Archives for January 2014

DIY Brine Shrimp Hatchery and Shell Separator

Adult brine shrimp are not considered a good source of food for any fish, but they are sometimes used to entice a slow eater to start eating. Newborn brine shrimp, however, are an excellent source of food for many small fish, such as mandarins and pipefish. Those fish need a constant supply of live food … [Read More]

Purple Firefish: A Shy Beauty for the Small, Peaceful Aquarium

Marine aquarists looking for a gorgeous, interesting, nano-friendly fish might entertain the idea of keeping the purple firefish (a.k.a. the purple dartfish, elegant firefish/dartfish, and decorated firefish/dartfish, among various other common names). Given appropriate tankmates and care, this graceful, hardy, relatively undemanding denizen of the Indian and western Pacific oceans can prove to be a … [Read More]

Rock Flower Anemones Resurge in Popularity

Rock flower anemones are trending in popularity as of late in the reef aquarium hobby. They have always been readily available in the industry, as they are harvested close by in the Caribbean. But despite their relatively easy accessibility, they’ve slipped under most aquarists’ radars for years, primarily because the specimens harvested did not have … [Read More]

DIY Target Feeder for Mandarinfish (and Pipefish)

We as aquarists tend to keep all sorts of creatures in our tanks, and some of them present a challenge to feed. We know what fish eat, and we know how fish eat, but sometimes the fish’s schedule does not coincide with our schedule. Also, some fishes, such as seahorses, pipefish, and mandarinfish, are built … [Read More]

Why You Should Never, Ever Release Marine Aquarium Livestock into the Wild

In a perfect world, every fish, invertebrate, or alga introduced to a marine aquarium would be allowed to live out its entire lifespan there. But as we all know, there are many contingencies that can make it necessary for hobbyists to part with livestock—serious compatibility issues arising, an animal purchased on impulse growing too large … [Read More]

6 Reasons for Poor Protein Skimmer Foam Production

A properly sized protein skimmer is key to the success of any marine aquarium system—provided it’s actually doing the job it’s intended to do, that is. Sometimes protein skimmers just keep right on skimming with little or no foam and subsequent liquid skimmate to show for their effort. Why does this happen? Here are six … [Read More]

A. nigropunctatus: The Pet-Like Dogface Puffer

Hobbyists with sizeable tanks who are looking for a truly pet-like fish won’t be disappointed in the aptly named dogface puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus). Looking rather like a pudgy beagle with fins instead of paws, A. nigropunctatus is loaded with piscine personality—though I wouldn’t recommend trying to scratch its chin or rub its belly. Physical appearance … [Read More]

The Challenges of Collecting Natural Sea Water for Your Marine Aquarium

Given the ready availability—and relative affordability—of high-quality synthetic sea salt mixes, it’s not surprising that the vast majority of marine aquarium hobbyists today choose to use artificial sea water rather than collect the natural stuff from the ocean for their systems. But that doesn’t necessarily mean synthetic salt water is superior to its natural counterpart … [Read More]

The Calcium Reactor: A Device Well Worth its Salt

A hobby like reef keeping has its fair share of intimidating technologies. I suppose it doesn’t help to call certain technologies sterilizers, fractionators, or reactors, which further instills a sense of complexity. One such device is the calcium reactor, and while I am a big proponent of having as simple a system as possible, this … [Read More]

The Sally Lightfoot Crab: A Real Character of a Crustacean

Sharing the surname of a famous Canadian folk singer, of whom I’ve been an ardent fan for many, many years (once again confirming that my profound nerdiness knows no bounds), the Sally Lightfoot crab, a.k.a. the nimble spray crab, of the Tropical West Atlantic, Caribbean, and Indo-Pacific, is a common offering at local fish stores … [Read More]