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]

Marine Aquarium Aquascaping: The Rule of Thirds

Aficionados of freshwater planted aquariums have long understood that observing certain rules of composition when aquascaping with plants, rocks, driftwood, and other features can have a tremendous impact on an aquarium’s overall aesthetic impression. While we reefkeepers haven’t traditionally placed much emphasis on composition in our aquascaping approach—at least not in a formal sense—we can … [Read More]

What Hobbyists Can Learn when They Visit a Public Aquarium

Here in the US, the summer travel season is well underway, and popular attractions all across the nation are swarming with tourists. For those of us enamored with marine life, vacation travel often involves a visit to major public aquariums, where we can spend several quality hours figuratively immersed in the underwater realm. (Turns out … [Read More]

What’s Your Aquascaping Rock of Choice?

Today’s marine aquarists have more options than ever before when it comes to the types of rock used to aquascape their tanks—from live rocks, whether aquacultured or wild-harvested, to all manner of dry rocks and even natural-looking man-made rocks. Each type has its advantages and drawbacks, and the choice that’s best for any given hobbyist … [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]

The Pros and Cons of Aquascaping Marine Aquariums with Dry Rock

When aquascaping their tanks, marine aquarium hobbyists have the option of using live rock or dry rock (or some combination thereof) to create the foundational reef structure. Each of these options is completely workable but, as with every aspect of this hobby, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. So how to choose which … [Read More]

The Use of Negative Space in the Reef Aquarium Aquascape

One of the more interesting developments in the reefkeeping hobby, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the latest, greatest gadget or advance in water-quality-management methodology. Rather, it’s an evolving aesthetic in aquascaping. Bored with the traditional monolithic stack of rocks propped up against the back pane and consuming much of the tank’s volume, … [Read More]

Avoid These 5 Live Rock Aquascaping Pitfalls

Your long-anticipated live rock shipment has finally arrived at your doorstep, and you can’t wait to get it in your tank and start watching as life emerges from those gnarly chunks. Though you’re understandably eager to forge ahead putting the rocks in place, it’s critical at this stage to give more than passing thought to … [Read More]

Simple Tips for Effective Marine Aquarium Aquascaping

Since we launched Saltwater Smarts, we’ve been sprinkling the term “aquascaping” into our posts with reckless abandon. While many of you seasoned salties out there might be well acquainted with this term, others may find themselves scratching their heads each time they come across it. Aquascaping simply refers to the manner in which the rockwork, … [Read More]

6 Tips for Choosing the Right-Sized Tank for Saltwater Fish

Have you ever noticed that species profiles written about marine fish almost always include a recommended minimum tank size for the species? Have you also noticed that tank-size recommendations for the same species can vary wildly from one author, dealer, or fellow hobbyist to another? How can that be? The fact is, determining the appropriate … [Read More]