Why Keep Fish and Aquatic Invertebrates? – some thoughts for new and experienced aquarists

Yesterday and Today
Hi, Frank Indiviglio here. When I first became involved with aquatic animals, it seemed that most people kept aquariums as an offshoot of a long-seated and intense interest in fish and other animals. Especially where marine organisms were concerned, the difficulties inherent in keeping all but the hardiest of creatures discouraged those with only a passing curiosity.

However, a wealth of information and technical advances has now greatly simplified life for those desiring an aquarium of their own. More and more, people are drawn to the hobby because of the sheer beauty of the animals that can be brought into their homes. It has been my experience that such people usually develop a deeper interest in their pets, and a sincere concern for their well being.

Expect Great Rewards
However you might come to aquarium-keeping, and whether you decide to focus on fresh water or marine animals, or both, you will gain an insight into worlds that have largely been beyond your reach. Even when keeping common species in the most basic aquarium set-ups, you will be privy to the secret lives of a host of fascinating organisms. The thrill of a first breeding success, or the observation of a rarely seen or even unknown aspect of animal behavior, is quite hard for me to put into words, even after all this time – but trust me, it is not to be missed.

The Captive-Wild Link
The life history details of many, if not most, of the world’s fishes and aquatic invertebrates are virtually unknown. The aquarist who takes the time to properly maintain both common and unstudied creatures stands an excellent chance of contributing to our understanding of them.

Most aquatic animals will exhibit a full range of natural behaviors only under ideal captive conditions. You must, therefore, learn as much as you possibly can about both the natural history and captive husbandry of your pets. Considering the destructive effects of human activities on wild animals and their environments, we should remember that every bit of information that is gleaned about a creature’s behavior will contribute, in a very real way, to its future survival in the wild.

Other Rewards
Aquarium keeping usually stimulates deeper interests in a wide range of related subjects. You, and those with whom you share your passion, will want to learn more and more about the animals that you keep – how they live, what prospects they have for continued survival and what must be to protect them.

For young children, especially those largely isolated from nature, an aquarium can be a call to new worlds, interests and careers (I am a case in point). I have observed that elderly people often find this hobby quite stimulating, and the sense of being responsible for the well-being of other creatures can become a healthy influence in their lives. My own grandfather started me off in the early 60’s, with seahorses, octopus and other creatures (often rescued from the pot at NYC’s Fulton Fish Market!) and my mother continues to pile up new and interesting observations on her own fish, invertebrates and aquatic amphibians.

Contributions You Can Make
Upon entering the world of zoos and public aquariums, I was quite surprised to learn that the observations of “non scientists” are the source of much of what is known about aquatic animals. Important facts are routinely uncovered by amateur naturalists and hobbyists observing their pets or exploring natural areas.

The potential for discovering new facts and, indeed, new species, is greatly increased for those with an interest in invertebrates (for example, a new species of centipede was recently discovered in NYC’s Central Park, on ground that I and millions of others trod daily). We are unaware, even to the nearest degree of magnitude, of the number of invertebrate species that inhabit the world, and are even more ignorant as to how they live their lives.

Record everything and anything that you observe as you pursue your hobby. You may wish to employ the help of interested friends and relatives in your endeavors. I have noticed that children and the elderly are often especially fascinated by live animals, and may gladly spend long periods of time watching your aquariums. Volunteers have long served as an “extra pair of eyes” for me in my work at zoos and aquariums, and I never cease to be amazed at all they reveal to me.

Observe, Discover and Share
Above all, be generous in sharing what you have seen and learned with others. Become involved with special interest organizations, and publish your findings whenever possible. The fact that an observation first appears as a note in an informal publication does not in any way lessen its importance – consider that Wallace’s theory of evolution, which closely paralleled Darwin’s, was revealed in a letter written to the latter, and spurred Darwin to publish his own findings.

The local newsletters of aquarium organizations are often the starting points for researchers interested in particular animals or environments. Please do not be trapped into believing that you must be a “professional” in order to contribute – as you will discover by reading about any animal, very little can replace direct observation as a means of discovering new information.

Using This Blog to Draw Attention to Your Ideas and Observations
Perhaps we can utilize this blog as a springboard for new ideas and facts. I would appreciate hearing about your observations of aquatic creatures. If you have seen something that you believe to be unique or perhaps unrecorded, please feel free to write in …I’ll be happy to look into it further, and to advise you on the possibilities of publishing or pursuing it further. Please do not hesitate to write in if you are unsure – over the years, observations that seemed not at all unusual to me have turned out to be quite the opposite – sometimes it’s hard to tell. Thanks, until next time, Frank.

