What Have We Done For You Lately?



1. Competition Misleads Richmond Customers

Richmond Aquarium customers have informed us that a competitor, when asked why his fish prices were higher than Richmond Aquarium’s fish prices, has led them to believe that Richmond Aquarium prices are lower because we purchase fish from lower cost suppliers that use harmful cyanide to catch their fish.  Further, the cyanide caught fish were also more likely to die due to the damage done in the cyanide catching process.  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!   We know times are tough but the false and misleading statements must stop.

THIS IS NOT A JOKING MATTER!  First, Richmond Aquarium is strictly against the practice of using cyanide to catch livestock and we DO NOT AND WILL NOT purchase from cyanide collecting providers!!  Second, Richmond Aquarium is so committed to the 'hand caught fishing movement', that we require our suppliers to confirm their catching practices to become an authorized supplier.   MAC's (Marine Aquarium Council) mission is to conserve coral reefs and other marine ecosystems by creating standards and certification for those engaged in the collection and care of ornamental marine life from reef to aquarium. Richmond Aquarium strongly supports the MAC Mission.

Our Pricing Procedures and Livestock Guarantee – Finally, Richmond Aquarium livestock pricing procedures have remained unchanged for over 10 years. Each fish is priced according to company profit guidelines along with other characteristics such as size and how rare the fish may be.  Further, we hire a firm to gather actual competitive prices to confirm that our prices are both fair and reasonable.  Richmond Aquarium’s livestock guarantee is a full seven days, the longest guarantee around.  We will continue to strive to keep our prices low and we hope our livestock guarantee demonstrates our confidence in the quality of livestock we sell.

What is Cyanide Fishing?
Many fish sold in the marine aquarium trade have been collected with the assistance of cyanide to stun the fish prior to capture. This destructive fishing practice kills smaller organisms and reef habitats that sustain coastal communities.  Cyanide caught fish may appear healthy on arrival but their gut flora is often irreparably harmed by contact with the collecting chemicals.  These fish may feed for weeks before dying from being unable to digest their food. The best way to avoid cyanide caught fish is to buy from retailers that only sell hand caught or captive bred fish.

Cyanide caught fish is a serious problem that needs serious attention. Adhering to MAC guidelines is a strong platform for changing the way the aquarium industry conducts business. While we think every aquarium livestock provider should participate in this program, Richmond Aquarium will certify that our fish suppliers use only MAC guidelines.

2. Field of Dreams - Aquacultured Xenia!

Richmond Aquarium operates a comprehensive aquaculture center. We raise corals, plants, and other inverts, as well as grow and harvest our own phytoplankton.

We sell the phytoplankton we harvest, but we also use it to feed the corals in our aquaculture center. As you can see from the photo, it is working pretty well!

Our aquaculture facility is producing lots of quality corals of all sizes, and we are selling them at great prices. In particular, we have over 300 xenia colonies ready to sell at prices starting at $19! Stop in and pick up a colony or two today!

3. OMG! Price Shocker!!

Recently, we performed an installation for a customer, who had purchased some corals from one of our competitors. After hearing what she paid for her xenia colony, we had to take a picture! It was that shocking!

The picture to the right is a photo of one of our aquacultured xenia colonies sitting next to the actual xenia colony she purchased. As you can see, theirs is smaller and costs $30 more! SHOCKING!

The customer said it was the last time she was going to get ripped off on livestock for her aquarium. She said from now on, she is only buying corals from Richmond Aquarium! We think that sounds like a smart idea.

4. Need To Cut Back? Don't Skimp on Service!

As the economy tightens down, we are seeing service customers reducing the amount of service and maintenance performed. We know times are tight, and understand why they are cutting back.

Unfortunately, we are noticing a trend in the systems that are being service less often. While the aquarium systems were fine at first, pollutants have started to build in the systems. The longer the systems go between services, the more the toxins increase. For example, if a system goes from every two weeks to once per month, it will have double the level of toxins when serviced. Routine water changes are not enough to keep up with the increase. Eventually, pollutants will build to the point that livestock will begin to die, releasing even more toxins into the water and killing even more livestock.

As you may know, your livestock is the most expensive part of your system. If it dies, you will spend far more replacing it than you will save by reducing maintenance. After a system crashes from not being properly maintained, it usually has to be broken down completely, thoroughly cleaned, and set back up. This endeavor alone will often cost more than is saved.

