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]

Harlequin Shrimps: Seeing Stars (On the Menu)

Somewhat comical and cartoonish in both name and appearance, harlequin shrimps (Hymenocera picta) are not invertebrates to be purchased on a whim. Keeping these critters, as I’ll soon explain, demands an investment of cash and effort that not every marine aquarium hobbyist is willing to undertake. Not to mention, their very narrow feeding habits are … [Read More]

Seeing Red: The Colorful, Cantankerous Maroon Clownfish

Many of the clownfishes have a well-deserved reputation for feistiness. But there’s one clown that makes all the others seem like milquetoasts by comparison—the maroon clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus) from the Indo-West Pacific. Though it’s among the hardier and more strikingly colored clownfish species, P. biaculeatus definitely takes aggression to new heights, making tankmate compatibility the … [Read More]

Tinker’s Butterflyfish: Beautiful, Hardy, and Way Beyond My Wages

Novice marine aquarium hobbyists—especially those making the transition from freshwater to saltwater fishkeeping—commonly experience “sticker shock” when they see the prices of many marine species offered in the trade. After all, when you’re accustomed to spending only a few dollars to a few tens of dollars for freshwater fishes, even the least expensive marine fish … [Read More]