Bristleworms. The Good, the Bad, the ITCHY!!

Hi, Craig here with some cool stuff about Bristleworms.

It’s late in the evening, you have gotten home after the lights on your reef tank have gone out. Walking by the tank you look down and notice a little fuzzy worm poking out of the rocks. Startled, you press your face close to the tank and …ZIP!!… the little worm is gone. Thinking to yourself that you have a cool new critter in your tank, you forget all about the worm. Days go by… weeks go by… another late night at work and you again arrive at home to a darkened tank. Looking into the aquarium again, you see dozens of little worms now! Crawling everywhere! Now you are a bit concerned. What in the world are these things?! And why are there so many?! And how does one get rid of them?!

What you have discovered are members of a large class of worms called Polychaete worms. There are probably more polychaete worms on this planet than virtually any other creature. Feather duster worms and Christmas tree worms as both included in the class Polychaeta. Some Polychaete worms live over hydrothermal vents in the deepest reaches of our oceans and are amongst the most heat tolerant animals on the planet. Another species of Polychaete worm lives over cold seeps in the ocean and may be the most long lived animal on Earth, reaching perhaps 250 years of age. Most are marine worms, but some species have even adapted to living in humid terrestrial environs.

The little boogers you have just discovered in your tank are very common, most likely from the genus Hermodice or Eurythoe, and often carry the common names of “Bristle worm” and “Fire worm.” These names are derived from the rows of needle-like bristles that line the sides of their bodies. These bristles are often venomous and can produce localized swelling and, in some cases, extreme burning sensations. There is some debate as to the danger of these creatures in the home reef aquaria. While there is no doubt that many species of bristle worms will predate upon soft corals, gorgonians, and tridacnid clams, some of the smaller members of the genus Eurythoe can certainly be counted as some of the best detritivores in the business.

So how do you decide if you have one of the big nasties or one of the little janitorial worms? That will take a little research. I have seen what may literally be dozens of different species. Each one a little different than the other. From the foot long Hermodice carunculata that is white to grey in colour with white spines, to the small red-headed Eurythoe spp. that are rarely more than 7cm in length. If you have tiny worms that are white to black with red heads, chances are they are actually doing you a lot of good. However, even in large numbers, the little guys could become a nuisance. If, on the other hand, you have one of the large white or pink ones… well… those eat things. Trapping and population control through predation are almost always good ideas. Which method you choose will depend greatly on the size and number of the worms.

Six Line WrasseIf you have smaller species of Polychaete worms, it is very likely that you will be able to control their population size by using various natural predators. Of the different creatures used to control bristle worms, there are a handful that are stand outs. At the top of the list are the Pseudocheilinus wrasses. Six line wrasses (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia,) the disappearing wrasse (Pseudocheilinus evanidus,) the Twelve line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia,) and Mystery wrasses (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) are all well known for their appetites towards bristle worms and flatworms. Generally considered to be well-mannered in community reef tanks, these wrasses make a very beautiful and curious addition to any tank. Another genus of fish that is known for it’s ability to eat small bristle worms are the dottybacks. There are a handful of Pseudochromis that have shown consider skill and appetite when it comes to eating bristle worms. The most notable are Pseudochromis fridmani, Pseudochromis sankeyi, and Pseudochromis springeri. Each of these species is a very inquisitive and entertaining addition to a reef tank. While most Pseudochromis show a very high level of aggression to tank mates, these three species have shown to be quite tolerant of neighbours. Any of these fish would make a very beautiful and prized inhabitant to your home aquaria. Another excellent, if somewhat voracious, predator of bristle worms is the arrow crab. Members of the genus Stenorhynchus are very well known to eat bristle worms. Using their very long claws to extract worms from rockwork, these unusual crabs eat the worms as though they were eating a fuzzy piece of spaghetti. The only negative to these crabs… if there aren’t any worms around… they will catch whatever they can to keep themselves fed. Other crabs, shrimp, and small fish are all on the menu if the arrow crab gets hungry enough. Continuing with the invertebrate solution for bristle worms, there is a particular genus of shrimp that can be somewhat helpful in controlling populations of the smaller worms. The coral shrimp of the genus Stenopus have been noted to eat bristle worms in modest numbers. These shrimp are very attractive and can be kept in mated pairs. This ability to keep them in pairs makes the coral shrimp a really wonderful member of your aquarium. In regards to keeping the arrow crab or the coral shrimp, it must be noted that some individuals will preferentially take to eating prepared fish food rather than putting the effort into hunting worms. But, really, who can blame them when they know that there is a free meal coming to them? No matter what your choice in biological bristle worm control, you will no doubt be pleased with the addition of a beautiful and interesting new resident to your reef.

