Leptoseris: A Stunning Newcomer to the Reefkeeping Scene

When you have been in the hobby a long time, you tend to see a lot of the same things over and over again. I often become desensitized to some of the most beautiful fish in the world because I’ve seen them so many times over the course of 30 years (mandarin dragonets, for example). … [Read More]

Astreopora and Cyphastrea—So Similar, Yet Different

A few years ago, if you asked me about Astreopora or Cyphastrea, I probably would not have a whole lot to contribute to the discussion. They were (and still are to a large degree) some of the most rare corals imported and seldom seen in stores. I still remember the first time I saw a … [Read More]

The Beautiful, Beginner-Friendly Bubble Coral

Recently, I found myself musing over the livestock lineup I had in my first reef tank many years ago. Along with a variety of easy-to-keep soft corals and a handful of hardy fish, I fondly recalled that I also had a solitary large-polyp stony (LPS) coral that brought me a lot of enjoyment—a bubble coral, … [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]

Discosoma Mushrooms: Beautiful, Adaptable, Beginner-Friendly Corals

Some of the most beautiful creatures in this hobby are neither rare nor difficult to keep but get glossed over by experienced reef aquarists because they are not the “latest and greatest” coral specimens that landed on our shores. So today, I want to talk about Discosoma mushroom corallimorphs because they are both excellent for … [Read More]

The Translucent Allure of Cynarina Corals

Cynarina are commonly referred to as meat corals or cat’s eye corals. They are large-polyp stony (LPS) corals that grow as a single massive polyp. In many ways, Cynarina share similar traits to Scolymia, Acanthophyllia, and bubble corals of the genus Plerogyra. They are very similar to Plerogyra in particular given that they both have … [Read More]

Zoanthids: Tough as Nails but Powerfully Potent

They belong to genera with names like Zoanthus, Parazoanthus, and Palythoa. They’re sometimes called sea mats, button polyps, or colonial anemones. Reef hobbyists commonly refer to them as “zoas.” Whatever name you apply to them, the zoanthids (family Zoanthidae) enjoy a prominent place in the hearts of many marine aquarium hobbyists—and with good reason. Zoanthids … [Read More]

Trachyphyllia geoffroyi: Practically Perfect Open Brain Coral

“Open brain coral” is a common name applied to a wide variety of coral species belonging to several different genera. But if you ask my opinion (well, even if you don’t, I’m going to offer it anyway), Trachyphyllia geoffroyi is one of the best of the bunch for both experienced and novice reefkeepers alike. T. … [Read More]

Insights on LED Reef Aquarium Lighting

LED lighting is a hotly debated topic in reef aquarium circles. It is a relative newcomer to the industry though no longer a complete unknown as was the perception in years past. Thousands of aquarists have used them for extended periods of time since their introduction 10 years ago. Despite their widespread adoption, opinions still … [Read More]

An Introduction to Reef Aquarium Lighting

Saltwater aquarists who choose to take the plunge into reef keeping quickly come to an interesting realization: The lighting used in such systems is of paramount importance. Whereas lighting in fish-only systems is primarily an aesthetic concern (for the most part, as long as the lights show off the fish to their best advantage, you’re … [Read More]