Keeping Mushroom Anemones

No one starts a saltwater aquarium because they hate challenges. Indeed, it is the difficulty (or at least perceived difficulty) of maintaining these systems that is so alluring to many first-time marine aquarists. That being said, it’s always good to take the stroll towards full-blown reefkeeping in baby steps. Veteran hobbyists have seen it so …

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Keeping the Striped Blenny (Meiacanthus grammistes)

There are a lot of blennioid fishes–something to the tune of like 900 species in 151 genera. Lots and lots of these are available for–and indeed quite appropriate for–the home aquarium. In general, blennies are hardy in captivity. They are small and so can live happily in smaller tanks. They are reef-safe and peaceful (though …

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The Scribbled Angelfish

The Scribbled Angelfish: King of the FOWLR Tank

In many respects, the previous generation of marine aquarists got a raw deal; they caught just a teasing glimpse of what a reef tank could be–having access to a few hardy (generally soft and LPS) coral species–while not yet having access to the knowledge and advanced equipment we take for granted today. True, it was …

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Coral Beauty Angelfish are amazing first Angels!

Coral Beauty Angelfish: The Best First Angel

As someone who has worked with coral beauty angelfish in the aquarium industry for decades, I can say two things with certainty: (1) Beginning saltwater aquarium hobbyists should always start out with super-hardy fishes and (2) beginners are almost always obsessed with, and only want, color, color, and color. While there are truly are many …

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A Beautiful Porcelain anemone Crab

How to Acclimate Your Captive Bred Invertebrates

Aquarists like to broadly divide classes of aquarium livestock into two big groups, the fishes and the invertebrates. The second group is a huge catch-all, as it includes all non-fish livestock ranging from sponges to crabs. Though invertebrates are overall more sensitive than fish to sudden environmental change, ideal acclimation procedure varies somewhat between the …

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Unique Algae Eaters for your Aquarium

Even though battling algae is best done by finding and solving the underlying nutrient or lighting issue, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have a few algae eaters in your tank to help keep it in check. Home aquariums naturally have more nutrients than wild ecosystems, and the slightest change in maintenance can lead to short …

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This baby yellow tang should be very carefully introduced

Dealing With Aggressive Tank Mates

One of the most important aspects to think about when adding new fish to your aquarium is the aggression from your established inhabitants. Stress is one of the biggest killers of aquarium life. Animals travel thousands and thousands of miles to America, then board another plane and truck to get to your local fish store, …

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Harlequin shrimp are incredible hunters!

A Look at the Harlequin Shrimp

It is probably safe to say that the majority of aquarists (especially marine aquarists) are initially awestruck by the visual impact that a well-maintained aquarium can create. While they are certainly attracted to the bright colors that so many reef animals bear, they may also find themselves fascinated by the unusual behaviors that these creatures …

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The intricately patterned trochus snail

Utilizing the Trochus Snail (Trochus spp.)

Algae, of course, is not an inherently bad thing; without it, the natural world could not exist as we know it. However, there are many types of algae that readily grow in plague proportions under certain environmental conditions. Imbalances of nutrient levels (whether in nature or in the home aquarium) can quickly result in blooms …

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