Other Inverts

Live Rock Hitchhikers: Tunicates (Sea Squirts)

Among the more fascinating creatures that commonly make their way into marine aquariums as stowaways on good-quality live rock are tunicates, or sea squirts. In terms of visual interest, these animals can be quite dazzling, with some exhibiting spectacular coloration…

Don’t Get Burned by Flame Scallops!

Mention beautiful bivalves for the marine aquarium, and the various tridacnid clams (the so-called giant clams) will probably come to mind. Likely, the flame scallops of the genus Ctenoides will too. However, while the tridacnids have a fairly decent survival…

Sand-sifting Starfish: A Job (too) Well Done!

If you’ve ever shopped for a marine aquarium cleanup crew, you’ve probably noticed that these packages often include so-called sand-sifting starfish—rather bland-colored, burrowing stars of the genus Astropecten that can reach about a foot in diameter. As their common name…

Harmless or Helpful Live Rock Hitchhikers: “Pods”

Regular Saltwater Smarts readers often see references to them in Paul B’s posts. They arrive in our aquaria unbidden aboard chunks of live rock, in live sand, or on coral specimens attached to rocks. At a glance, they look like…

Harlequin Shrimps: Seeing Stars (On the Menu)

Somewhat comical and cartoonish in both name and appearance, harlequin shrimps (Hymenocera picta) are not invertebrates to be purchased on a whim. Keeping these critters, as I’ll soon explain, demands an investment of cash and effort that not every marine…

5 Ways Hobbyists Misuse Grazing Marine Snails

Of all the fascinating invertebrates available to marine aquarists, grazing snails are perhaps the most misused. Too often we treat them like expendable little lawnmowers, plopping them in our tanks with the express purpose of preventing or eradicating algae and…

Is There a Jellyfish Tank in Your Future?

One of the product lines that really caught my eye at MACNA 2014 were the jellyfish tanks at the Boyd Enterprises booth. Until recently, home aquarists did not have access to jellyfish systems. When I think of jellyfish systems, I…

Does the Emerald Crab Earn Its Algae-Eating, Reef-Safe Reputation?

Among the various and sundry marine life commonly sold to aquarium hobbyists for utilitarian purposes is the emerald crab (Mithraculus sculptus). Oft touted for its propensity to gobble up bubble algae and other irksome algal forms, M. sculptus has become…

Thoughts on Hand-Feeding Marine Aquarium Fish and Inverts

Part of the fun of keeping marine aquariums is reaching that stage where the fish come to recognize you as the supplier of victuals—the face that always peers into the tank right before food hits the water. Some hobbyists might…

Mini Maxi Spawning at Tidal Gardens

For years now, we have been propagating mini maxi anemones. They are easy to propagate by cutting them in half and letting them heal for a month or two. Most aquacultured corals are asexually produced either by allowing them to…