Having just spent an entire paragraph on predatory control of bristle worm populations, it should be stated that predation upon large specimens is virtually impossible, so trapping them would be the most efficient way of removing them from your aquarium. There are several commercially available traps, but almost all of them are for smaller worms. To make a trap that is capable of catching a larger worm take a little bit of imagination as well as a little McGuyver. Using 1/2″ PVC, cut an 8 inch length. Then, cut two small pieces of nylon window screening and rubberband it on each end. On one end, cut a small slit to allow for entry by the worms. Before you submerge the tube into the water, you will want to place a piece of shrimp all the way inside the tube as far as you can get it. Leave the tube in overnight. Check the tube first thing in the morning and see what you’ve got! It may take a handful of tries, but this method will often bring results.

You may be tempted to try to remove the worm with a set of tweezers or tongs. Take care in doing this… for if the worms breaks into pieces, each of those pieces can form a fully functional worm! With patience, either technique mentioned in the above paragraphs should yield results in controlling or eliminating your bristle worm population. Remember that small numbers of the small Eurythoe spp. actually considered somewhat beneficial, but if you keep soft coral and tridacnid clams, you may be better off having some sort of control in the tank. Another helpful tip in controlling populations, keep your tank on a regular, weekly water change schedule. Weekly 15% water changes will help keep organics down to a minimum, thus keeping the food source for bristle worms down to a minimum. So, if you ever encounter any of these little beasties and want to be rid of them, try a trap or a natural predator. If, on the other hand, you decide to keep your new critters, you will have some very curious and odd pets to observe! The shy nature of these worms can even become somewhat endearing if you give them the chance!

Latin 101: The Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates Scientific Naming Game – Part 2

Click here to view the first part of this article: Latin 101: The Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates Scientific Naming Game – Part 1

The next part of the scientific name, the species name, is often the most descriptive and specific part of the name. While a genus can still contain hundreds of organisms, the species name for each of these organisms must be unique. It can describe where the fish comes from (orientalis, americanus, chilensis), a person (axelrodi, scottorum, springeri), a color or coloration (caeruleus, albus, puncatus), or a combination of these. Sometimes you may see “spp.” or “ssp.” listed instead of a species name. These abbreviations denote a subspecies (ssp.) or multiple species (spp.). A subspecies may be a variant of specific species that is different enough from the “standard” species to be distinguished, but not different enough to be considered a completely different species altogether. This abbreviation is used mainly with plants, but it occassionally comes up with fish and invertebrates as well. The multiple species abbreviation is used when more than one species is being referred to. For example, in our store you may see sections of assorted Acropora corals labelled as “Acropora spp.” since it may include Acropora tenius, Acropora formosa, Acropora valida and others. Knowing the species name can help aquarists when referring to fish that are very close in appearance

Sailfin Tang

but are different species (like the Sailfin Tang, Zebrasoma veliferum, and the Desjardin’s Tang, Zebrasoma desjardini) or fish with the same common name (like Amblygobius phalaena and Gobioides broussonette, a saltwater fish and a brackish water fish both known as the “Dragon Goby”).

Common Prefixes and Suffixes

There are some basic prefixes and suffixes that show up in a lot of scientific names, especially in the genus name. Some are more obvious than others, but having a working knowledge of what some of these mean makes remembering the scientific name and connecting it with the fish it describes a lot easier. The prefixes generally fall into the following categories:

Shape/Size – These normally act as suffixes in the genus or species name to describe the size and shape of an organism or the size of an organism:

brachy short
brevis, brevy short
grandis large
macro big, large
micro small
platy flat

Some examples: Brachygobius xanthozona (Bumblebee Goby), Macrodactyla doreensis (Long-tentacle Anemone), Platydoras costatus (Striped Raphael Catfish)

Color: The color descriptive is normally in the species name of an organism. It can be used to describe the organism as a whole or a feature on the organism like a stripe or spots.

aureus gold fuscus dark brown
albus white glauc, glauco grey, bluish-grey
auranti orange leucos white
caeruleus blue melano, melas black, dark
chloros, chloro green nigra, niger, nigrum black
chromis color, colorful porphyr, purpur purple
chryseus, chrys golden yellow rubens, ruber red
cyano blue-green viridis green
erythro red xanthos yellow
flavi, flavus light yellow

