The sole propose of captive fish breeding is to provide fish for the aquarium trade. On the freshwater side of the hobby most of the fish you see at the local fish store are tank raised fish. This is not the case with the saltwater aquarium side of the hobby. This dependency of collecting wild fish takes it’s toll on the wild reefs and local governments have started setting up laws to protecting the wild reefs.
Is this the end of the saltwater aquarium hobby? …Hardly.
Where there is a will there is a way. The way, is the captive breeding of marine fish. The will, is us supporting this aquaculture by purchasing tank raised marine fish.
The top 5 reasons to buy captive bred marine fish.
#5 Tank raised fish are less aggressive. Wild fish are just that, wild. Captive raised fish are not as aggressive as wild caught fish because they haven’t needed to fight for their survival, compete with their own species for mates and territories, or deal with predators. Unsurprisingly, this makes for a much friendlier fish. All their natural instincts are still there they just haven’t needed to act on them.
#4 Tank raised fish cost less. When I first started out in the saltwater aquarium hobby I had a lump in my throat when I left the local fish store with my first $40.00 fish. At the time I couldn’t understand what made that little fish cost so much but when you consider the logistics of it, it becomes clear.
- Step 1. The fish is caught
- Step 2. Sold to an exporter
- Step 3. Fish is shipped
- Step 4. Sold to an importer
- Step 5. Sold to the local fish Shop
- Step 6. You buy the fish at the Shop
When you look at the process it takes to move a fish half way around the world then throw in everyone’s operating expenses, you start to wonder why didn’t the fish cost more!?
The great thing about captive bred fish is they cost substantially less due mostly to logistics and availability.
#3 Tank raised fish are healthier. Wild caught fish have a higher risk of being infected with parasites and other diseases more so than captive bred fish. This is due to the fact that most breeders will take the necessary steps to prevent disease and treat parasites. Another great fact about tank raised fish is they come from a control environment and are more adapted to aquarium life. This makes them less fearful and more friendly to other tank mates, then their wild caught counterparts.
#2 Buying tank raised fish creates/supports local jobs. One of the biggest benefits of captive fish breeding is it’s ability to create/support local jobs. Soon it will be no longer necessary to ship fish halfway around the world. With new successes stories of new fish being bred in captivity is constantly growing. This goal is becoming a more realistic one. Wouldn’t it be great to look in the local news paper to find a job posting saying, wanted: marine aquaculture technician.
#1 Captive fish breeding is sustainable. Captive fish breeding is the future of saltwater aquarium hobby, not only does it take stress off the natural reefs but it establishes a sustainable resource for our hobby. Breeding marine fish can creates local jobs, protect the wild reefs from over-collection and reduces the needs of fossil fuels used to ship livestock around the world.
In the end, buying tank raised fish is a win win for everyone involved (and not involved). By supporting aqua-cultured marine life we will are helping preserve the environment, strengthening our communities with local jobs by investing our money closer to home and preserve our hobby.
My challenge to you, as you grow as a hobbyist is to simply inform yourself, educate others and buy aqua-cultured marine life when possible. By doing so you will help preserve the wild reefs and the saltwater aquarium hobby for future generations to come.
Save a reef…. grow your own.