I'm Ramona. I enjoy writing Articles about the things I have researched and experimented with. Hoping to help others.
Salt Water fish and other salt water creatures
Salt water fish, invertebrates and corals in the aquarium are beautiful. So soothing. Having one or more in your home is very relaxing and exciting to watch. My husband is fascinated by them. He is the one that got me interested. I used to tease him, how can anyone care about a fish. It's just a fish! While my husband explained different things about them. I watched them swim and grow in their Aquariums, I got more interested. Now I can't get enough of their beauty and personalities ( yes, fish have personalities). So I decided to write about them and share them.
I have included pictures ( Most are from my Aquarium) and info for your understanding of these wonderful water creatures.
The Saltwater Tang fish
All too often these fish find themselves in undersized tanks. Add to that possible aggression issues and the need for frequent feedings, and you have a family of fish that are beautiful, interesting, and for the most part, not suited for the beginning reef aquarist He will eat meaty foods along with the other fish in the aquarium, it is important the Tang is offered plenty of marine based seaweed and algae. This fish is a herbivore, grazing on alga and other plant life. This will strengthen its immune system, reduce aggression and improve overall health.
My Yellow Tang doesn't get along with other fish. He is so dominant over all the other fish. He slightly turns his little white SPIKES that are at the end of his fin, hoping to stick one of the other room mates. He also thinks he is smarter than I....He thinks when he hides behind a rock and PEEKS out from between them, that I can't see those big eyes peeking out at me. He is Greedy too. As soon as I feed them, he tries to hurry and eat all the food before any of the other fish can. Then his Belly swells up, but he still tries to eat as much as he can.
He's such a hateful little guy.
Other Common Names:
Yellow Surgeon-fish, Yellow Hawaiian Tang.
Minimum Tank Size:
Salt water Anemone
A sea anemone is a polyp, attached at the bottom to the surface beneath it by an adhesive foot, called a pedal disk, with a column shaped body ending in an oral disk.
The mouth is in the middle of the oral disk, surrounded by tentacles armed with many cnidocytes, which are cells that function as a defense and as a means to capture prey. They are relatively peaceful, but adequate space should be provided between them and other corals in the reef aquarium. Some can produce toxins which are harmful to other reef inhabitants. Anemones are finicky and sometimes hard to keep. The Aquarium water and water flow has to be just right such as so does the lighting. Some Anemones prefer a lot of light while others do not. Some like a lot of water flow and some do not. You will just have to get to know your anemone once you introduce it to your aquarium.
Anemones do not require a lot of food although they do enjoy Foods such as micro-plankton, finely chopped frozen shrimp, silver sides or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates. The best way is to feed them directly at least twice a week with a turkey baster or syringe. Bright lighting is important for Anemones. They cannot survive long without good lighting. The Anemone will normally do well in temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 26 degrees Celsius).
Nuisance- Pest, Aiptasia Anemone
If you have these- GET RID OF THEM!!!!!
If you have never seen these pests before you might think they are pretty anemones. Believe me they are not. They will destroy your reef.
They multiply tremendously and give off poisonous vapors. They are also known as Hitchhikers. If you buy live rock they could have possibly hitch-hiked their way onto the rock. With the seller not even knowing they are their. They shrivel up in a whole so you can't see them until it's to late.
So if you have any of these, this is how you can get rid of them " INSTANTLY " and " IMMEDIATELY ' .
* Boil a little bit of water in a pot ( a few cups)
* Using a Turkey baster, slowly squeeze some of the boiling hot water directly in the middle of the pest. The hot water will kill it instantly.
Be careful not to squeeze the water out to fast if you have other things around it. By squeezing slowly to insure it only targets the nuisance Aiptasia.
Don't spend and waste any money on chemicals that can harm your aquarium or tools to get rid of these pests.
The simplest, easiest and effective way is to put BOILING HOT Water on them.
Brittle Star is a scavenger. Their flexible arms are lined with many spines which let's them travel quickly. During the day they like to hide in the rock and come out at night to search for food. Their arms can brake easily but overtime will regenerate. These are a great addition to have as they will feed on the fish waste thus helps keep the aquarium cleaner from ammonia that the waste can produce.
Salt water Lawn mower Blenny
Me personally am a fan of the Lawnmower Blenny. Is adorable, in my opinion.
. To me, he doesn't look like a fish. He reminds me of a Dog. He sits up high in the Aquarium on his two little stick fins, looking down and around at everything. He even will turn just his head from side to side while his body does not move in the process. I love his little (what I call) antennas above his eyes. Looks like a little martian. And as he is eating algae he kind of jumps on it with his mouth wide open.
