Aquaria Information from



   Hawaiian fish are almost all caught within a mile of the shore, as the bottom drops off sharply, making it impossible to dive for fish. Most divers use small open boats similar to Boston Whalers. An average boat can carry eight 30 gallon trash cans in which fish are held. Water in the cans is changed hourly, and the time fish spend in these cans rarely exceeds 6 hours. 

   Most fish are caught within a depth of 70 feet. Often Moorish Idols are collected in ankle deep water, but can be found at depths of 50 feet. The average depth for Potter's Angels is 20 to 70 feet, and for common Butterflies it is 30 to 50 feet. Achilles Tangs are often found between 10 and 30 feet, most Wrasses between 30 to 70 feet, and Hawkfish between 25 and 30 feet. 

   All salt water fish in Hawaii are hand caught and decompressed. Decompression is accomplished by hanging the fish on a line in a container at a specific depth, and then bringing them up at a specific rate. The diver makes his deepest dive first, and then works toward shallower water for later dives. This gives the fish caught deepest the most time to decompress, and is a sound method for the diver, too. 

   When the fish are brought back to our shipper's holding facility they are acclimated to the central system with a synthetic seawater. It has a specific gravity of 10.19 to 10.20 with a preventative level of .01 ppm copper to protect against parasites. Holding times are different for various species. Moorish Idols are held the longest- up to 10 days, while most Tangs need 5 days, and common Butterflies are usually ready after 3 days. All fish are appraised for shipment on an individual basis. 

   One of our shippers commented that Moorish Idols make excellent aquarium fish when captured small while larger specimens may fail to thrive. He has had several small fish in captivity for over 2 years, and based on our experience as well as his, it seems reasonable to speculate that this holds true for many other species of marine fish as well.  Quality foods manufactured specifically for salt water fish are mandatory to use to ensure their health.

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