5. Richmond Aquarium System Donated To Help Find A Cure


Richmond Aquarium has donated 75 gallon reef aquarium system and aquarium maintenance, to be auctioned live at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's annual Spring Gala. Proceeds from the event benefit juvenile diabetes research. This year's Gala, is titled "Finding a Cure : A LOVE STORY" and features Elliott Yamin, Ashley Crossman, Miss Virginia United States 2008, Event Emcees Jack and Jen with Mix 103.7, JDRF youth ambassadors, unique silent and live auctions, and the high-energy band Night Vision. The Gala is being held at The Jefferson Hotel. Learn more at their website.

6. RAB Foods - Fish With Happy Bellies

Have you tried Richmond Aquarium Brand Foods? If not, your fish are missing out!

Over the years we have come across many types of food. Some were received better than others, and some simply didn't work at all. The various reactions to the foods available, combined with the confusing amount of food brands in the industry led us to developing our own line of foods.

All Richmond Aquarium Brand foods are made from proven recipes and formulas. We have tested them over a ten year period, in aquariums all over Richmond and we know they work! You don't need to guess when you are buying food or consider different brands because of fancy packaging. RAB foods are consistent, proven, and always available. Plus, we use RAB foods in the store to feed the livestock before you get it, so it is eating our foods when you buy them.

RAB foods include; Marine Flakes, Marine Pellets, Veggie Flakes, Freshwater Flakes, Cichlid Pellets, Shrimp Pellets, Dried Seaweed and Live Phytoplankton.

Stop in the store to get your free food sample!

7. Used Systems Wanted!

Have we sold you an aquarium system that you have out grown, or are no longer using? Perhaps you have upgraded equipment over the years and now have a garage full of used equipment? If it came from us, or you may have purchased it locally, give us a call. We might be able to take it off your hands. The tightening economy has caused an increase in the number of customers seeking used equipment. This is an opportunity for you to get really $$$$ for your unneeded equipment!

If interested, start by taking a picture of the system and then make a list of the items you would like to sell and email it to us at sales@richmondaquarium.com or stop by the store and let’s see what we can do for you today.


8. Clean-Up Crew: The Littlest Janitors

An essential part of any reef aquarium is the cleanup crew. These are the janitors of your reef. They will help control nuisance algae, help clean the glass, and remove detritus and diatoms. They scavenge for any left over food that may be on the bottom and in hard to reach places such as in between rocks. Members of typical reef clean-up crews consist of snails, shrimp, crabs, starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers. These invertebrates work well together or on their own.

Through the end of the summer, we are offering a special on clean-up crews. Assembled to serve 50 gallons of reef, each crew consists of 10 Turbo Snails, 10 Nassarius Snails, 10 Tiny Hermit Crabs, 2 Emerald Crabs, and 1 Cleaner Shrimp.

Save 10% on our 50 Gallon Complete Clean-Up Crew


What Have We Done For You Lately?


Free Phytoplankton - Get More, Pay Less!

Phytoplankton is like Miracle Grow for your corals and other inverts! Benefits of feeding phytoplankton to your reef inhabitants include better color, improved vitality and faster growth! The latest Richmond Aquarium Brand Phytoplankton is the most dense and nutritious phytoplankton we have ever produced.

How does RAB Phytoplankton compare to national brands? RAB Phytoplankton does not contain preservatives or gels, so it does not clump like the competition's phytoplankton. We don't use preservatives. Our phytoplankton is harvested fresh in our own aquaculture center, and bottled almost every week, so you always get the freshest, most nutritious phytoplankton possible.  RAB Phytoplankton is also less expensive than other brands.

What Is Phytoplankton?

Phytoplankton serve as the base of the aquatic food web, providing an essential ecological function for all aquatic life, and are an essential component of the diet for many reef creatures (such as fan worms, sea apples, corals, clams, and sponges). Phytoplankton are tiny floating plants which serve the same role in the food chains of the oceans as grass and shrubs serve on land; namely small things eat them, which are in turn eaten by bigger things, and so on down the line. Many coral reef animals feed directly on phytoplankton, and even those that do not, rely ultimately on the nutrition gained from phytoplankton eaten by other organisms. Some essential nutrients provided by phytoplankton cannot be synthesized by animals, and are therefore extremely important components of a healthy diet.  Benefits of feeding phytoplankton to your reef inhabitants include better color, improved health, and faster growth.

We are so confident your inverts will love our phytoplankton, we will give it to you for free! We know you will be back for more! Ask for your free sample the next time you visit the store. Or save 10% on your next in-store RAB Phytoplankton Purchase An even greater savings!

Water Discounts - Get More, Pay Less!

Everyone wants to save money during these difficult economic times. We know times are tight and your wallets are even tighter. To help where we can, we have extended our water discount program. With our water discount program, you get up to 10 gallons of fresh or salt water for free! The money saving water discount cards are available in the store, and are just one more way we are trying to help you get more, and pay less.

