Halichoeres chrysus: A Hardy Little “Banana with Fins” That’s Just Right for Beginners

Known by a variety of common names—banana wrasse, canary wrasse, golden wrasse, yellow coris, et al—Halichoeres chrysus is hardy, readily available, reasonably affordable, well suited to modest-sized systems, and among the better choices for beginners. Of course, owing to all these positive attributes, this wrasse is justifiably popular among many seasoned salties, as well. Physical … [Read More]

Tidal Gardens Substrate Update

In 2016, the systems at Tidal Gardens are a mix of custom glass aquariums and Rubbermaid stock tanks. Originally back in 2002, all the tanks were some combination of 300-gallon and 150-gallon stock tanks because they were by far the most cost-effective containers that were truly rugged. After all, anything that was built to be … [Read More]

The Use of Negative Space in the Reef Aquarium Aquascape

One of the more interesting developments in the reefkeeping hobby, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the latest, greatest gadget or advance in water-quality-management methodology. Rather, it’s an evolving aesthetic in aquascaping. Bored with the traditional monolithic stack of rocks propped up against the back pane and consuming much of the tank’s volume, … [Read More]

Getting to the Bottom of Aquarium Sand and other Substrates

The choice of substrate—the material placed on the bottom of the tank—for a saltwater aquarium is one of many areas in our hobby that generate confusion and disagreement. Ask 10 hobbyists which type and depth of substrate they would recommend, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. The truth is, there’s no single substrate particle … [Read More]