The Minimal Role of Mechanical Filtration in Marine Aquariums

Mechanical filtration—the physical straining out of suspended particulates from aquarium water—has something of a mixed reputation among marine aquarium hobbyists. This may seem odd to those with experience in the freshwater side of the hobby, where the use of hang-on-back and canister power filters is quite commonplace. But then, freshwater fishkeepers tend to think of … [Read More]

The Anatomy of an Invasion: Lionfish

As iconic ornamental marine fish, Pterois spp. are coveted for their unique beauty which is bookended by elegant (but venomous), banner-like finnage. Native to the Indo-Pacific region, lionfish were reportedly discovered in South Florida as early as 1985 with sightings increasing dramatically along the southeast United States coast in the early 2000s. Now their invasive … [Read More]

4 Reasons There’s No Better Eel Than the Snowflake Moray

That’s the point I tried to communicate to my wife, Melissa, when developing the livestock list for the 125-gallon FOWLR (fish-only-with-live-rock) tank that now resides in our living room. I really wanted to include a snowflake moray (Echidna nebulosa), a denizen of the Indo-Pacific, in my lineup of fishes, and I was launching into a … [Read More]

Insights on LED Reef Aquarium Lighting

LED lighting is a hotly debated topic in reef aquarium circles. It is a relative newcomer to the industry though no longer a complete unknown as was the perception in years past. Thousands of aquarists have used them for extended periods of time since their introduction 10 years ago. Despite their widespread adoption, opinions still … [Read More]

An Introduction to Reef Aquarium Lighting

Saltwater aquarists who choose to take the plunge into reef keeping quickly come to an interesting realization: The lighting used in such systems is of paramount importance. Whereas lighting in fish-only systems is primarily an aesthetic concern (for the most part, as long as the lights show off the fish to their best advantage, you’re … [Read More]

Tips for Adding New Fish to an Established Community

Here at Saltwater Smarts, we frequently advise our fellow salties to introduce fish species to an aquarium in the order of least aggressive to most aggressive. Using this tactic goes a long way toward ensuring peaceful cohabitation in a fish community for a few reasons: One, it gives the less-assertive specimens a chance to get … [Read More]

Cleaner Shrimp: Practically Perfect Marine Aquarium Invertebrates

When we think of symbiosis on tropical coral reefs, the classic example of clownfishes and their host anemones often comes to mind. However, there’s another model of symbiosis that’s every bit as fascinating to observe but much easier to recreate in an aquarium environment. I’m talking about the mutually beneficial relationship between cleaner shrimps and … [Read More]

Flame Angelfish: Heavenly Beauty With a Touch of Devilishness

The aptly named flame angelfish (Centropyge loriculus) is an eye-popping Pacific beauty that stops people in their tracks when they catch sight of it in a home aquarium or LFS sales tank. This stunning dwarf angel has much to recommend it when it comes to aquarium keeping, provided a few special considerations are taken into … [Read More]

Toledo Zoo Aquarium Renovation – Update 3: Preliminary testing

The Toledo Zoo Aquarium building closed October 1, 2012 for a $25.5 million renovation. The new Aquarium is scheduled to open in April, 2015. Because the formal planning for this project began as far back as 2005, the Aquarium staff had ample opportunity to research various types of aquarium life-support equipment. Called “bench tests,” a … [Read More]

6 Steps to Help Prevent Aquarium Leaks

A thriving saltwater system is a thing of beauty and a joy to behold—as long as the salt water stays in the tank where it belongs, that is! While most of the aquariums manufactured today represent a high level of craftsmanship and will provide the hobbyist with many years of reliable service, leaks—even full-blown floods—do … [Read More]