GFO for Reef Aquarium Phosphate Control

Granular ferric oxide, or GFO, is a widely used form of chemical filtration in the reef-keeping hobby today. Chemical filtration, as the name suggests, purifies water by binding up impurities at the molecular level. As water is sent through the medium, the surface of the medium forms chemical bonds with dissolved compounds, thus removing them … [Read More]

Why Many Marine Fish Benefit From Mature Tanks

Astute salties out there will likely have observed that in some of our fish species profiles, we emphasize the need to keep the fish in a “mature” aquarium—meaning one that has been set up and established for at least six months or so (not one that has progressed beyond telling horrible knock-knock jokes or taunting … [Read More]

The Seasoned Salty’s Take on Marine Fishkeeping Success

Last week, we ran a post titled “How Do We Measure Success with Hard-to-Keep Marine Species,” which inspired Paul “Seasoned Salty” Baldassano to share his insights on that question in his own, unique style. Read on for his impressions on the topic. – Editor With some hobbies, such as stamp or coin collecting, writing poetry, … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Alex Stamb’s Greek NSW-fueled Nano

We recently published an article about the challenges of collecting natural sea water (NSW) for your marine aquarium. In that week’s Saltwater Smarts newsletter, we asked any readers who used NSW in their aquarium to tell us about their experience. Alex Stamb, a physician from Greece, was one of the folks who answered our call, … [Read More]

How Do We Measure Success with Hard-to-Keep Marine Species?

“What do you mean the bluestreak cleaner wrasse is hard to keep? I once had one in my half-gallon pico tank for a year and a half, feeding it nothing but frozen brine shrimp and flake food, and it was as healthy as can be!” If you’ve spent any amount of time in this hobby, … [Read More]

The Beautiful, Beginner-Friendly Bubble Coral

Recently, I found myself musing over the livestock lineup I had in my first reef tank many years ago. Along with a variety of easy-to-keep soft corals and a handful of hardy fish, I fondly recalled that I also had a solitary large-polyp stony (LPS) coral that brought me a lot of enjoyment—a bubble coral, … [Read More]

The Psychedelic Sixline Wrasse

Whenever I’m asked to recommend a hardier, similarly sized, and equally attractive alternative to the green mandarinfish, the first species that usually pops into my mind is the sixline wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia). If you can acquire a healthy specimen, you’ll find this stunning—but somewhat feisty and mischievous—species virtually bulletproof and well worth the usually modest … [Read More]

The Role of Activated Carbon in the Reef Aquarium

Of the three types of filtration used in the reef aquarium hobby today, biological, mechanical, and chemical, it is chemical filtration that is possibly the least understood. This post is all about activated carbon, the most popular type of chemical filtration used in aquariums. What is activated carbon? Activated carbon is a chemical filtration media … [Read More]

5 Good Reasons to Spend Time Observing Your Saltwater Fish

With today’s chaotic schedules, it’s the norm for many marine aquarium hobbyists to see their fish only in passing (e.g., catching a fleeting glimpse when tossing in some food just before heading off to work) or when performing routine maintenance chores. But there are several good reasons not to sell yourself—or your fish—short with respect … [Read More]

You Can Succeed with the Copperband Butterflyfish

Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) are among my favorite fish and have almost always been a staple in my tank since the saltwater hobby started in the 70s. It’s not just the beauty of the distinct black-bordered yellow stripes on a silver body, but the unusual shape of this species that appeals to me. The snout, … [Read More]