Salty Q&A: Can We Do Better for Beginners than Caveat Emptor?

Question I recently had a frustrating experience at a major chain pet store in my area. I watched as the aquarium department salesperson sold a type of butterflyfish that has a very specialized diet to a self-identified newbie, and he didn’t bother to tell this customer anything about it. The fish probably isn’t going to … [Read More]

The Many Benefits of the Reef Aquarium Sump

I hate clutter. Unfortunately, clutter and reef aquariums come hand in hand, especially as the devices start to pile up. Want to add a calcium reactor? Get ready to deal with power cords going to the main pump, the feed pump, and the solenoid, not to mention tubing going to and from the tank as … [Read More]

The Pacific Sailfin Tang: A Hardy, Bold Species Demanding Spacious Accommodations

The Pacific sailfin tang (Zebrasoma velifer), not to be confused with its Red Sea namesake (Zebrasoma desjardinii), is a fish with many attributes that make it desirable to marine aquarium hobbyists—it’s attractive, hardy, bold, easy to feed, etc. But don’t be deceived by that cute little specimen on display at your LFS. Z. velifer also … [Read More]

Is It Possible to Overdo Marine Aquarium Water Changes?

In a recent meandering conversation I had with my freshwater-pond-keeping brother-in-law, the question of water change volume and frequency was raised—specifically whether it’s stressful to the livestock if you perform them too frequently or change out too much water at once. My take on the question is that when it comes to water changes, the … [Read More]

The 5 Most Common Mistakes Experienced Marine Aquarists Make

Ever notice that there are lots of articles and posts out there with titles like “The Top 10 Mistakes Novice Marine Aquarists Make”? Considering that newcomers are generally much more susceptible to making major errors than their experienced counterparts are, this stands to reason. However, just because the slip-up spotlight is usually focused on newbies … [Read More]

Salty Q&A: Can Powerheads Be Concealed in Rockwork?

Question I have a new 60-gallon reef tank, and I’m using two powerheads to provide water circulation. One is mounted in the upper right-hand corner of the tank near the back and the other is in the lower left-hand corner near the front. My problem is, while the powerheads are providing good water flow, I … [Read More]