About Us

So, this is the page in which we try to explain who we are and how we got here without boring you to absolute tears! We’ll do our best to keep it short, while giving you an idea of how we came to be.

Our business began in 1996 when we first started offering quality saltwater and freshwater fish, as well as live rock and corals to tropical fish stores, shipped from Los Angeles International Airport.

For a time, we imported tridacna clams from Samoa and supplied fish and coral wholesalers, both in the LAX area as well as in other cities. Most of our store customers are now long-time trusted friends, as are many of the wholesalers around the LAX area. In 2001, we realized there was a need among saltwater hobbyists to acquire quality live rock and corals ... some items which their local fish stores did not carry. And, most of these folks did not live anywhere near any of our store customers ... some of them do not even have a quality saltwater fish store in their area. So, we created Livestock USA ... a place where saltwater hobbyists could come to acquire high quality live rock and corals that they may otherwise not be able to ... the very same stuff that the wholesalers in L.A. get that is sold to your local store, and then to you, without all the people between you and it! Without it being "cherry-picked" as it passes through Los Angeles.

Our business is based on offering livestock of the quality that we would want in our own home or office ... attractive and healthy! And, we also treat our customers just how we would like to be treated. We believe if you were to ask any of our customers what they thought of their experience in doing business with us, they would tell you that we were helpful, considerate, and that we really cared about the product and about them!

A little about "Birdfish" ...


I started keeping fish when I was 12-years-old, some 40+ years ago. I sold my first batch of personally spawned and raised fish at age 14 ... thirty Pearl Danios to a T.G.& Y. (dime store)!

By the mid ’70’s I had kept and spawned several mouthbrooding African Cichlids, amongst other species such as Angelfish, and dwarf cichlids. A small group of us teenagers in high school kept fish. I was nicknamed "Axelrod" for my ability to quote and cite anything he ever wrote. It was quite an honor, actually, together with my other nickname "Spock" ... I was the teenage science officer and a parents worst nightmare!  

I have since spawned about a hundred species of freshwater fishes and several marine species. I've watched Monodactylus sebae spawn in my tanks, as well as Giant Clams (Tridacna derasa).

After a stint as a speaker cabinet shop foreman, I took the plunge and went to work for one of the largest freshwater wholesalers around LAX ... scrubbing and siphoning tanks for near-minimum wage.

This was in the mid-to-late 1970’s. Quickly, I was foreman of the fishroom, some 800+ tanks of everything in the business (turtles were still legal then). After a couple of years I went to work for a saltwater wholesaler, eager to learn about marine fish and corals. It was sometimes frustrating as a hobbyist to see the profit and dollars mean more than a life. I left the industry in my early twenties swearing I couldn't work in it until I made the life and death decisions, when the animal would always be put first. By then, in the late 1970’s I had my first saltwater tank, with fish and corals. Low-tech is an understatement, if you can only imagine how little we knew back then.

After a decade (the ’80’s) travelling around the U.S. selling signs to businesses (and birdwatching), I found myself back in L.A.; and, following a failed venture with a bad partner in a cabinet business, went to work selling fish for a large wholesaler-transhipper again.

I rekindled relationships with most of the major importers and made new ones. After a couple of years, with a couple of the biggies in L.A., I again felt the misgivings about someone who doesn’t have a tank, and probably never did, making the life or death decisions about the animals as if they were bricks or cabbage. It was just a product to sell to them. So, I started my own company with a hope and a prayer, but no money.

If you were asked "who were the biggest coral farmers in the U.S., in the 1990’s?" I bet I can provide invoices showing I supplied them when they were starting with broodstock. Most of my clients were retail fish stores and these "original farmers;" including the best-known oceanarium in the country. I’ve sold them all. I'm afraid to use names for fear of lawsuits ... (can’t mention them without permission.)

Besides having maintained 500-1000 tank systems, I have had a 5,000-gal. outdoor vat which is where I watched my clams spawn, and grew corals onto the walls. But not being a "retail" hobbyist, I know little of all the latest high-tech gadgets invented to sell you something else. They weren’t needed to spawn clams!

"Birdfish" working at the vat

I do know virtually every importer from which all the wholesalers in L.A. get the animals that show up in your local stores though. And that brings us to the here and now. I have selected a very few of my very best store customers, friends who have bought from me for many, many years, and besides them, have "canned" the rest in order to go "e-tail" ... now, you the hobbyist will be the beneficiary, and I will strive to offer a better product at a better price. NO BS, no hanky panky, all cards on the table face up, straight shootin’ livestock supplier.

We will continue to add articles to share the experiences and knowledge we have gained in decades of being "fish heads." They cover topics from how to acclimate your fish, to insider views of the industry that few hobbyists have considered, or had window to. We have written all of the content on our website from scratch and it is 100% original. Nothing here will ever be lifted from another website.

I am a very active conservationist, active in local environmental issues, habitat management, and have lead many walks and tours as a bird expert. I run bird surveys, have been on a park advisory board, and have donated many thousands of hours to these causes I consider to be paramount in importance. A portion of our profit goes to supporting causes such as these.

I have received awards of recognition for my volunteer work for the environment three times each from the California State Senate, and from the State Assembly. And from the City of Los Angeles, and the Palos Verdes Audubon Society. Money can't buy some things. I’ve worked as a biological consultant on projects with California Fish and Game, and published numerous articles about, and photographs of, birds.

So, now you know a little about who (or what) you are doing business with. Hopefully it will help you make a decision of where to buy from. Just because we’re on "the net," doesn't mean you have to do business with a "black hole" you don't know, and have no idea about the beliefs, attitudes and committment of those who are handling your animals.

We love them and would love to show you what a difference that makes!


Tuna fishing in two-mile deep water, sixty miles off the California coast.

"Yes sir, I'm trying to fill your order as fast as I can!"

Our Toll-free Phone:

(866) 874-7639

(855) 225-8086

Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Time)

(If you have trouble with the first number, please use the second one.)

Our E-mail

Phone: (866) 874-7639 or (855) 225-8086
E-mail: birdfish@livestockusa.org
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Central

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