Dynasty Marine, a venture begun by Forrest Young, who worked for Moe in the early days of Aqualife, is located in Marathon, Florida. This company continues to raise small numbers of marine fishes, but still apparently earns most of its revenues from collecting specimens off the Florida Keys.
The largest marine fish hatchery currently in operation is C-Quest, located in Puerto Rico. Brainchild and passion of Bill Addison of Wyoming, this "fish ranch" in Puerto Rican cattle country produces clownfishes, several species oi gobies, and half a dozen kinds of basslets. Addison is constantly working to expand his offerings. C-Quest sells ap-
286 Natural Reef Aquariums proximately 100,000 fish per year and is now aggressively lion pounds of rock are under cultivation. Licenses to con-
marketing directly to pet shops throughout the United duct these operations were granted as part of new regula-
States, using overnight door-to-door air freight shipments. tions under which the harvest of "natural" live rock in Florida
After helping establish the state-of-the-art Micronesian was phased out as of the beginning of 1997. A side benefit
Mariculture Demonstration Center (MMDC) to propagate to hobbyists is that Atlantic-Caribbean species of stony giant clams in Palau, Gerald Heslinga is now setting up a corals, formerly protected, may now be sold, provided they beachhead in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park, Kailua-Kona, to bring his breeding programs closer to home. Producing six species of Tridacna, his company, Indo-Pacific Sea Farms, also offers started colonies of Acropora (in shades of lavender, green, blue, gold, and purple), Pocillopora, Seriatopora, and Caulastrea, as well as various Sarcophytons and Pioneering reef-fish breeder Bill Addison at his a neon green Nephthea-type soft C-Quest facilities near Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico coral. Marketing to the United
occur on cultivated live rock.
One of the beauties of aqua-culture is that it can also be done successfully from an inland location, which has the effect of moving the supply of fish closer to the people who constitute the market. Thus, my own home region, the Tennessee Valley, now has its own large-scale marine aquaculture business, Wildlife Ecosystems of Cleveland, Tennessee. Dr. Marc Clark established the 12,000-square-foot
States is done through Reef Science International, of San facility in 1994. Besides clownfish and some of the other Ramon, California. (MMDC's pioneering methods and "standard" species, Wildlife Ecosystems cultivates corals, broodstock have paved the way for similar clam-propaga- clams, macroalgae, and other invertebrates. The company tion programs elsewhere in the South Pacific.)
also operates a farm in the Solomon Islands that produces
Opened in 1996, Oceans, Reefs and Aquariums of Palm stony corals and tridacnids by growing out small individuals Beach, Florida, is planned as among the largest marine in trays placed in the lagoon.
aquaculture facilities in the world, with 18,240 square feet of
The collective investment in these facilities is in the space and the potential to produce 1,000,000 clownfish per range of tens of millions of dollars, clear evidence that, at year. This new venture plans to expand that capacity in the least for these entrepreneurs, the future of the marine aquar-
future, as well as to add additional species to its repertoire, ium hobby lies in captive-propagated livestock, according to its president, Richard Davis. SMALLER, HOME-BASED BUSINESSES. Marine
In recent years, live rock produced by dumping quarry aquaculture businesses operated from a basement or spare rock at sea and allowing it to become colonized by marine outbuilding belonging to a dedicated hobbyist are becoming organisms has arrived in the hobbyist market. Roughly 30 more common. Perhaps the first was Tropicorium, owned by businesses are "cultivating" rock in the Gulf of Mexico, and Richard Perrin. At his home in Michigan, Perrin farms soft one has a similar enterprise in the Florida Keys. Several mil- and stony corals and gorgonians in greenhouses that once
Chapter Thirteen m held tropical plants. An expansion of the 36,000-gallon Michigan operation to, among other things, propagate tri-dacnid clams, is underway in Florida, with plans for a 3- der owner LeRoy Headlee, is reportedly farming marine in-
pared started fragments of rare and hard-to-obtain corals. Out in Idaho, Geothermal Research Enterprises, un-
vertebrates and "tank-raised live rock" in greenhouses
Noel Curry, president of Scientific Corals, reasoned that warmed by water from natural hot springs.
if Perrin could succeed in the chilly climate of Michigan, a
Up in Chicago, Joe Lichtenbert runs Reef Propagations coral farm in a suburb of Atlanta might also be successful. out of his basement, selling several thousand tank-raised Curry sells only specimens he has propagated, ranging from clownfishes every year to local shops. (Joe claims to be "the pulsing Xenia umbellata to a purple-tipped Acropora, alto- only marine aquaculturist in the country who has made a gether about a dozen species.
profit," although Bill Addison counters, with typical good
From his small quarters in Murrieta, California, Steve humor, that "this is only true if Joe pays himself an hourly Tyree's Dynamic Ecomorphology company is distributing wage of 50 cents.")
thousands of captive-propagated stony coral fragments and
This listing can hardly claim to be all-inclusive, but
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colonies from various small coral farms. In addition to a rather is offered to illustrate the growing vitality of the cap-selection of dozens of species of Acropora, Montipora, tive breeding movement in North America. Pavona, Stylophora, and others, Tyree offers custom-pre-
Backyard mariculture is not for the faint of heart, nor, indeed, for the lazy. The proliferation of such cottage industries, however, helps to ensure that species the big companies may ignore, including unique varieties of stony and soft corals, will remain available to aquarium hobbyists, even if wild stocks of these species become depleted or are placed off-limits. I wish them all, together with the other bold adventurers that will soon enter this new industry, the very best of luck. All marine hobbyists should recognize the importance of these ventures to the future of the home aquarium hobby, and should support these fledgling businesses by seeking out and purchasing captive-propagated specimens whenever possible.
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One of the most noteworthy success stones in reef aquaculture, giant clams like this Tridacna maxima have been rescued from near extinction by captive breeding.
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The word aquarium originates from the ancient Latin language, aqua meaning water and the suffix rium meaning place or building. Aquariums are beautiful and look good anywhere! Home aquariums are becoming more and more popular, it is a hobby that many people are flocking too and fish shops are on the rise. Fish are generally easy to keep although do they need quite a bit of attention. Puppies and kittens were the typical pet but now fish are becoming more and more frequent in house holds. In recent years fish shops have noticed a great increase in the rise of people wanting to purchase aquariums and fish, the boom has been great for local shops as the fish industry hasnt been such a great industry before now.