, and exchange all opae'ula every six months. Our Fuku-Bonsai Premium Micro-Lobster Food are often being purchased from our website to feed these units.   

        3.     FUKU-BONSAI'S BREEDER TANKS are fed a high-energy food and it's not necessary to promote algae growth. Only a tiny amount will be sufficient to maintain optimum conditions without lowering the critical water quality. The porous aquascape and inoculated gravel is an extremely large bacterial habitat that effectively converts toxic Micro-Lobster waste. Unlike most of our competitors who use newly caught wild opae'ula, our Micro-Lobsters have been patiently tamed and exhibit active, sociable personalities. They are as different from wild opae'ula as a newly captured wild bird is to one that has adapted to life in captivity!  Our creatures can hide amongst the rocks and in being fed and with the confidence there are no predators, our Micro-Lobsters lose their fear and become more active and sociable. They love to "swim laps" around the tank and it's a joy to watch them filter feed upside down!

                Fuku-Bonsai Breeder Tanks are sufficiently consistent to allow use as educational tools to introduce children and adults to the wonders and beauty of nature!  Our 16-page handbook clearly explains all components and how the parts fit together.  We describe their natural habitat, explain how our breeding tanks replicate the unique epogeal and hypogeal habitats, and give extensive but concise information on how much to feed, how often, and the principles involved.  Once you understand these basics, the system is consistent, enjoyable, and sustainable on a long-term basis!

                Fuku-Bonsai believes that pets should only be given good care.  We believe that successful reproduction is evidence of an optimum environment and that anyone can easily see "the happiness of the Micro-Lobsters!" Micro-Lobsters are such unique creatures that they should be made available in sustainable units. Costs are very high as each unit has multiple hand-crafted components. It then requires very careful assembly. Great skill and costs are involved in packing and shipping. Fuku-Bonsai is committed to being a resource and to hosting a study group forum for those wanting  to grow long-term Micro-Lobster colonies.  I invite you to join us on this journey!

                I've been very fortunate in my life.  I've enjoyed bonsai since 1962 and as a business since 1973.  Our large scale and innovative techniques offset our high costs. Because houseplant bonsai have the largest market and are the most successful gift bonsai, we can afford to have integrity in everything that we do!  Half or more of our Micro-Lobster sales are to past bonsai customers who trust us and I thank you for that trust. For those living on the Mainland who have never heard of Micro-Lobsters, a very large leap of faith is necessary to purchase our items. I hope the extensive website information provides some confidence in dealing with us.

                Half of our Micro-Lobster sales are to Hawaii residents who know about opae'ula and have grown them in jars.  They quickly understand and appreciate the concept of feeding premium microalgae. To assist those in Hawaii who already have opae-ula jars,   we are selecting a Fuku-Bonsai Micro-Lobster Lead Retailer on each island to stock the complete breeder tank units,  and also the handbooks, food, loupes and other accessories to make them available as separate items. Because it is far less costly to supply in quantity,  you'll also save some or all of the shipping costs if you purchase from our lead accounts.   Our items are now available at:

                On the Big Island:  FUKU-BONSAI CULTURAL CENTER  (Kurtistown)  Phone (808) 982-9880

                On Maui:  DAN'S GREEN HOUSE,  133 Prison Street, Lahaina, Maui.  Phone (808) 661-8412

                Micro-Lobsters have many similarities with True Indoor Bonsai.  Both require small scale orientation and attention to detail.  Both are complex fields requiring strong commitments and large scale production to reduce costs.  Both grow especially well if optimum environments are created and the proper food fed. Both are celebrations of Hawaii and of Man and Nature in harmony!

            ~~~David W. Fukumoto   


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***    Return to the Micro-Lobster Mail Order portal page        ***   Go to Micro-Lobster Order Form
Fuku-Bonsai 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009          You are cordially invited to visit the home of the Micro-Lobsters at
     17-856 Olaa Road (PO Box 6000), Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
     Phone (808) 982-9880;  FAX (808) 982-9883     Email:   
     URL: or