Palette surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus)

Marine ornamental culture has made considerable progress in recent years. About 330 marine ornamental fish species have been captive-bred as of 2017, up from 170 species in 2000. That’s 160 new captive-bred species in 17 years! Raising marine ornamentals is difficult, the degree to which depends on the species in question.

Species Cultured Commercially

As of 2017, the biological and technical culture problems for about 100 marine ornamental species have been worked out. This includes many clownfishes, dottybacks and sea horses and few goby, assessor, batfish, blenny, damselfish, marine angelfish and cardinalfish species. Economics now dictates whether mass production at a profitable level is feasible. A common problem is that the costs of producing a species cannot compete with pricing of its wild-caught counterparts.

Species Cultured Experimentally

As of 2017, just over 230 species have been raised experimentally; including members of the basslets, boxfishes, anthias, drums, butterflyfishes, dragonets, grammas, jawfishes, pipefishes, pygmy angelfishes, parrotfishes, puffers, rabbitfishes, tangs, triggerfishes and wrasses. Biological, technical and/or economic problems still need to be worked out to achieve commercial production of these fishes.

Species Not Cultured

As of 2017, about 85 percent of the 2,250 marine ornamental fish species in the trade have not been cultured. But with rapid improvements in aquaculture rearing techniques, especially with the use of more ideal live foods (such as copepods), the potential for raising these species has never been better.  Most marine ornamental fish can likely be cultured today, albeit in limited numbers and with significant costs.  Commercialization is now the biggest challenge facing the industry.

Coral Magazine’s 2017 Captive-Bred Marine Aquarium Fish Species List

List Summary 
Total Number of Captive-bred Species (species in list) 330
Number of new Captive-bred  Species in 2017 18
Number of Species Commonly Available as Captive-Bred, Jan.-Sept. 2016 (CB) 27
Number of Species Moderately Available as CB 38
Number of Species Scarely Available as CB 29
Total Number of Species Available as CB 94
Number of Species Not Seen Avaialble as CB 236

Green = Commonly Available. Easy to find as a captive-bred fish, often from more than one source, throughout 2016.
Blue = Moderate to Low. Might have taken some searching, and availability may have been limited, but was reasonably obtainable as a captive-bred fish in 2016.
Purple = Scarce. Generally only one source or breeder is known, and potentially only a handful of specimens may have been available. You may have “had to know someone” or even know the breeder directly in order to obtain them as captive-bred fish during 2016.
Black = None. The authors (Coral Magazine) and consulted parties were unaware of any retail availability of this species from a captive-bred source during 2016.

Angelfishes | Pomacanthidae
Apolemichthys arcuatus – Bandit Angelfish
Apolemichthys trimaculatus – Flagfin Angelfish
Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus – Goldflake Angelfish
Centropyge acanthops – African pygmy Angelfish
Centropyge argi – Cherub Angelfish
Centropyge bicolor – Bicolor Angelfish
Centropyge bispinosa – Coral Beauty Angelfish
Centropyge colini – Collins or Cocos Keeling Angelfish
Centropyge debelius – Debelius Angelfish
Centropyge fisheri – Fisher’s Angelfish
Centropyge flavissima – Lemonpeel Angelfish
Centropyge interruptus – Japanese Pygmy Angel
Centropyge joculator – Joculator Angelfish
Centropyge loricula – Flame Angelfish
Centropyge multicolor – Multicolor Angelfish
Centropyge potteri – Potter’s Angelfish
Centropyge resplendens – Resplendent Angelfish
Chaetodontoplus cephalareticulatus – Maze Angelfish
Chaetodonotplus duboulayi – Scribbled Angelfish
Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus – Singapore Angelfish
Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis – Bluestriped Angelfish
Genicanthus personatus – Masked Angelfish
Genicanthus watenabei – Blackedged Angelfish
Holacanthus clarionensis – Clarion Angelfish
Holacanthus passer – Passer or King Angelfish
Paracentropyge multifasciata – Multibar Angelfish
Paracentropyge venusta – Purplemask Angelfish
Pomacanthus annularis – Annularis Angelfish
Pomacanthus arcuatus – Gray Angelfish
Pomacanthus asfur – Asfur Angelfish
Pomacanthus maculosus – Yellowbar Angelfish
Pomacanthus navarchus – Majestic or Blue Girdled Angelfish
Pomacanthus paru – French Angelfish
Pomacanthus semicirculatus – Koran Angelfish
Pomacanthus sexstriatus – Sixbar Angelfish

Anthias | Serranidae
Pseudanthias hypselosoma – Stocky Anthias
Pseudanthias squamipinnis – Lyretail Anthias

