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Many resources informed this website and many more are available. Dive In.

Deciding Between a Freshwater or Saltwater Aquarium


Examples of Aquarium Leasing Programs


Aquarium Webcams Examples


Other Virtual Aquarium Options

  • UnTanked - A company that designs virtual aquariums 
  • AquaTV - A customizable virtual aquarium 
  • EON Reality - A company that makes aquarium virtual reality products 
  • iQyarium - A virtual fish tank app on iPhone


Aquarium Therapy 


Examples of Virtual Pets 

  • Fish Live 
  • Splash Ocean Sanctuary 
  • Fish Farm 
  • Dream Fish 
  • Fish Tycoon 
  • Tap Tap Fish 


Find an Aquarium Near You


Responsible Reef Tourists 

Exploring Aquarium Trade Pathways 

  • Reef to Aquarium - A National Geographic project following the pathway aquarium fish travel from Indonesia to the US 
  • Aquarium Trade Data - Is a project from the New England Aquarium and Rodger Williams University that has examined import data to better understand the global aquarium trade. 


Information About Aquarium Animal Aquaculture 


Aquarium Trade In Indonesia 


Aquarium Trade In Florida 


Aquarium Trade In Hawaii 


Organizations Working on the Aquarium Trade 

  • Rising Tide Conservation - An organization working on developing the aquaculture of marine aquarium ornamentals  
  • LINI - A nonprofit in Indonesia working to train fishermen in low impact fishing methods and conservation 


Aquarium Trade In The News 

Evaluating Aquarium Animals 

  • Marine Aquarium Handbook by Moe, Martin A. Jr. (2009)
  • Saltwater Smarts 
  • Segrest Farms Aquarium Fundamentals: What You Need To Know To Set Up A Fish Tank (2016).

Perils of Releasing Aquarium Animals 


More About Caulerpa


More About Lionfish


How To Humanely Euthanize Your Aquarium Pets 

  • Marine aquarium plants should be frozen for 24 hrs before being thrown away in the trash. 
  • If marine aquarium animals become sick, diseased or you can't find a new home for them, they will need to be euthanized. Euthanasia methods depend on the type and size of your animal and there are many resources online to help you find the best method. 


More Information about Invasive Species 

  • Breen et al. 2018. Can excreted thiocyanate be used to detect cyanide exposure in live reef fish? PLoS ONE.

  • Bruckner & Roberts 2008. Proceedings of the International Cyanide Detection Testing Workshop. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-40

  • Calado et al. 2014. Caught in the Act: How the US Lacey Act Can Hamper the Fight Against Cyanide Fishing in Tropical Coral Reefs. Conservation Letters 7(6): 561-564.

  • Cartwright, Horii, Mazaroli, Nelson, Nixon & Reynolds 2012. Saving Nemo: Mariculture And Market-Based Solutions To Reform the Marine Ornamental Trade. 

  • Center for Biological Diversity 2016. Poisoned Waters: How Cyanide Fishing And The Aquarium Trade Are Devastating Coral Reefs And Tropical Fish.

  • Chang et al. 2009. Tackling aquatic invasions: risks and opportunities for the aquarium fish industry. Biological Invasions 11: 773-785.

  • Cohen et al. 2013. Traceability Isses in the Trade of Marine Ornamental Species. Reviews in Fisheries Science, 21:2, 98-111.

  • Dee, Horii & Thornhill 2013. Conservation and management of ornamental coral reef wildlife: Successes, shortcomings and future directions. Biological Conservation 169: 225-237.

  • Fujita et al. 2013. Assessing and managing data-limited ornamental fisheries in coral reefs. Fish and Fisheries.

  • Holmberg et al. 2014. The 800-Pound Grouper in the Room: Asymptotic Body Size and Invasiveness of Marine Aquarium Fishes. Marine Policy 53: 7-12.

  • Militz et al. 2016. Fish Rejections in the Marine Aquarium Trade: An Initial Case Study Raises Concern for Village-Based Fisheries. PLoS ONE 11(3): e0151624.

  • Militz et al. 2017. Consumer perspectives on theoretical certification schemes for the marine aquarium trade. Fisheries Research 193: 33-42.

  • Militz & Foale 2017. The “Nemo Effect”: Perception and reality of Finding Nemo’s impact on marine aquarium fisheries.  Fish and Fisheries 1-11.

  • Murray & Watson 2014. A Critical Assessment of Marine Aquarist Biodiversity Data and Commercial Aquaculture: Identifying Gaps in Culture Initiatives to Inform Local Fisheries Managers. PLoS ONE Vol 9, Issue 9.

  • Padilla & Williams 2004. Beyond ballast water: aquarium and ornamental trades as sources of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems. Front Ecol Environ 2(3): 131-138.

