Thanks to its expertise built up over the years, the Aquarium has mastered the reproduction of some twenty marine species and is successfully developing the culture of different varieties of coral. It avoids taking samples from the wild.

Breeding and rearing

Breeding and rearing

Studying the specific characteristics of species, their modes of reproduction and habitats means understanding them better in order to protect them better.

Since the 1980s, the Aquarium La Rochelle has been carrying out breeding research. Combining patience and observation, experience and knowledge, the biologists have achieved real success thanks to improvements and adjustments in the quality of water, lighting and food.


Births every year

The Aquarium now breeds some 20 marine species and is successfully developing the cultivation of various types of coral.

Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii), porkfish (Anisotremus virginicus), seahorses (Hippocampus hippocampus, Hippocampus guttulatus and Hippocampus abdominalis, protected endangered species), cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) and Cassiopea, Aurelia and white-spotted jellyfish (Cassiopea andromeda, Aurelia aurita and Phyllorhiza punctata) and more are regularly born in our quarantine tanks.

For fish larvae to be born and grow prosperously, living prey must also be reared (rotifers and artemias). These are enriched to endow them with appropriate nutritional qualities for the larvae.


(Amphiprion ocellaris, Amphiprion clarkii, Amphiprion akallopisos)

These species are unique in that they live in couples. Scientists have managed to isolate individual fish to make reproduction and egg recovery easier. The female deposits her eggs on a flat surface that the male then fertilizes. Low levels of lighting are required for the eggs to hatch. Until they are a few days old, the larvae remain in the dark.

A single clutch of eggs can produce several hundred clownfish.


(Pterapogon kauderni)

This is one of the easiest fish to breed because of its large eggs. After fertilization, the male broods the eggs in his mouth until they hatch, only releasing the larvae once they are ready to feed themselves.


(Anisotremus virginicus)

The parents must first be isolated in a tank. The pelagic eggs are harvested and transferred to a breeding tank using a sieve. Each couple lays thousands of eggs.
The Aquarium La Rochelle is one of the only aquariums to successfully breed this species.


Corals are currently reproduced by cuttings. This involves growing a new colony from a parent colony. Just like fish, growing coral requires excellent environmental conditions, such as clean water, sufficient light and appropriate current.

Coral Mission

In an extension of its research, La Rochelle Aquarium has been carrying out a mission (in partnership with Oceanopolis and the Aquarium of Guadeloupe) since 2009 to retrieve coral larvae from Guadeloupian waters.

The aim of this mission is to establish a protocol for breeding coral from larvae taken from their natural environment.
For scientists, saving the coral reefs means preserving our oceans’ biodiversity, as they are responsible for the future of the coming generations of life in all its forms! This fragile environment is, in fact, subject to numerous attacks brought about by human activities. The set-up of research programmes by scientists is therefore essential to the conservation of these species.

A documentary film created to recount this one-of-a-kind event in France, is screened inside the Aquarium, in the René Coutant Amphitheatre.
New: You can now follow the Planugwa Mission on its blog :

Discover the mission


For a better experience of our website, we invite you to increase the size of your navigator window.