The MicroBiology of Aquariums

You might think that your aquarium has a few fish, some corals, and perhaps an assortment of invertebrates that you may or may not have intentionally introduced. We all kind of  know that there’s a lot of microbial life in our…

Invertebrate Highlight: The Pom Pom Crab

The Pom Pom crab is a cute and mysterious reef safe crustacean. If you’ve ever seen this curious critter, you may wonder what it is dancing for, and what it is holding. It is actually holding two anemones, Triactis producta, that it uses…

Xynosphaera: the Parasitic Nephthea Shrimp

Green Nephthea is one of the most colorful and popular soft corals in the aquarium hobby, but most aquarists (and scientists) have never heard of the curious crustacean which calls it home. The above illustration [credit: Bruce, 1994] depicts Xynosphaera colemani,…

The rarely seen Striking Sea Star

Despite the diversity of sea stars that abound in tropical waters, relatively few species find their way into aquariums with any regularity. One of the most interesting species—morphologically, behaviorally and evolutionarily—is also one of the most seldomly encountered: the “Striking…

The Gorgon Worm: Gorgonorhynchus

Ribbon worms (Phylum Nemertea) are an unfamiliar group of invertebrates to aquarists and the general public alike. Despite their occasionally immense size, this unique phylum of animal life is seldom on anyone’s radar. Which is why it came as a…

Flower anemones are totally HOT right now!

Flower anemones have been part of the saltwater aquarium hobby since before there even was a Reef aquarium hobby. They’ve always been around, at all the fishstores – in grey, brown, greenish and occasionally with a little bit of orange coloration…

Rob Toonen shares what deep reefs tell us about keeping corals with Sacramento reefers

Marine biologist Rob Toonen recently spoke to his alma mater reef club, the Marine Aquarist Roundtable of Sacramanto, and thanks to the folks from MARS his engaging conversation on “What Deep Reefs Tell Us About Keeping Corals” was recorded and…

Octopus goes “Gilligan’s Island” making a home out of coconut shells

In a scene more reminiscent of a Gilligan’s Island, octopuses are caught on film digging up discarded coconut shells from the ocean floor and scampering away with their booty to build shelters that would have made “The Professor” proud. The…