Home | Tag Archives: saltwater fish

Tag Archives: saltwater fish

Feed Subscription

Bold Basslets

Chalk BassHello, Sam here with another small fish profile.  Fish from the group of known as the basslets are mostly small, solitary species that are great candidates for smaller tanks.  These fish are related to the much larger basses.  Two species of fish that I particularly enjoy from this group of fish are the Chalk basslet (Serranus tortugarum) and the Tobacco Basslet (Serranus tabacarius).  Both of these fish are found in the Caribbean and are normally imported around 3 inches in length. Read More »

Chalk Bass, Serranus tortugarum, for Reef Aquaria

Chalk BassHello, Jason here. Every day I find a customer seeking a colorful fish that they can put in their reef tank. The decision can be difficult because so many of the fish are far from reef safe and many fish will pick at (if not devour) corals. One fish to consider for your reef is the Chalk Bass (Serranus tortugarum). This Caribbean fish occupies rubble and sand bottoms from South Florida to to the Bahamas. Read More »

A Livestock Preview: New and Interesting Arrivals in our Fishroom

Hey  Everyone!  Patty here.  Thought I’d take a minute to highlight some of the new and interesting things we’ve gotten in this week in the fish room.  With the Anniversary Sale coming this week, I’m sure there will be more to see and buzz about for the weekend, but here is a look at just a couple of the newest arrivals that are looking particularly pretty.  All of the regular favorites will be here for the sale along with some special goodies that will make the visit even more worthwhile!  We hope you can make it in this weekend!

Lake Terbera rainbow

Lake Tebera Rainbow
Like other Rainbowfish, this species is great for larger community aquariums. They are larger, but active and peaceful. Rainbowfish are also great additions for their shimmering colors.

small blood parrot

Small blood parrot
This batch came to us with more natural looking coloration instead of the traditional brightly colored Bloody Parrots.


Lelupi are a staple in the world of African Cichlids, sought after for their interesting habits as well as their bright yellow-orange coloration. These are lovely!

Gold faced datnoid
Datnoids have a mystique about them that is quite a draw. This species has attractive bars and a golden sheen in the head and face. Enthusiasts should check these out!

yasha haze

Yasha haze
The Yasha Haze Goby has been around in the market for a few years now, but every time one arrives it’s beauty still astounds me. This is a great candidate for a reef or nano-reef system.

Orange-spotted Sea Slug
This pretty slug is a real spectacle! A Pacific native, its bright orange dots make it easy to spot.


Despite is rather cryptic, cave-dwelling personality, Swiss Guards and other related basslets like the Swales Swiss Guard (also here) have amazing color and will not disappoint in the right environment. They are most at home in a rocky reef home.

Feel free to contact our livestock department or a fishroom associate if you are looking for anything in particular before you come in or if you are interested in having something live shipped to your door.

Species Profile: Pygmy Angels

Welcome back Mellisa Leiter, one of the Marine Biologist who works in our fish room here at TFP. Mellisa has written an article about one of the coolest little saltwater fish around, the Pygmy Angel. I hope you enjoy!

Pygmy Angelfish

Pygmy angelfish are fairly small, yet bright and colorful. They are generally not-specific feeders and usually accept most prepared food offered to them. They should be offered frozen foods like Mysis Shrimp, Formula 1, Formula 2, and Clams. They should also be offered flakes, pellets, and a regular supply of algae to round out their diet. Pygmy Angelfish typically do well in an established aquarium, 55 gallons or larger. Some acceptable tankmates include damsels, clownfish, tangs, gobies, blennies, and wrasses. As with their larger Angelfish cousins, careful consideration needs to be taken when attempting to keep more than one Pygmy Angel in the same tank. Two Pygmy Angels of the same species or very similar coloration should not be housed together, they will be very aggressive towards each other. If you want to attempt to keep two different species of Pygmy Angels together, your best bet is with species of different coloration. While there is no guarantee that these feisty little fish will coexist in your aquarium, you can increase your odds of them getting along in a few ways. First, the bigger the tank the better; 55 gal tank or larger. Second, make sure that there is plenty of live rock with lots of hiding places, this will allow the fish to establish their own territory. You can also reduce aggression by adding the fish at the same time, this way no territory has been established by older residents. Pygmy Angelfish are generally “reef safe” but may nip at the occasional polyp from time to time. I would not recommend Pygmy Angels for reef aquariums with Acropora, or other SPS corals for this reason. Their max size ranges from 3-6 inches for most species.
One of the most popular Pygmy angelfish would be the Coral Beauty (Cenropyge bispinosus). Their colors range from a deep purple to shades of orange. They stay fairly small (3-4”) and can be housed in tanks as small as 30 gallons. Coral Beauty’s are usually “reef safe” but may nip on polyps as well as the slime coat on other corals. The Coral Beauty is very hardy once acclimated into a well established tank with plenty of liverock.


