Eileen here. Most aquarists have a virtual library of books, websites, magazine, and forums that we like to help identify new fish and invertebrates. I have 5 books on my own desk here and at least a dozen website bookmarks to reference and cross-reference our new arrivals and “unknowns”. Earlier this year, a new website joined those ranks for quick coral identifications. Now that same website has gone even farther and included saltwater fish in their online guides.
Coralidea.com is the product of Jake Adams and his decades of aquarium experience. The coral guide has 17 categories, including clams and anemones, and can be downloaded at no charge from their website. Unlike some field guide-style identification books, most of the pictures in this guide were taken in aquariums, under aquarium lighting, and of specimens that can actually be found in aquariums. Best of all, the guide can be downloaded onto most mobile devices as well as your computer desktop. Just think – instead of lugging a book to your local fish store, you can just take in your iPod to help you identify the new corals in their tanks.
Now, as of October 8th, Coralidea has officially launched Fishidea, their new saltwater fish identification guide. While not as complete as some of the common books available, Fishidea has the most common saltwater fish (as well as some downright rare species) listed in 18 categories. Unlike Coralidea, Fishidea has species information listed for most of its entries, including hardiness, compatibility, size and diet.
Both Coralidea and Fishidea are considered “works in progress” on the website and the website itself is increasing in functionality as Jake and crew add the photos directly to the site for viewing. These guides are a great way to take a reference with you and its another great addition to the “libraries” of many of our staff biologists and aquatics staff. Besides that, there are just some really great pictures. Don’t forget to download some of their wallpapers while you visit the site!