Green Mandarinfish: Gorgeous, Good-Natured, and a Very Finicky Feeder

Many coral reef fishes are renowned for their spectacular coloration and patterning, but there’s one particular species, commonly available in the marine aquarium hobby, that arguably surpasses them all in this regard. I’m talking about the green mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus). Also known as the mandarin goby (though it’s a dragonet from the family Callionymidae, not … [Read More]

5 Techniques for Catching Fish in a Marine Aquarium

At one point or another, every marine aquarium hobbyist is faced with the necessity of capturing and removing a fish from a fully operational system—perhaps because the specimen is bullying tankmates, the victim of another specimen’s bullying, sick or injured, etc. Whatever the reason, the prospect of catching a fish that has “home field advantage” … [Read More]

Toledo Zoo Aquarium Renovation – Update 5: Pacific Rainbow Reef

With the Toledo Zoo’s Aquarium currently closed for a $25.5 million renovation (slated for completion in 2015), one common question curious visitors ask is, “What exhibits and animals will the new Aquarium have?” To help answer this question, the next few installments of this series will examine these new exhibits. Please bear in mind that … [Read More]

Royal Gramma: A Hardy, Beginner-Friendly Beauty

One of the true piscine treasures hailing from the Caribbean is the royal gramma, a.k.a. the fairy basslet (Gramma loreto). Not only is this little gem a real showstopper aesthetically speaking, but it’s also a hardy, beginner-friendly, and generally very peaceful aquarium candidate. What’s more, it’s a great choice for smaller aquariums and just about … [Read More]

6 Tips for Choosing the Right-Sized Tank for Saltwater Fish

Have you ever noticed that species profiles written about marine fish almost always include a recommended minimum tank size for the species? Have you also noticed that tank-size recommendations for the same species can vary wildly from one author, dealer, or fellow hobbyist to another? How can that be? The fact is, determining the appropriate … [Read More]

Trachyphyllia geoffroyi: Practically Perfect Open Brain Coral

“Open brain coral” is a common name applied to a wide variety of coral species belonging to several different genera. But if you ask my opinion (well, even if you don’t, I’m going to offer it anyway), Trachyphyllia geoffroyi is one of the best of the bunch for both experienced and novice reefkeepers alike. T. … [Read More]

6 Reasons an Octopus is an Underwater Ninja

If you’re in the market for a very unique marine creature for home aquaria, an octopus could be a great option. While they certainly have drawbacks, if you’re willing to accommodate their special needs, it allows you the right to observe these fascinating, eight-armed, covert cephalopods in your tank. For the following reasons, I deem … [Read More]

BGA Battle Plan: Controlling Cyanobacteria in Saltwater Aquariums

You’re relaxing in front of your saltwater aquarium, enjoying the beautiful undersea vista you’ve created when you notice a few red, algae-like patches on your live rock that weren’t there before. You reach into the tank and give one of these growths a few taps with your finger and notice that it feels rather slimy … [Read More]

Odonus niger: A Toothy but (usually) Nonviolent Trigger

Say “triggerfish” to a group of experienced salties, and you’re apt to evoke bloodcurdling memories of once-kept triggers massacring fellow fish, shredding sessile invertebrates, mangling submerged equipment, toppling rockwork, or even biting the hand that feeds them. Let’s face it, triggers don’t exactly have a reputation for stellar behavior in aquariums. But not all triggerfish … [Read More]

Freshwater Dip: Help Prevent External Parasites in 4 Steps

All my fish are infected with ich! Now what do I do? This is the all-too-common lament of impatient hobbyists who habitually introduce new fish to an established aquarium without a period of quarantine and other preventive measures. They may get away with this “pour-and-pray” method for a time, but eventually their luck will run … [Read More]