livestock

Salty Q&A: What Constitutes a Reef Aquarium?

Question I’m new to saltwater aquarium keeping and struggling to wrap my head around all the different ideas and terminology. For example, what exactly constitutes a reef tank versus a fish-only tank that happens to include a few invertebrates?” –…

Signs You May Need to Lower Your Reef Tank’s Bioload

The bioload in a reef aquarium increases through both the acquisition of new specimens as well as the growth/reproduction of established livestock. So, unless fish and corals are dying in significant numbers (which they shouldn’t be unless there’s a major…

How to Tell if a Marine Fish Is Dying of Old Age

We aquarists try very hard to keep our animals alive as long as possible for a few reasons. The first is that we are caring people and don’t want to see them hurt. The second is that our specimens cost…

Beginners: Never Add Livestock to Your Marine Aquarium under These 5 Circumstances

In a nutshell, the reason people are drawn to this hobby (not counting the genetic mutation unique to marine aquarists that I can only assume researchers are close to isolating) is to enjoy up-close-and-personal encounters with exotic marine life. In…

Failure to Launch: 5 Reasons New Marine Aquarium Hobbyists “Crash and Burn”

It’s a tale as old as the hobby itself: A novice marine aquarist sets up his or her first system, runs headlong into every conceivable obstacle and pitfall, responds with a series of misguided decisions, loses a whole tank’s worth…

The Reef Aquarium After Hours: Four Reasons to Keep That Flashlight Handy

Anyone who has done any night diving knows that nighttime activity on coral reefs is very, very different from what goes on there during the day. A dramatic “changing of the guard” occurs, with diurnal fish seeking refuge in the…

What’s Wrong with This (Reef Tank) Picture?

Right now, I’m gazing at a magazine ad featuring the image of a reef tank, and the one word that comes to mind is “magnificent.” I’m sure you’ve seen one like it before, but allow me to describe it to…

Relax! Have Fun! It’s a Hobby!

I realize that many of us take our aquarium keeping very seriously, but we have to put it in context and remember that it is just a hobby. A hobby, by definition, is something that gives us pleasure, not something…

Beware Marine Aquarium Complacency!

A funny thing sometimes happens to marine aquarium hobbyists who have a few years’ experience under their briny belts—they have a tendency to become complacent in their methods and attitudes. Once they’ve mastered the basics of aquarium keeping, it can…

Down to One Marine Aquarium—and So Far I’m Loving It!

For quite some time, I had at least two marine aquariums up and running—a 75-gallon reef tank and a 125-gallon FOWLR tank. As regular Saltwater Smarts visitors know, that 75-gallon tank had become something of a thorn in my side.…