Salty Q&A: How Often Should Your Fish Fast?

Question I’ve been told that it’s a good idea to avoid feeding aquarium fish on occasion, for example once every week or once every other week. I guess this stands to reason because fish in nature can’t always get a meal. Do you agree with this, and if so, how frequently do you recommend doing … [Read More]

The Petite but Somewhat Pugnacious Atlantic Pygmy Angelfish

Having very recently departed the state of Ohio and resettled his family down in the Florida Keys, Caribbean Chris has had to part with his beloved, long-established Caribbean-biotope tank. He’s also had to come to terms with the reality that the specimens he bequeathed to me are now gracelessly intermingled with my Indo-Pacific species. So, … [Read More]

Sometimes Fish Eat the Funniest Things!

Carnivorous fish eat meat, herbivorous fish eat algae/plants, and omnivorous fish eat both. That’s the order of things, and any fish we buy for our aquariums should fit nicely into one of these categories so we know exactly what to feed it, right? Well, if that’s the case, why on earth do my blue-chin triggers … [Read More]

4 Crabby Caveats to Keeping Clibanarius tricolor

Clibanarius tricolor, the blue-legged hermit crab, is very commonly introduced to marine aquaria, either in conspecific groups or as part of a multi-species “reef janitor” package or “cleanup crew” (aka “CUC” for those who just can’t get enough of those marine aquarium acronyms), for the purpose of aiding in detritus and algae control. But does … [Read More]

Coral Catfish: Cute-Juvenile Syndrome with a Venomous Twist

A school of juvenile coral catfish (Plotosus lineatus) rolling and wriggling en masse along the ocean floor is among the more endearing sights one can behold in the marine realm. Not surprisingly, after seeing this phenomenon in nature or on video, many hobbyists are inspired to recreate it in their home aquaria. What’s more, individual … [Read More]

The Two-Stripe Damsel: Hardiness and Hostility in Equal Measure

Among the pomacentrids (damsels and clownfishes) are many species that rank exceptionally high when it comes to hardiness in aquaria (thus their once common use as tank cyclers) but also tend to mature into little hellions that can turn a peaceful community tank into an underwater war zone. The genus Dascyllus contains more than its … [Read More]

The Saddled Toby: Puffer Personality in a Small Package

Sometimes good things come in small packages. Such is the case with Canthigaster valentini, better known as the saddled toby, black-saddled toby, or Valentin’s toby (you may also see “sharpnose puffer” substituted for “toby” in various sources). Reaching only about 4 inches in total length and usually adapting well to aquarium conditions, this species can … [Read More]

Tomato Clownfish: A Stunning Beginner Fish Ripe for the Picking

Lately it seems many of the species profiles I’ve written have been on fish that either grow too large for the average home aquarium or are otherwise poor choices for aquarium keeping for one reason or another. By now, some of you salties out there might be wondering, “Does this guy ever write about species … [Read More]

Chaetodon kleinii: An Excellent Beginner’s Butterflyfish

The word “beginner” and “butterflyfish” aren’t often paired together, as so many of the butterflyfishes seem to present some manner of husbandry challenge, often related to diet. Still, certain butterflies have a well-deserved reputation for hardiness and general ease of care. Among them is Chaetodon kleinii, commonly called Klein’s butterflyfish but also known by a … [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]