Life After Purchase: A Guide to Introducing New Fish to Your Aquarium’s Social Dynamics

Moving can be tough on a kid. New places, new school, making new friends, meeting new bullies . . . I’m sure some of you can relate. So can your fish. Life can be tough even after getting shipped halfway around the world. So how can we, as responsible aquarists, help them out? The answer … [Read More]

5 Practical Uses for Rock Rubble in Marine Aquaria

When working with rocks, live or otherwise, in marine aquaria, we often end up with little chunks of rubble that break off the larger pieces. While this rubble may not be particularly useful for large aquascaping projects, it can come in quite handy in a variety of different ways, so don’t be too quick to … [Read More]

Fish Disease Symptoms Aren’t Always What They Seem

Most marine aquarium hobbyists keep a close eye on their fish for certain tell-tale signs of ill health. And that’s a good thing, since quick intervention in the case of fish disease can often be the difference between life and death for the specimen(s). On the other hand, we do need to be cautious about … [Read More]

10 Tips for Limiting Marine Livestock Losses

Distilled down to its essence, success in the marine aquarium hobby is about keeping fish and invertebrates alive and thriving. And while it may sometimes seem as though fate plays a major role in how animals fare under our care, several decades of aquarium-keeping experience (and more than a few missteps) have taught me that … [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]

5 Circumstances That Test Marine Aquarists’ Willpower

Several elements/traits are key to success in the marine aquarium hobby. Among them are a fundamental understanding of aquarium-keeping principles, the proper equipment for the type of system you plan to keep, diligent attention to maintenance and detail, willingness to research the needs of each and every organism acquired, and a good dose of patience. … [Read More]

3 Good Reasons to Quarantine Live Rock

Here at Saltwater Smarts, we emphasize again and again the importance of quarantining all marine livestock before introducing it to an established aquarium. But what about those pieces of live rock that we occasionally add to our established systems to bolster biodiversity and biofiltration or simply to spruce up the aquascaping? Do those need to … [Read More]

The Marine Aquarist’s Greatest Asset

If someone were to ask you (perhaps with a gun held to your head, as is so often the case in these hypothetical scenarios) to identify the one thing that no aspiring marine aquarist should be without, what would your answer be? A top-of-the-line protein skimmer? The best synthetic sea salt mix on the market? … [Read More]

Authoritative New Guide Offers Expert Insights on Marine Fish Diseases

If Chris and I were to categorize all the questions we receive here at Saltwater Smarts, it’s safe to say the vast majority would fit under the heading of “fish disease and health issues.” While we’re always happy to offer advice to our fellow salties and help them succeed in any way we can, responding … [Read More]

What Scuba Diving Has Taught Me About Keeping Marine Aquariums

While sitting here contemplating how long it’s been since I’ve gone scuba diving (answer: way too long), it occurred to me that one can draw many parallels between the avocations of scuba diving and marine aquarium keeping. I’m not referring to the observation of marine life here—though that’s unquestionably a major element of both activities—but … [Read More]