Hawaiian Tidepool Tank Idea


I've been recently interested in Hawaiian fish, mostly because I live in HI, obviously, but also Hawaiian fish tend to have some sort of "uniqueness" to them. They don't feel like common fish. They're more alien, exotic, and honestly, some are kinda creepy (Hawaiian Zebra Blenny)

Here's a Stocking Idea
(Just a reminder some of these are scientific names. Look them up if you need to)


Hawaiian Zebra Blenny

Bathygobius Cocosensis


OpihI Snails

Feather Duster Worm

Zebra Hermit Crabs (I actually have one of these)

Brittle Starfish

Echinometra mathaei

Banded Coral Shrimp

Grapsus Tenuicrustatus


Christmas Wrasse OR Saddle Wrasse

Hawaiian Sergeant Major

What do you think?

Also, I don't see a majority these creatures a lot at the store. I found this site called RT Distributors, which sells Hawaiian fish INCLUDING the Zebra Blenny, the Gobies, and pretty much everything else. However, the site has bad reviews, so I'm most likely not able to. I also read that non-commercial aquarium fishing is allowed in HawaiI as long as it's in a permitted area with the right nets/catching equipment. Has anyone in HI tried this? Is there any fishermen you know on the island?

Tanks and Plants

I’m glad to see another HawaiI member! I live in Honolulu and work at one of our LFS. There are 2 shops that I still believe that carry saltwater fishes, the pet depot in ewa beach and coral fish Hawaii.
The main thing that you need to get is a import license. A lot of reputable stores will require you to have the correct import license and you also need to check with the department of AG to make sure that the fishes you want to import is on the “ok to import” list. I know that there are differences when you import freshwater vs saltwater fishes. You need to look that up. The state is fighting back because you have people illegally catching fishes with the improper methods. And this is due to supply and demand. Since there is no big saltwater breeding facilities(none that I am aware of) the catching of saltwater fishes can be a lucrative business and when money is involved you will have those who want to cheat the system.

Now some of the fishes you listed you can catch them yourself, all you need to do is find the tide pools and know where to catch them. The Christmas wrasse can be caught with a small hook and line but you need to make sure that you know how to properly take the hook out and to make sure that the fish is ok after you have caught it, and even the Hawaiian Sergeant Major(I believe this is called the Mamo’ in Hawaiian) can be caught with a small hook and bamboo pole. I have caught these types of fishes all over the island and a place Iike sandy beach(more towards Allen Davis side) along the shoreline you can catch these fishes and there are small tide pools where you can also catch the Hawaiian Blenny and find small opihI on the rocks. But with opihi, I don’t think that it’s a good idea because the opihI eats the live algae that lives on the rocks along the shoreline. I would research each fish you want and see if you can get the proper food and try to replicate the conditions that these fishes came from(a simple powerhead can make the rough water where a lot of these fishes come from).

Good Luck!


Sounds cool! Would I need a liscense to catch the fish? If I don't need one, where could I go to catch them? I haven't fished there yet, but I usually see a lot of fish at the lava tide pools near Ko'olina lagoons. I don't want to go fishing and then getting fined or arrested.

Also, is there any links for non-commercial aquarium fishing rules in HI? Like gear types and the amount of fish?


Check out this link and skip to the section to "collect for home aquarium", I always wonder if it legal even though I'm not from HawaiI but been there enough times. Probably best to call them to get all your questions answered on the legality of collecting fish restrictions.



Currently, from my knowledge, I think it's legal as long as you use the right nets.

Tanks and Plants

Currently, from my knowledge, I think it's legal as long as you use the right nets.

I agree I have a few customers who have saltwater tanks that go to tide pools and catch their own fish for themselves. They use a regular scoopnet.


What are some places you usually fish at? Also, are there any places you know people do aquarium fishing at?

EDIT: Also, do you know if it's legal to fish in Waianae? Like maybe Kahe Point?

Tanks and Plants

What are some places you usually fish at? Also, are there any places you know people do aquarium fishing at?

EDIT: Also, do you know if it's legal to fish in Waianae? Like maybe Kahe Point?

You can fish almost anywhere you want. There are a few exceptions..... you don’t want to fish on private property, unless you get permission from the land owner, don’t go around fences that the city may have put up, and the big one that I know of is in Waikiki. You cannot fish in a certain stretch in Waikiki, the city made it where you can fish every other year. But I’m not sure if this year is one that you can fish and to make sure I would just google something like “when can I fish in Waikiki”. As for Kahe point you can fish there just make sure to read the signs if there are any or just ask some of the locals if your in Waianae.

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