  • Rhyne et al. 2009. Crawling to Collapse: Ecologically Unsound Ornamental Invertebrate Fisheries. PLoS ONE 4(12): e8413.

  • Rhyne et al. 2012. Revealing the Appetite of the Marine Aquarium Fish Trade: The Volume and Biodiversity of Fish Imported into the United States. PLoS ONE 7(5): e35808.

  • Rhyne & Tlusty 2012. Trends in the Marine Aquarium Trade: the Influence of Global Economics and Technology. Aquaculture, Aquariums, Conservation & Legislation 5: 99-102.

  • Rhyne, Tlusty, & Kaufman 2012. Long-term trends of coral imports into the United States indicate future opportunities for ecosystem and societal benefits. Conservation Letters 5: 478-485.

  • Rhyne, Tlusty, & Kaufman 2014. Is sustainable exploitation of coral reefs possible? A view from the standpoint of the marine aquarium trade. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 7: 101-107.

  • Rhyne et al. 2017. Expanding our understanding of the trade in marine aquarium animals. PeerJ 5:e2949.

  • Rossiter & Levine 2014. What makes a "successful" marine protected area? The unique context of Hawaii's fish replenishment areas. Marine Policy 44: 196-203. 

  • Rubec et al. 2001. Cyanide-free net-caught fish for the marine aquarium trade. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation 3: 37-51.

  • Shuman, Hodgson & Ambrose 2004. Managing the marine aquarium trade: is eco-certification the answer? Environmental Conservation 31(4): 339-348.

  • Spalding et al. 2017. Mapping the global value and distribution of coral reef tourism. Marine Policy 82: 104-113.

  • Strecker, Campbell & Olden 2011. The aquarium trade as an invasion pathway in the Pacific Northwest. Fisheries Vol 36 No 2.

  • Teletchea 2016. Domestication level of the most popular aquarium fish species: is the aquarium trade dependent on wild populations? Cybium 40(1): 21-29.

  • Thornhill 2012. Ecological Impacts and Practices of the Coral Reef Wildlife Trade. Defenders of Wildlife.

  • Tissot et al. 2010. How U.S. Ocean Policy and Market Power Can Reform the Coral Reef Wildlife Trade. Marine Policy 34: 1385-1388.

  • Tlusty 2002. The benefits and risks of aqua cultural production for the aquarium trade. Aquaculture 205: 203-219.

  • Tlusty et al. 2012. Opportunities for Public Aquariums to Increase the Sustainability of the Aquatic Animal Trade. Zoo Biology 32 (1).

  • Wabnitz et al. 2003. From Ocean to Aquarium. UNEP-WCMC.

  • Williams et al. 2014. Ornamental Marine Species Culture in the Coral Triangle: Seahorse Demonstration Project in the Spermonde Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Environmental Management 54: 1342-1355.

  • Williams et al. 2015. A vector analysis of marine ornamental species in California. Management of Biological Invasions Vol 6, Issue 1:13-39.

  • Yan 2016. Saving Nemo - Reducing mortality rates of wild caught ornamental fish. SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin #21.

We are grateful to the people who generously shared their knowledge, insight and expertise.


Project Leads

Monique Myers, DEnv, Carolynn Culver, PhD, and Marissa Bills


Website design

Monica Pessino and Ryan Vizena, Ocean o’Graphics, UC Santa Barbara


Website Reviewers

Angela Collins, PhD, and Shelly Krueger, MS, Florida Sea Grant

Katherine Leitzell, MS, and Caitlin Coomber, California Sea Grant

Devin Dumont, MS, The University of Georgia, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant

Gabrielle Johnson, PhD, NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program

Noel Janetski, MSc, and Saipul Rapi, MS, Mars Sustainable Solutions

Nancy Sheridan, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Kelly Swiech, MS, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Anonymous reviewers


Image Credits

Video footage provided by Sally Bartel. Photographs provided by Sally Bartel, Carolynn Culver, Katie Davis Koehn, Alan Delaney, RM Newnham, Ewen Robertsand open access sources (International Year of the Reef Image Bank; NOAA; Creative Commons). Videos and photographs may not be used without the written permission of the website authors (contact ReefFriendlyAquariums@gmail.com).



This website was funded by California Sea Grant, NOAA Grant No. NA14OAR4170075. Additional support was provided by the Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara.



The statements on this website are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the sponsors or reviewers. The mention of specific businesses or commercial products, their source, or their use in connection with material reported herein is not to be construed as actual or implied endorsement. Photographs and videos may not be used without the written permission of the website authors (contact ReefFriendlyAquariums@gmail.com).

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