The Deep Dive on Reef Aquarium Lighting, Part 2: Lighting Technologies

I get asked fairly often what light is the best light. Unfortunately, there is no right answer. First off, there is the difference in aesthetics. That is a purely subjective decision that only hobbyists can make for themselves. Most of the time hobbyists gravitate towards the blue end of the spectrum because it is very … [Read More]

The Deep Dive on Reef Aquarium Lighting, Part 1: Zooxanthellae, Color Temperature, and Light Intensity

Lighting is important because it directly affects how we visually enjoy the hobby and, more importantly, the vast majority of the corals in our tanks are photosynthetic. In this two-part article, we will first cover some of the basics of the light itself and then discuss the various lighting technologies people use to light their … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: Is My Lionfish Going Blind?

Question I have a volitans lionfish that’s been in my 200-gallon tank for over two years, and lately it has begun to act like it can’t see. At feeding times, it makes an effort to grab food that’s drifting by but usually misses—like it can tell that food is in the water but can’t see … [Read More]

Nothing Mysterious about the Mystery Wrasse’s Charms

Pseudocheilinus ocellatus, the mystery wrasse (aka the tail-spot wrasse, white-barred wrasse, or five-barred wrasse), is somewhat uncommon in the hobby and usually priced accordingly. But if you can get past the sticker shock for such a modest-sized fish, you’ll find this species can be a worthy aquarium candidate. Physical traits Exhibiting the banana-with-fins morphology typical … [Read More]

Reef Lighting and Coral Aesthetics

I always say that you only really need three things to be successful in this hobby: good water quality, good water flow, and good light. All of those things are pretty involved, but lighting in particular gets a lot of discussion because of the three, it is the most expensive and the thing that is … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: To Rinse or not to Rinse Frozen Foods?

Question This is probably a silly question, but should I rinse frozen food before feeding it to my fish? I usually just thaw the food in a cup full of aquarium water and pour it right in.” – Submitted by GMan Answer Here at Saltwater Smarts, the only silly question is the one left unasked … [Read More]

The Long Island Aquarium: A Pleasant Surprise Near the Tip of the Island

If you are ever visiting NYC and have time for a day trip out on Long Island, I would highly suggest the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center out in Riverhead as an excellent family destination. The center is about a one-hour drive from Queens on the Long Island Expressway. As an added benefit, there … [Read More]

Freckled Hawkfish: A Hardy, Hefty Option for the Rough-and-Tumble Tank

When it comes to keeping hawkfishes in aquaria, one of the more common admonitions is to avoid housing these predators with fish or crustaceans small enough to swallow. For most of the hawkfish species that grace our tanks, which generally have a maximum size somewhere between 3 and 5 inches, only very small tankmates are … [Read More]