Blennies are small scale fish. Most are bottom dwelling fish. They have elongated bodies and modified pectoral fins they use to prop themselves up. They have variable eating habits, some are Carnivorous and some are herbivorous. carnivorous Blennies feed on small invertebrates such as small worms, shrimp, and amphipods. Herbivorous Blennies feed primarily on various types of marine algae. They are a very hardy species and adapt well to aquariums.
Cleaner Wrasse Fish
Wrasse fish thrive in aquariums. They are active and feed well on most food offered, and tolerate a variety of conditions. They are highly recommended for new Aquarist's. They are known to clean parasites from the body of other fish. Having one of these in the aquarium can benefit by keeping other fish parasite free.
False Percula Clown Fish
False Percula clown fish are an orange color and the white is outlined in black bands. The orange is very vibrant in healthy individuals. Some individuals may turn darker with age. There will be one white stripe, edged in black, running vertically just behind the 'head'. Sometimes a secondary stripe can appear behind the dorsal fin, or towards the middle of the body. (Mostly seen in younger fish, and fades with age. Possibly a camouflage tactic to break up the body pattern.) The number of dorsal rays is 9-10spines, and 16-18 soft rays. The female of the species is larger and darker.
Clown-fish live among the tentacles of sea anemones, gaining protection from them. Clown-fish seem to be immune to the stings of anemones, because their skin is covered in a coating of slime. This tricks the anemone because it feels like it is touching itself when it touches the slime of the clown-fish, therefore it will not sting.
Feather Duster tube Worm
Tube worms have the ability to construct tubes using a variety of materials, including secreted mucus, sand grains, shell bits, or calcium. the worms that inhabit the tubes have a feathery crown of tentacles that varies in color. these tentacles serve a dual pupose, for respiration and for a trap to capture small food particles. When startled, these worms contract their tentacles quickly into their tubes.
These worms should be fed several times a day with fine suspension food particles, such as ground plankton, flake foods or commercial invertebrate foods. the best way to feed them is to use a small eye dropper and release it near the worm.
A coco worm is more colorful and expensive than a regular feather duster. They have two heads and a hard shell.
They require calcium in the water.
Other feather dusters shell's are more softer. I've seen an emerald crab pick the casing off one my softer shelled feather duster.
Leather Toadstool Coral
Leather toadstool Coral are easy to keep,their shape is much like a mushroom with an extended stack and curved crown and have small anemone like tenticals.
Leathers produce a mucus coat to collect food and protect themselves from algae growth. They like moderate water flow to help them shed the mucus or it can sofocate them.
Leather's can be easily fragged.
Lovely Angel fish
Large Angels are among the most popular fish for the home saltwater aquarium, and most marine angelfish adapt well to captivity. The diet of Large Angels consists of microalgaes, macroalgaes, sponges, and zooplankton. It is advisable not to introduce Angels from the same genus into one aquarium, as fighting will usually occur. It should be fed a diet of Spirulina, marine algae, high-quality angelfish preparations, mysis or frozen shrimp, and other meaty items. Offer dried seaweed tied to a rock or use a veggie clip, and feed at least three times a week.
Mushroom Polyp - Ricordea green
Ricordea Green Mushroom Polyps are covered with short green colored tentacles. The green color is a Neon Green that looks like it would glow in the dark, but doesn't.
The polyps are easy to keep and will grow, split and spread throughout the aquarium. This is a tiny one, we just purchased it 2 weeks ago. It seems to be pretty comfortable in the spot we put it in.
They sometimes cover themselves with a thin layer of mucus and use that to collect plankton and bacteria as food. So don't be alarmed of the mucus covering. These mushrooms prefer High-lighting since it gets it's nutrition from light and medium to high water flow.
Pajama Cardenal are peaceful fish hovering in one spot for long periods of time. Once it finds a spot in the Aquarium that it is comfortable with it can get territorital like other fish. They are very easy to care for and should be provided a space it can hover under or over. their diet consists of brine, pellet, flake and mysid.
Rock Anemones prefer strong lighting.They feed of of Zooxanthellae within their bodies. They will also take in food by their tentacles and slowly move it to their mouth which is a small slit in the center of their body. I've found that this Anemone did not like much lighting. It mostly hid under the rocks.
