Use Tank Watch to:

  • Easily identify the fishes most commonly seen in saltwater tanks
  • Learn their origin:
    • Good Fish may be captive-bred*
    • Bad Fish are unsustainably captured in the wild
  • Become a Coral Reef Champion




Why Do Aquariums Harm Reefs and Wildlife?

Nearly all the animals housed in saltwater tanks began their lives on coral reefs thousands of miles away. Consumer demand from saltwater aquarists is responsible for the annual capture and transport of tens of millions of reef fishes and other creatures.

Most of this fragile wildlife quickly succumbs to the stressors of captivity. For each one surviving the journey from reef to tank, up to nine others may have died along the way.

Coral reefs suffer, too. Many are destroyed from cyanide illegally used in the capture of millions of fish. Other reefs lose their resilience from depletion of animal’s key to ecosystem health and balance.

Become a Coral Reef Champion

Fishes bred in captivity typically fare better within the small confines and artificial diets inherent in saltwater fishkeeping. Dozens of captive bred species are now available for saltwater tanks.

Make a difference by pledging to protect wildlife and reefs.

  • Use Tank Watch to identify the captive-bred or good fish, from the wild or bad fish.
  • Discourage the keeping of wildlife in saltwater tanks
  • Urge consumers and businesses to only keep captive bred animals in their tanks; or better yet
  • Switch to a virtual reef display with an UNtanked system , available at

* For a Good Fish rating, captive-bred status of individual animals must be confirmed.


As of early 2014, just forty two reef fish species kept in saltwater aquariums were successfully bred in captivity and available for purchase (in varying degrees). That’s 42 of roughly 1800 reef fish species currently kept in saltwater tanks. The Good Fish list is comprised of those 42.

Tank Watch also exposes the fifty most popular and frequently imported Bad Fish from the remaining 1,760 species that can’t yet be bred in captivity but are purchased by aquarists, nonetheless.

Tank Watch raises public awareness about the plight of coral reef wildlife. It dispels the myth that captive fish are captive bred and clears any confusion about the origin of wildlife encountered in saltwater aquariums.

Successful breeding of highly sought after species is still years, and possibly decades, away, making the identification process simple for conscientious aquarists and coral reef champions.