Marine Fish Propagation System at the Toledo Zoo

Guest post by Laurie Dixon, Toledo Zoo Aquarium lead keeper You’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it can take thousands of copepods to raise one larval fish. Our curator of fishes, Jay Hemdal, and I recently went to a grant-funded workshop in Bristol, Rhode Island, to learn how … [Read More]

The Sturdy but Shy Marine Betta

With its dark-brown body covered with a myriad of tiny white to pale-blue dots, the marine betta, a.k.a comet (Calloplesiops altivelis) is truly a dazzling sight to behold. Start out with a healthy specimen, and you’ll find it’s also a fairly hardy and rugged species despite its somewhat delicate appearance and shy nature. But success … [Read More]

In the Marine Aquarium Hobby, “Close Enough” Just Won’t Cut It!

When it comes to achieving success with a marine aquarium, there’s a certain “X Factor” that comes into play—the hobbyist’s attention to detail. Let’s face it, some of us are pretty focused on making sure every parameter, measurement, calculation, and setting is spot on, while others tend to be a bit more, well, lackadaisical in … [Read More]

Elasmobranch Enthusiasts (Part 2): Modern Husbandry – Diet

From the ferocious great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) to the graceful white-spotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari), Elasmobranchii are a diverse group of boneless fishes that are circumglobal, inhabiting a diverse array of habitats, temperature ranges, salinities, and niches in the world’s oceans and rivers. It is no wonder that these unique creatures, while usually boasting … [Read More]

Harlequin Shrimps: Seeing Stars (On the Menu)

Somewhat comical and cartoonish in both name and appearance, harlequin shrimps (Hymenocera picta) are not invertebrates to be purchased on a whim. Keeping these critters, as I’ll soon explain, demands an investment of cash and effort that not every marine aquarium hobbyist is willing to undertake. Not to mention, their very narrow feeding habits are … [Read More]

Experiencing Singapore’s Stunning S.E.A. Aquarium

Visiting public aquariums can be a hit-or-miss experience. There are many aquariums that are less than dazzling to the trained eye of a reef aquarium hobbyist. If ever there was a downside to our experience in this hobby, it is the fact that we have seen what really constitutes a great looking saltwater tank. Much … [Read More]

DIY Marine Aquarium Chiller

Aquatic creatures, with the exception of mammals, are all cold-blooded animals. Some sharks and tuna slightly warm their blood through the movement of their muscles, but we don’t normally keep pelagic sharks or tuna in our tanks, so we don’t have to discuss those. But for the rest of the livestock we keep, it is … [Read More]

The Fantastic Fishing Gear of Antennariid Anglerfishes

As someone who enjoys a day on the water fishing, I have to give a tip of the hat to the various anglerfishes (a.k.a. frogfishes) of the family Antennariidae. These incredibly cryptic fishes make us human anglers look like rank amateurs. After all, to pursue our fishing passion, we have to purchase rods, reels, line, … [Read More]

5 Types of Marine Fish that are Reef Safe with Caveats

When we say a marine fish is “reef safe,” we usually mean that it won’t eat the corals or other sessile invertebrates that we keep in reef systems. Using that definition, we can easily determine that, for example, the peaceful, planktivorous purple dartfish (Nemateleotris decora) is completely reef safe but the exquisite butterflyfish (Chaetodon austriacus), … [Read More]

Toledo Zoo Aquarium Renovation – Update 12: A Work in Progress

Salties who have been following the $25.5 million renovation of the Toledo Zoo’s Aquarium (slated for completion in 2015) might be wondering about the status of the project since we haven’t provided an update in a while. Well, we can assure you that the renovation is moving right along. The following pictorial will give you … [Read More]