Saltwater Fish

  1. Fish Spotlight: Anthias

    A group of anthias can add lots of color and movement to a display tank that is large enough to accommodate them. Keeping them in twos is a bad idea for the poor female in that duo. A good qt protocol is absolutely important and feeding can be difficult at first. Be prepared when you buy your first group of anthias and you’ll have a group of beautiful fish for years to come.
  2. Picking Your Clownfish

    This article isn’t about what it takes to keep a clownfish, but more about what to expect from your clowns when picking them out, pairing up, and beyond. The temperament, size, pairing, willingness to host will all play an important role in how your clownfish will fit into your tank’s dynamic. Choose carefully, because once you have a pair they can live for upwards of 20 years if taken care of properly.
  3. Pipefish

    I would like to discuss one of my favorite fish, the pipefish. Pipefish to me are so much different from normal fishy looking fish that I can't help but to love them. There are more things different in pipefish than similar to normal looking fish. They are so different that at one time, in the 1800s pipefish were considered to be insects instead of fish. They probably got that idea because they have an external skeleton composed of bony plates instead of scales so when you pick one up, it...
  4. Gupp-tastrophe: My misguided run at feeder fish breeding

    I decided it was time for a large "predator" type fish. After some research I decided a comet fish / marine beta was the correct choice for my reef. They look pretty sweet - have an 'eel eye' type spot on their tail, they're meticulous hunters, and have a good rep as far as messing with cleaners - except shrimp...my coral banded shrimp got disarmed when he tried to give him Mr. Comet a pinch. They were bffs after that. Suspect they just needed to establish some boundaries and the arm...
  5. How To Plan a Livestock List

    The very best way to select the fish you will keep in your tank is to start well before you even purchase a tank. Wait. What? I don’t even have a tank yet and you want me to start selecting fish?! Quite simply, yes I do. In this hobby, a very good portion of the fish we keep require special needs for their care. The biggest of which is ROOM. Room to swim, to exercise, to call territory. Tangs are among the most popular fish to keep in the saltwater world and they need lots of room to swim....
  6. Keeping The Mysterious Moorish Idol

    Moorish Idols. Impossible to keep. Better left in the wild, right? Anyone that has been in this hobby for nearly any length of time has read things like this or can at least recognize this iconic fish. Many of us grew up seeing this majestic fish in photos and documentaries. Whether seen schooling in Hawaii or casted as "Gill", the wise Moorish Idol from the beloved Disney Pixar film "Finding Nemo", this fish is quite desirable in the hobby. Sadly, The vast majority of these fish do not...
  7. All About Reef Safe Wrasses in Aquaria

    Below, you will find sections about: these guidelines, wrasses which qualify as reef safe, the general requirements, feeding, shipping, quarantine, adding new wrasses to your system, mixing species and genera, the acclimation box, protogynous hermaphroditism & sexual dichromatism, “pairing” wrasses & harems, pricing and rarity, a section about each genus (Anampses, Cirrhilabrus, Halichoeres, Labroides, Macropharyngodon, Paracheilinus, Pseudocheilinus, Pseudocheilinops, Pseudojuloides, and...
  8. Fish Shopping 101: Tips to Buying a Healthy Fish

    Buying a new fish for your aquarium can be both an exciting and nerve-racking experience. Is this fish healthy? Is this fish a good fit for my aquarium? If I get this fish, am I sacrificing another fish down the line? These are a few of the many questions that may pop into your head, and are all very important and relevant. When choosing a new addition for your aquarium, you should consider many things. Here are a few things to consider and look for when choosing the next fish for your...
  9. How behaviorally complex are marine fish?

    Today however, advances in ethology (the science of animal behavior), sociobiology (the scientific theory that states behavior is a result of evolution), neurobiology (the application of biological principles to the study of developmental mechanisms) and ecology, scientists have a much clearer picture of both the behavior but also the conscious processes of fish.
  10. Why do the tang police exist?

    This captive stress often translates to a hurdle that must be overcome by the aquarist. It’s not uncommon for some tang species to be reluctant to feed and it’s not uncommon for small juvenile tangs to be harassed, if placed in a tank with larger fish. Because of this, a long quarantine period is required, which allows the fish to spend weeks alone in a tank where it cannot be harassed and special feeding techniques can be employed.
  11. 'Pairing' Wrasses: That's Not How Any of this Works!

    First, we really need some understanding of how wrasses interact and live in their natural environment. In the ocean, most genera of wrasses live in harems, which consists of a group of females to one dominant male. Often, there are a few transitional males in this group as well, which are essentially males-in-waiting – waiting for their chance to overtake the current or become the new dominant male. Within this harem, there is an established hierarchy. The hierarchy exists by the...
  12. Tang Aggression - Understanding and Combating

    So what's the deal with tangs? How do I keep them together? Why are they so aggressive and difficult to keep sometimes? It's a common discussion point. Some may dissent with what I have to share but I've never had less than three tanks running at a time, up to 7, and have been in the hobby 12 years with 2 of them spent working for an LFS running their saltwater fish dept largely, for what it's worth. Root of Tang Aggression: Understand that from a tangs point of view, more herbivores...
  13. Tinker’s Toy: The Bold And Curious Tinker’s Butterflyfish

