Halichoeres chrysus: A Hardy Little “Banana with Fins” That’s Just Right for Beginners

Known by a variety of common names—banana wrasse, canary wrasse, golden wrasse, yellow coris, et al—Halichoeres chrysus is hardy, readily available, reasonably affordable, well suited to modest-sized systems, and among the better choices for beginners. Of course, owing to all these positive attributes, this wrasse is justifiably popular among many seasoned salties, as well. Physical … [Read More]

Paul B’s Unique Perspective on Keeping Mandarins

Hobby pioneer Paul “Paul B” Baldassano is not your grandfather’s reefkeeper (though he is old enough to be your grandfather!). Nor is his book, The Avant-Garde Marine Aquarist: A 60-Year History of Fishkeeping, anything like your grandfather’s hobby literature. In fact, Paul B’s perspective on just about any aspect of the marine aquarium hobby is … [Read More]

A Proven Method for Treating Bacterial Infection in Anemones

Recently I had an urge to get back into keeping anemones and planned on setting up an anemone-specific aquarium with the 90-gallon tank I resealed. I knew I wanted to start looking at what has been out in the market recently and understand in what state of health they have been received at the local … [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]

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]

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]

Aquaculturing Dory

Yep, you read that right…and, no, I am not talking about “tank-raised,” a term sometimes mistaken for “tank-bred.” “Tank-raised” (taking young post-planktonic-stage fish and raising them to sellable size) Pacific blue tangs have been available for quite some time (at least since 2011), but breeding and raising Paracanthurus hepatus has eluded aquarists since captive breeding … [Read More]

Indigo Hamlet: A Comely Sea Bass Suited to Modest-Sized Systems

The family Serranidae, the sea basses (not to be confused with a certain film character portrayed by Cam Neely), is a diverse assemblage of fishes ranging in size from tank-busting “bruisers” to diminutive species that are well suited to life in home aquaria. Included among the aquarium-friendly types are the so-called hamlets of the genus … [Read More]

5 Circumstances that Warrant a Species (or Specimen) Tank

A diverse community of marine fishes presents quite a visual feast, especially when housed in a reef system brimming with colorful corals. However, in some stocking situations, it’s preferable to avoid the “typical” marine community (if there is such a thing) in favor of a single-species or even a single-specimen tank. Ah, but if you … [Read More]

Threadfin Cardinalfish: Peaceful and Most Impressive in Numbers

Walk by an LFS sales tank containing a few specimens of threadfin cardinalfish (Zoramia leptacantha), and you might not give them a second glance. Chromatically speaking, this species isn’t exactly a showstopper compared to some, especially when viewed in your average LFS environment. But don’t let this cardinal’s unassuming appearance fool you; it can make … [Read More]