While adopting an animal typically conjures images of cats and dogs, it is possible in many places to adopt a fish as well! Since most new aquarium owners leave the hobby within six months, there are likely aquarium animals near you that need a new home.
Adopting aquarium animals can help reduce pressure on natural reefs, extend the lives of the animals being adopted, and reduce the chance of inappropriate animal release. Furthermore, it likely will be cheaper than buying new animals. Everyone wins!
Adoptable aquariums animals can be found at:
- Local pet/aquarium stores
- Humane Societies and animal shelters
- Online community groups such as Craigslist or Nextdoor
- Local aquarium animal rescue groups
Collecting your own?
If you live on the coast, you may want to collect your own marine aquarium animals. However, before doing so check with your state Fish and Wildlife department on the rules and regulations for collecting them. Some aquarium organisms cannot be collected, and those that can typically require a permit and following regulations about how, where, when, how many, and what sizes you can take, among other rules. These regulations help to protect the local populations from being overharvested.