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August 2010 Aquarium Fish International Editor's Note

A Different Way to Stock Your Tank

By Clay Jackson |

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Next time you set up a marine tank, try doing it with all aquacultured fish, corals, cleaner shrimp, marine plants and even terrestrial “live” rock that has been “seeded” rather than mined from a reef. Not so long ago, virtually everything that went into marine setups was wild-caught. While this isn’t a problem for most species, aquarium-trade pressures put on Floridian cleaner animals, Banggai cardinalfish, etc. have garnered negative press of late that reflects badly on the hobby. Whether we like it or not, marine aquariumkeeping will have to endure more, not less, regulation in the years to come. With a cursory look, I found 66 different species of marine fish that are currently being commercially aquacultured and can be easily ordered online. You can get yellow assessors; blennies; dottybacks; clownfishes; seahorses; cleaner and watchman gobies; royal grammas; drums; cat sharks; peppermint shrimp; a lot of soft, LPS and SPS corals; tridacnid clams, etc. For a complete list of what I found, check out my blog at We also have articles in this issue of AFI that can help you with your clownfish and Banggai cardinalfish husbandry and breeding efforts.

Besides giving natural reefs a break, aquacultured fish and invertebrates are usually free of contagions, less stressed and healthier. They are also conditioned to aquarium life and foods, and are readily compatible with tankmates. Many online livestock sellers offer money-back guarantees, as well. Still think you can’t do it? Think again.

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