Sponges, Sponges Everywhere!

If you do any diving anywhere, you will see sponges everywhere. Some of them are more colorful than corals, and some of them you can sit in. All sponges are water pumps and filters, which makes them useful in the sea and in our reefs. Sponges don’t move, they sit there, eat, and get fat. … [Read More]

Sea Apples: Hazardous Holothurians Best Left to Advanced Hobbyists

In several posts here at Saltwater Smarts, I’ve mentioned that certain marine organisms routinely offered in the aquarium trade should come with a warning label—especially for novice hobbyists. In these cases, I’m usually referring to animals that are really gorgeous or exotic-looking (hence hard to resist) but either difficult to keep alive or dangerous to … [Read More]

Live Rock Hitchhikers: Tunicates (Sea Squirts)

Among the more fascinating creatures that commonly make their way into marine aquariums as stowaways on good-quality live rock are tunicates, or sea squirts. In terms of visual interest, these animals can be quite dazzling, with some exhibiting spectacular coloration or resembling small, delicate, translucent pitchers or urns. What are they? Tunicates are filter-feeding marine … [Read More]

Don’t Get Burned by Flame Scallops!

Mention beautiful bivalves for the marine aquarium, and the various tridacnid clams (the so-called giant clams) will probably come to mind. Likely, the flame scallops of the genus Ctenoides will too. However, while the tridacnids have a fairly decent survival record in captivity if given proper care and a suitable environment, the flame scallops usually … [Read More]