4 Crabby Caveats to Keeping Clibanarius tricolor

Clibanarius tricolor, the blue-legged hermit crab, is very commonly introduced to marine aquaria, either in conspecific groups or as part of a multi-species “reef janitor” package or “cleanup crew” (aka “CUC” for those who just can’t get enough of those marine aquarium acronyms), for the purpose of aiding in detritus and algae control. But does … [Read More]

Why Isn’t Cryptocaryon irritans a Major Problem for Wild Marine Fish?

During yesterday’s Thanksgiving get-together, which my wife and I host for my side of the family every year, a teenaged nephew asked me about marine ich (Cryptocaryon irritans)—the one fish disease he’s heard something about from a friend who keeps saltwater tanks. As I explained the parasite and its lifecycle and why I think it’s … [Read More]

How Simple Can You Get with Your Marine Aquarium?

While the title of this post puts me in mind of a song performed by Nick Rivers in the 1984 comedy film Top Secret, it’s a question many a novice has posed before setting up his or her first marine aquarium. How basic can it be? Or, put another way, what equipment is absolutely essential … [Read More]

Finding Dory Release Announced—Is a P. hepatus Craze in Our Future?

Well, the word is out that Finding Dory, the long-anticipated sequel to Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, is finally slated for release in June of 2016. If the impact of the sequel is anything like that of the original—a lot of youngsters clamoring to keep the film’s “star” as a pet—then I suspect that beginning next summer, … [Read More]

Treating a Sick Marine Fish? First Do No Harm!

When a fish in our care gets sick, it’s a perfectly understandable impulse to want to throw every cure we can lay our hands on at the problem. But sometimes rushing ahead with a medication or other treatment can do more harm than good. In the following excerpt from his book The Salt Smart Guide … [Read More]

Tridacna derasa: A Good Excuse to Clam Up!

Of all the Tridacna spp. clams available to hobbyists, perhaps the hardiest and easiest to maintain of them all is Tridacna derasa, the so-called smooth giant clam. This species is so smooth, in fact, that amorous, gold-chain-wearing male specimens have been overhead in bars making comments like, “Say, did it hurt when you fell from … [Read More]

Sometimes You Need to Overfeed Your Fish

You’ve heard time and again, here at Saltwater Smarts and elsewhere, that overfeeding is one of the surest ways to cause ill health in fish and pollute your aquarium water. The usual recommendation is to offer foods in very small quantities that the fish can consume within just a few minutes. And when it comes … [Read More]

Some Subtle Signs that a Fish is Sick

Most marine aquarium hobbyists learn quickly to identify common warning signs of ill health in fish—white spots, excessive mucus production, bulging eyes, frayed fins, etc. But sometimes ailing fish exhibit much more subtle symptoms that are evident only to someone with powers of observation honed by many decades of experience. In the following excerpt from … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Water Changes: Don’t Postpone the Personal Payoff!

Yesterday, I finally got around to performing an overdue water change in my 125-gallon tank. Admiring the fruits of my labor afterward, I couldn’t help wondering, “Why on earth do I wait so long to do these when the result is always so rewarding?” Actually, I know exactly why I wait so long, and it’s … [Read More]

4 Good Reasons to Be a Marine Aquarium Mentor

Though in many ways keeping a marine aquarium is easier today than it’s ever been, entry into our hobby is still fraught with confusion. To a large extent, this can be attributed to the incredible variety of choices available nowadays for meeting the husbandry requirements of marine livestock as well as solving various problems that … [Read More]