How to Prevent Fish from Stealing Coral Food

When it comes to acquiring food, fish will take the path of least resistance. And one of the best ways for a fish to score an easy meal is to snatch morsels away from their glacially slow-moving invertebrate tankmates. Heck, it’s practically like taking candy from a baby, except babies usually cry a lot louder … [Read More]

Why Kids Shouldn’t Keep Nemo with a Host Anemone

Ask any group of young children to name their favorite saltwater fish, and chances are nearly all of them will reply “the clownfish.” Of course, to most kids, “clownfish” is synonymous with “Nemo,” so the species they have in mind is Amphiprion ocellaris, not one of the other 28 Amphiprion species or the single species … [Read More]

Saltwater Smarts Turns Two: Another Gratifying Year in the Books!

It’s hard to believe that we’re celebrating our second anniversary here at Saltwater Smarts. When Caribbean Chris and I launched this site back in April of 2013, we had no idea how it would be received—or whether we’d even last more than a few months in such a crowded online space. We just had the … [Read More]

5 Maddening Things Marine Fish Do

I love marine fish. I really do. They’ve been part of my life for decades, and observing their beauty and behavior both in the wild and in aquaria seems to fulfill some primal need in me that’s, frankly, impossible to characterize. But then again, sometimes those scaly little creatures do things that absolutely drive me … [Read More]

Down to One Marine Aquarium—and So Far I’m Loving It!

For quite some time, I had at least two marine aquariums up and running—a 75-gallon reef tank and a 125-gallon FOWLR tank. As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors know, that 75-gallon tank had become something of a thorn in my side. Originally set up 15 years ago, what was once a nice mix of various soft … [Read More]

The French Angelfish: Pretty, Curious, and Well Worth the Tank Space!

One of my more enduring memories of diving in the Florida Keys was coming across a pair of French angelfish (Pomacanthus paru) gliding in unison above the reef. Unlike so many other fishes that dashed into hiding as I approached, the angels actually swam right into touching distance and seemed to take an interest in … [Read More]

What Constitutes a Marine Biotope Aquarium?

For today’s post, I’d like to take a slightly different tack than usual. By presenting my meandering thought process on the concept of marine biotope aquariums, I’m hoping to elicit some input from you, my fellow salties, on precisely how to define this term—or if we can even agree on a definition at all. The … [Read More]

5 Circumstances That Test Marine Aquarists’ Willpower

Several elements/traits are key to success in the marine aquarium hobby. Among them are a fundamental understanding of aquarium-keeping principles, the proper equipment for the type of system you plan to keep, diligent attention to maintenance and detail, willingness to research the needs of each and every organism acquired, and a good dose of patience. … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Terminology: “Nutrient Export” Defined

Among the myriad mysterious terms that might give neophyte marine aquarists a migraine (okay, I’ll stop with the gratuitous alliteration now) is “nutrient export.” What does this term mean? Is it just a fancy way of saying “filtration”? Well, not exactly, though certain forms of filtration do play a part. For our purposes, nutrient export … [Read More]

Quality Marine Receives Biota Marine’s Cultured Balistoides conspicillum

“Caribbean Chris” and I are proud to assert that promoting sustainability in the marine aquarium hobby is an important part of our mission. However, every now and again, we’re asked to clarify precisely what we mean by “sustainability” in this context. After all, we have no direct influence on livestock collection practices or the various … [Read More]