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

FAQsLivestock Euthanasia - A Taboo Subject?
Nick Dakin

Q) I have never been sure of the best way to dispatch ailing livestock. There seem to be many differing opinions on the subject. Which techniques are best?
David Wallace, Surrey, United Kingdom.

A) The whole subject of livestock euthanasia has always been a sensitive one, creating very little regular and open discussion but nevertheless generating a great deal of strong feeling and disagreement whenever the topic is broached.

CichlidsElectric Blue Hap | Sciaenochromis ahli
All Tropical Fish
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This is another beautiful Cichlid Electric Blue Hap (Sciaenochromis ahli) from Lake Malawi. The above specimen is an exquisite male. Females and juveniles are gray drab in comparison. Electric Blue Haps in general are more peaceful than their mbuna counterparts and should not be mixed.

FAQsLooking For Healthy Livestock
Nick Dakin
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Q) What points should I bear in mind when looking for healthy livestock?
R. Messina, Florence, Italy.

A) Apart from a bargain, everyone is looking for livestock in the peak of health. By purchasing strong and vibrant animals, the marinist gains a distinct advantage in that his/her charges will already be ready to survive the rigours of aquarium acclimatisation and come out the other end full of vitality and stress-free. But do most enthusiasts know what to look for in a good specimen? How can we tell the good from the bad - even though they may be ugly!?

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