Assessors | Plesiopidae
Assessor flavissimus – Yellow Assessor
Assessor macneilli – Blue Assessor
Assessor randalli – Randal’s Assessor

Basslets | Serranidae
Liopropoma carmabi – Candy Basslet
Liopropoma rubre – Swissguard Basslet
Rainfordia opercularis – Flathead Perch

Batfishes | Ephippidae
Chaetodipterus faber – Atlantic Spadefish
Platax bativianus – Zebra Batfish
Platax pinnatus – Pinnatus Batfish
Platax orbicularis – Orbiculate Batfish

Blennies | Blenniidae
Chasmodes bosquianus – Striped Blenny
Ecsenius gravieri – Red Sea Mimic Blenny
Ecsenius bicolor – Bicolor Blenny
Enchelyurus flavipes – Goldentail Comb-tooth Blenny
Hypleurochilus multifilis – Featherduster Blenny
Hypsoblennius hentz – Feather Blenny
Meiacanthus atrodorsalis – Forktail Blenny
Meiacanthus bundoon – Bundoon Blenny
Meiacanthus grammistes – Striped Fang Blenny
Meicanthus kamohari – Kamohara Blenny
Meiacanthus mossambicus – Mozambique Fang Blenny
Meiacanthus nigrolineatus – Blackline Fang Blenny
Meiacanthus oualanensis – Canary Fang Blenny
Meiacanthus smithi – Disco Blenny
Meiacanthus tongaensis – Fang Blenny (Tonga)
Parablennius marmoreus – Seaweed Blenny
Petroscirtes breviceps – Mimic Fang Blenny
Salaria pavo – Peacock Blenny
Scartella cristata – Molly Miller Blenny

Boxfishes | Ostraciidae
Acanthostracion quadricornis – Scrawled Cowfish

Butterflyfishes | Chaetodontidae
Chaetodon klienii – Klien’s, Orange or Sunburst Butterflyfish
Chaetodon milliaris – Milletseed or Lemon Butterflyfish
Chaetodon sedentarius – Reef Butterflyfish (reared in February 2017)

Cardinalfishes | Apogonidae
Apogon notatus – Spotnape Cardinalfish
Apogonichthyoides melas – Black Cardinalfish
Apogonichthyoides nigripinnis – Bullseye Cardinalfish
Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus – 5 Lined Cardinalfish
Fowleria flammea – Red Stop Light Cardinalfish
Nectamia bandanensis – Bigeye Cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus compressus – Ochre-striped Cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus cyanosoma – Yellowstriped Cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus margaritophorus – Copper Lined Cardinalfish
Ostorhinchus quadrifasciatus – Two-striped Cardinalfish
Pterapogon kauderni – Banggai Cardinalfish
Pterapogon mirifica – Sailfin Cardinalfish
Sphaeramia nematoptera – Pajama Cardinalfish
Sphaeramia orbicularis – Orbic Cardinalfish
Zoramia leptacantha – Threadfin Cardinalfish

Clingfishes | Gobiesocidae
Gobiesox punctulatus – Stippled Clingfish
Gobiesox strumosus – Skilletfish

Clownfishes | Pomacentridae
Amphiprion akallopisos – Skunk Clownfish
Amphiprion akindynos – Barrier Reef Clownfish
Amphiprion allardi – Allard’s Clownfish
Amphiprion barberi – Fiji Barberi Clownfish
Amphiprion bicinctus – Red Sea (Two-Barred) Clownfish
Amphiprion chrysogaster – Mauritian Clownfish
Amphiprion chrysopterus – Orangefin Anemonefish
Amphiprion clarkii – Clarkii Clownfish
Amphiprion ephippium – Red Saddleback Clownfish
Amphiprion frenatus – Tomato Clownfish
Amphiprion latezonatus – Wide Band Clownfish
Amphiprion latifasciatus – Madagascar Clownfish
Amphiprion leucokranos – Whitebonnet Clownfish
Amphiprion mccullochi – McCulloch’s Clownfish
Amphiprion melanopus – Cinnamon Clownfish
Amphiprion nigripes – Blackfinned Clownfish
Amphiprion ocellaris – Ocellaris Clownfish
Amphiprion percula – Percula Clownfish
Amphiprion perideraion – Pink Skunk Clownfish
Amphiprion polymnus – Saddleback Clownfish
Amphiprion rubrocinctus – Australian Clownfish
Amphiprion sandaracinos – Orange Skunk Clownfish
Amphiprion sebae – Sebae Clownfish
Amphiprion tricinctus – Three-Band Clownfish
Premnas biaculeatus – Maroon Clownfish

