Sarcophyton Leather Corals: Attractive, Toxic, and Tough as Nails

When it comes to hardiness, ease of care, and general adaptability, few corals can compare to those of the genus Sarcophyton—the so-called toadstool, or mushroom, leather corals. Despite their lack of chromatic brilliance, they’re also pretty neat looking to boot. Physical traits As their common name implies, Sarcophyton spp. are typically mushroom- or toadstool-shaped—a solitary … [Read More]

Reefing from Afar, Part 4: The Wong Solution

The last article discussed some of the quick and simple ways to take care of your reef while being away for just a short period of time. Due to my work responsibilities, which require travel around the world for two- to three-week periods at a time, I need as much automation as possible and confidence … [Read More]

What a Difference a (Good) Protein Skimmer Makes!

Here at Saltwater Smarts, we’re not, generally speaking, in the business of writing product reviews. But when we have positive personal experiences with products that we think can make your life easier—and are available at a reasonable cost—we want to pass that information along. Such has been my experience with the Coral Vue Octopus AC20287 … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Acronyms: SPS and LPS Defined

It’s been far too long since I last attempted to dissect the dizzying “alphabet soup” of acronyms we marine aquarium hobbyists use to simplify our terminology. So, for today’s post, I’d like to clarify two particular acronyms that arise early and often in every newcomer’s journey to the salty side—SPS and LPS. What do they … [Read More]

The Royal Dottyback: Pretty but Potentially a Royal Pain

Often described as a purple fish that looks like it’s been dipped in yellow paint (or is it a yellow fish that’s been dipped in purple paint?), the royal, or bicolor, dottyback (Pictichromis paccagnellae) is a visually stunning marine species with the added benefits of being very hardy, easy to feed, and suitable for relatively … [Read More]

How Can You Prevent Marine Fish from Jumping Out of Tanks?

Take away their trampolines, of course! Okay, being serious now, far too many marine fish are lost unnecessarily when they leap from their tank and become “carpet jerky.” While jumping is among the most common (if not the most common) causes of aquarium fish death, it’s also the most easily avoided. Remember, all fish can … [Read More]

The Marine Aquarist as Environmental Scapegoat

Some years ago, I read a rather unflattering feature article in a local newspaper about the reefkeeping hobby and its impact on the natural reefs. To say this piece was biased, wretchedly researched, and wholly unsupported would be putting it mildly. In a nutshell, the author’s point was that we aquarium hobbyists savage the world’s … [Read More]

Salt Speak – Episode 5: Florida Keys Fish & Invert Collection

For this fifth episode of Salt Speak, I wanted to get the inside scoop from someone working the front lines in the fish and invertebrate collection portion of the saltwater aquarium industry. So I sat down with Kara Rauch of KP Aquatics to discuss the different aspects of operating a small collecting business in the … [Read More]

5 Ways to Make Marine Aquarium Maintenance Easier

Routine maintenance is an unavoidable aspect of marine aquarium keeping, but let’s face it, most of us would much rather spend our time enjoying the fruits of our labor than actually doing said labor. With that in mind, anything we can do to make our aquarium-maintenance chores less burdensome and time-consuming significantly increases the odds … [Read More]

Reefing from Afar, Part 3: The Bare-Bones Basics of Automation

In Part 2 of this series, I discussed some of the possibilities for automating your reef system based on your needs. Now that you have a few ideas of what you can automate, I’d like to offer a simple recipe and combination to help take care of your system when you’re away for a short … [Read More]