Some examples: Pomacanthus chrysurus (Goldtail Angel), Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura (Bluesided Fairy Wrasse), Amblyglyphidodon aureus (Golden Damsel)

Patterns/Markings: These are typically species descriptives as well and can often be used with color descriptives.

astro, astero star
fasciata banded
fimbri, fimbria edge, border
guttatus spotted, speckles
lineatus striped, lined
maculatus spotted, blotched
notat marked
ornatus ornate, fancy
punctata spotted, spots
striata, stratus striped
taenia band, ribbon
variegat striped, variegated

Some examples: Amblyeleotris guttata (Orange Spot Prawn Goby), Chaetodon unimaculatus (Teardrop Butterfly), Corydoras punctatus (Spotfin Cory)

Parts of the Body: These are hardly ever used alone. They typically follow or are followed by other descriptives to specify a feature of that body part, like a long nose or white stomach.

caudatailodon, odustooth

cephale, cepsheadopsface

cheillippectorchest

dermaskinpinniwing, fin

dorsal, dorsalisbackpod, pedfoot

gasterbellyrhyncho, rhynchusnose, snout

gnath, gnathusjawrostrasnout, beak

nasinoseventralbelly, stomach

Some examples: Opistognathus aurifrons (Yellowhead Jawfish), Centropyge flavicauda (Whitetail Pygmy Angel), Centropyge flavipectoralis (Yellowfin Pygmy Angel)

Numbers: These are usually used to refer to the number of a feature of a fish (spots, stripes, etc.)

mono, unione, single

diplo, di, bitwo, double

tres, tris, trithree, triple

tetra, quadfour

pentafive

hexa, hexsix

heptaseven

octo, octaeight

ennea, nonanine

decaten

polymany

Some examples: Pseudocheilinus hexataenia (Sixline Wrasse), Centropyge bicolor (Bicolor Pygmy Angel), Octopus vulgaris (Common Octopus)

Other Common Descriptors: It is impossible to list all the words and roots you may come across, but here are a few more common roots, prefixes and suffixes that tend to appear in common aquarium organisms.

echino spiny ichthys fish
acanth spine, thorny neo new, recent
crypt hidden opsis appearance
geo earth para near, close to
haplo simple phago eating
hyper over pseudo fake, false
hypo under -ensis originating from

Some examples: Geophagus brasiliensis (Pearlscale Eartheater), Neocirrhitus armatus (Flame Hawkfish), Pseudochromis flavivertex (Sunrise Dottyback), Parachromis dovii (Wolf Cichlid), Tanichthys albonubes (White Cloud Mountain Minnow), Echinoderms (all sea urchins and sea stars, meaning “spiny spined”)

Just for Fun

Now that you know the basics, these names are just for fun. Some have fun meanings, others are puns and some we just like to say. The names listed here are just from the aquatic world – there are countless others from the animal and plant worlds that you can discover on your own. Impress your friends with your new little bits of trivia and mastery of the Latin language…

Abra cadabra
This is actually a clam that has been moved to a new genus, but we all know the scientists who originally named it had a sense of humor. Or he just liked magic.

Bidenichthys beeblebroxi and Fiordichthys slartibartfasti
Both are small triplefin blennies and yes, they are both named after characters in A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Bufonaria borisbeckeri
This is actually a species of sea snail. Yes, it is named after the tennis star.

Busycon canaliculatus
The Channeled Whelk. Another one that’s just fun to say.

Callinectes sapidus
Otherwise known as the Blue Crab, the favorite food along the Chesapeake Bay area. The name in Latin actually means “Beautiful swimmer that is tasty”. Obviously, they were seafood fans.

Gammaracanthuskytodermogammarus lorictobaecalensis
This was the longest scientific name on record, but was banned from official use internationally. It was for an amphipod – a microscopic crustacean.

Ittibittium
This genus of snails is, surprisingly enough, smaller than those from the genus Bittium.

Trilobites
Trilobites were a class of crustaceans that went extinct about 250 million years ago but are very popular fossils. There are currently trilobites named after the bands the Sex Pistols (Arcticalymene viciousi, A. rotteni, A. jonesi, A cooki, and A. matlocki), the Rolling Stones (Aegrotocatellus jaggeri and Perirehaedulus richardsi), the Ramones (Mackenziurus johnnyi, M. joeyi, M. deedeei, M. ceejayi) and the Beatles (Avalanchurus lennoni, A. starri, and Struszia mccartneyi). The genus in one of these names, Aegrotocatellus, also literally means “sick puppy”.

