top of page

Where do tropical fish come from?

Our tropical fish tanks offer a glimmering, colourful and interesting look into the underwater world but where do tropical fish come from and how do they get to your aquarium?

Tropical fish simply means a fish that lives in a tropical climate compared to Northern climates such as North America or Europe. Countries which are close to the equator and sustain a tropical warm climate year round are generally referred to as areas where tropical fish live in the wild. For the purposes of this article we will concentrate our thoughts on two areas, South America (Amazon rainforest basin) and the South east Asian countries such as Indonesia and Thailand, obviously there are many more but as we are not going to concentrate on wild caught fish in this article it is easy enough to generalise these two areas. Wild fish nowadays make up a very small percentage of the fish found in your local aquarium store such as Premier Aquatics! Most fish are captive bred for the worldwide trade! Wild fish are generally collected by indigenous people and sold at a low price to larger companies that have the capability to export them around the world, some quarters view wild caught fish as bad and damaging to the environment but studies in several areas such as Brazil's Rio Negro show that sustainable fishing helps to create jobs and prevents more widespread destruction of rainforest by keeping people employed in fishing rather than cattle ranching, timber trade or other environment damaging trades such as gold mining or drug production.

Brazilian fishermen sorting out their catch of wild caught cardinal tetra

Captive bred stock.

Over 90% of the tropical fish in the ornamental fish trade are now captive bred in fish farms across the world, these can mainly be found in South East Asia where the weather is hot year round and costs of production are low. Everyone knows that heating water in a cold country such as the UK is expensive so colder climates are less cost effective in producing tropical fish hence why the majority are located in tropical countries where they are produced and raised outdoors. The actual breeding of the fish is no different from how you would approach it at home, the main difference is the size of the facility and the number of pairs setup to breed at a time. The fish are bred and raised on farms that may concentrate on just one ot two species, they are then sold to a exporter in the country of origin (Indonesia or Sri Lanka for example) the exporter then produces a list which is sent to aquarium wholesalers across the world. The wholesalers in the UK will bring fish in large numbers from lots of various countries and will hold, treat and then sell the fish in smaller numbers to retail store such as Premier Aquatics ltd! Our retail store will then hold and quarantine the fish if needed before offering them for sale to our customers. Most of the captive bred fish entering the UK are young specimens with a long life ahead of them, they are handled by professional fish people at every stage of their journey and should reach you in perfect condition to live out a long life in your fishtank.

Below is a video from our Wholesaler based in Czech republic

The Video below shows one of the best Wholesalers in Europe!

314 views0 comments


bottom of page