Diodon holocanthus: an Endearing Puffer for Spacious Aquariums

Circumtropical in distribution and ascribed more common names than one can possibly keep straight (spiny puffer, porcupine puffer, porcupinefish, longspined porcupinefish, and balloon porcupinefish, to list but a few), Diodon holocanthus can be a worthy, very pet-like aquarium candidate. This species does, however, have certain non-negotiable needs to be met if it is to live … [Read More]

Need Help from Fellow Hobbyists? Don’t Spare the Details!

We’ve all been there at one time or another: A major problem arises that’s causing livestock losses—and/or loss of sanity—and we need advice from local fish store staffers, the members of our favorite forum, website moderators, or just friendly local hobbyists on how to find a workable solution. However, when we’re desperate to resolve a … [Read More]

Top 10 Traits of a Successful Reefkeeper

As marine aquarium hobbyists, we can buy a lot of things to make our experience better and easier, but when it comes to long-term reefkeeping success, the “right stuff” doesn’t come from a store. In addition to a genuine love for marine life, the following 10 traits will serve you well on your journey to … [Read More]

Sometimes Fish Eat the Funniest Things!

Carnivorous fish eat meat, herbivorous fish eat algae/plants, and omnivorous fish eat both. That’s the order of things, and any fish we buy for our aquariums should fit nicely into one of these categories so we know exactly what to feed it, right? Well, if that’s the case, why on earth do my blue-chin triggers … [Read More]

Wishing I’d Chosen a Wider Marine Aquarium

I wouldn’t exactly say I have major regrets about choosing a standard 125-gallon tank for my current marine aquarium system, but if I had to do it all over again, I might go in a slightly different—rather, slightly wider—direction. For the benefit of any salties out there who are planning a new setup, I thought … [Read More]

Are You in Tankmate Aggression Denial?

Fish wounds and injuries can result from a variety of different influences, with tankmate aggression being among the more commonplace. Unfortunately, hobbyists don’t always recognize this problem right away when it manifests itself. Jay Hemdal, Curator of Fishes and Invertebrates for the Toledo Zoo, explains why in the following excerpt from his book The Salt … [Read More]

Rock Beauty Angelfish: a Finicky Feeder Best Left in the Sea

On one of my earliest dives down in the Florida Keys back in the 1990s, a gorgeous yellow and black angelfish caught my attention as I drifted over a section of reef. In my mind’s eye, I envision the angel hovering boldly above a large barrel sponge, but I can’t be sure whether that’s actually … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: Bay Window Reef Lighting?

Question I’m setting up my first reef aquarium and want to keep my approach as natural as possible. The room where I plan to place the tank has a really big bay window in it, and succulents and other sun-loving houseplants really thrive there. Is there any reason I can’t take advantage of all that … [Read More]

Astraea Snails Make Short Work of Algae

This past year, I rediscovered how great an army of snails can be. At Tidal Gardens, we go pretty light on cleanup crews in general. For example, there really aren’t any hermit crabs to speak of in our systems. In 5,000 gallons of reef tanks, there may be only one or two hermit crabs. Most … [Read More]

For Reefkeepers, It’s Always Something!

Caribbean Chris, who is currently in the process of moving his family down to Florida (apparently Ohio in mid-winter isn’t sufficiently tropical for his taste!), recently tore down his 127-gallon Caribbean reef biotope aquarium and bequeathed to me a variety of different invertebrates, including several species of gorgonian, rock flower anemones, Ricordea, lettuce corals, and … [Read More]