Environmentalists often think that keeping a decorative aquarium is destructive to aquatic ecosystems. Dedicated aquarium hobbyists will strongly argue that it is their goal to help preserve the species they keep, in the interest of preserving the ecosystem and the species that exist in it.
Collectors (people who catch the animals) are held responsible for a large part of preservation; they catch the animals in their natural environments and export them to stores for sale to the public. Collectors must follow rules set forth by the governments of the countries where the animals are collected by obtaining certain permits issued for most marine animals. These permits limit the amount of each species to be collected from each region. If used properly, the permits regulate species so that they can rebuild their population before the next round of permits are issued.
Aquaculture, the captive breeding of ornamental aquarium animals, is the ideal solution to species preservation. If more species were bred in captivity, less would need to be removed from their natural habitats. Therefor, the environmental impact would be far less. The aquarium hobby industry has made great strides toward this goal in the last fifteen years. Most freshwater fish and plant species are already being bred in captivity along with an increasing number of marine fish and invertebrates.
Let's not forget that the hobbyist must be responsible as well. Animals do not come from an infinite source. If one dies in an aquarium and is replaced, it may represent another animal removed from its natural environment. However, if hobbyists educate themselves about each animal they own, and engage in a proper aquarium maintenance routine, they can do a better job of keeping those animals healthy and alive. This will reduce the need to replace the animals in the home or office aquarium and, in turn, reduce the amount of animals removed from their natural habitats. Hobbyists should also look to purchase captive bred animals, instead of wild caught animals, for their aquariums. This will also reduce the demand for animals removed from natural environments and increase the demand for captive bred animals. As demand for captive bred animals increases, so will captive breeding. As breeding facilities get larger, the prices for captive bred animals will decrease and, eventually, the price for captive bred animals should be less than that of wild caught animals.
Building the proper aquarium is crucial in keeping aquatic animals alive. The animals come from such diverse environments that it would be impossible to set up one aquarium that would be suitable for all fish. The system must be tailored to the needs of the species to be kept within. Consistent maintenance is also imperative. Aquariums are not perfect systems. Without routine maintenance, toxins build up to intolerable levels and cause stress to your aquatic pets. This stress can cause illness and even death. If you need help designing the right custom aquarium or maintaining an existing one, send a message to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.