Stylophora: Achieve that SPS Aesthetic with Less-Demanding Corals

Stylophora are branching small-polyp stony corals from the Family Pocilloporidae. Stylophora shares that family with Pocillopora and Seriatopora, and the three together are the only genera in the family. As a result of their close relationship to one another, all three of these genera share quite a lot in common. What is immediately obvious is … [Read More]

Marine Aquarium Acronyms: PE Defined

The marine aquarium hobby is second only to the US military when it comes to the number of acronyms its members throw around. (Quite fittingly, this past Monday was the 27th anniversary of my DOE. Shortly after that date, I entered BMT as an A1C and did lots of PC under the direction of a … [Read More]

Specialized Care is Key to Success with Sun Corals

When ascribed to the various species of the genus Tubastraea, the common name “sun coral” is both fitting and ironic. It’s fitting when you consider that the spectacular polyps of many Tubastraea species can quite justifiably be described as sun-like in both color and shape. On the other hand, it’s ironic in that these species, … [Read More]

An Ultra-Low-Nutrient System for Acropora and other SPS

Welcome to the next level of coral care. By now I am assuming you have at least understood all the key general practices to maintain some of the hardier corals, from soft corals to large-polyp stony (LPS) corals to some of the more rugged small-polyp stony (SPS) corals. Each category of livestock can be classified … [Read More]

Ricordea florida: an Underappreciated Caribbean Beauty

As an American reefkeeper, it’s all too easy for me to forget that some truly gorgeous invertebrate livestock originates relatively close to home in the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean. I was reminded of this recently when CC entrusted several of his Caribbean specimens to my care in advance of his pending move to the … [Read More]

Symphyllia: So Stunning, Yet Success Eludes Me!

Symphyllia are some of the most colorful large-polyp stony corals out there. Their bodies resemble Lobophyllia in many ways, but unlike lobos, they have a much more diverse color arrangement. I’ve seen them come in just about every color imaginable, and it is very common for them to have large bands of colors. Unfortunately, I … [Read More]

Pocillopora Corals: Hardy, Adaptable Reef Architects

You may not be aware, but Pocillopora, despite being among the less popular stony corals in the reef aquarium hobby, are second only to Acropora in reef-building productivity in the wild. Their skeletons make up a huge portion of the reef’s structure in the ocean. Pocillopora are also among the most adaptable SPS corals in … [Read More]

Sarcophyton Leather Corals: Attractive, Toxic, and Tough as Nails

When it comes to hardiness, ease of care, and general adaptability, few corals can compare to those of the genus Sarcophyton—the so-called toadstool, or mushroom, leather corals. Despite their lack of chromatic brilliance, they’re also pretty neat looking to boot. Physical traits As their common name implies, Sarcophyton spp. are typically mushroom- or toadstool-shaped—a solitary … [Read More]

5 Myths About Marine Quarantine Tanks

Quarantine tanks are often discussed/written about as though they require very little effort, planning, or expense. Just dust off that 10-gallon plastic “critter keeper” sitting on the shelf, fill it with salt water, drop in a heater and sponge filter, and you’re good to go, right? Unfortunately, it’s not really that simple. One could argue … [Read More]

Good at Gardening? Try Reefkeeping!

Having once worked in the nursery and landscaping business, it often occurs to me that there are a surprising number of similarities between terrestrial gardening/landscaping and reefkeeping. I would even suggest that, in some ways, reefkeeping has more in common with gardening than with maintaining a freshwater or marine fish-only aquarium. Many of the elements … [Read More]