Archives for September 2015

How to Tell if a Marine Fish Is Dying of Old Age

We aquarists try very hard to keep our animals alive as long as possible for a few reasons. The first is that we are caring people and don’t want to see them hurt. The second is that our specimens cost us a lot of money. Exactly how much money depends a little on the care … [Read More]

Beginners: Never Add Livestock to Your Marine Aquarium under These 5 Circumstances

In a nutshell, the reason people are drawn to this hobby (not counting the genetic mutation unique to marine aquarists that I can only assume researchers are close to isolating) is to enjoy up-close-and-personal encounters with exotic marine life. In other words, the whole point of this crazy venture of ours is to acquire specimens … [Read More]

The Hammer Coral: A Sizeable Stinger with Showpiece Potential

Several of the so-called large-polyp stony (LPS) corals offer the advantages of being very hardy, adaptable, and beautiful and, thus, make excellent reef aquarium candidates, even for relatively new reefkeepers. The hammer coral (Euphyllia ancora), however, I would characterize slightly differently. There’s no question this coral is gorgeous, but I would rate it as rather … [Read More]

Is the Internet a Viable Resource for Marine Aquarium Research?

Virtually since the advent of the internet, there’s been a tendency in our hobby to rate the reliability and trustworthiness of online content beneath that of print-format materials—books, magazines, and so forth. But is this assessment really fair? The general premises behind this viewpoint are: Anyone with a computer and internet connection can post anything … [Read More]

Failure to Launch: 5 Reasons New Marine Aquarium Hobbyists “Crash and Burn”

It’s a tale as old as the hobby itself: A novice marine aquarist sets up his or her first system, runs headlong into every conceivable obstacle and pitfall, responds with a series of misguided decisions, loses a whole tank’s worth of fish and corals, and finally chucks the entire hobby in frustration and despair, all … [Read More]

Please Watch this Important Video on Palytoxin!

Many of us are inspired to keep marine life for its exotic beauty or interesting behavior. But if we’re being perfectly honest, we have to admit there’s also something intriguing about keeping—and displaying to our friends and family—marine organisms that have dangerous or potentially deadly defense mechanisms, such as venomous spines, potent toxins, or razor-sharp … [Read More]

Don’t Neglect These 5 Critical Marine Aquarium Maintenance Tasks!

Keeping a marine aquarium healthy and thriving requires a significant level of maintenance. For the most part, we hobbyists are pretty good at tackling chores in a timely manner, but in some cases we’re a little more prone to procrastination—usually in situations where “out of sight means out of mind.” Here are 5 critical marine … [Read More]

The Striated Frogfish: a Great Choice for the Oddball Fish Aficionado

Marine aquarists who are drawn to cryptic species with unusual morphology rather than bright colors might want to give the striated frogfish (Antennarius striatus) a second look. Actually, depending on the system it’s kept in, it may be necessary to give it a second (or third or fourth) look, as this angler is truly a … [Read More]

Discount Marine Fish Aren’t Always Such a Bargain!

There’s no question that many of the marine fish we keep in our aquariums come with a pretty hefty price tag. Even relatively inexpensive “bread-and-butter” species can cause a surprising degree of sticker shock compared to their freshwater counterparts. So, it’s simply prudent to shop around for the best possible price one can find on … [Read More]

Blackcap Basslet: A Comely Deepwater Cousin to the Royal Gramma

Most marine aquarium hobbyists are well acquainted with the royal gramma (Gramma loreto), a worthy tank inhabitant by virtually any measure. But G. loreto isn’t the only member of the Gramma genus that is well worth its salt. Another is the blackcap basslet (Gramma melacara), a denizen of the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea … [Read More]