'Species by Ecosystem' Database
'Species by Country' Database
The first public aquarium was opened in London in 1853. Its popularity led to an aquarium craze among private collectors and drove the establishment of aquariums in other cities. But the hobby remained small, mostly limited to public institutions and wealthy individuals.
After the first World War when electrification became widespread, private aquarium ownership blossomed. Innovations such as air pumps, silicone sealant, and acrylic aquariums boosted the hobby, while air freight introduced previously unknown tropical species to the masses. By the early 2000s, some 10 million households in the United States owned an aquarium. In 2006, a survey concluded that Americans kept near 150 million freshwater and saltwater fish.
AUTHOR: Rhett Butler founded Mongabay in 1999. He currently serves as president, head writer, and chief editor.