Author: S M Mohd Idris
Source: FMT News 
September 5, 2012
The high demand for tropical reef aquariums has contributed to a growing market for marine fish, coral, and other reef invertebrates. These creatures often serve the same cleaning and pest control functions in an aquarium that they do in nature. Extracting these creatures poses a threat to the very ecosystems that aquarium hobbyists aim to replicate, depleting the seas as aquariums become more elaborate.
Hobbyists are attracted to using these invertebrate grazers and herbivores because they replicate the natural ecosystem and reduce the need for less-natural forms of tank maintenance. Over harvesting these species may lead to a cascading effect in the reef ecosystem, which can then lead to an overproduction of algae.
Collectors for the aquarium trade are both a peculiar and unprecedented type of generalist predator who targets both abundant and rare species. Species with critical ecological roles are particularly vulnerable and harvesting these species from the wild to supply the aquarium trade can lead to a loss of biodiversity.
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