If you love tropical fish, but aren’t sure about the cost that running the tank, then it’s enough to put you off keeping them altogether. However, with a little research and careful planning, you’ll be able to keep your tropical fish in an eco-friendly way.
As with everything, the bigger it is, the more energy it will use, and even then energy usage can vary widely. A small freshwater aquarium might use as little as 90-120 kilowatt-hours a year to run it, whereas a 180 gallon tank could use 6,000 kilowatt-hours a year. So, if you’re really committed to keeping fish, then keeping it small is key – you can go big if you’re careful about what you choose to use.
You can take a lot of the energy usage by replacing normal bulbs with LED lights, which typically last longer and use less energy. Or you can buy modern aquariums with LED light bulbs already installed, like the ones from Fish Fish Fish. Make sure you ask the salesperson when you’re buying a new aquarium about its eco credentials. Using energy saving pumps and ballasts will also reduce the amount of energy your tank uses.
The second element that will make your tank eco friendly is the fish themselves. Where do they come from? The harvesting of pet fish is an issue that many people are unaware of, particularly when it comes to tropical fish. First, the fact that they are being harvested unsustainably is causing overfishing, and endangering a variety of species of fish. This is particularly a cause for concern with saltwater fish, as they cannot be farmed, and have to be taken from the wild. Freshwater fish, on the other hand, are mostly raised on farms.
Some saltwater fish are harvested using chemicals, and in particular, cyanide. In the wild, the fish are squirted with the cyanide, which stuns them and makes them easier to extract. The chemicals can harm the corals and the other organisms that live there, as well as making the fish less likely to survive transport, which means that they have to be harvested more intensely.
So when you’re buying new fish, make sure you know where they come from. Take a look at the Reef Fish Guide to make a more informed decision.
Looking after your fish will also ensure that it lives longer, making it greener.