The Pacific Sailfin Tang: A Hardy, Bold Species Demanding Spacious Accommodations

The Pacific sailfin tang (Zebrasoma velifer), not to be confused with its Red Sea namesake (Zebrasoma desjardinii), is a fish with many attributes that make it desirable to marine aquarium hobbyists—it’s attractive, hardy, bold, easy to feed, etc. But don’t…

Salty Q&A: How Often Should Your Fish Fast?

Question I’ve been told that it’s a good idea to avoid feeding aquarium fish on occasion, for example once every week or once every other week. I guess this stands to reason because fish in nature can’t always get a…

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…

Astraea Snails Make Short Work of Algae

This past year, I rediscovered how great an army of snails can be. We go pretty light on cleanup crews in general. For example, there really aren’t any hermit crabs to speak of in our systems. In 5,000 gallons of…

Inappropriate Feeding—Not Just Overfeeding—Kills Marine Fish

“We lose a lot more fish to overfeeding than we do to underfeeding.” I’ve read or written that sentence—or some variation upon it—more times than I can recollect. While I still consider this statement to be true on balance, I…

The Lawnmower Blenny: a Funny, Fascinating Fish of Unpredictable Utility

The lawnmower blenny, aka the jeweled blenny, jeweled rockskipper, or sailfin blenny (Salarias fasciatus), is commonly purchased not just for its comical behavior and only-a-mother-could-love looks, but also for the utilitarian purpose of controlling algae in marine tanks. While you…

Naso lituratus: a Sleek, Striking, Outstanding Fish for Spacious Marine Aquariums

Certain marine fish really make me wish I could afford to set up and maintain a much larger aquarium. Among these is Naso lituratus, the lipstick tang, aka the naso tang, tricolor tang, or orangespine unicornfish. Alas, this hardy, attractive…

What Gives When Herbivores Won’t Graze Nuisance Algae?

The practice of adding herbivorous fish and/or invertebrate species to marine aquariums for the purpose of nuisance algae control is quite commonplace. Hence the popularity of those herbivore packages known in hobby parlance as “cleanup crews,” or CUCs. But almost…

Ecsenius bicolor: a Beginner-Friendly Blenny with Real Character

Included in the Indo-Pacific genus Ecsenius are several interesting, beginner-friendly, generally aquarium-worthy blennies, among them the popular bicolor blenny (E. bicolor). This species’ modest size and bottom-dwelling habit also make it a great choice for smaller aquarium systems. Physical traits…

The Sohal Tang: A Big, Belligerent Beauty

The sohal tang (Acanthurus sohal) is one of many fish species available in the marine aquarium trade that should come with a warning label. It’s a gorgeous fish and generally very hardy, which is a plus, but anyone contemplating purchasing…