I Wish I Were a Fish—with a Lateral Line System!

Everything about fish is amazing and fascinating. To me, the most fascinating thing about fish (beside their taste) is their lateral line system. The lateral line is the most important thing fish possess because without it, they would get around about as well as a supermodel in a bikini but no high heels. All fish … [Read More]

The Petite but Somewhat Pugnacious Atlantic Pygmy Angelfish

Having very recently departed the state of Ohio and resettled his family down in the Florida Keys, Caribbean Chris has had to part with his beloved, long-established Caribbean-biotope tank. He’s also had to come to terms with the reality that the specimens he bequeathed to me are now gracelessly intermingled with my Indo-Pacific species. So, … [Read More]

Does a Naturalistic Environment Reduce Stress in Aquarium Fish?

For today’s post, I’d like to elicit your thoughts on an interesting phenomenon I’ve observed in my aquarium, specifically involving an aggravating repetitive behavior exhibited until fairly recently by my pair of blue-throat triggerfish (Xanthichthys auromarginatus). Allow me to set the stage: I introduced the blue-throats to my 125-gallon about a year and a half … [Read More]

Special Considerations for Soft Coral Placement

In discussions of coral placement in reef aquaria, topics such as spacing between colonies, distance from the light source, level of water flow, sweeper tentacles, and coral chemical warfare (allelopathy) often predominate. But there are special considerations beyond these that one must take into account when determining the best placement for certain soft corals and … [Read More]

Mermaids, Megalodon, and Cyanide: A Real Look at the Aquarium Trade and the Battle Against Cyanide Collection

The ocean is full of the unknown, allowing people’s imaginations to run wild. Combine that with film producers, writers, or groups with a divisive agenda, and you get mockumentaries entertaining the idea of a monster shark as big as a submarine, the internet claiming cephalopods are from another planet, and articles with an extremely misguided … [Read More]

Understanding Old Tank Syndrome

Old Tank Syndrome, or OTS, is something we have been hearing about since the hobby started, and I am not quite sure exactly what it means. Is it due to parameters, loss of diversity, lack of interest, diseases, metal accumulation, global warming, locusts, or all of the above? I think it is much simpler than … [Read More]

The Top 5 Tips for Beginner Reefkeepers

I started the hobby before the internet became widely used, and information was sourced mainly through local fish stores. I was lucky enough to have some decent ones, but it was limited, no doubt. Today, beginning hobbyists have to deal with a cacophony of perspectives online, and it is difficult to sift out good information … [Read More]

The Yasha Shrimp Goby: A Hardy, Peaceful, Somewhat Rare Nano Reef Candidate

Certain marine fish pack a lot of visual and behavioral interest into a very small package. Such is the case with the yasha shrimp goby (Stonogobiops yasha), also sold under the common names whiteray shrimp goby, orange-striped shrimp goby, clown shrimp goby, and others. This little goby, hailing from the western Pacific, is strikingly colored … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: Is RO/DI Water All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Question I’ve been keeping saltwater aquariums for five years, and in all that time I’ve never used RO/DI water for top offs or mixing up clean salt water. I just use tap water treated with a dechlorinator / dechloraminator, and I’ve never had any problems. Could it be that people are exaggerating the benefits of … [Read More]

Specialized Care is Key to Success with Sun Corals

When ascribed to the various species of the genus Tubastraea, the common name “sun coral” is both fitting and ironic. It’s fitting when you consider that the spectacular polyps of many Tubastraea species can quite justifiably be described as sun-like in both color and shape. On the other hand, it’s ironic in that these species, … [Read More]