Convict Blennies | Pholidichthyidae
Pholidichthys leucotaenia – Convict Blenny – Engineer Goby

Damselfishes| Pomacentridae
Abudefduf saxatilis – Sergeant Major
Acanthochromis polyacanthus – Orange Line Chromis
Amblyglyphidodon aureus – Golden Damselfish
Amphyglyphidodon curacao – Staghorn Damselfish
Amblyglyphidodon leucogaster – Yellow-belly Damselfish
Amblyglyphidodon ternatensis – Ternate Damselfish
Chromis cyaneus – Caribbean Blue Reef Chromis
Chromis nitida – Barrier Reef Chromis
Chromis viridis – Blue Green Chromis
Chrysiptera cyanea – Blue Devil Damselfish
Chrysiptera hemicyanea – Azure Damselfish
Chrysiptera parasema – Yellowtail Damselfish
Chrysiptera rex – King Demoiselle
Chrysiptera taupou – Fiji Blue Devil
Dascyllus albisella – Whitespot Damselfish – Hawaiian Dascyllus
Dascyllus aruanus – Three Stripe Damselfish
Dascyllus trimaculatus – Three Spot Domino Damselfish
Hypsypops rubicundus – Garibaldi Damselfish
Microspathodon chrysurus – Jewel Damselfish
Neoglyphidodon crossi – Cross’s Damselfish
Neoglyphidodon melas – Bowtie Damselfish
Neoglyphidodon nigroris – Black and Gold Chromis
Neopomacentrus bankieri – Lyretail Damselfish
Neopomacentrus cyanomos – Regal Damselfish
Neopomacentrus filamentosus – Brown Damselfish
Neopomacentrus nemurus – Yellow-Tipped Damselfish
Neopomacentrus violascens – Violet Demoiselle
Pomacentrus amboinensis – Ambon Damselfish
Pomacentrus caeruleus – Caerulean Damselfish
Pomacentrus coelestis – Neon Damselfish
Pomacentrus nagasakiensis – Nagasaki Damselfish
Pomacentrus pavo – Sapphire Damselfish

Dartfishes | Ptereleotridae
Nemateleotris decora – Purple Firefish
Parioglossus dotui – Dotui Dartfish

Dottybacks | Pseudochromidae
Congrogadus subducens – Wolf Blenny
Cypho purpurascens – Oblique Lined Dottyback
Labracinus cyclophthalmus – Red Dottyback
Labracinus lineatus – Lined Dottyback
Manonichthys alleni – Allen’s Dottyback
Manonichthys polynemus – Longfin Dottyback
Manonichthys splendens – Splendid Dottyback
Ogilbyina novaehollandiae – Australian Pseudochromis
Oxycercichthys veliferus – Sailfin Dottyback
Pictichromis diadema – Diadem Dottyback
Pictichromis paccagnellae – Bicolor or Royal Dottyback
Pictichromis porphyrea – Magenta Dottyback
Pseudochromis aldabraensis – Neon Dottyback
Pseudochromis bitaeniatus – Double Striped Dottyback
Pseudochromis coccinicauda – Yellow-breasted Dottyback
Pseudochromis cyanotaenia – Blue Bar Dottyback
Pseudochromis dilectus – Dilectus Dottyback
Pseudochromis elongatus – Red Head Elegant Dottyback
Pseudochromis flavivertex – Sunrise Dottyback
Pseudochromis fridmani – Orchid Dottyback
Pseudochromis fuscus – Dusky or Yellow Dottyback
Pseudochromis olivaceus – Olive Dottyback
Pseudochromis sankeyi – Sankey’s or Striped Dottyback
Pseudochromis springeri – Springer’s Dottyback
Pseudochromis steenei – Flamehead or Steen’s Dottyback
Pseudochromis tapeinosoma – Blackmargin Dottyback
Pseudochromis tonozukai – Tono’s or Orange Peel Dottyback
Pseudoplesiops wassi – Fleck fin Dottyback

Dragonets | Callionymidae
Callionymus bairdi – Lancer Dragonet
Callionymus enneactis – Mosaic Dragonet
Synchiropus ocellatus – Scooter Blenny
Synchiropus picturatus – Spotted Mandarin
Synchiropus splendidus – Green Mandarin
Synchiropus stellatus – Red Scooter Blenny
Synchiropus sycorax – Ruby Red Dragonet

Drums | Sciaenidae
Equetus lanceolatus – Jackknife Fish
Equetus punctatus – Spotted Drum
Pareques acuminatus – High Hat
Pareques umbrosus – Cubbyu

