5 Circumstances that Warrant a Species (or Specimen) Tank

A diverse community of marine fishes presents quite a visual feast, especially when housed in a reef system brimming with colorful corals. However, in some stocking situations, it’s preferable to avoid the “typical” marine community (if there is such a thing) in favor of a single-species or even a single-specimen tank. Ah, but if you … [Read More]

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]

5 Cleaner Wrasse Myths

The introduction of Labroides spp. cleaner wrasses to marine aquarium systems is generally ill-advised. Though some hobbyists report success in keeping these obligate cleaners long term, the vast majority of specimens entering the market are doomed to perish prematurely from starvation. Nonetheless, despite their abysmal captive survival rate, people continue to buy these wrasses, likely … [Read More]

The Green Brittle Star: Little Fishy, Beware!

“Voracious predator” is not a term one commonly associates with brittle stars—that is, of course, unless the brittle star in question happens to be Ophiarachna incrassata, or the green brittle star (aka “the green death”). This bold species has a well-earned reputation for not merely scavenging deceased small fish and motile invertebrates, as one might … [Read More]

The Reef Aquarium After Hours: Four Reasons to Keep That Flashlight Handy

Anyone who has done any night diving knows that nighttime activity on coral reefs is very, very different from what goes on there during the day. A dramatic “changing of the guard” occurs, with diurnal fish seeking refuge in the reef and nocturnal predators and planktivores taking dominion. Parrotfishes, wedged in caves or crevices, cloak … [Read More]

Marine Fish Compatibility Concerns You Might Not Have Considered

When we think of compatibility problems between marine fish, what usually comes to mind is one specimen behaving outright aggressively toward another with the underlying motive of establishing territorial dominance or acquiring a meal. But sometimes incompatibility among fish has less to do with overt aggression or hungriness than, shall we say, differing “piscinalities.” Here … [Read More]

How Big is Bite-Sized in Marine Aquarium Fish?

A novice hobbyist once asked me whether there’s a particular “rule of thumb” with respect to the size of fish that can be kept in the same tank with a predatory fish, such as a lionfish or grouper. He’d heard somewhere that the other fish would need to be at least half the size of … [Read More]

The Many Faces of Mimicry in Marine Fish

In the fish-eat-fish world of the coral reefs, it can sometimes be beneficial to look like something you’re not. This strategy, known as mimicry, is employed by a wide variety of marine fish and other organisms in order to garner some sort of survival edge. Not only is mimicry exhibited by numerous fish species, but … [Read More]

4 Techniques for Target Feeding Marine Fish

Feeding saltwater fish isn’t always a simple matter of plopping food in the water and looking on as the frenzy ensues. In any community of fishes, some species (or individual specimens) are going to be more aggressive in their eating habits than others, so oftentimes you have to be a bit more targeted in your … [Read More]