Memory Lane

Aqua-Nautic is a Singapore home-grown company that was established in 1976 as an international traditional ornamental fish breeder. Planting its roots at Chua Chu Kang village in the initial years, Aqua-Nautic played a major role as a fish breeder centre in supplying local fish to exporters. By 1979, having built up a sizeable network of connections, Aqua-Nautic decided to switch focus to become a major exporter in the local ornamental fish industry.

1F (AVA)
1G (AVA)

In 1983, Aqua-Nautic had a breakthrough into American and the Canadian regions when Aqua-Nautic Specialist Inc, USA was established. Aqua-Nautic in USA focuses primarily on the transshipment of ornamental fish. The business grew steadily and by 1987, the company had to relocate to a larger facility of 30680 sq ft with a land size of 130680 sq ft in Inglewood, California. This location is only five minutes away from the Los Angeles Airport. Thus, this move in setting up Aqua-Nautic Specialist in USA was the start of the transformation of Aqua-Nautic into a global leader in the ornamental fish export business.


During the period of 1984 to 1989, there was a sudden increase in demand for reptiles in the world. Aqua-Nautic seized this opportunity and with the company’s strong establishment in the United States, Aqua-Nautic begun exporting reptiles like turtles from Thailand and Myanmar to the United States of America. In order to meet the new business demands, Aqua-Nautic expanded its in-house operations and with the assistance of the latest technology then, these demands from overseas were met.

In 1989, Singapore realized the necessity for establishing an Agrotechnology Park which upgraded Singapore’s Agricultural sector through different aspects of technological advancement. To align with this policy, Primary Production Department (current AVA) started the first Agrotechnology Park in Singapore at Jalan Kayu and Aqua-Nautic benefitted much from this new set-up as the company was relocated at the same location.

1989 was a year in which a major milestone at Aqua-Nautic took place as the company became private limited on 1st November.


In the late 1980s, Taiwan’s economy was extremely positive. There was a surge in the demand for fish from Taiwan. Aqua-Nautic became one of the major exporter of ornamental fish to Taiwan. Due to the new and interest in the ornamental fish, the Taiwanese developed a whole range of accessories to support the clientele. In this manner, the partners in Taiwan collaborated with Aqua-Nautic and the company entered into the Aquatic accessory industry.

Transworld Aquatic Enterprises Inc. was established in 1995. During this period, the main core focus of Transworld was dealing in Aquatic accessories. By 1997, Aqua-Nautic became Singapore’s Aquatic Accessory maker capable of developing entire aquatic equipment such as aquarium lighting and tanks. At the same time, an in-house brand was established—JBJ which is based in the United States. JBJ was designated to handle the sales of aquarium accessories globally. Thus in 1997, started manufacturing chillers in Korea and JBJ became the main global distributor for chillers.


In 2005, Yuxuan Aquarium Horticulture Co. (Guangzhou) joined the Aqua-Nautic group. It expanded Aqua-Nautic reach into China and together, new Quality Control methods were introduced for our Aquatic Accessories to ensure total reliability of our products to customers worldwide.

In 2010, Aqua-Nautic acquired land at Chencharu Link. The new export complex to be built at this location would enable Aqua-Nautic and the partners to become South East Asia’s main ornamental fish distribution Hub.

In 2010, Aqua-Nautic acquired Red Sea Aquarium Pte Ltd to become one of Singapore’s strongest Aquarium exporter. Red Sea exported a wide variety of fish, including rare and exotic species to various parts of European countries, Australian and Middle Eastern markets.


In 2014, with the completion of the new Chencharu complex, operations have been moved from Jalan Kayu to a new sprawling complex. The complex is built across a 76000 square feet piece of land with a built-up of 43000 square feet. With this new complex, and the position as the South-East Asia Hub, Aqua- Nautic has obtained AVA’s Quality Assurance Scheme (AQUAS) in August 2014 for export of ornamental fish from Singapore. This would give the company an advantage leverage in the world market as (AQUAS) has been recognized worldwide for its quality in its products.

Aqua-Nautic will continue to work towards being a market leader in this ornamental fish industry as an exporter and supplier of all aquatic accessories in Singapore and the whole of South East Asia. We are confident that with the support of the pro-business policies formulated by the Singapore Government and the state of the art infrastructure in place in Singapore, the business will continue to grow. With the wealth-list increasing rapidly among Asians and many around the world, demand of ornamental fish for a cultural, traditional reason or for well being of individuals, will not cease.


“As the company entered into its 40th year in this trade, memories of how all members of my family had strived together under all challenges and circumstances to build up this business would inevitably fill my mind. What we have today do not come by easily. It is through much pain and sacrifice of each member of my family. But for the sake of those who have pioneered and for the future generation, this business must carry on with the utmost standard in service and quality.

I hope that the future new generation in the company will do even better than now. Each individual in the company should aim to have these core values — respect for one another, an attitude of learning, teamwork, accountability and transparency.

This industry has great prospects and Singapore is the hub in South-East Asia and we should take this opportunity to bring the company to a higher level and to have our business getting into every corner of the world.


Quotation from Mr. Ricky Lim, Director of Aqua–Nautic Specialist Pte. Ltd.