Filefishes | Monacanthidae
Acreichthys tomentosus – Bristletail Filefish
Acreichthys radiata – Radiated Filefish
Oxymonacanthus longirostris – Orange Spotted Filefish
Rudarius ercodes – Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish
Stephanolepis hispidus – Planehead Filefish

Flagtails | Kuhliidae
Kuhlia mugil – Barred Flagtail

Frogfishes | Antennariidae
Rhycherus filamentosus – Tasseled Frogfish

Gobies | Gobiidae
Amblygobius linki – Link’s Goby
Amblygobius phalaena – Banded Sleeper Goby
Coryphopterus personatus – Masked Goby
Cryptocentroides gobiodes – Crested Oyster Goby
Cryptocentrus cinctus – Yellow Watchman Goby
Cryptocentrus fasciatus – Y-Bar Watchman Goby
Cryptocentrus leptocephalus – Pink-Speckled Shrimp Goby
Cryptocentrus lutheri – Luther’s Prawn-Goby
Elacatinus chancei – Shortstripe Goby
Elacatinus evelynae – Golden Neon or Sharknose Goby
Elacatinus figaro – Barber Goby
Elacatinus genie – Cleaning Goby
Elacatinus horsti – Yellowline Goby
Elacatinus louisae – Spotlight Goby
Elacatinus multifasciatus – Green Banded Goby
Elacatinus oceanops – Neon Goby
Elacatinus prochilos – Broadstripe Goby
Elacatinus puncticulatus – Red Headed Goby
Elacatinus randalli – Yellownose Goby
Elacatinus xanthiprora – Golden Goby
Eviota atriventris – Blackbelly Dwarfgoby
Eviota bifasciata – Twostripe Eviota
Eviota nigriventris – Red Neon Eviota Goby
Eviota punctulata – Finespot Eviota
Fusigobius pallidus – Transparent Cave Goby or Pale Sandgoby
Gobiodon citrinus – Citron Clown Goby
Gobiodon okinawae – Okinawan Goby
Gobiopsis quinquecincta – Jaguar Goby
Gobiosoma bosc – Naked Goby
Koumansetta hectori – Hector’s Goby
Koumansetta rainfordi – Rainford’s Goby
Lythrypnus dalli – Catalina Goby
Priolepis cincta – Girdled Goby
Stonogobiops yasha – Yasha or White Ray Goby
Tigrigobius macrodon – Tiger Goby (formerly Elacatinus macrodon)

Grammas | Grammatidae
Gramma loreto – Royal Gramma
Gramma melacara – Blackcap Basslet
Lipogramma klayi – Bicolor Basslet

Groupers | Serranidae
Chromileptes altivelis – Panther or Humpback Grouper
Epinephelus lanceolatus – Giant or Bumblebee Grouper
Pectropomus leopardus – Coral Trout
Serranus subligarius – Belted Sandfish

Grunts | Haemulidae
Anisotremus virginicus – Porkfish
Haemulon chrysargyreum – Smallmouth Grunt
Haemulon flavolineatum – French Grunt**
Plectorhinchus vittatus – Indian Ocean Oriental Sweetlips

Hamlets | Serranidae
Hypoplectrus gemma – Blue Hamlet
Hypoplectrus guttavarius – Shy Hamlet
Hypoplectrus unicolor – Butter Hamlet

Jacks | Carangidae
Gnathanodon speciosus – Golden Trevally – Pilot Fish
Selene vomer – Lookdown

Jawfishes | Opistognathidae
Opistognathus aurifrons – Pearly Jawfish
Opistognathus macrognathus – Banded Jawfish
Opistognathus punctatus – Finespotted Jawfish

Labrasomid Blennies | Labrisomidae
Paraclinus grandicomis – Horned Blenny

Pipefishes | Syngnathidae
Doryrhamphus excisus – Bluestripe Pipefish
Doryrhamphus janssi – Janss’s Pipefish
Dunckerocampus baldwini – Flame Pipefish – Red Striped Pipefish
Dunckerocampus dactyliophorus – Ringed Pipefish
Dunckerocampus naia – Naia Pipefish
Dunckerocampus pessuliferus – Yellow Banded Pipefish
Haliichthys taeniophorus – Ribboned Pipefish
Syngnathoides biaculeatus – Alligator pipefish
Syngnathus acus – Greater pipefish
Syngnathus floridae – Dusky Pipefish
Syngnathus fuscus – Northern Pipefish
Syngnathus leptorhynchus – Bay Pipefish
Syngnathus scovelli – Gulf Pipefish
Syngnathus typhle – Broadnosed Pipefish