Emerald Crabs are Peaceful they have bumpy shells and hairy legs. They cling to the rock as they forage for food which in general is Algae.Their little front claws pinch algae from the rock and stuff it into their mouths. It's hilarious to watch.
You can keep more than one in your tank
Can recognize their care givers
Puffers are able to move their eyes independently, and many species can change the color or intensity of their patterns in response to environmental changes. Their faces to me are so cute, it seems they are smiling at you. Puffer fish can puff up to 2 or 3 times their normal size! You must make sure you keep your top closed on your aquarium because the puffer likes to jump. You don't want him to be able to jump out of your Aquarium.
It is not a good idea to have Two puffers in the same Aquarium. They will destroy each other. They also like eating Hermit crabs, silversides, krill and pawn.
Polyp, Zooanthids are an excellent beginner coral. They are photosythetic and do not need any special feeding. They like Low to moderate water motion and low lighting but, they do better in higher lighting. Polyps spread fast so care must be taken so they will not choke out other coral.
Long nosed Butterfly Fish
Butterfly fish should be provided ample room in the Aquarium, as many species exhibit extreme territorial behavior and aggressiveness toward those of their own kind.A varied diet is recommended, including frozen, live, and prepared food.
Sea Horses are not recommended for New hobbyist. They are hard to maintain due to their requirements for food, live food. They are slow feeders and delicate creatures.
Sea Horses swim erect, primarily using their dorsal fin and pectoral fins for propulsion. Their tail permits them to remain secure while resting and feeding.
Sea Horses are not territorial.
The male is equipped with a brood pouch in which the females deposit their eggs. After the eggs hatch, the male gives birth to the young.
Elegance Coral is just that, Elegant! I think it's because of it's magnificent flowing tentacles and Neon Fluorescent green, blue or orange glowing highlights.
They look a lot like Anemones and are aggressive towards others by stinging them. So keep a distance between them and other corals/anemones. They seem to be pretty hardy and like medium -high lighting and medium water flow. The Elegance loves for you to feed it chunky, meaty foods. It will grasp the food with it's tentacles and roll it to the middle where it's mouths are. That's right I did say "mouths". It can have as many as 8 mouths down the middle of it's body. Needless to say, they do love to eat.
Squirrel fish have large eyes and mouths.. They are the Night Hawks of the coral reef, hiding during the day. They have stout spines on their fins, and rough scales. Their predominant color is red, with contrasting markings of black, white or yellow. They are either solitary or in small groups, depending on the species. Squirrel fish feed mainly on small invertebrates such as shrimp and crabs. They are a hardy fish and adjust well to aquariums.
Most Definitely get a Cleaner Shrimp
Every Salt Water Tank should have one!
These little guys, Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp, are so important to have in the Salt Water Aquarium, constantly staying busy.
They clean everything, even the fish. Cleaner Shrimp use their white antennas to invite their customers to a parasitic cleaning. Having one of these shrimp will help keep your fish healthy and free of parasites. If the shrimp detects "ich" or other skin problems on fish the shrimp will clean up the problem.
The one I have is not shy at all. He will eat the food right out of your hand at feeding time. When my husband opens the top of the tank the shrimp knows it's feeding time and will sometimes come up to the top to be hand fed if he is being impatient.
It's white antennas are longer than it's body and he uses them quite frequently. Whipping them around to touch the fish as they go by to let them know it's cleaning time. Some fish ignore it but some will stop by and let this little fellow do it's job.
Our Cleaner Shrimp spends majority of his time on the Leather Coral when he is not moving around the tank as in this picture I provided for you to see. They enjoy flake, live, frozen and freeze dried foods.
Goat fish are active bottom feeding carnivorous fish. In their natural habitat, they are found in sandy rubble reef areas, where they feed on small invertebrates.
Goat fish are not as colorful as other aquarium fish, however they are not territorial. They are hardy and always active in the aquarium, feeding on pieces of food on the bottom. They are pink with areas of yellow, and three broad bands of black on the body.
Live Coral Reef
Live corals are the most important contributors to the structure of a saltwater reef in nature as well as in reef aquariums.
The appearance of some species of Coral varies dramatically depending upon the environment.
You have to know what you are doing and understand how things can and will go wrong before you can choose less expensive husbandry options and/or equipment. Save up if you have to, but count on that first tank being expensive.
Realize that this is not a short term commitment.
Garf.org a good website to learn from
To learn more about your reef aquarium I recommend Garf.org
They have the most knowledge and experience ( in my opinion ) concerning reef and how to maintain your aquarium. A new Aquarist could learn a lot from their website. They have lot's of information.
