Bubble-Tip Anemones: Care and Propogation

Virtually every reef aquarium hobbyist has, at one time or another, dreamed of propagating corals for a living. After learning to maintain these delicate organisms in captivity and experiencing the satisfaction of trading a few frags with fellow hobbyists and local dealers, many feel the powerful allure of coral gardening as a livelihood. However, it’s … [Read More]

Welcome to Saltwater Smarts! This is Our Mission…

If you’re brand new to saltwater aquarium keeping, a freshwater aquarist getting ready to take the plunge into saltwater, an intermediate hobbyist with a few tanks under your belt, or a seasoned salty who could just use a little refresher, you’ve come to the right place! Here at Saltwater Smarts, our mission (should you choose … [Read More]

Burrowing Beauty: Yellowhead Jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons)

Since I first set eyes on a wild specimen while scuba diving in the Florida Keys, I’ve been enamored with the yellowhead, a.k.a. pearly, jawfish (Opistognathus aurifrons). Though not the most chromatically gifted fish in the sea, this burrowing beauty is, nonetheless, packed with piscine personality and makes an excellent choice for the saltwater aquarium. … [Read More]

How to Cycle Your Saltwater Tank

Before any aquarium can support livestock, whether fish or invertebrates, it must be completely “cycled”—another way of saying that biofiltration must be fully established in the system. Sounds good, but what on earth does that mean? A system is considered cycled when it has been colonized by beneficial bacteria that convert deadly ammonia—produced through the … [Read More]

The Lowdown on Live Rock

“Live rock”: It’s one of the first terms new saltwater aquarium hobbyists hear—and one of the first times (of many) they may find themselves scratching their heads in bewilderment. Let’s clear up the confusion! What on earth is live rock? What exactly does this seemingly oxymoronic term describe? Is it another name for a stony … [Read More]

Quarantine Tank: A Crucial Part of Aquarium Success

When it comes to stocking a saltwater aquarium, there is one irrefutable truth every hobbyist must learn and take to heart—introducing livestock to a display tank without quarantining it first is a surefire recipe for failure. Trust your friends here at Saltwater Smarts when we say that if you habitually skip quarantine, it’s not a … [Read More]

Protein Skimming: Bubble Your Way to Better Water Quality

Saltwater aquarium hobbyists today have a dizzying array of devices, doodads, and doohickeys at their disposal for improving water quality and maintaining appropriate water parameters. Some of these items are essential for aquarium success, while others might be more appropriately placed under the heading of “bells and whistles.” High on the list of what we … [Read More]

4 Marine Fish Compatibility Blunders to Avoid

The realm of human interaction can be remarkably complicated. But generally speaking, as long as certain social conventions and legal constraints are observed, most people will manage to coexist in peace and seldom resort to violence. Only in cases of extreme privation do we actually choose to eat one another! Unfortunately, the fish in your … [Read More]

A Step-by-Step Guide to Mixing Saltwater

The foundation of any saltwater aquarium is, of course, the salt water itself, and through your time in this wonderful hobby, you’ll be mixing up plenty of it! You’ll need it when you first fill your aquarium and quarantine tank, whenever you perform a routine water change, any time you’re adding and acclimating new specimens, … [Read More]

How to Pick the Perfect Place for Your New Saltwater Aquarium

When setting up a new saltwater aquarium, a lot of thought must be given to the aquatic environment inside the tank. But equally important is the environment the tank itself will occupy—its location in your home. There are many factors that influence whether a space is appropriate for an aquarium—and once the tank is up … [Read More]