Porcupinefishes | Diodontidae
Diodon holocanthus – Longspined Porcupinefish

Puffers | Tetraodontidae
Arthoron nigropunctatus – Dog-faced Pufferfish
Canthigaster rostrata – Sharpnose Puffer
Lagocephalus spadiceus – Half-Smooth Golden Puffer
Sphoeroides annulatus – Bullseye Pufferfish
Sphoeroides maculatus – Northern Puffer

Rabbitfishes | Siganidae
Siganus canaliculatus – White-Spotted Spinefoot
Siganus fuscescens – Mottled spinefoot
Siganus guttatus – Oranged-spotted Rabbitfish
Siganus lineatus – Golden-Lined Spinefoot
Siganus rivulatus – Marbled Spinefoot
Siganus vermiculatus – Vermiculated Rabbitfish

Roundheads & Bettas | Plesiopidae
Calloplesiops altivelis – Marine Betta – Comet
Plesiops corallicola – Bluegill longfin
Trachinops taeniatus – Eastern Hulafish

Seadragons | Syngnathidae
Solegnathus spinosissimus – Spiny Seadragon
Phyllopteryx taeniolatus – Common or Weedy Seadragon

Seahorses | Syngnathidae
Hippocampus abdominalis – Bigbelly Seashorse
Hippocampus algiricus – West African Seahorse
Hippocampus angustus – Western Spiny Seahorse
Hippocampus barbouri – Barbour’s Seahorse
Hippocampus bargibanti – Bargibant’s Seahorse
Hippocampus breviceps – Short-Head Seahorse
Hippocampus capensis – Knysna Seahorse
Hippocampus comes – Tiger Tail Seahorse
Hippocampus coronatus – Crowned Seahorse
Hippocampus erectus – Lined Seahorse
Hippocampus fisheri – Fisher’s Seahorse
Hippocampus fuscus – Sea Pony
Hippocampus guttulatus – Long-Snouted Seahorse
Hippocampus hippocampus – Short Snouted Seahorse
Hippocampus histrix – Thorny Seahorse
Hippocampus ingens – Pacific Seahorse
Hippocampus kelloggi – Great Seahorse
Hippocampus kuda – Yellow or Common Seahorse
Hippocampus patagonicus – Patagonian Seahorse
Hippocampus procerus – High-Crown Seahorse
Hippocampus reidi – Brazilian or Longsnout Seahorse
Hippocampus spinosissimus – Hedgehog seahorse
Hippocampus tuberculatus – Knobby Seahorse
Hippocampus trimaculatus – Longnose Seahorse
Hippocampus whitei – White’s Seahorse
Hippocampus zosterae – Dwarf Seahorse

Sharks – Bamboo | Hemiscylliidae
Chiloscyllium hasseltii – Hasselt’s Bamboo Shark
Chiloscyllium plagiosum – Whitespotted Bamboo Shark
Chiloscyllium punctatum – Brownbanded Bamboo Shark
Hemiscyllium hallistromi – Papuan Epaulette Shark
Hemiscyllium ocellatum – Epaulette Shark

Sharks – Bullhead  | Heterodontidae
Heterodontus francisci – Horn Shark

Sharks – Cat | Scyliorhinidae
Atelomycterus marmoratus – Coral Catshark

Shrimpfishes | Centriscidae
Aeoliscus strigatus – Razorfish – Shrimpfish

Snappers | Lutjanidae
Lutjanus sebae – Red Emperor Snapper

Whiptail Rays | Dasyatidae
Taeniura lymma – Bluespot Stingray

Tangs & Surgeonfishes | Acanthuridae
Paracanthurus hepatus – Pacific Blue Tang
Zebrasoma flavescens – Yellow Tang

Toadfishes | Batrachoididae
Allenbatrachus grunniens – Grunting Toadfish
Opsanus tau – Oyster Toadfish

Triggerfishes | Balistidae
Balistes vetula – Queen Triggerfish
Balistoides conspicillum – Clown Triggerfish
Xanthichthys mento – Crosshatch Triggerfish

Triplefins  | Tripterygiidae
Enneapterygius etheostomus – Snake Blenny

Wrasses | Labridae
Cheilinus undulates – Humphead Wrasse
Halichoeres melanurus – Melanurus or Hoeven’s Wrasse
Halichoeres ornatissimus – Ornate – Ornamented – or Hawaiian Christmas Wrasse
Labroides dimidiatus – Cleaner Wrasse
Labroides phthirophagus – Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse
Lachnolaimus maximus – Hogfish
Parajulis poecilepterus – Rainbow Wrasse

Published by permission of Coral Magazine: