The Mystery of the Stolen Fish Meds

Before being put on display, new animals arriving at public aquariums have to go through a quarantine process. This allows the curatorial staff to observe and treat the newcomers for any potential risks to the resident...

Salty Q&A: Is My Lionfish Going Blind?

Bright aquarium lighting is sometimes implicated in causing blindness, especially in lionfish (Pterois spp.)QuestionI have a volitans lionfish that’s been in my 200-gallon tank for over two years, and lately it has begun to act like it can’t see. At feeding times, it makes an effort to grab food that’s drifting by but usually misses—like it can tell that food is in the water but can’t see it well enough to get it in its mouth. Is there a way to tell if this fish is actually going blind versus having some other health problem? – Submitted by Sean Myles Answer Thanks for your question, Sean! In his book The Salt Smart Guide to Preventing, Diagnosing, and Treating Diseases of Marine Fishes, Jay Hemdal addresses the issue of blindness in fish—specifically the subtle symptomatic differences between a fish that is going blind and one that is actually ill to the point of becoming moribund. Here is that particular excerpt from his book, which I think will answer your question better than I can: Blindness A very common symptom reported by home aquarists is that one of their fish has become blind. This, more often than not, is a result of a fish becoming ill to the point that it is moribund (close to death) and is not just blind. Basically, a fish that bumps around the aquarium, runs into the tank sides, and ignores food may not be blind at all; it may just be dying

Freckled Hawkfish: A Hardy, Hefty Option for the Rough-and-Tumble Tank

Freckled hawkfish (Paracirrhites forsteri)When it comes to keeping hawkfishes in aquaria, one of the more common admonitions is to avoid housing these predators with fish or crustaceans small enough to swallow. For most of the hawkfish species that grace our tanks, which generally have a maximum size somewhere between 3 and 5 inches, only very small tankmates are truly at risk. A noteworthy exception is the freckled hawkfish (Paracirrhites forsteri), which can reach a rather prodigious size and has a mouth to match. You really have to take that warning seriously with this species! That said, P. forsteri is a hardy, easy-to-care-for hawk that makes a worthy aquarium candidate provided tankmates and housing are chosen judiciously.Physical traits P. forsteri has the deep, stout body and high-set eyes, typical of the hawkfishes. Its maximum size is approximately 8½ inches.

Salty Q&A: Harlequin Tuskfish Ate My Cleaner Shrimp!

Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon fasciatus)QuestionTwo weeks ago, I added a harlequin tuskfish to my 90-gallon reef tank with the understanding that it’s a peaceful fish. Then this morning, the stupid thing ate my skunk cleaner shrimp right in front of me! Was I misinformed about this fish’s temperament? Eating tankmates whole seems like pretty aggressive behavior to me. Also, I was under the impression that predatory fish usually leave cleaner shrimp alone because they recognize that they’re helpful. Is that not the case?” – Submitted by Jen Answer I don’t know that I’d say you’ve been misinformed about this species’ temperament exactly, but it may be that you’ve misinterpreted or misapplied a few terms here.

5 Circumstances that Warrant a Species (or Specimen) Tank

A large, aggressive species, such as a queen triggerfish, is sometimes best kept singlyA diverse community of marine fishes presents quite a visual feast, especially when housed in a reef system brimming with colorful corals. However, in some stocking situations, it’s preferable to avoid the “typical” marine community (if there is such a thing) in favor of a single-species or even a single-specimen tank. Ah, but if you limit your livestock to a single species or specimen, won’t that make for a real yawner of a tank? On the contrary, sometimes systems that put the focus exclusively or primarily on a particular species or individual are among the most fascinating to observe.Here are five circumstances that warrant going single-species or single-specimen: 1. The shy, specialized feeder Seahorses, which are slow, awkward swimmers, shy by nature, and very specialized, methodical feeders, come to mind here. In your average community aquarium, these fish would basically be doomed, as they’d be unable to compete with bolder, faster-moving tankmates for food and would be unable to tolerate the brisk water movement typical of such systems. Not to mention, a community tank of any appreciable size would make it extremely difficult to provide the steady supply and high concentration of suitable food items necessary to sustain seahorses. On the other hand, in a small dedicated system with very gentle current, no competition for food, and suitable “hitching posts” to cling to, a group of seahorses can make for a truly mesmerizing display
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