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Opinion: Selling Baby Seahorses Is Wrong

It happens every so often. Someone discovers just how easily seahorses breed, but can’t raise the babies, or discover the expense and time it takes to raise seahorses and so they decide they can sell the seahorse fry and make some money doing it. Unfortunately, it’s a mistake and it ends badly for everyone but the seller. To understand why selling seahorse fry is wrong, we need to look at what causes this situation. Seahorses breed extremely easily More: Opinion: Selling Baby Seahorses Is Wrong

Authoritative New Guide Offers Expert Insights on Marine Fish Diseases

If Chris and I were to categorize all the questions we receive here at Saltwater Smarts, it’s safe to say the vast majority would fit under the heading of “fish disease and health issues.” While we’re always happy to offer advice to our fellow salties and help them succeed in any way we can, responding to fish disease inquiries in this forum presents some very significant challenges. Among them is the fact that neither of us is a veterinarian (though Chris may play one on TV) and any diagnosis/treatment advice we might dispense is essentially a “best guess.” What’s more, it’s extremely difficult—oftentimes impossible—to determine what’s actually wrong with a fish and recommend an appropriate course of treatment based solely on a description of symptoms and, potentially, a photo of the ailing specimen. With this dilemma in mind, we asked ourselves, “How can we provide Saltwater Smarts visitors with reliable, authoritative advice on fish diseases rather than mere guesswork that might end up doing more harm than good?” In seeking an answer, we approached Jay Hemdal, Curator of Fishes and Invertebrates for the Toledo Zoo and an avid aquarium hobbyist with over 45 years of experience under his belt. Jay is one of the first people Chris and I turn to when we have an aquarium-related question we can’t answer or problem we can’t resolve. He’s also an accomplished author, having written six books and over 150 articles on aquarium-related topics. So you can imagine that we were both beyond gratified when, upon hearing our dilemma, Jay agreed to pen an eBook on marine fish diseases to be published here at Saltwater Smarts. More: Authoritative New Guide Offers Expert Insights on Marine Fish Diseases

Beautiful Photo’s Show Minnows Once A Year Spawn In Key Largo

minowsHappy New Year!! Here’s to a 2015 filled with health, happiness and fish!! Silverside minnows spawn just once a year, in the coral reefs off the coast of Key Large, Florida. Every year the minnows gather in shoals around the aptly named ‘minnow caves’. The caves are just around 20-25 ft underwater, surrounded by beautiful coral reefs. The reefs are a very popular dive site for the abundance of coral and marine life at such accessible depths. MORE

Saltwater Smarts in 2015: Looking Forward to an Exciting New Year

Since Chris and I launched Saltwater Smarts back in April of 2013, we’ve been immensely gratified to welcome a steadily increasing number of visitors to our site, to have the opportunity to share our personal insights on a wide variety of topics related to marine aquarium keeping, as well as to bring you authoritative perspectives from a variety of aquarium industry professionals and other seasoned hobbyists. Special thanks to all who helped make 2014 such a stellar year here at Saltwater Smarts: our regular contributors, Jay Hemdal, Than Thein, Paul Baldassano (PaulB), Paul Poeschl, and Dave Bowers; our site sponsors, Doctors Foster and Smith, Tidal Gardens, Advanced Reef Aquarium, GHL, Coral Reef LLC,, and Majano Wand; and, of course, each and every salty out there who took the time to visit our site over the past year! Today, as we stand on the cusp of 2015, we’re bullish about our trajectory and looking forward to some exciting changes and new offerings ahead. Here’s a sampling of what you can expect from Saltwater Smarts over the coming year: New media You could say Chris and I both have perfect faces for radio, but I’m afraid you’ll be seeing more of our ugly mugs in 2015. We plan to step away from the keyboard from time to time and bring you more video offerings—for example a series of short how-to’s on basic marine aquarium techniques, one documenting our recent efforts to capture and remove several rogue damsels from the display tank in a local coffee shop, and much more. New resources We’re also thrilled to announce that day one of 2015 will see the release of Saltwater Smarts’ first eBook, The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes, penned by Jay Hemdal, Curator of Fishes and Invertebrates at the Toledo Zoo. Be sure to tune in to Saltwater Smarts this coming Friday (January 2) for much more information on this exciting new resource. And Jay’s disease guide is just the beginning. More: Saltwater Smarts in 2015: Looking Forward to an Exciting New Year

Online livestock ordering : Guarantee Policies

live_fish_box_2Most of the livestock within my aquarium came from an online vendor. Actually, with the exception of a few fish, everything for my aquariums was ordered online and delivered to my door. The competition for online ordering of fish and corals couldn’t be higher. There are small basement vendors, which I’ve consistently criticized for offering extraordinarily high prices. For example, I saw a 6” rainbow chalice (one of many names randomly applied to coral) for sale on a Facebook post earlier today. The seller wanted $650 for the coral, saying they were very firm on that price. I have the exact same coral in my aquarium. I paid $79 for 3” of chalice years ago, and now it’s well in excess of 7”. If I were to sell the colony, I would probably ask around $200 for it, or less. Basement vendors often lead the charge when it comes to over-hyping coral; manipulating species in photo editing software and making otherwise ordinary pieces appear rare or exotic. Then you have large aquaculture outlets; usually well run facilities that are constantly sparring for the consumer dollar, with offers like free shipping or reduced cost. All this leads to the topic of guarantee policy.  MORE

Cherry Corals “Sex Panther” Acropora

reefs.comSexPantherColonyBrett Harris, the “SPS Guru” of Cherry Corals, informed me last week that he was going to be releasing a new Acropora morph he had been cooking for a while during their recent Live Sale. It’s not overly often I get excited about a fuzzy stick, but this one has definitely piqued my interest. This acro has yellow undertones with bright pink and orange highlights exposed on the coralites. Polyps appear very fuzzy and “milli-esque” once the coral settles in. MORE

Reefs In Art: Glass Cephalopods. Grab a Straw and Drink This One In

il_570xN.680708285_dewkIn the full-blown frenzy of the holiday season, I was feverishly searching for new Cephalopod-inspired ornaments to adorn our little tree, so obviously an “octopus ornament” google search was in order. That little search got us here – Full Blown Glass – an online shop with a wide gamut of eight-limbed mouth-blown art glass in various shapes, sizes and functions. Get ready to fall madly in love.  MORE

Review: Radion XR15w Pro and Reeflink Controller

Following on from our recent unboxing review, we’ve now had chance to install our XR15w over the test tank, hook it up to one of EcoTech’s ReefLink wireless controllers and have a good old play with the various settings and functions on offer. In this review we’ll detail exactly how we’ve integrated it onto the test tank, and evaluate the units capabilities in a real hobbyist setting. So the first thing we needed to do with our unit was to mount it, and to achieve this we decided to use a custom-cut sheet of glass to support it from underneath. Although any of the EcoTech mounting systems would have been fine for our tank, the other light we are currently testing (an AI Hydra 26) wouldn’t fit with this system so we needed something universal. More: Review: Radion XR15w Pro and Reeflink Controller is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.