8 Characteristics of a Good LFS Customer

In a recent Marine Aquarium Acronyms post, we defined the term “LFS” (local fish store) and described eight key characteristics to look for when choosing one. Well, as they say, turnabout is fair play. In this post, we’re going to attempt to look at things the other way around—through the eyes of LFS owners all … [Read More]

Acclimating Corals in 4 Easy Steps

Is there a better feeling than adding something new to your reef tank? Buying new corals feels like opening presents on a holiday. We got in some new corals and while acclimating them to our tanks, it reminded me how many times my customers ask how to go about acclimating new arrivals to their own … [Read More]

Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish: One of the Best Aquarium Butterflies

The butterflyfishes tend to be a touchy lot when it comes to aquarium keeping. Many have highly specialized diets that are difficult—if not impossible—to satisfy in aquariums. Several are obligate corallivores, which means they eat nothing but coral polyps, making them very poor aquarium candidates indeed. Others may be less-finicky feeders but are still hit-or-miss … [Read More]

It’s the Final Countdown to MACNA 2013!

Update: Check out our MACNA 2013 recap! Just one week separates us from the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) 2013, and it promises to be the biggest one yet! This year, the conference will take place at The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, which sits on the beautiful Atlantic shore of Hollywood, Florida … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Acronyms: LFS Defined (Plus 8 Traits of a Good One)

Among marine aquarium enthusiasts, it’s fairly safe to say that no acronym is bandied about with greater frequency than “LFS.” But what exactly does that mean? London Free School? Libertarian Futurist Society? Laughing, Fraudulent Seals? I kid, of course. In hobby parlance, LFS simply stands for Local Fish Store—in other words, the enabling retailer who … [Read More]

Zoanthids: Tough as Nails but Powerfully Potent

They belong to genera with names like Zoanthus, Parazoanthus, and Palythoa. They’re sometimes called sea mats, button polyps, or colonial anemones. Reef hobbyists commonly refer to them as “zoas.” Whatever name you apply to them, the zoanthids (family Zoanthidae) enjoy a prominent place in the hearts of many marine aquarium hobbyists—and with good reason. Zoanthids … [Read More]

Toledo Zoo Aquarium Renovation – Update 6: Pacific Reef Crest and Lagoon

As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors are aware, The Toledo Zoo’s Aquarium closed October 1, 2012 for a $25.5 million renovation and the new Aquarium is scheduled to open in 2015. Since the renovation began, one of the common questions visitors ask is, “What exhibits and animals will the new Aquarium have?” To help answer that … [Read More]

5 Tips for Maintaining Stable Salinity in a Saltwater Tank

While salinity and other water parameters are relatively constant on the natural coral reefs, they’re highly prone to undesirable fluctuation in the closed system of a marine aquarium. As conscientious hobbyists who want to provide the most naturalistic environment possible for the sensitive fish and invertebrates in our care, one of our primary responsibilities is … [Read More]

Falco’s Hawkfish: I’ve Got My Eye on You!

Looking back at the various marine aquariums I’ve kept over the years, it occurs to me that one particular species has probably been included in my livestock lineups more often than any other—Falco’s hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco), a.k.a. the dwarf hawkfish. If there’s a marine fish that’s hardier, easier to feed, and more entertaining to observe … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Acronyms: FOWLR Tank Defined

Marine aquarium hobbyists do love their acronyms—SW, SG, SPS, LPS, BB, HO, VHO, DOC, LR, LFS, and RO/DI to list but a few. There are so many of them floating around out there on aquarium forums and in hobby literature that newcomers sometimes feel they need to learn a whole new language before they can … [Read More]