Chalk Bass: A Caribbean Jewel Custom Made for Marine Aquariums

Anyone who has visited Saltwater Smarts on a regular basis knows that Chris has a bizarre fixation on Caribbean species. No livestock—fish or invertebrate—originating outside the Caribbean/tropical Western Atlantic is allowed in his tank. If he could, he’d probably go so far as to encase his entire fish room in a plastic bubble and pump … [Read More]

Win a Jager Heater, Mag Drive, and Koralia Powerhead

Heat and flow are two crucial aspects of any tropical marine aquarium. The following products are furnished by our friends at Drs. Foster & Smith will help cover your bases. It features a Eheim Jager 300w heater, Danner Supreme Classic Mag Drive 7 water pump, and a Hydor Koralia Evolution powerhead. The retail value of … [Read More]

Leptoseris: A Stunning Newcomer to the Reefkeeping Scene

When you have been in the hobby a long time, you tend to see a lot of the same things over and over again. I often become desensitized to some of the most beautiful fish in the world because I’ve seen them so many times over the course of 30 years (mandarin dragonets, for example). … [Read More]

Saltwater Smarts Celebrates First Anniversary: Thank You for a Terrific Year!

One year ago today, Saltwater Smarts officially went live and a concept that had been percolating in Chris’s head for several years finally came to fruition. He had envisioned a unique online community providing reliable, authoritative information on the marine aquarium hobby, with the mission of promoting sustainability through education. When Chris first pitched the … [Read More]

When New Marine Fish Die, You Need to Find Out Why!

As many marine aquarium hobbyists have discovered, adding “just one more fish” to an already-established community can, on occasion, be surprisingly problematic. In some instances, every new specimen that’s added lives only a short time, either succumbing to some unknown malady or finding some little gap in the cover to jump through and ending up … [Read More]

Win a Majano Wand & Destroy Pest Anemones

Whether you currently have a pest anemone problem or want to be prepared to thwart an infestation in the future, you need to have a Majano Wand in your arsenal. So we’re giving one away to a lucky winner ($115 retail value)! The Majano Wand is a reef-safe solution that emits electricity in order to … [Read More]

How Big is Bite-Sized in Marine Aquarium Fish?

A novice hobbyist once asked me whether there’s a particular “rule of thumb” with respect to the size of fish that can be kept in the same tank with a predatory fish, such as a lionfish or grouper. He’d heard somewhere that the other fish would need to be at least half the size of … [Read More]

A Fishy Biology Lesson From Paul

Though fish are our distant cousins, there are more differences than similarities between us. In today’s post, I’d like to explore the various characteristics that make a fish a fish—or not. Skeletal distinctions Of course, not all fish are the same and the oldest fish are not truly fish. True fish have bones somewhat like … [Read More]

Don’t Let the Water Flow Slow in Your Marine Aquarium

We’ve mentioned several times here at Saltwater Smarts how the output of reef aquarium lighting gradually and imperceptibly shifts away from the desired level over time. But did you know a very similar phenomenon can occur with the rate of water flow in your aquarium system? That’s right! If certain simple steps aren’t taken on … [Read More]

A Brief History of the Saltwater Aquarium Hobby

Our hobby of keeping saltwater fish for the sole purpose of pleasure is not very old. People have been keeping fish for thousands of years, but virtually all of those fish were used as food. Asian cultures have been culturing carp and koi for enjoyment for centuries, but those are freshwater fish. Roots in Merry … [Read More]