Learn Before You Buy
Saltwater aquariums bring beauty and entertainment into our homes.
However, caring for saltwater fish requires a level of responsibility that’s higher than most people are aware of when they decide to become first-time fish owners.
Aquarium industry reports indicate that most hobbyists who try saltwater fish-keeping give it up within a year. Hobbyists have long cited tank maintenance, algae control and high fish mortality rates as drawbacks to keeping saltwater tanks. Improper tank size or feeding, and incompatible tank mates can be deadly.
Many leave the hobby after watching a beautiful fish waste away and die despite their best efforts to keep it alive. It can also become increasingly expensive to begin and keep up a personal aquarium.
Few aquarium owners realize that a mere 2% of fish species kept in tanks can be bred in captivity. The other 98% are among the most trafficked animals in the world. They are captured on reefs depleted and degraded from overfishing and cyanide use, and exposed to ill treatment, leading to prolonged suffering and premature death.
Only a few hundred of the more than 2,500 marine fish species imported for personal aquariums have been successfully bred in captivity. Of those, fewer than 60 are available to consumers and suitable for the average aquarist.
There are simple actions that environmentally minded consumers who care about the reefs and its wildlife can take to address these issues. One answer is to only purchase captive-bred fish when you are making fish purchases. For people yet to be marine fish owners, a virtual aquarium is a low-cost and hassle-free way to enjoy coral reefs.
Identify captive-bred fish using our online search tool, Tank Watch: Good Fish / Bad Fish
- Tank Watch simplifies the fish selection process, allowing consumers to make reef and wildlife-friendly purchases.
- Tank Watch delivers rapid identification of the most popular aquarium species and their origins to determine if they are captive-bred or definitely captured in the wild.
- Includes recommendations for saltwater aquarium novices.
You can make an impact today!
Become a Reef Champion with a one-time or monthly donation to help protect coral reefs and ensure that aquarium fish and other wildlife are treated in a humane way.
- Protect coral reefs and reef wildlife
- Educate fish owners about the threats to wild-caught aquarium fish
- Help end deadly cyanide fishing