Oddball Reef System Symbiosis

Symbiotic relationships are among the most interesting aspects of this hobby. A coral reef is a battlefield for real estate; however, there are still amazing examples of cooperation between completely different animals. Everyone is very familiar with clownfish and anemones, and for good reason! This combination is likely responsible for drawing more people into the … [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]

The Best Beginner Large-Polyp Stony Corals

Throughout my years as an aquarium enthusiast, I have followed all the advice from all the books I could get my hands on since there were no other hobbyists with the same interest as I in my circle of friends growing up. My aquatic progression took the following path: 5-gallon slate & stainless-steel-framed fancy guppy … [Read More]

The Best Beginner Small-Polyp Stony Corals

Upon entering the world of small polyp stony corals (or SPS), many people ask the magic question, “Which types are best for beginners?” In my opinion the most beginner-friendly choices are found in the genera Montipora, Pocillopora, Seriatopora, and Stylophora. Most of the corals I’ll discuss here are commonly available, so there should be a … [Read More]

So Much to Dig about Montipora digitata!

As I grew to love SPS corals, one in particular stood out and caught my eye: Montipora digitata. I have found M. digitata to be a fast-growing, hardy SPS coral that, once established in a well-balanced reef tank, can really take off in growth. This coral also has very unique growth patterns and comes in … [Read More]

Anemone Lookalike: The Long-Tentacled Plate Coral

Easily mistaken for an anemone at first glance, Heliofungia actiniformis is a large-polyp stony (LPS) coral that can be an excellent option for reefkeepers with modest-sized systems. Even relative newcomers to the reefkeeping hobby can succeed with this species, provided they make the effort to satisfy its few special care requirements. Physical traits Commonly known … [Read More]

6 Ways to Prevent Photoshock in Aquarium Corals

Many of the corals and other sessile invertebrates we keep in reef aquariums are considered “photosynthetic,” meaning much of their nutrition is produced by photosynthetic algae (zooxanthellae) residing in their tissues. Thus, there is a direct link between the type and intensity of a reef aquarium’s lighting and the health—or even survival—of the corals and … [Read More]