Reef Aquarium Carbon Dosing Clarified

Carbon dosing is a relatively new phenomenon in the reef aquarium hobby. The first I heard about it was around two years ago, and I hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought until recently. The goal of carbon dosing is to improve water quality by lowering nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates and phosphates can lead … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Roy Seine’s Alluring 312-Gallon Reef

When I came across a full-tank shot of this large aquarium, I knew I had to learn more about the system and its owner. Great profiles, large coral colonies, showcase-size specimens, and a clean bare-bottom layout all collaborate to catch the eye of many an aquarist, including myself. So let’s dive in…just try not to … [Read More]

You Can Help Discourage the Sale of Hard-to-Keep Marine Species

Regular Saltwater Smarts readers might wonder why we often post profiles of fish or invertebrates that are very difficult if not impossible to keep in home aquariums. After all, if we want to discourage you from buying these animals, why on earth do we go to all the trouble of describing them? Well, the answer … [Read More]

The Sohal Tang: A Big, Belligerent Beauty

The sohal tang (Acanthurus sohal) is one of many fish species available in the marine aquarium trade that should come with a warning label. It’s a gorgeous fish and generally very hardy, which is a plus, but anyone contemplating purchasing A. sohal should also be aware of its eventual size and often hyper-aggressive disposition. Physical … [Read More]

Elasmobranch Enthusiasts (Part 4): Modern Husbandry—Reproduction

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, salinity, and niches in the world’s oceans and rivers. It is no wonder that these unique creatures, while usually boasting … [Read More]

Visit at the Bellevue H.S. Marine Science Lab

When I think back to my high school days, I remember a 29-gallon freshwater aquarium in science class. Coincidentally, I donated most of the specimens in that tank to my teacher from my home aquariums. It served as more of a stereotypical science classroom fixture than a teaching tool. So I guess you could say … [Read More]

Don’t Get Burned by Flame Scallops!

Mention beautiful bivalves for the marine aquarium, and the various tridacnid clams (the so-called giant clams) will probably come to mind. Likely, the flame scallops of the genus Ctenoides will too. However, while the tridacnids have a fairly decent survival record in captivity if given proper care and a suitable environment, the flame scallops usually … [Read More]

4 Marine Aquarium Problems That Sneak up on You

There’s an old saying that only bad things happen quickly in a marine aquarium. That’s certainly true enough, but it’s also important to keep in mind that some problems that can affect the health and wellbeing of livestock tend to develop very gradually and almost imperceptibly over time. Here’s a quick (but by no means … [Read More]

Chaetodon kleinii: An Excellent Beginner’s Butterflyfish

The word “beginner” and “butterflyfish” aren’t often paired together, as so many of the butterflyfishes seem to present some manner of husbandry challenge, often related to diet. Still, certain butterflies have a well-deserved reputation for hardiness and general ease of care. Among them is Chaetodon kleinii, commonly called Klein’s butterflyfish but also known by a … [Read More]

Should You Try to Keep Pace with Evolving Marine Aquarium Practices?

Spend any amount of time in this hobby of ours, and you’ll soon realize that the methods and technologies favored for maintaining marine organisms are continually in flux. What’s considered dogma today is heresy tomorrow—and maybe back to dogma again later in the week. (If you doubt me, just ask PaulB! He’s seen more than … [Read More]