Uca pugnax
The common Fiddler Crab. No fun meaning behind it, it just happens to be one of our favorites to say.

Vampyroteuthis infernalis
The scientific name for a species of deep-sea squid. Literally, it means “vampire squid from Hell.” It is harmless to humans, but its appearances makes the name seem fitting.

Thanks Eileen,

Until Next time,

Dave

Latin 101: The Aquarium Fish and Invertebrates Scientific Naming Game – Part 1

Please welcome back Eileen with another excellent post.

What do you call the fizzy, carbonated drinks sold in cans and bottles and out of vending machines by companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi? Soda? Pop? Cola?

What about the athletic shoes made by companies like Nike and Reebok? Sneakers? Trainers? Tennis shoes?

Paracanthurus hepatus is known by many different common namesOr, more importantly for aquarists like us, what type of fish was “Dory” in the Disney movie Finding Nemo? If you say Blue Tang, Hippo Tang, Palette Tang, Regal Tang, Flagtail Surgeonfish, or Pacific Blue Surgeonfish, you aren’t wrong.

Just like people from different areas can’t agree on what to call their drinks or shoes, aquarists have lots of different opinions on what to call the fish and invertebrates in our aquariums. These “common names” are just nicknames that we as hobbyists use to identify the animals that we keep. So how do we know that we’re all talking about the same fish when we talk to other hobbyists that might even come from another country or speak another language? Do we pull out a portable DVD player and point to the screen every time?

Enter the Binominal Nomenclature System…the dreaded “scientific names” that we see written in italics in every aquarium guide and identification book we read. No matter what language we speak or what part of the world we are from, every picture of that bright blue fish with the black markings and yellow tail will undoubtedly say the same thing under it….Paracanthus hepatus. Understanding how this system works and how we can use it to our benefit is helpful to every level of aquarist.

A Brief History

This system of classifying and naming every plant and animal discovered started with a family of scientists in the 16th century but didn’t truly begin to gain in popularity and use until a 18th century Swedish botanist by the name of Carolus Linnaeus began to assign a two-part name to every plant, animal or mineral that was discovered. The names were created based on the animals appearance or behavior as they observed it at the time. Even now, some of Linnaeus’s original classifications still stand even though many have been amended as knowledge about the organisms has increased.

One things that hasn’t changed is the Latin Linnaeus used to start his naming system. Latin was already a dead language by the time Linnaeus started using it. No one spoke it in everyday life and only those who were educated in universities had a working knowledge of it. This unpopularity and relative uselessness of the language was what actually made it perfect for scientific use. Using a language that wasn’t used every day means that it won’t change a whole lot. Think back to any classic English works that you might remember like Shakespeare and then think back to a magazine or newspaper that you read last week (or like this blog you’re reading right now, for that matter). Do they sound the same? Language changes and evolves through time but using a language that essentially hasn’t been used since the time of Caesar and the gladiators means that it isn’t going to go through a whole lot more evolving. Latin is also not a national language of any country around the world, then or now, so it is more likely to be accepted by everyone while if the naming system was based on a specific country’s national language, any countries who aren’t too fond of that nation aren’t as likely to use and accept it.

How It Works

Every creature on Earth is classified into one of 3 Kingdoms – Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya (this last Kingdom was adopted in the 1990s to combine four other Kingdoms -Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, and Protista). From there, the classifications are broken down further into a Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. Aquarists and hobbyists primarily use the last of these ranks – Family, Genus, and Species – so that is what we’ll focus on here.

The Family is one of the first ranks where it usually becomes obvious that all the fish in the group are all related. In some of the higher ranks, the similarities may be so vague that it might be hard to tell how two things are related just by looking at them. A Family (usually ending in -ae, by the way) would include all of the fish we commonly know as Tangs or Surgeonfish, for example, although we can still see that a Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) is visibly different in body shape from a Hippo Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus). We can tell that if we have a fish with a scalpel-like spine at the base of its tail, a generally teardrop-shaped body, a mouth designed for algae grazing and a flattened body is probably in the Family Acanthuridae with other tangs and Surgeonfish, even if we don’t know yet if it is in the genus Zebrasoma, Acanthurus, Paracanthurus, or Naso.

