origins of aquarium keeping have been around for about as long as
keeping food fishes, although the methodology and understanding
of aquarium filtration has varied considerably. The origins of aquaculture
mostlikely originated when fish were trapped in some type of enclosure
after monsoon floods receded.
The earliest known aquarists were the Sumerians, who kept
fishes in artificial ponds at least 4,500 years ago; records of
fish keeping also date from ancient Egypt and Assyria. The Chinese,
who raised carp for food as early as 2000 BC, were probably the
first to breed fish with any degree of success. Their selective
breeding of ornamental goldfish was later introduced to Japan, where
the breeding of ornamental carp was perfected. The ancient Romans,
who kept fish for food and entertainment, were the first known marine
aquarists; they constructed ponds that were supplied with fresh
seawater from the ocean.
goldfish were successfully kept in glass vessels in England during
the middle 1700s, aquarium keeping did not become well established
until the relationship between oxygen, animals, and plants became
known a century later. During the mid 1800s the "Balanced
Aquarium" approach was considered the only method for keeping
aquarium fish. The Balanced Aquarium consisted of "a tank in
which the air surface of the water, aided by plants would supply sufficient
oxygen" and "most of the waste from the fish was consumed
by the plants and scavengers ".
By 1850 the keeping of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles had
become useful in the study of nature. It was in the works of Philip
Gosse, a British naturalist, that the term aquarium first appeared.
His work aroused increased public interest in aquatic life. The first
display aquarium was opened to the public in 1853 at Regent's Park
in London. It was followed by aquariums in Berlin, Naples, and Paris.
P.T. Barnum, the circus entrepreneur, recognized the commercialpossibilities
of living aquatic animals and, in 1856, opened the first display aquarium
at the American Museum in New York City as a private enterprise.
During the early 1900s Aeration, Particulate and Charcoal filtration
was touted as the state-of-the-art but it wasnt until the 1950s
that the Undergravel Filter was introduced. Ironically even though
it was promoted as a biological filter its true role in filtration
was still misunderstood, and yet the Undergravel Filter has been the
greatest advancement to the aquarium industry.
By 1928 there were 45 public or commercial aquariums throughout
the world, but growth then slowed and few new large aquariums appeared
until after World War II.
Many of the world's principal cities now have public aquariums as
well as commercial ones.
wasnt until 1974 that successful commercial attempts to spawn
rear marine ornamental fish began to occur and by 1975 Martin Moe
and Chris Turk of Aqualife Research and Frank Hoff and Tom Frakes
of Instant Ocean Hatcheries were raising three species of clownfish,
Oscellaris (Amphiprion ocellaris), the Tomato (A.frenatus) and the
Clarki Clownfish (A.clarkii).
In 1984 the second greatest advancement occurred in the aquarium
industry, the introduction to the US of the European Wet - Dry Filter.
Now hobbyists could keep fish as well as corals and invertebrates