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]

Top 5 Beginner-Friendly LPS Corals

With so many corals available on the marine aquarium market today, even experienced reefkeepers can have a difficult time deciding which species to choose. But for the novice reefkeeper, figuring out which corals are beginner-friendly and which are best left to more experienced hobbyists can seem downright overwhelming. Here at Tidal Gardens, we’re frequently asked … [Read More]

Marine Fish Bait and Switch—5 Adorable Juveniles that Blossom into Brutes

Their alluring cuteness beckons from across the LFS. At just a few inches in length and sporting dazzling colors, comical polka dots, interesting morphology, or fascinating finnage, they’re practically irresistible to the average marine-aquarium hobbyist looking to acquire a show-stopping specimen. The only problem is, it’s all a cruel ruse. Give in to the temptation … [Read More]

Why Use Scientific Names for Saltwater Fish and Inverts?

Hobby newcomers often wonder why fish are so frequently identified by two-part scientific names in aquarium literature and online resources like Saltwater Smarts. After all, when you’re shopping at your average local fish store, the various critters in the sales tanks are apt to be identified on signs and labels by their common names, which, … [Read More]

6 Tips for Choosing the Right-Sized Tank for Saltwater Fish

Have you ever noticed that species profiles written about marine fish almost always include a recommended minimum tank size for the species? Have you also noticed that tank-size recommendations for the same species can vary wildly from one author, dealer, or fellow hobbyist to another? How can that be? The fact is, determining the appropriate … [Read More]

Buying Marine Fish and Inverts: LFS vs. Online

Once a new saltwater aquarium is up and running, fully cycled, and ready to receive fish and/or invertebrates, the hobbyist has the choice of buying livestock from a local fish store (LFS) or from various online sources. Both options are perfectly viable, but one choice or the other may be a better fit for you, … [Read More]

9 Tips to Maintain a Healthy Marine Fish Aquarium

There’s no better teacher than experience, and with nearly a half century of saltwater aquarium keeping under his belt, Richard “Dick” Hilgers certainly has plenty of experiences to share! Currently the owner of The Cultured Reef, a coral-aquaculture facility located in Fort Pierce, Florida, Dick first took the plunge into the saltwater hobby back in … [Read More]

The Benefits of Buying Captive-Bred Marine Fish

On the freshwater tropical fish market, the majority of species sold are captive-bred, either on a large scale by commercial fish farms or by dedicated hobbyists. Relatively few species are still collected in the wild. However, on the saltwater side of the hobby, just the opposite is true. Owing to the considerable challenges associated with … [Read More]

4 Marine Fish Compatibility Blunders to Avoid

The realm of human interaction can be remarkably complicated. But generally speaking, as long as certain social conventions and legal constraints are observed, most people will manage to coexist in peace and seldom resort to violence. Only in cases of extreme privation do we actually choose to eat one another! Unfortunately, the fish in your … [Read More]

Guide to Choosing Healthy Saltwater Fish at your LFS

A healthy, thriving community of saltwater fish begins with the judicious selection of specimens at your LFS. While not every potential health problem or disease will be evident to the naked eye, cautious appraisal of all prospective specimens for health concerns is vital and can save you a lot of headaches—not to mention dollars—down the … [Read More]