Almost all species kept in marine aquaria at this time are caught in the wild, although tank-raised specimens are becoming increasingly common as a viable alternative. Only a few species such as are captive-bred on a commercial scale. Much collecting is done in Indonesia and the Philippines, where use of cyanide and other destructive collection methods, while discouraged, is unfortunately common. The majority of live rock is also harvested in the wild, and recent restrictions on this harvest in Florida have caused a shift to Fijian and aquacultured rock. Natural rock, because it is created by coral polyps, takes many years if not centuries to form, and is a vital habitat for countless marine species; thus, commercial-scale harvesting of naturally occurring live rock has been criticized by conservationists. Additionally, many animal species sold to hobbyists have very specific dietary and habitat requirements that cannot be met by hobbyists (e.g. genus wrasses, the ); these animals almost inevitably die quickly and have markedly reduced lifespans compared to wild specimens. Often these specific environmental requirements cause improperly housed lifestock's color and appearance to be poor. These issues are often downplayed by individuals and organizations with a financial interest in the trade. Hobbyists who support conservation should buy only certified net-caught fish (although ensuring the legitimacy of such claims can be difficult) or captive-raised fish, as well as farmed corals and to support legitimate reef conservation efforts. The majority of corals can be "fragged", whereby a portion of a larger captive coral is separated and can subsequently be raised into an individual specimen, allowing for coral propagation within the domestic aquarium; the trade in frags (i.e. fragments) offers a fantastic opportunity for marine aquarists to obtain new and unique corals while limiting the impact on the natural environment. Rare species and those without a history of being successfully kept in captivity should be avoided.
Marine fish are typically less resilient during transport than freshwater fish with relatively large numbers of them dying before they reach the aquarist. Although the aquarium trade is viewed as a minor threat to coral reefs compared to habitat destruction, fishing for food, and climate change, it is a booming trade and may be a serious problem in specific locations such as the Philippines and Indonesia where most collecting is done. Catching fish in the wild can reduce their population sizes, placing them in danger of extinction in collecting areas, as has been observed with the .
Saltwater Fish: Marine Aquarium Fish for Saltwater Aquariums
The fish book, Mini-Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes, is thick! It has over 1,000 pages and weighs over 3 pounds. This book can be a good resource for identifying many different marine fish species. There are many, many species represented with full color photos of each. You will probably want to get this book mainly for photo identification of your particular fishes. There is not a detailed profile on each fish, just the photo and some graphics that serve to represent warnings or high level care information. Until you get used to it, you will refer back to the symbol key multiple times to remember what a particular graphic means. These symbols will clue you in on some different requirements of the fish such as food, lighting levels, behavior traits and recommended aquarium decorations.
List of marine aquarium fish species - Wikipedia
There is a rather lenghty and informative saltwater aquarium setup section at the back of Mini-Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes that is worth reading. Some of the information in the setup section is dated, however, and you can kind of tell that it was written some years ago. The areas covered in the tank setup section:
Saltwater Fish For Sale For Marine Aquariums |