    The Bold and Curious Tinker’s Butterflyfish Chaetodon tinkeri The Tinker’s Butterflyfish (C. tinkeri) is a member of the marine butterflyfish genus Chaetodon (familyChaetodontidae) and one of five species in the subgenus Roaps. It isnamed for Spencer W. Tinker who discovered it in Hawaii back in 1949. Also commonly called the Hawaiian Butterflyfish, C. tinkeri has quite a limited distribution in the wild; inhabiting only Hawaii, Johnston Atoll and the Marshall Islands in the tropical...
  14. Super Star Of The Reef: The Blue Star Leopard Wrasse–Macropharyngodon bipartitus

    Male and female Macropharyngodon bipartitus in the author’s aquarium. The Blue Star Leopard Wrasse, also referred to as the Divided Wrasse, Vermiculite Wrasse (as well as a few other common names) is one of thirteen species of leopard wrasse in the Macropharyngodon genus. As with most leopard wrasses, Macropharyngodon bipartitus is sexually dichromatic (males and females differ in coloration). Interestingly, all leopard wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning they begin life as...
  15. I’m Seeing Spots Before My Eyes: The Indian Gold Ring Bristletooth Tang – Ctenochaetus Truncatus

    The Indian Gold Ring Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus truncatus) is named for a short tail fin that does not have the elongated shape with pointed ends that is typical of other members of the genus. Other common names for this species are Spotted Bristletooth and Squaretail Bristletooth. C. truncatus is found throughout the Indian Ocean at depths from 1 to 21 meters (approx. 3 to 69 ft.) where they inhabit inner reef crests and slopes.
  16. Eel care guide!

    Now I'm far from an expert on eels, but having been in this hobby for a few years now and owning/looking after quite a few eels in my time, I feel I can confidently write this guide on basic care of these impressive little guys. I want to stress the point that everything I say is based purely on my experiences. It does not necessarily mean any eel you buy or look after will behave the same way. Your milage may vary. And for the record, I'm trying to keep this guide as universal as possible,...
  17. The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish: A True Asian Beauty

    The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish A True Asian Beauty Genicanthus semifasciatus G semifasciatus male with a unique shoulder marking The Japanese Swallowtail Angelfish is a true beauty to behold. Males are gorgeous with irregular vertical bars on the upper body, mask-like yellow markings on the head and face which extend into a stripe on the mid-body, and yellow spots on the dorsal and tail fins. And while they do not have the striking markings and coloration of the males, females have a...
  18. Cirrhilabrus Complexes: Inferiority Need Not Apply

    Cirrhilabrus, the “Fairy Wrasses”, are one of the most elegant, active, and colorful reef fish. Their appeal in a reef tank is common to many, but not all have a well-rounded understanding of the compatibility amongst them. Enter the notion of “complexes”: groupings of very closely related species within a genus. Complexes create groups in which the species have a physically similar structure; the body shape, fin shapes/sizes, and maximum length create these groupings. Coloration is not...
  19. Lyretail Anthias: Ain’t That The Truth

    So you want a fish who will brighten up your day? If you have a 6 foot or larger tank like a 125 gallon you are open to a type fish that can actually benefit your reef’s community in a way you would never expect. Lyretail Anthias are a very popular fish for larger aquariums. Before you dump one or two into your tank there are some facts to look over first.
  20. Reef Wrasse: Aquarium Duty

    Every fish has its reasons on this planet. Some are designed to control fish populations. Other fish have evolved into algae grazers. There are even fish who are designed to keep specific coral safe from predators or threats. Today’s topic is the group of reef safe wrasse and their duties in the aquarium...
  21. Fish Are Pets: Take Care Of Them As Such!

    A lot of times you hear about aquariums as “display pieces” and are talked about like you would a painting or sculpture. In some cases, the aquarium has replaced some peoples televisions all together. One thing that may become lost in the process is the fact that no matter what your tank actually looks like you still have living animals that have individual personalities. Ok, maybe your snail is a boring pet, but your clownfish, tangs, puffers, and even damsels are uniquely varied in...
  22. Clown Goby Symbiosis

    You have seen them at the pet store,or even own one or two of your own. For a cheaper fish they are quite cute and peaceful, unlike most Damselfish. They get their name from their similar body shape to the clownfish. Like the clownfish they also have a symbiotic relationship with something most people would not expect, not to mention the way they operate together is quite astounding. If you have seen this before you know I am referring to Acropora.
  23. What Fish NOT To Get: How To Know

    Are you considering a stocking list for your aquarium? Probably not. If you are like most hobbyists you wish for fish but buy what you have available during that spontaneous moment, often leading to a future of regret and endless nights trying to capture your mistake. If you have not been in that situation than you are one of the few who do actually plan! We can’t all spend hours researching and not everyone has access to a reliable saltwater expert that isn’t just trying to sell something....
  24. Feeding The Finicky Fish

    So you got yourself a fish and he doesn’t want to eat that delicious pack of mysis shrimp that the rest of your tank inhabitants love, and even fight over. What ever shall you do?! Well first let us take a look at why a fish would not want to eat.
  25. Red Fish, Blue Fish, Dr. Seuss Fish! (Belonoperca pylei)

    One of the least likely fish to appear in your LFS is the Dr. Seuss fish. In fact, you will not find but an extremely limited amount of information about this particular species on the internet. Scuba divers are not even lucky enough to encounter these rare creatures without exceeding dangerous depths that require special equipment. The Dr. Seuss Fish actually lives with an amazing assortment of rare fish, some not yet identified! A colorful assortment of chromis, groupers, and even the...
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