How to Create an Eco-Friendly Aquaculturated Reef Aquarium How to Create an Eco-Friendly Aquaculturated Reef Aquarium

What You'll Need
Freshwater aquarium
Tropical fish that have been reared in captivity

Many people keep saltwater aquariums or, as they are sometimes called, a reef aquarium. Reef sea life is spectacular and incredibly popular. There are literally countless varieties of fish, live rock, coral, plants and other options for inhabiting a saltwater tank. However, often the techniques for capturing them can be harmful to the surrounding ocean and the other life that thrives there. 

More than 20 million ornamental fish from 1,400 different species are traded worldwide each year. Many of these fish are captured from the wild using fish-stunning cyanide. The side result: More than half of the fish in the vicinity are killed, along with many fragile marine species such as coral polyps. Using only aquacultured materials and tank-bred animals for a reef aquarium is a much more earth-friendly option (or, in this case, sea-friendly). Aquacultured basically means farmed by man rather than taken from its natural habitat. Some of the hardest hit sea life affected by the rise in popularity of saltwater fishing are seahorses, which are being harvested in unsustainable amounts, and the clownfish, or anemone fish, which became extremely popular for use in these aquariums after the movie "Finding Nemo." 

If you are concerned about destroying our oceans and the life that teams within but also want to retain of piece of its beauty and bounty for yourself in your home, follow the following steps. It is easy to set up and maintain an Aquacultured Reef Aquarium, and more than 90 percent of freshwater fish sold as pets are captive-raised.

Step 1: Get a Guide on Sustainable Aquariums

Contact Reef Protection International to get a copy of a pocket guide that will help you in selecting aquarium fish that are sustainable. Farm-raised fish have the added benefits of being accustomed to aquarium life, proximity to human beings and commercial fish food, which makes them much more suitable for home tanks.

Step 2: Get Rid of or Clean Your Old Reef Aquarium in an Eco-Friendly Way

If you are cleaning or getting rid of a reef aquarium, make sure not to release your fish, plants, corals, or live rock into the wild. Also, never flush them down a drain or toilet because this may also release them into the eco-system. If they end up where they don’t belong, they could cause much more damage than you ever imagined.

Step 3: Join a Group

Join a club or contact more aquariums that are experienced in captive-breeding and trading marine plants and animals. You should also consult some online resources, such as Reef Central, a site where experts answer questions for hobbyists.

Step 4: Network

Regularly visit environment-friendly marine or aquarium stores. There's also a great resource in hobby groups. You can check with the previously mentioned RPI (Reef Protection Int.l) to get more information on how to hook up with the various new and established groups that exist.

Step 5: Ask Questions

Ask about the origin of all fish you purchase. If they are not captive-bred make sure they have MAC certification, which assures they were sustainably captured.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!