Majestic/Bluegirdled Angelfish - Euxiphipops navarchusLike most other marine angelfish this species is another true beauty. One could say that it runs in the family. Adult and juvenile Majestic Angels (Euxiphipops navarchus) also known as the Bluegirdled Angel differ greatly in coloration. This above pictured specimen has begun its transformation into the adult color pattern. A complete juvenile has no orange color at all and the electric blue bands extend into the dorsal fin. The adults are bright orange with many blue dots in the mid-section of the body. The dorsal fin and tail are fireball orange with an iridescent blue border edging. Its face also turns bright orange from below the eye and extending along the gill plates towards the anal fins.

(Finally) A How-To on Angelfish Reef AquariumsIn creating a truly sustainable and enduring marine environment, it’s not uncommon for a reef aquarium owner to feel suddenly besieged. Looking at all the filtration setups, pumps, bubble machines, heaters, coolers, fish tank stands and fish tanks out there – it’s easy to get knocked back on your heels. If only someone could consolidate the dos-and-don’ts of reef tank maintenance. Then maybe frazzled aquarists could get some rest at night. Well here to diminish those dark circles, your very own lullaby: an Ode to Angelfish Reef Aquarium maintenance.

Investing in coral reef aquariums is a growing trend for aquarists everywhere for good reason. Like a moving piece of art pulsing with the colors of a pastel sunset, these stunning, living biomes, bubble with life and make a great aesthetic addition to any home.


Flame Angelfish | Centropyge loriculusSaltwater fish really have to compete with each other for attention. When just about everything in the tank has bright colors, bizarre tentacles, elaborate fins, or dangerous spines, simply being beautiful isn’t going to cut it.
One fish that doesn’t have to try very hard is the flame angelfish. These vibrant fish have an almost unnaturally intense coloration that’s reminiscent of the rising sun. Their intense red is contrasted by an neon blue along their back fin. It looks as though flame leapt off the head of a match, grew a set of gills, and then started swimming through your fish tank.


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

Big Fish & AquariumsThe Big Marine Tank
Nick Dakin
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Just what constitutes a big tank?  Obviously, if you've been used to keeping an 18"x12"x12" aquarium (not recommended for marines by the way) then obviously a three foot tank is going to seem relatively big.  However, I would say that the realm of the truly big tank begins in the region 5'x18"x18".  This represents 70 gallons gross gallonage of water and holds all the advantages, and the disadvantages, of a larger aquarium.

Water QualityDissolved Oxygen
Nick Dakin
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It would be true to say that the majority of aquarists never test for dissolved oxygen (02). Nevertheless, oxygen is an extremely important gas and essential for the survival of the vast majority of livestock that we keep. This is, of course, most evident in fish, which draw oxygenated water in through their mouths, passing it over oxygen extracting membranes within the gills and expelling the depleted water out through the gill slits.

DecorCraving Caves - Marine Aquarium Decor
Nick Dakin
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One of the greatest pleasures of marine fishkeeping has always been to replicate as accurately as possible the authentic environment of a particular range of livestock, thus enjoying perfectly natural behaviour. Depriving fish and invertebrates of a similar environment from which they were collected can create stress, leading to strange behaviour patterns, disease, and in extreme cases death!

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