Dwarf Parrot Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis) Family: Labridae
If I was asked to name one group of fish which featured a wealth of attributes such as beautiful coloration, tireless activity from dawn to dusk, ease of feeding, a generally peaceful nature, compatibility with invertebrates and disease resistance, I would lay odds that the questioner would not be expecting a realistic reply.

Harlequin Tusk Fish (Choerodon fasciatus) The harlequin tusk (Choerodon fasciatus) belongs to the family of wrasses. It has orange mottled bands. Each band is etched by delicate blue-violet ribbons. Anteriorly, between the orange bands is silvery-white, turning to dark grey-black posteriorly. With big protruding tiger-like fangs, the tusk looks very menacing indeed, capable of doing harm to other tank mates.


Clown Tang | Acanthurus lineatusThe Clown Tang (Acanthurus lineatus) is one of the most striking members of the Tangs / Surgeons family (Acanthuridae), being one of the most aggressive and can be challenging to keep and care for. It is also known in the trade as the Lined Surgeon and Pyjama Tang.

Sooner or later as a reef tank hobbyist you're going to want one of these beauties. They are reef safe and live harmoniously with corals and invertebrates.

Marine Fish - Tangs & Surgeonfish

Clown Trigger Fish

One type of marine aquarium never fails to create a stir, the fish-only tank containing BIG fish! The sight of large slices of brightly coloured piscine flesh cruising around an equally spacious aquarium is enough to make anyone's heart beat a little quicker. Such displays are normally the province of the public aquarium, but within the confines of a domestic setting the whole thing can be replicated on a somewhat smaller scale with equally stunning results.

General Saltwater - Big Fish & Aquariums

Blood Shrimps (Lysmata debelius) Most of my regular readers will already be aware that, on the whole, I do not condone small marine tanks; that is, tanks with a nett volume of less than 20 gallons (91 litres). They are usually very unstable as far as water parameters are concerned and subsequently exert considerable stress on fish and/or invertebrates. They are also extremely restricting for livestock and consequently prone to overstocking, especially where fish are involved.

Having said that, there is a way that the marine enthusiast can set-up a 'micro' marine aquarium housing only shrimps! Over recent years, I have been experimenting with 3-5 gallon marine aquaria containing various species of tropical and temperate shrimp and crabs. I am pleased to report that all tanks were successful and no livestock was lost.

Marine Invertebrates - Shrimps

Cyphotilapia frontosa A pair of Cyphotilapia frontosa from the authors aquarium.

One of the most beautiful and distinctive Cichlids of Lake Tanganyika has to be C. frontosa. There are two colour morphs of this species, a Berundi morph, which has six vertical bars and a Tanzanian morph, which has seven or even eight bars when they are young, although in my experience I have only ever encountered the Berundi morph. The males develop a huge lump of fat on the top of its head making this a very distinctive occupant to any aquarium.

Freshwater Fish - Cichlids

Random Aquarium Topics

Marine PestsBristleworms Class: Polychaeta
Nick Dakin
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Anyone whose hand has ever come into contact with a bristleworm will tell you that they leave fine, barbed hairs embedded in the skin, causing a rash and an irritation somewhat like a nettle. Whilst this may prove a relatively minor inconvenience to the aquarist, bristleworms are not only scavengers but predators which can damage valuable livestock. Particularly prone are those fish that 'lock' themselves into a safe crevice at night e.g. Firefish, as well as a variety of invertebrates such as clams.

Fishkeeper Health9 Ways To Avoid Zoonotic Illnesses Every Fishkeeper Should Know
Swallow Aquatics
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Keeping fish is a wonderful hobby and as far as pets go, fish are pretty well-behaved. Not necessarily low-maintenance, but they won't leave your house in a mess! Fish are also pretty clean right? No chances of any infections or any other health issues to worry about right? Well if you are a responsible fish keeper then yes, fish are very safe, but don't be fooled into thinking that there are no risks at all. Zoonotic illnesses do exist and if you keep fish you need to be aware of those risks and how to minimise them.

Fish For BeginnersFish For The New Marinist
Nick Dakin
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Regular readers of my columns will be aware that I strongly advocate all newcomers to the hobby to gain some valuable experience with fish-only before advancing into the world of invertebrates. There are two very good reasons for this:
1) most marine fish are infinitely easier to keep than most invertebrates, and
2) the basics of good marine husbandry can be learnt properly with animals that have a wider degree of tolerance that invertebrates do not have. In short, you can make a few mistakes with fish and it is unlikely to end in complete disaster!

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