Oddball Reef System Symbiosis

Symbiotic relationships are among the most interesting aspects of this hobby. A coral reef is a battlefield for real estate; however, there are still amazing examples of cooperation between completely different animals. Everyone is very familiar with clownfish and anemones, and for good reason! This combination is likely responsible for drawing more people into the … [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]

Down to One Marine Aquarium—and So Far I’m Loving It!

For quite some time, I had at least two marine aquariums up and running—a 75-gallon reef tank and a 125-gallon FOWLR tank. As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors know, that 75-gallon tank had become something of a thorn in my side. Originally set up 15 years ago, what was once a nice mix of various soft … [Read More]

The Marine Aquarist’s Greatest Asset

If someone were to ask you (perhaps with a gun held to your head, as is so often the case in these hypothetical scenarios) to identify the one thing that no aspiring marine aquarist should be without, what would your answer be? A top-of-the-line protein skimmer? The best synthetic sea salt mix on the market? … [Read More]

Who is PIJAC and How Are They Helping Us?

Last week I told you about the recent Endangered Species Act (ESA) coral listings and how they could mean the end of our hobby. This week I wanted to take a closer look at Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) and what they’ve been doing to fight for our interests from this and future legislation. … [Read More]

Our Hobby is Under Attack

We are under attack; our hobby is under attack. We’re currently facing legislation that could put an end to our hobby as we know it. And no, I’m not sensationalizing the situation. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking you and your home aquarium(s) wouldn’t be affected, because they absolutely could. We first heard about … [Read More]

Coral Eye Candy, Vol. 1

For the first installment of Coral Eye Candy, we bring to you some absolutely stunning macro and extreme macro photos. In addition, you’ll find brief care requirements if you’re interested in keeping anything shown below in your reef aquarium. Enjoy! Event Horizon Acanthophyllia Lighting: Medium (50-150 PAR) Flow: Low Feeding: Benefits from direct feeding. Blue … [Read More]

Discosoma Mushrooms: Beautiful, Adaptable, Beginner-Friendly Corals

Some of the most beautiful creatures in this hobby are neither rare nor difficult to keep but get glossed over by experienced reef aquarists because they are not the “latest and greatest” coral specimens that landed on our shores. So today, I want to talk about Discosoma mushroom corallimorphs because they are both excellent for … [Read More]

Feeding Corals with Sustainable Aquatics Hatchery Diet

If you are unfamiliar with the Tidal Gardens coral farm, much of our aquaculture process depends on the fast growth of our corals and the long-term health of our colonies. Coral nutrition is a major factor. We constantly experiment with different foods for our coral. Corals that are fed consistently have dramatically improved coloration and … [Read More]

The Translucent Allure of Cynarina Corals

Cynarina are commonly referred to as meat corals or cat’s eye corals. They are large-polyp stony (LPS) corals that grow as a single massive polyp. In many ways, Cynarina share similar traits to Scolymia, Acanthophyllia, and bubble corals of the genus Plerogyra. They are very similar to Plerogyra in particular given that they both have … [Read More]