The Marine Aquarist’s Greatest Asset

If someone were to ask you (perhaps with a gun held to your head, as is so often the case in these hypothetical scenarios) to identify the one thing that no aspiring marine aquarist should be without, what would your answer be? A top-of-the-line protein skimmer? The best synthetic sea salt mix on the market? … [Read More]

Sweet Coral Hind! A Colorful, Aquarium-Sized Grouper

The name “grouper” conjures up images of underwater behemoths that no home aquarium can conceivably accommodate, such as the legendary goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara). Fortunately, marine aquarium hobbyists who have a yen for these hefty predators can find several attractive, aquarium-sized species in the genus Cephalopholis, including the justifiably popular miniata grouper (C. miniata), aka … [Read More]

What to Consider when Converting a Fish-only Tank to a Reef System

“Caribbean Chris” and I are very frequently asked what it takes to convert a fish-only marine aquarium to a reef system containing corals and other sessile invertebrates. Can you just go ahead and add the invertebrates? Can you modify the existing system to suit the corals, or do you have to start the whole thing … [Read More]

Tank Profile: Marco Pardun’s 104-gallon Room Divider Triton Reef

When I first came across this aquarium, it caught my eyes for a variety of reasons. First and foremost was the variety of color in its inhabitants. Next is the fact that it is a room divider (something I’ve always wanted to build) and the whole setup is really sleek, very clean, and well executed. … [Read More]

Beware Multiple Saltwater Aquarium Syndrome!

It starts innocently enough. You’ve had a fish-only marine tank up and running for quite some time and would like to try your hand at reefkeeping—so one aquarium becomes two. Maybe then you realize that you need to rehome a fish that has outgrown its aquarium or is bullying its tankmates. You can’t bear to … [Read More]

Marine Fish Compatibility Concerns You Might Not Have Considered

When we think of compatibility problems between marine fish, what usually comes to mind is one specimen behaving outright aggressively toward another with the underlying motive of establishing territorial dominance or acquiring a meal. But sometimes incompatibility among fish has less to do with overt aggression or hungriness than, shall we say, differing “piscinalities.” Here … [Read More]

Bellevue H.S. Marine Science Lab Expands

Last year I introduced you to David Bowers and the incredible marine science classroom laboratory he runs at Bellevue High School in Ohio, USA. Over the last 20 years, David and his students have transformed the humble classroom from a single modest aquarium to one of the best self-funded high school marine biology programs in … [Read More]

The Flame Hawkfish: a Vision in Red

I’ve long been a fan of the hawkfishes, and many a specimen has graced my various tanks over the years—most often the readily available and affordable (for me) Falco’s hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco). But another hawk that I’ve always found particularly endearing is Neocirrhites armatus, the flame hawkfish. Hobbyists looking for an eye-catching splash of color … [Read More]

Fish Are Superior to People!

Why do I make this claim? Well, primarily to capture your attention. But think about some of the things fish can do that we cannot. For example, we two-legged beings can go forward, backward, and from side to side. Fish can do that too, but they can also go up and down, and they can … [Read More]

HLLE and the Activated Carbon Connection

Many different factors have been considered as possible causes of the disease known as Head and Lateral Line Erosion (HLLE)—a condition that typically causes disfiguring tissue erosion on the head and along the sensory lateral line of certain marine fishes. Poor water quality, nutritional deficiencies, protozoa of the genus Hexamita, stray voltage, and activated carbon … [Read More]