The Iconic Raccoon Butterflyfish

Some of the marine fish we like to keep are surprisingly recognizable to both hobbyists and non-hobbyists alike—probably because they’re frequently depicted in photographs and artwork. Among these iconic fishes is the raccoon butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula) of the Indo-Pacific and…

Diodon holocanthus: an Endearing Puffer for Spacious Aquariums

Circumtropical in distribution and ascribed more common names than one can possibly keep straight (spiny puffer, porcupine puffer, porcupinefish, longspined porcupinefish, and balloon porcupinefish, to list but a few), Diodon holocanthus can be a worthy, very pet-like aquarium candidate. This…

Sometimes Fish Eat the Funniest Things!

Carnivorous fish eat meat, herbivorous fish eat algae/plants, and omnivorous fish eat both. That’s the order of things, and any fish we buy for our aquariums should fit nicely into one of these categories so we know exactly what to…

Ricordea florida: an Underappreciated Caribbean Beauty

As an American reefkeeper, it’s all too easy for me to forget that some truly gorgeous invertebrate livestock originates relatively close to home in the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean. I was reminded of this recently when CC entrusted several…

In Praise of Fish Oil

Hobby pioneer Paul “Paul B” Baldassano has some strong opinions on what types of foods are best for fish, formed over his many decades of involvement in the marine aquarium hobby. Somewhere near the top of his list is fish…

The Best Beginner Large-Polyp Stony Corals

Throughout my years as an aquarium enthusiast, I have followed all the advice from all the books I could get my hands on since there were no other hobbyists with the same interest as I in my circle of friends…

The Hardy, Colorful, Nano-Friendly Yellow Watchman Goby

Marine aquarium hobbyists who maintain nano tanks, whether by choice or necessity, often find it challenging to acquire fish that are well suited to their diminutive systems. But in the yellow watchman goby (Cryptocentrus cinctus), they can get all the…

Coral Catfish: Cute-Juvenile Syndrome with a Venomous Twist

A school of juvenile coral catfish (Plotosus lineatus) rolling and wriggling en masse along the ocean floor is among the more endearing sights one can behold in the marine realm. Not surprisingly, after seeing this phenomenon in nature or on…

The Green Brittle Star: Little Fishy, Beware!

“Voracious predator” is not a term one commonly associates with brittle stars—that is, of course, unless the brittle star in question happens to be Ophiarachna incrassata, or the green brittle star (aka “the green death”). This bold species has a…

The Harlequin Bass: An Exceptionally Hardy, Beginner-Friendly Marine Fish

Prized for its striking patterning, modest adult size, exceptional hardiness, and overall adaptability, the harlequin bass (Serranus tigrinus), denizen of the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean, makes an excellent choice for the novice marine aquarist and experienced hobbyist alike. (In…