THE AMAZING HAWAIIAN MICRO-LOBSTERS!™
MICRO-LOBSTER BASICS

(PORTAL PAGE)

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            Micro-Lobsters are amazing creatures of near ocean anchialine ponds. The are the secret of our Breeder Tanks!  No other aquatic creature of this size can adapt to such a small container and survive in such a large range of conditions. They truly are amazing creatures!  In this portal section, you'll learn where they come from, the conditions that they need,  the basic aquatic life cycle, and the elements for success!
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THE AMAZING CREATURE! 
        In Hawaii, these are known as "OPAE-ULA."  "OPAE" means "small shrimp."  "ULA" means "lobsters."  Full grown adults are about 1/2" so we call them "MICRO-LOBSTERS!™" They are one of several crustaceans that inhabit the anchialine ponds. They are basically a herbivore, while others tend to be carnivorous. These are social non-aggressive lovable creatures!
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THE ANCHIALINE PONDS
         To some anchialine ponds represent an opportunity to improve upon nature!  Wealthy people are moving to Hawaii and purchasing valuable beach front property that include natural ponds that are the home of opae-ula and other pond creatures. But to make them more attractive, beautiful larger colorful Koi carp are introduced and soon the opae-ula disappear!
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PONDS & OPAE-ULA!
         A photo gallery of anchialine ponds and opae-ula. These show healthy ponds and good to high opae-ula populations. The study of the best ponds provide clues to factors that will result in superior steady captive breeding mass culture system production.    
SETTING UP AN EXHIBIT AT HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK   The first major Anchialine Pond and Opae'ula exhibit has been developed at the visitor center. This is the behind the scenes story of how it came about and put together.

 

OPENING THE EXHIBIT AT VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
       A major presentation by Dr. Scott Santos and unveiling the exhibit.
OAHU CORAL HABITAT
         Oahu is much older and the ocean once had a higher water level. This created a coral reef, and as the water level dropped, the coral became exposed and the habitat for opae'ula on Oahu.  Is the Oahu opae'ula a different specie?

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MICRO-LOBSTER REPRODUCTION RESEARCH
         Fuku-Bonsai has established as it's priority research goal to develop mass cultural systems to commercially reproduce opae-ula in significant quantities. This will prevent them from every be classified as "endangered." This is significant as it is not possible for people to have endangered creatures as pets! We share our data and request assistance from everyone as we compile data.
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REPRODUCTION CYCLE SUMMARY
        The six-step cycle begins with molting and progresses through egg, larvae, post-lavae, juvenile, and adult. By knowing the associated details of each stage, we better understand the conditions necessary to develop mass cultural systems. Much of the knowledge gained to date are due to members of the Fuku-Bonsai Micro-Lobster Team and those with strong interest, skills, and a willingness to contribute are invited to join us!

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EVOLUTION OF OPAE-ULA ECOSYSTEMS
        One early trial began in 1988 by Dr. Wayne Nishijima, the head of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Cooperative Extension Service in Hilo. Although Dr. Nishijima is a plant pathologist, he took the initiative when a major public furor erupted when an aggressive developer brazenly sent in bulldozers on Christmas eve to fill in anchialine ponds. Fuku-Bonsai's Micro-Lobster Breeder Tanks are based upon his principles plus the addition of feeding high-energy microalgae.
FUKU-BONSAI'S BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERY!
        In a zoo, it is easy to see if the provided environment is suitable for a lion. If it's extremely skinny and haggard, it's probaby not fed enough. If it's almost lifeless and allows small animals to no respect it, it's spirit has been broken.  But if it retains it's size, it's personality, is active, and successfully reproduces in captivity, we can agree its a good environment.  We used these criteria to develop an ideal Micro-Lobster environment.
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OPTIMUM ENVIRONMENTS!
       To produce the finest Micro-Lobster units, it was necessary to first identify the factors that make up optimum environments  .  .  .  but from the viewpoint of opae-ula!   These were addressed as we developed our units!
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THREE TYPES OF OPAE-ULA UNITS!
         Sealed glass eco-systems have been around for 20 years or so with only light entering. Another "open top-no feed" unit promotes "the perfect pets that never need to be fed."  Fuku-Bonsai's Breeder Tanks are the third wave and based upon feeding pets and creating a sustainable breeding colony!
(Future)
AQUARIUMS, CAPTIVE BREEDING & MASS CULTURE SYSTEMS
        In spite of all threats, the opae-ula will likely never become endangered.  They're just too prolific when given secure habitats. But they may not be legally available in the future if the anchialine ponds are not restored or if mass culture systems are not developed. Anchialine pond management plans are part of new resorts.  Exotic fish will be removed and opae-ula will quickly recolonize the ponds.  Commercial harvesting is increasingly being regulated and enforced.  Fuku-Bonsai has become a pace-setter in captive breeding and mass culture systems and the leading advocate of introducing these into educational systems!
(Future)
TEACHING SUSTAINABILITY & NATURE!  
         There are lessons of nature that must be taught to build an appreciation and to create a sustainable planet.  As the world becomes more populated, it becomes essential that we conserve resources and develop managed aquaculture projects rather than totally deplete natural resources.  We join with others in this challenge to create a world of man and nature in harmony!
***  Return to Fuku-Bonsai Home Page        ***  Return to the Micro-Lobster Home Page
***  Go to Micro-Lobster Mail Order              ***  Go to Products & Prices           
***   Go to THE AMAZING CREATURE!             ***  Go to Lava & Nature portal page
 
Fuku-Bonsai 2003, 2004          You are cordially invited to visit the home of the Micro-Lobsters at
FUKU-BONSAI CULTURAL CENTER & HAWAII STATE BONSAI REPOSITORY
     17-856 Olaa Road (PO Box 6000), Kurtistown, Hawaii 96760
     Phone (808) 982-9880;  FAX (808) 982-9883
     Email:  sales@fukubonsai.com    URL:  www.fukubonsai.com or www.micro-lobster.com