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]

Pros and Cons of the Long-Term Marine Aquarium

Many marine fish can survive in captivity for decades, and many corals and other sessile invertebrates can hang in there, well, who knows how long. In any case, maintaining a marine aquarium “for the long term” can mean an awfully long time. Just ask Paul B, author of The Avant Garde Marine Aquarist. His current … [Read More]

Diodon holocanthus: an Endearing Puffer for Spacious Aquariums

Circumtropical in distribution and ascribed more common names than one can possibly keep straight (spiny puffer, porcupine puffer, porcupinefish, longspined porcupinefish, and balloon porcupinefish, to list but a few), Diodon holocanthus can be a worthy, very pet-like aquarium candidate. This species does, however, have certain non-negotiable needs to be met if it is to live … [Read More]

5 Traits of a “Beginner” Marine Fish

What exactly does it mean when we say that a marine fish is “good for beginners”? After all, it’s not like certain fish species come with training wheels or have a set of care instructions tattooed on their dorsal fins (though I may just have to patent that idea). So what sets a “beginner fish” … [Read More]

When Piscine Personalities Collide: Incompatible Energy

When trying to determine whether different species of marine fish will cohabit peacefully in the same aquarium, we usually ask ourselves whether the combination will result in one fish eating another or whether interspecific squabbling is likely to be an issue based on disparate levels of territorial aggression. If we can answer “no” to each … [Read More]

When Should Squabbling Marine Fish Be Separated?

I recently introduced a Kole tang to my tank, and it keeps getting in fights with the resident yellow tang. So far, neither one has been seriously hurt, but I’m worried about where this is heading. Do I need to separate these two, or will they eventually chill out and coexist peacefully?” Over the years, … [Read More]

Humbug Damsel: Prepping for the Hunt

There’s a reason I chose to spotlight Dascyllus aruanus, the humbug or three-striped damselfish, in this profile. “Caribbean” Chris and I will soon be matching wits with four representatives of this species that have laid claim to a large marine aquarium situated in one of our local coffee shops. Steve, the shop’s owner, is at … [Read More]

4 Acclimation Stage Issues for Marine Aquarium Fish

When we consider the term “acclimation” as it relates to marine aquarium fish, we usually think of the relatively brief period during which—with the hobbyist’s help—they gradually adjust to the temperature, pH, and other water parameters in a new system. But in actuality, it takes several days to weeks after introduction for a fish to … [Read More]

Picasso Triggerfish: A Marine Aquarium Masterpiece

Certain fishes available in the marine aquarium trade are truly bizarre in their coloration and patterning. Ranked high among them when it comes to both exotic appearance and aquarium adaptability is Rhinecanthus aculeatus, better known as the Picasso triggerfish or the Humuhumu triggerfish. This latter appellation (which is also applied to the closely related and … [Read More]

Genicanthus lamarck: An Elegant, Reef-Safe Angelfish

Owing to the natural tendency of many species to nip at or outright consume sessile invertebrates, angelfishes are often of dubious suitability when it comes to their inclusion in reef aquariums. However, at least one angelfish—Lamarck’s angel (Genicanthus lamarck)—is generally very well behaved in reef systems and quite attractive to boot. Physical traits G. lamarck … [Read More]