Another hardy Pygmy angelfish that does well in an established tank is the Flame Angel (Centropyge loricula). Their colors are a vivid red with black lines. The amount of black varies. Flame Angelfish do not have different juvenile to adult coloration’s so be sure to pick the stripe pattern that you like since it won’t change. Flame Pygmy angelfish tend to be more peaceful than some of the other pygmy angelfish. Flame Pygmy Angelfish are usually “reef safe” but may eat polyps or clam mantles.


One of the smaller pygmy angelfish that is also hardy is the Cherub Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge argi) . Cherub Pygmy angelfish is a purplish blue with a splash of orange around its face. They reach a max size of 2-3 inches. Cherub Pygmy angelfish may be shy any first, but don’t let their small size full you. These little angels have attitudes and will defend their home at all cost. They are generally “reef safe” but may pick at the occasional polyp.
One of the larger Pygmy angelfish would be the Keyhole Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge tibicen). They can reach a max size between 7-8 inches. Keyhole Angelfish are not as colorful as many of the other angelfish. They are mostly dark blue to black with the lower portion of the anal fin bright yellow and an oval white area on both sides of their body. Keyhole Angelfish do not tend to ship as well as some of the other angelfish but once properly acclimated they are usually pretty hardy.
One of my favorite pygmy angel is the Lemonpeel Pygmy Angelfish (Centropyge flavissimus). They are bright yellow with blue trim around both eyes and gill covers. Lemonpeels are generally shy and need lots of places to hide to feel safe. Once acclimated they usually become more social. Lemonpeel angels are more likely than some of the other pygmy angelfish to pick at LPS corals and clam mantles.
One of the more aggressive pygmy angelfish is the Eibli Angelfish (Centropyge eibli). Eibli Angelfish have a silver gray body with orange stripes, black tail rimmed in blue, and a hint of orange around the eyes and belly. These angels adapt fairly well to aquarium life if given an established tank with lots of macroalgae to graze on. Eibli Angelfish are usually “reef safe” but may nip on the occasional polyp or clam mantle.
While there are many pygmy angelfish that do well in aquariums there are some species that are gorgeous but are a challenge for even the experienced aquarist. The Potter’s angelfish (Centropyge potteri) and Golden Angelfish (Centropyge aurantia) fall under this category. Potters angelfish are bright orange with blue gray scribbled lines and blue trim. Golden Angelfish are a burnt orange color with vertical yellow stripes. These angelfish tend to be very shy and reclusive and do not readily accept prepared food.
I hope you enjoyed Mellissa’s article.
Until next blog,

Species Profile: Long Horn Cowfish

Welcome back Melissa! Enjoy her profile on the Long Horn Cowfish, or Lactoria cornuta.
Cowfish are very cute curious fish. Who couldn’t love a bright yellow box shaped fish with whitish blue spots and little horns sticking out from its head and behind its caudle fin?? Cowfish are very friendly and have great personalities. They are generally peaceful and get along with other peaceful fish like chromis, anthias, and basslets. They may eat small inverts as well as graze on live rock, and pick at algae from time to time. In captivity, they usually accept brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, krill, as well as other frozen foods. They should be fed small portions several times a day. With frequent feedings water quality must be continual”Long Horn Cowfishly monitored. It is a good idea to only house one cow fish per aquarium since they are aggressive towards their own species. A single cowfish should have at least 100gal since adults can reach a max size of 18”. If cared for properly they can live in an aquarium for many years.
Cowfish, as well as other members in the box fish family, are able to produce an ostracitoxin which is found in the mucous secretions in their skin. However, the cowfish must be alive to to release this toxin. They only appear to excrete the toxin if they are stressed or feel threatened. Cleaner shrimp and fishes that feed on the slime coat of other fish should be avoided as tankmates because they may provoke the cow fish to release its toxin. If the toxin is released in a closed system the water will usually have a milky haze and the fish immediately start gasping. It would only take a matter of minutes to kill the cowfish as well as the rest of its tankmates. Inverts tend to withstand higher concentrations of the toxin than fish and are more likely to survive. If you suspect the toxin is in your tank, add fresh carbon immediately. If carbon is used and replaced regularly you may see little to no effects of the toxin.

Cowfish are a unique and interesting fish. They may not have soft cuddly fur but they are as close as you can get to an underwater puppy dog!