After the Family, the genus (“genera” in the plural form) is the next level of classification and where we start getting very specific about the identification of an organism as it applied to the aquarium hobby. The genus is the first part of the two-word scientific name. In Rhinecanthus aculeauts, most commonly known as the Picasso Triggerfish, “Rhinecanthus” is the name of the genus which also includes the Bursa Trigger, Huma Huma Trigger, and Rectangle Trigger. At this level, we still can’t point to a fish and know exactly what it is from the genus it is in, but aquarists can typically make some important generalizations about a fish by becoming familiar with the genera commonly available in the aquarium trade. By looking at the genus of a triggerfish, we can usually tell if it is probably going to be a super-aggressive powerhouse (Balistes, Balistoides, Rhinecanthus) or if it will be a more docile, Reef-safe addition (Xanthichthys, Melichthys, Odonus). Genera can lead to some confusion however; as our knowledge of organisms grows, the genus classification is the most likely level to change. This is especially seen in African cichlids. Genera are being added and modified regularly as fish that were once thought of as color variations of the same fish are being classified as new species altogether.

Check back on Wednesday for the conclusion of Eileen’s article.

New Aquarium Livestock at That Fish Place

Over the past few weeks, we’ve gotten a lot of new and exciting livestock in our fish room for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. These are some of our favorites, but hurry in because they aren’t likely to be here for long!

Ruby Red PeacockLots of colorful adult peacock cichlids:
In addition to our smaller, juvenile African cichlids, we’ve gotten in a lot of colorful adult male peacocks over the past couple of weeks. These cichlids range from three to six inches in size and have the bright, mature color prized by collectors. Some of the species we have right now are:
Aulonocara rubescens, both the “Ruby Red Peacock” and the “Albino Ruby Red Peacock”
Aulonocara hyassae “Red Shoulder Blue Peacock”
Aulonocara steveni “Albino Taiwan Reef”
Aulonocara maulana “Bicolor Peacock”
Aulonocara jacobfreibergi, both the “Lemon Jake” and Lwanda” variants
Copidachromis mloto “Ivory Head Mloto”
Sciaenochromis ahli “Electric Blue Ahli”

Friendly fish for small marine aquariums

Two fairly uncommon, peaceful blenny species are back in stock – the Segmented Blenny (Salarias segmentatus) and the Lined Blenny (Ecsenius lineatus). Both are adorable small species that are perfect for smaller aquariums that might be too small for another algae-eating blenny like the Lawnmower or Starry Blennies.
The even smaller Panda Goby (Paragobius lacunicolus) is ideal for tiny nano-reef aquariums. These tiny gobies have a maximum size of only one inch and have white bodies with black fins and an orange head. They aren’t available often so when they’re gone, they might not be back for several months.
Another small goby, the Tangoroa Shrimpgoby (Ctenogoboips tangaroai), is a good partner for small pistol shrimp or on their own in community aquariums. They have generally white bodies with a long dorsal ray and can be found building a burrow or scooting along the bottom of the aquarium.

Rare and unusual saltwater fish:
Hybrid Lemonpeel Pygmy Angel (Centropyge flavissimus var.) – a first for TFP! We only have one of these pygmy angels in stock, but it is a new favorite worth mentioning. While most of its coloration is typically of the Lemonpeel Pygmy Angel, this particular fish has a black tail and black trim around the back of its body, making us think it hybridized with an Eiblii or Half Black Pygmy Angel at some point. Very unique!
Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus) – This rare little wrasse has been here for a few weeks now and is making himself at home! The Mystery Wrasse has a gorgeous blue and green coloration and is safe for most reef tanks. The one we have is super active and definitely has put aside the secretive “mystery” part of his common name!
Helfrichi Firefish (Nemateleostris helfrichi) – This little dartfish is on on the wish list of most of our Fish Room staff. It has a beautiful coloration, a peaceful nature and small adult size, and isn’t a picky eater. These fish never stay in our Fish Room long when we are able to get them and we don’t expect to be able to keep the one we have left for very long.

Acro, Acro Acro!
It’s been a good week for SPS lovers! A few new coral shipments have left us with some gorgeous Acropora’s – ultra colorful, unique formations, dense colonies, even a large Table Top Acropora.

Keep in mind, patrons of our Lancaster, PA retail store have first dibs on the livestock listed here. If you are interested in a species, I would recommend giving the livestock department a call ASAP at 1-877-367-4377. Even if we’re no longer in stock, most times we can special order what you’re looking for.

Thanks,

Eileen