Free Water! Refer A Friend!

Do you have a friend looking for an aquarium? Have you been to a business that could benefit from an aquarium? Recommend Richmond Aquarium and get free water!

If you bring us a new customer that works with us to set up their aquarium, we will give you a Fresh Water Saver card, good for 50 gallons of fresh water!

System Relocation? Get Free Help!

Do you need to move your aquarium system? Planning to move it yourself, but having trouble getting organized? We have an excellent solution for you!

As you know, Richmond Aquarium installs, leases, and maintains aquarium systems all over Virginia. Over the years, we have learned a thing or two about moving them, and we will be glad to share our knowledge with you. Plus, we will loan you the tools you need to do it!!

Stop in the store and pick our brains about relocating your aquarium and we can set you up with the equipment you need to do the job right. We will explain the best ways to break the system down and set it back up. We will loan you the tools, vats, buckets, or tubs you need to get it done. Let us know a few days in advance so we can schedule the equipment to be available when you need it.

Sound like too much hassle? We would be glad to bring all the equipment to you, and move the system. We do it all the time.

Spring System Sale! Get More, Pay Less!

Need a new aquarium system?   Looking for a gift for that special person? Outgrowing your current aquarium?  Get more and pay less with our discounts for new systems. Financing is available for equipment purchases of any size.

Coral Lighting Upgrades!

We are overhauling the lighting on our coral display tanks. This year, the coral display lighting has made it to the top of the 'to do' list! We are very excited about the changes ahead.

We are upgrading the lighting to a combination of metal halide and high-output T5 fluorescent lights. Over the past few years, we have watched metal halide and T5 lighting overtake all other options as the preferred lighting solution. The upgrades will help the corals look more like they will look when you get them home. Stop in the store and see the difference.

Thinking of upgrading the lights on your aquarium? Take advantage of great prices on lighting in our store.

Richmond Aquarium Chosen for Pet Products Magazine

An interview with Richmond Aquarium's owner, Richard Farrell, is planned to be published in the upcoming June issue of Pet Product News. The featured article pertained to the subject of the evolving changes in aquarium décor for both fresh and saltwater aquarium systems and included trends and preferences as seen by Richmond Aquarium throughout the region. Learn more about Pet Products News.


Heritage Oaks Aquarium - The Hot Spot

About a year ago, Richmond Aquarium designed and installed a 250 gallon reef aquarium system in the elegant three story atrium of Heritage Oaks Retirement Community. It was instantly a source of interest and conversation with the residents. But according to Heritage Oaks Executive Director, Joe Savarie, its impact has been much greater than that. "Our residents and staff have taken to the aquarium as part of their daily activities. They like to gather in front of it and talk, play games, or just relax and watch the fish. When they plan events or gatherings, they usually have them in the atrium in front of the aquarium."

The beautiful reef system replaced a smaller saltwater aquarium that was installed and serviced by a local competitor.  According to Mr. Savarie, "Richmond Aquarium’s quality of work is much better than the company we used in the past.  Their dedication to service made the new larger system possible.  Our residents and staff could not be happier with the aquarium."

In fact, residents at Heritage Oaks are so taken with the aquarium, that Mr. Savarie has incorporated the aquarium into their website, and advertising campaigns.

“The fish are some of our most popular residents.  A lot of gatherings happen around the aquarium, so the fish end up attending more events than anyone else”, said Mr. Savarie.  “Heritage Oaks is a very active community.  Some of our residents keep so busy that they use the aquarium to unwind after a busy day.  Others become engrossed in the curious activities of the fish and shrimp.  Our residents often comment on how unusual it is that something so interesting could also help them relax.”

Heritage Oaks’ aquarium system is actually two, 125 gallon aquariums positioned side by side to provide twelve feet of viewing space from either side of the system.  Both aquariums are decorated using live rock, and feature incredible fish, corals, anemones, shrimp, crabs, and snails. 

The aquarium installation is part of Mr. Savarie's ongoing initiative to improve the lifestyles of the residents of Heritage Oaks. "The staff at Heritage Oaks truly cares about the residents. We are always looking for ways to improve the Heritage Oaks community and bring our residents new and exciting additions to their lives."

Richmond Radiation Oncology Associate's Relaxing Reef

Richmond Aquarium recently completed installation of a 220 gallon custom aquarium system at the new offices for Richmond Radiation Oncology Associates, Inc. Richmond Aquarium has a long standing relationship with Richmond Radiation. We leased and maintained the free-standing aquarium system in the lobby of their former location for years.

