Gymnomuraena zebra: Another Moray You Just Might Love!

On various occasions, I’ve written about my fondness for the snowflake moray eel (Echidna nebulosa), in one post even going so far as to claim there may be no better eel for the marine aquarium. My biases notwithstanding, I can’t deny that certain other morays make excellent aquarium candidates as well. Among them is the … [Read More]

Naso lituratus: a Sleek, Striking, Outstanding Fish for Spacious Marine Aquariums

Certain marine fish really make me wish I could afford to set up and maintain a much larger aquarium. Among these is Naso lituratus, the lipstick tang, aka the naso tang, tricolor tang, or orangespine unicornfish. Alas, this hardy, attractive Pacific species (according to Fishbase, the very similar Indian Ocean and Red Sea populations once … [Read More]

So Much to Dig about Montipora digitata!

As I grew to love SPS corals, one in particular stood out and caught my eye: Montipora digitata. I have found M. digitata to be a fast-growing, hardy SPS coral that, once established in a well-balanced reef tank, can really take off in growth. This coral also has very unique growth patterns and comes in … [Read More]

A Hawkfish Even “Caribbean Chris” Could Love

Regular Saltwater Smarts visitors know that “Caribbean Chris” has an irrational (bordering on pathological) hatred of all marine life not connected in some way to the Caribbean Sea or tropical western Atlantic. By logical extension, most of the hawkfishes, being predominantly Indo-Pacific or Pacific species, are unwelcome in his aquarium. (He may even have a … [Read More]

Panther Grouper: The Tankbuster “Poster Fish”

Every time I need to make a point about marine fish that are sold as small, cute juveniles but grow into real behemoths, the panther grouper (Cromileptes altivelis according to Fishbase/Chromileptes altivelis according to ITIS) is one of several species that come to mind immediately. But despite its indisputable tankbusting tendencies, C. altivelis is very … [Read More]

The Flame Hawkfish: a Vision in Red

I’ve long been a fan of the hawkfishes, and many a specimen has graced my various tanks over the years—most often the readily available and affordable (for me) Falco’s hawkfish (Cirrhitichthys falco). But another hawk that I’ve always found particularly endearing is Neocirrhites armatus, the flame hawkfish. Hobbyists looking for an eye-catching splash of color … [Read More]

Tomato Clownfish: A Stunning Beginner Fish Ripe for the Picking

Lately it seems many of the species profiles I’ve written have been on fish that either grow too large for the average home aquarium or are otherwise poor choices for aquarium keeping for one reason or another. By now, some of you salties out there might be wondering, “Does this guy ever write about species … [Read More]

The Sohal Tang: A Big, Belligerent Beauty

The sohal tang (Acanthurus sohal) is one of many fish species available in the marine aquarium trade that should come with a warning label. It’s a gorgeous fish and generally very hardy, which is a plus, but anyone contemplating purchasing A. sohal should also be aware of its eventual size and often hyper-aggressive disposition. Physical … [Read More]

Is There a Jellyfish Tank in Your Future?

One of the product lines that really caught my eye at MACNA 2014 were the jellyfish tanks at the Boyd Enterprises booth. Until recently, home aquarists did not have access to jellyfish systems. When I think of jellyfish systems, I think of them almost exclusively in the context of big public aquariums. I’ve been to … [Read More]

Orchid Dottyback: Hardy, Peaceful, and Just Right for Reef Tanks

Captive breeding of marine fishes has been a boon to our hobby in any number of ways, one of which is democratizing access to formerly really pricy species such as the orchid dottyback (Pseudochromis fridmani). While I wouldn’t characterize the current market price of this Red Sea species as “cheap,” it’s definitely in the realm … [Read More]