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The Big Picture – Marine Aquarium Giants

Hello again everyone! Craig here again, and in my last blog I talked about some of the biggest of the freshwater fish to be kept in home aquariums. In this blog, I will go over some of the big saltwater fish found in the hobby. Without a doubt, there are very large fish that call the sea their home. Some of these mammoth fish are being kept by hobbyists. With all the challenges of keeping a marine tank in tip-top condition, adding a giant fish to the mix can present dedicated fish keepers some challenges.

Honeycomb MorayLarge fish can be intimidating not only for their size, but their ferocious looks, too. Moray Eels are certainly some of the most intimidating. Their snake-like bodies and gaping mouths often cause people to get squeamish. One species, Gymnothorax favagineus, the Honeycomb Moray, is one of the most beautiful. Also known as the Tessellated Moray, this is one impressive fish. Able to reach a size of over 6 feet in length in the wild, this is definitely a giant. Boasting a beautiful white body with black splotches, there are few morays that are as attractive. In some individuals the dorsal takes on a yellow hue.  Read More »

Pros and Cons – Considering Size When Purchasing an Aquarium



This is more than just the actual size of the aquarium. Obviously, a 180 gallon tank would make a poor desktop aquarium just as a 10 gallon tank would be an inadequate room divider. Measurements aside, it is important to also consider how much weight the floor can support, particularly if you’re considering a large tank on any floor with open space beneath. In the 19th century house I live in, I’m fairly certain that a large tank would go straight through the floor and end up in the basement. Some apartment complexes won’t even allow larger aquariums, especially on upper stories. A gallon of water weighs a little over 8 lbs, so water weight in addition to substrate and ornamentation can spell disaster on a weak floor. Saltwater aquariums are also generally going to be heavier than freshwater aquariums – the salt in the water and live rock used in most tanks increases the weight. Read More »

Animals Effected by the Gulf Oil Spill – It’s More Than Turtles, Seabirds and Dolphins

Whale SharkMore than 50 days after the explosion, and all we have is more oil leaking and more promises of a reliable fix. BP has successfully placed the cap on top of the ruptured pipe, collecting some of the oil. Meanwhile, more oil appears in new locations day by day. Depending on currents and winds, parts of Coastal Louisiana continue to bear the brunt of the slick. Coastal sections of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Panhandle of Florida have seen some oil, mainly in the form of tar balls. However, it is feared that strong southerly winds over the next few days will push more oil into the Panhandle of Florida affecting Pensacola Beach and other popular destination areas. Unfortunately, this is not only bad for the environment but also for the local economies. It is still unclear when BP will get the oil leak stopped, I have heard speculation of a few weeks, months, and even into next year. We can all only hope that it will be sooner than later. Read More »

What is that in my Aquarium? – Part 1 – Stomatella Snails

Stomatella SnailSome of the most interesting animals in aquariums can be the ones we never knew we had.  Aquarists often turn to the internet in trying to figure out what some unidentified thing in their aquarium is and where it came from. One of my favorite unexpected hitchhikers is the Stomatella Snail.

Stomatella Snails look like and are often mistaken for several other organisms like Limpets, Nudibranchs (sea slugs), or Abalone Snails but they are actually more closely related to Turbo and Margarita Snails. Stomatella’s only grow to just over an inch in length and have a small, flat shell on the top of their body. They actually don’t fully withdraw into their shell like other more traditional snails. This external shell and small operculum (the “trapdoor”) on the back of their foot separate them from the Nudibranchs and sea slugs, and the lack of “holes” and openings in the shell separate them from the Limpets and Abalones. Read More »

Volunteer Opportunities Conserving Fresh Water Fishes and Ecosystems

Hello, Frank Indiviglio here.  Responsible aquarists are usually interested in conservation, and those of us living in the USA are fortunate in having available a number of organizations that utilize volunteers to help study and preserve rivers, marshes, lakes and other vital freshwater habitats and the fishes and other creatures that they support.  The organizations highlighted here tend to take an ecosystem approach – please see the articles cited below for projects focusing solely on fishes and other aquatic animals.

General Habitat and Animal Conservation

Flathead CatfishAmerican Rivers, one of the nation’s largest organizations focusing on freshwater conservation, helps volunteers to organize local projects and provides technical assistance.  Present and past projects have involved fish surveys, water quality sampling, wildlife monitoring, shoreline cleanup, emergent vegetation re-planting and a host of other interesting and important activities.  American Rivers also hosts “River Action Day”, an annual event that draws hundreds of concerned activists to Washington, D.C. Read More »