When it came time to design a system for their new location, we were a natural choice. The folks at Richmond Radiation didn't hold back. They wanted a top-notch custom system and we delivered. They described what they wanted, and shared with us, the colors and wood finishes they planned to use in their office. We presented them with several options. After selecting a concept they liked most, we designed a system that fit their budget and matched their office perfectly. The stunning marine system is in their lobby and is maintained by Richmond Aquarium. The system features an abundance of beautiful fish, and welcomes patients as they arrive at the facility, and helps relax them while they await treatment.

ChildSavers - Glad You Are Enjoying The Aquariums!

ChildSavers (formerly Memorial Child Guidance Clinic) is a source of hope for Central Virginia’s children. Founded in 1924, the Clinic's legacy of innovation, leadership and care for children has endeared it to three generations of Richmond citizens. Early in its history, ChildSavers turned exclusively to addressing the mental health and developmental needs of children.
At the core of ChildSavers' mission is a fundamental commitment to the mental well being of children and the positive bond between adult and child. We support this with clinical treatment and education and training services that offer reassurance, healing, and the skills necessary to achieve normal life and development.
ChildSavers is a community-supported nonprofit agency governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. ChildSavers is licensed by the State of Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Child and Family Services. If you want to help ChildSavers, you can learn more by visiting their website.

Last year, Richmond Aquarium donated and installed a 75 gallon salt water aquarium, and a 54 gallon freshwater aquarium to Child Savers. They recently sent this note, and we couldn't be happier:


                   Thank you for the notes Lynn. We are glad we could help!

Richmond Aquarium is also featured in ChildSavers most recent newsletter in an article titled "Which one is your favorite?":


That’s a question we overhear a lot when kids and families watch the fish in our tropical fish tank.  Thanks to a generous donation from Richard Farrell at Richmond Aquarium, kids enjoy the calming effects of “Swimmy” and “Stripey” in our reception area. Can you spot “Mr. Red Eye”?

See Swimmy and his friends...

View the complete ChildSavers Newsletter

New Nano Aquarium Selection

Richmond Aquarium now offers a complete line of nano aquarium systems, equipment, and accessories. If you have been thinking about building a nano reef, this is the time to do it. Come see our new nano selection and let us help you set up the ultimate nano reef. Our aquaculture center is producing plenty of nano sized corals that will get your new system started right

New Freshwater Expansion!

We have recently expanded our freshwater department with a particular focus on the freshwater hobbyist. Changes include a huge new selection of African Cichlids from Lake Tanganyika, Lake Malawi, and Lake Victoria. We are also increasing our Central and South American Cichlid offering, as well as introducing a more advanced line of exotic catfish and rare plecos.

For the fan of natural aquariums, we are increasing our selection of live plants, and are now stocking the proper lighting and equipment needed to successfully raise a natural planted aquarium.

To help keep your freshwater fish growing fast, and living happy, we have added a complete line of live foods for freshwater fish. These foods include live blackworms, ghost shrimp, feeder guppies, and feeder goldfish.    


Now Expanding SunLight Supply!

We have recently expanded our Sunlight Supply line of Metal Halide and T5 ballasts, retrofit kits, fixtures, and bulbs. Sunlight Supply, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of aquarium lighting systems for both residential and commercial applications. Their Blue Wave, Reef Optix, Maristar, Galaxy and Tek Light brand lighting fixtures are recognized nationwide as the finest brand available in the industry.
Sunlight Supply offers lights for every possible application. Their metal halide fixtures are available in wattages from 150 to 1000 watts. They are also the pioneer in manufacturing T5 HO (high output) fluorescent lights for aquarium applications. These are a big hit with reef enthusiasts. The Sun System Galaxy electronic ballasts offer unmatched quality, performance and reliability for those customers wanting to use the latest technology in HID lighting.

Stop by our showroom to see Sunlight Supply lighting in use on our new show tanks, and learn more about options available for your aquarium from Sunlight Supply.



New Reflectors Arrive!

Our new, custom manufactured reflectors are now in stock. Available in four and six foot lengths, and built to fit inside of your canopy, our reflectors are sure to improve your lighting situation. Stop in the store to check them out, or bring in your canopy, and we will help you with installation. See the technical drawing.

Seafire Grill Sets the Mood

Those of you that have dined at the Seafire Grill probably noticed at least two great things about your experience: The food, and the ambiance. While we can't take any credit for the great food, we do play a role in the great ambiance. The Seafire Grill sets the mood with multiple reef aquariums inside the restaurant. Richmond Aquarium services and maintains the aquariums on a regular basis, keeping them healthy and looking great. Seafire Grill recently launched a new website, prominently featuring the aquarium systems in their gallery. We strongly recommend the dining experience  so Check it out!