Tuxedo Urchins for Hair Algae Control

Hair algae is not just one of the common forms of nuisance algae, it is also among the most difficult to eradicate. Indeed, despite the numerous options for biological algae control (i.e. herbivores), few “go after” hair algae. Thankfully, the select group of reliable hair algae eaters includes the beautiful and fascinating tuxedo urchins. The …

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Tridacna Clams are a beautiful addition to any marine tank!

Keeping the Derasa Clam

Just about any reef aquarist will, at some point, wish to keep tridacnid clams in their system. Their colors rival those of any coral. They have an incredibly exotic appearance (even their shells look cool). And (at least for most tridacnid species) they may be kept on the bottom over the substrate, which is a …

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Hard to Kill: Using Cerith Snails and Siphonaria Limpets

Nuisance algae is almost certain to emerge—at least to some extent—in all reef aquarium systems. Of course, the maintenance of good water quality is by far the best way to combat them. However, herbivores present an effective and totally natural means of algae control. Snails in particular are a great choice of algae-eating herbivore. In …

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Natural Water Quality Management for Non-Photosynthetic Reef Aquaria

There was once a time when zooxanthellate corals (especially SPS corals) were considered impossible to keep in captivity. Then advancements in aquarium lighting technology changed all that. It’s hard to imagine that there so recently was a day when marine aquarists abandoned the possibility of ever keeping Acropora–one of the most abundant genera of stony …

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The Pincushion Sea Urchin: A Beginner’s Best

Seldom are sea urchins described as “difficult” or “sensitive” aquarium animals. Yet, they can be quite touchy. Seemingly small insults (such as a slightly reduced salinity following a water change) can send them plummeting fast. And, sea urchins don’t seem to recover well from sickness, shock or injury. Sometimes, it seems that just looking at …

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Keeping a Coldwater Marine Aquarium

Marine aquarists have always had access to temperate species. In fact, in the days before improved packaging/shipping procedures allowed for the massive import of tropical species that we enjoy today, most saltwater aquarium livestock originated from temperate waters. Catalina gobies, waratah anemones, garibaldi damsels… At least half of the seahorses… The coolest boxfishes… Anyone who …

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The brave and helpful cleaner shrimp in the mouth of a fish!

3 Symbiotic Relationships in the Marine Aquarium

Symbiotic relationships are perhaps the most amazing thing that occurs in marine environments. While there are some that you can deliberately recreate in aquaria, there are also many others taking place all on their own. In this article, I’m going to be discussing a few of the symbiotic relationships you can build in your aquarium. …

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A very Funny name for a very unique invertebrates

3 Unique Invertebrates

There are many types of invertebrates in the marine aquarium trade and typically you will see the same 10-20 types. However, this article will be showing you some of the more unique invertebrate additions you could add to your tank. One reason these aren’t usually recommended for your tank is that these aren’t technically part …

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Utilizing the Peppermint Shrimp for General Tank Clean-Up

Maintaining a squeaky clean aquarium environment is no easy task. It requires frequent water changes, constantly rinsing mechanical filters, gravel vacuuming, algae wiping, and so on. It also requires a substantial amount of cash; top-quality filters and filter media are not cheap. If we are to be honest, few of us can say that we …

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Squamosa Clams for the Intermediate Level Aquarist

For many aquarium hobbyists, acquiring and displaying a beautiful tridacnid clam is one of the most definitive milestones in their mastery of the art. While these strange and beautiful bivalve mollusks are a real pleasure to have, they are perhaps even more challenging to keep than most coral species. Specifically, they demand (yes, absolutely require) …

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Zoas are a beautiful addition to any reef

Knowing the Zoanthid

The zoanthid is one of the most stunning yet simplistic coral-like animals in this hobby. It can come in any color combination that you can imagine–along with any price point. This is why this particular anthozoan deserves an article of its own. There are over 100 species of zoanthids alone and the identification process can …

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A remarkable long tentacled jellyfsh

Are You Ready to Keep Jellyfish?

There have been a few times that I’ve been asked how to care for jellyfish. And, long story short, it’s complicated! In this short article, I describe the complications of keeping these fascinating creatures in captivity. Some creatures should just stay in the wild, and the jellyfish usually is one of them. Jellyfish tanks Meticulously …

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a Beautiful Scopas Tang

5 Overlooked Algae-Eaters

When it comes to your clean-up crew in your saltwater aquarium, you usually will think of snails, crabs and starfish. However, there are some other cool inverts and fish you can add that can help tremendously with your aquarium algae clean-up. There are so many saltwater fish that eat algae and this is just my …

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Aiptasia Anemones can be a horrible pest

How to Get Rid of Aiptasia

When you’re first starting out your aquarium, you usually will spend all day checking on everything in your tank ensuring everything is still intact. Then, one day you look and you see this translucent looking pink flower… I receive one of two reactions from customers when they first come across Aiptasia anemones. One is panic. …

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Three Great Hacks for AlgaeBarn Simple Brine

For about a century, brine shrimp (Artemia spp.) have been among the most important of all aquarium foods. Not only are they extremely nutritious, and fish love them, but they are also incredibly convenient to use. This is because it is relatively simple to store and hatch their cysts. Cysts are unlike eggs in that …

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wild hippopus clams

Keeping Hippopus Clams

Particularly since the advent of clam farming, tridacnid clams (Family Tridacninae) have been steadily gaining both in popularity and presence within the aquarium hobby. They were once only available as wild-caught, were exceptionally delicate and were thus appropriate only for the most experienced of aquarists; nowadays, farm-raised specimens are in regular production, have proven markedly …

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Someone Holding a Cerith Snail

The Cerith Snail: A “Must-Have” Cleaner

Most aquarists are already aware that snails eat algae. To be most correct, the majority of snail species are algivores. To be sure, some have extremely specialized diets that do not include algae; other snails are technically omnivores, eating all sorts of things including algae. Then, for marine aquarists in particular, there is the issue …

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Urchins are a wild animal to keep!

Sea Urchins in the Reef Aquarium

My first sight of a real, live sea urchin was in an aquarium (a friend’s) rather than in the sea. This was in my youth (i.e. quite a long time ago) in the upper Midwest–a time and place when/where marine aquarium livestock was quite difficult to get your hands on. Back then, and especially there, …

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