Garf.org also helps in schools and gives tips if you have thought about opening your own business with Salt water reef.
A Couple of good sources for you!
A good place to order livestock is Saltwaterfish.com". I've made many purchases with them such as Coral, Anemones, Feather duster just to name a few. In fact the pictures in this lens contains mostly what I have purchased from them.
If you own or are thinking about starting a Reef aquarium you might want to browse around "garf.org". This is the most usefel, informational site that will help you. I use it faithfully and even have started fragging some of my own corals.
A Strange thing that just grew out of nowhere?
I have no idea what this is. Some sort of worm I guess. Seems as it grows it forms a shell around it, kind of like a tube worm. Then to feed it self it releases a string like subtance ( kinda like a spider web string). On this string food passing by sticks to it. The (worm) then slowly reals it in.
Corals and Polyps
These are fascinating creatures to have and to watch. Most are delicate and need extra care and attention. Iodine is what makes them strive, if not getting enough of it they will look as if they are melting away.
How to Feed
Don't over feed
First be sure to turn off filtration system before adding food. You want your fish to get the food not your filtration system !
Offer multiple small feeding throughout the day.
You won't want to overfeed since the left over food can foul, decay the water through the build up of ammonia and can make your Nitrates rise.
Which can kill the fish.
Things you will need to start your Salt Water Fish Aquarium
Thought I would give you a Visual of ......
What you will need to start your Salt Water Aquarium. You don't necessarily have to get these particular products. Just want to give you an Idea what to look for.
Items that are deemed necessary when starting a saltwater aquarium or reef tank system,
* Tank w/ glass top and stand ( size of your choice)
* undergravel/over the side filters or both
* bio canister filter
* air pump
* chemical test kit
* sea salt mixes
* power heads
* for the bed - crushed coral or sand
* small container of biozyme ( helps speed curing process for the bed)
Don't forget to put Live Sand in your Aquarium
Caribbean Live Sand for Salt water Aquariums
Aragonite live sand with millions of nitrate-reducing bacteria ensures, faster, safer initial cycling and better bio-filteration once established functional marine substrate increases buffering capacity of your Aquarium Real Caribbean Live Sand in a patent breathable bag.
Delivers Millions living bacteria per pound. This is a 5lb bag!
You can get Fish Cleaning Supplies at PetSmart.com Live sand is very beneficial to your tank and for your salt water creatures. It contains the necessary bacteria for your water.
Having the Right Lights is a Must for your Fish to Live and Grow
*Daylight lamp casts sparkling bright white rays and provides high lumen output to simulate the midday tropical sun.
*Actinic Blue Light promotes photosynthesis in corals and live plants while enhancing the beauty and vibrant colors of aquarium inhabitants.
Thank you for coming by
Do you have a Salt Water Aquarium?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2009 Ramona
What's your favorite Salt water fish?
Ramona (author) from Arkansas on August 15, 2012:
@jmchaconne: Thank you. I must go see yours! Will do that right now.
Ramona (author) from Arkansas on August 15, 2012:
@anonymous: Not necessary. It prefers live, frozen, freeze dried and flake foods.
anonymous on August 15, 2012:
Does the cleaner shrimp require seaweed in the diet
jmchaconne on July 21, 2012:
This is a great lens, wonderful images, and very informative. I'm featuring it on my lens /salt-and-war. Thank you.
Ramona (author) from Arkansas on July 07, 2012:
@Blackspaniel1: thank you for visiting my Salt water Lens. I will be visiting yours also.
Blackspaniel1 on July 06, 2012:
Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on June 10, 2012:
No, i don't have salt water aquarium, but if i would, sea horses would be my pets for sure:-)
ninakreativa on May 03, 2012:
Wonderful lens dedicated to wonderful creatures. I really like that picture with Sea horse and the Clown fish...
norma-holt on April 24, 2012:
Gorgeous lens and loved the pics and information. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012 and also on Why Are There Fish.Hugs
biminibahamas on April 23, 2012:
Loved this lens, great pictures. my fave is always the little puffer fish!
Ram Ramakrishnan on January 10, 2012:
My favorite? Nemo - the Clownfish!
J-Stanley on August 21, 2011:
Great pictures! My favorite saltwater fish has to be the foxface rabbitfish... How can something that beautiful be that dangerous? :)
Ramona (author) from Arkansas on July 02, 2011:
@r2fish: Thank you! I will check your out too.
r2fish on June 30, 2011:
I love this page! Very cool selection.