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Blackworms Mean Better Health for Marine Fish

blackworms tank 300x205 Blackworms Mean Better Health for Marine FishLive worms are about the best thing we can feed to our fish. How do I know this? Am I just making it up so I have something to write? Actually, no. Live California blackworms have been used for ornamental fish food since a few years after World War II, as that is when I started feeding them to my freshwater fish. Blackworms will get freshwater fish into spawning condition in no time, and I can attest that the same applies to saltwater fish. Back in 1971, when I started in the saltwater aquarium hobby (I think it was on a Tuesday), I bought some of the first blue devils imported into the US. More: Blackworms Mean Better Health for Marine FishMore:

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Cool-Water Marine Species Sometimes Sold as Tropicals

catalina goby2 300x169 Cool Water Marine Species Sometimes Sold as TropicalsAs we often discuss here at Saltwater Smarts, one of the frustrating aspects of the marine aquarium hobby is the fact that some of the species commonly or occasionally available in the trade have no business in the average hobbyist’s aquarium. Some of these species grow way too large for virtually any home aquarium, some have a highly specialized diet that is impractical or impossible to replicate in captivity, and some are just too sensitive to endure the rigors of capture, prolonged shipping, and repeated acclimation to different systems. But we also need to add to that list the various cool-water species that are misrepresented (whether intentionally or unwittingly) as tropical species and sold to unwary hobbyists. Here’s a sampling of the species you might come across that can be maintained in cool-water marine systems but won’t last long in the average tropical aquarium: The Catalina goby Catalina goby (Lythrypnus dalli)With its stunning reddish-orange coloration and electric-blue stripes, the Catalina, or bluebanded, goby (Lythrypnus dalli) is a real eyecatcher. Couple its good looks with its diminutive size and peaceful disposition, and you’ve got an ideal reef tank resident, right? Not so much, unfortunately. L. dalli hails from the Eastern Pacific (from the Gulf of California to Equador and north to Peru according to FishBase) and thrives in waters ranging in temperature from the mid 60s to low 70s Fahrenheit More: Cool-Water Marine Species Sometimes Sold as TropicalsMore:

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Posted in Fish, Invertebrates, Science | Leave a comment

5 Ways to Counteract Coral Combat in the Marine Aquarium

hammer coral 300x169 5 Ways to Counteract Coral Combat in the Marine AquariumHammer coral (Euphyllia ancora) use long, stinging “sweeper” tentacles to attack neighboring coralsAt a casual glance, corals would appear to be an inoffensive lot, generally espousing a “live-and-let-live” philosophy. After all, when you’re firmly affixed to the substrate, how much trouble can you really cause for your neighbors? Plenty, as it turns out! Corals and other sessile invertebrates may seem harmless, but they actually take aggression to such a diabolical level that they make even the most pugnacious fish look like Ghandi with fins. They’re just much more sneaky and insidious about it. Depending on the species and particular circumstances, corals may employ one or more of the following aggressive mechanisms: Rapidly overgrowing neighboring invertebrates—i.e., actually growing directly onto the neighboring colony or extending over it and preventing it from receiving life-sustaining light Stinging neighbors with nematocyst-laden tentacles Extruding digestive organs (called mesenterial filaments) and essentially digesting the tissues of adjacent corals Exuding toxic chemicals (e.g., terpenoids) into the water to kill neighboring corals or impede their growth What can reefkeepers do to counteract these hostile tactics? #1 Research before you buy We’ve advised this time and time again here at Saltwater Smarts, but it bears repeating. A little modest research on the characteristics of different corals will reveal all kinds of vital information regarding their relative aggressiveness/noxiousness, for example the fact that Sarcophyton leather corals are notoriously toxic and that various Euphyllia spp. corals are known to produce long, stinging “sweeper” tentacles. More: 5 Ways to Counteract Coral Combat in the Marine AquariumMore:

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Posted in Corals, Fish, Invertebrates, Science | Leave a comment

Simple Tips for Effective Marine Aquarium Aquascaping

aquascaping2 300x169 Simple Tips for Effective Marine Aquarium Aquascaping Peaks, valleys, channels, and multiple outcroppings are aspects of a great aquascapeSince we launched Saltwater Smarts, we’ve been sprinkling the term “aquascaping” into our posts with reckless abandon. While many of you seasoned salties out there might be well acquainted with this term, others may find themselves scratching their heads each time they come across it. Aquascaping simply refers to the manner in which the rockwork, substrate, and any décor items are arranged in the tank—like landscaping, only under water. While there’s certainly an aesthetic component to aquascaping, its true significance goes well beyond visual impact. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind as you plan and implement your own marine aquarium aquascape: Design with livestock in mind The first thing to consider as you develop your aquascape is the type of livestock you plan to keep. Fish, for instance, can have very different aquascaping needs depending on the species. Some, including many tangs, need ample open swimming space, whereas others, such as the various clownfishes, are more site-attached and therefore demand more structure than swimming space. More: Simple Tips for Effective Marine Aquarium AquascapingMore:

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Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip #133: Fill That Test Kit Perfectly…Every Time

I might be one of the rare saltwater tank hobbyists that enjoys testing their aquarium on a regular basis. I’m happy testing my tank’s water until the test kit is missing that vital syringe that makes your testing more accurate. When the syringe doesn’t come with the test kit, here’s my easy solution to make testing fun again. Links in this video: www.mrsaltwatertank.com/testkits MORE: Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip #133: Fill That Test Kit Perfectly…Every TimeMore:

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Mr. Saltwater Tank Interviews Mat Roy & Francis The Fish Geek From The Fish Tank Kings”

Aquarium-based reality TV heats up with the Premiere of “The Fish Tank Kings” Season 2. In this episode of Mr. Saltwater Tank TV, I sit down with Mat Roy and Francis “The Fish Geek” to talk to them about season 2 and to find out what happens behind the scenes and what to expect out of season 2 of the show.  MORE: Mr. Saltwater Tank Interviews Mat Roy & Francis The Fish Geek From “The Fish Tank Kings”More:

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Posted in Corals, Equipment, Fish, Tanks, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Never Leave Your Couch Again!

TV aquarium Never Leave Your Couch Again! Interior design is not for the faint of heart and when it comes to the placement of an aquarium things can get even more complicated.  Reefers have always had to make a decision between the positioning of their tank and that of their TV, forced to choose between two of their favorite things.  Some resort to placing the two side by side or sandwiched around each other, but no more must you decide which you love more! … More:

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