Top 10 Saltwater Reef Critters

Posted by on Jan 20, 2017 in Blog, Kristen S, Reef Aquariums | Comments Off on Top 10 Saltwater Reef Critters

Top 10 Saltwater Reef Critters

Maintaining a reef aquarium allows an aquarist to create a mini ecosystem in their tank. The fish and corals are of course the highlights, but reef critters can perform useful clean-up jobs and are pretty fun to watch. Here are our top 10 most sold reef critters!   #10. Cleaner Shrimp are both entertaining to observe and useful in a reef aquarium. They can be seen cleaning parasites off of fish, which is important in a reef tank where medicating is difficult. #9. Emerald Crabs are great when that pesky hair algae takes over. They do a great job picking the algae out from between corals that can be difficult to get out manually. #8. Sexy Shrimp are just fun to watch. They will host an anemone and ‘dance’ by wiggling their tails. It’s especially cool if there’s a whole group in one anemone. #7. Banded Coral Shrimp are another purely ornamental reef critter. They usually hide a lot but their long claws make them a very interesting tank mate and they also come in gold and blue. #6. Trochus Snails are a very useful part of any clean-up crew. They do a great job cleaning algae off the glass, keeping the aquarium looking tidier for longer. #5. Scarlet Leg Hermit – another great clean-up crew member. They’re great for picking algae and detritus that collects on live rock. #4. Nassarius Snails are a helpful part of your clean-up crew that you’ll probably never see. They burrow under the sand and keep it moving to prevent algae and cyanobacteria from forming on the sand bed. #3. Sand Sifting Starfish are an alternative to the nassarius snails. They also burrow under the sand and move it around, plus they’ll feed on detritus in the sand bed. #2. Tuxedo Urchins are another option for cleaning up hair algae. They’re a cool alternative to emerald crabs and are fun to watch crawl across the reef. #1. Tigertail Sea Cucumbers are excellent detritivores, cleaning up left-over food in tough to reach places. They are also very unique looking and make an entertaining addition to any reef...

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Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in Blog, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

Most Popular Large Marine Fish Bought in 2016

In the past blogs we have looked at the favorite nano and medium marine fish for our aquaria, now we are going to look the favorite large fish, 8”+, for marine aquaria. #8. Miniatus grouper- The miniatus is the perfect grouper for a large aquarium. Who can deny a grouper with fire engine red coloration with striking blue dots? They can handle the roughest of tank mates for those who have aggression issues. #7. Bluejaw Trigger- All types of marine aquaria always want to have a trigger in it. From reefs to fish only, the bluejaw fits the bill. They are peaceful enough to go with our medium sized selection as well. Males show a bright blue chin and yellow highlights in their dorsal and anal fins. #6. Lionfish- What large fish aquarium would be complete without a lionfish? They are the definition of exotic. They look the part while always having an air of danger. Keep cautious, they are venomous which we all react differently to. #5. Dogface Puffer- Come on, they look like a dog with the snout! They come in variations from simple grey to the color of a brick of gold. Those who keep these puffers should feed foods with a hard shell or are gummy to wear down their teeth. Otherwise, you will need a special dentist to fix their overgrown chompers. #4. Imperator Angel- No favorite big fish list can be complete without a few angels on it. What other family of fish are as beautiful as angelfish? The imperator is one of the favorites among marine aquarists. The coolest thing is watching an imperator morph from a juvenile coloration to an adult. #3. Harlequin Tusk- One of the most popular fish of all. The harlequin tusk is best known for its bright blue teeth and striking orange and red bars. They should be only cautiously mixed with other wrasse species. #2. Queen Angel- No large aquarium is complete without a queen angel. Its color and temperament makes it the perfect addition. Queen angels are one of the few species of fish available from the Caribbean. #1. Porcupine Puffer- One of the most popular marine fish in general. Every aquarist wants to have a puffer and who can deny the porcupine? Alien looking eyes, puppy dog attitude, and puffing into a ball of spikes make the porcupine the essential fish for a large...

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Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Jenn, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them

Invasive Aquarium Plants and What You Can Do About Them Thanks to globalization, there’s a variety of aquatic plants and animals available in the aquarium trade that has never been seen before. While this means more gorgeous tanks and ponds than ever, it also brings a new threat: invasive species. You’ve probably heard about the snakehead, a predatory fish native to Asia that can travel short distances on land, leading it to populate New England, or maybe your rose bushes have been chewed up by Japanese beetles. Those are both invasive species, introduced to the US accidentally in the case of Japanese beetles, and purposefully as food stock in the case of snakeheads. Animals are not the only living things that can become problems when introduced to lands not originally their own. Aquatic plants can also cause destruction when introduced to rivers, lakes, or oceans. Following are the three most common invasive plants found in the aquarium trade. After learning about the damage they can cause, we’ll learn how to prevent it.   Anacharis: A common trait all of these plants have is their ease of care, which lends itself to their success in environments they should not be in. Anacharis is possibly the easiest plant on this list. It requires medium light (perfect for lakes) and doesn’t even need to be planted in the substrate to thrive and grow. Floating anacharis will grow roots along its stem, drawing nutrients directly from the water column. Anacharis can be propagated by breaking the stems into pieces, which is great news for a plant that humans try to physically remove from waterways. Any pieces left behind can immediately begin to repopulate. Problem: Anacharis grows faster than many native aquatic plants and can block out light and rob them of nutrients, out-competing them. Anacharis can also form thick floating mats that prevent recreation like swimming, rowing, fishing, and boating. An unsuspecting boater can get a nasty surprise when their propeller gets tangled in a mass of anacharis.   Water hyacinth: An admittedly gorgeous ornamental pond plant, water hyacinth has a dark side. Like anacharis, it can form massive, acres in width patches, blocking light from lower levels of the water and making recreation difficult if not impossible. Its light blocking effect doesn’t just slow down growth of other aquatic plants. Preventing light from reaching those plants prevents them from photosynthesizing, which prevents them from producing oxygen. Additionally, just the hyacinths’ presence on the water surface decreases the area for gas exchange. What we end up with is a body of water that is oxygen starved and full of dying fish. Waterfowl can’t land on hyacinths. Their habitat is effectively destroyed when lakes and rivers are clogged with floating plants. The density of hyacinth patches slows down any water movement at the surface, enabling algae growth and mosquito breeding (and remember, all the fish that might eat the larvae are already dying from a lack of oxygen). Hyacinths are also excellent at reproduction, employing two strategies: budding, and seeds. During their active growing season, hyacinths grow “daughter plants,” small hyacinths that grow off of the original plant until they are large and established enough to grow on their own, and then break off and begin growing and budding on their own. Hyacinths can...

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Most Popular Marine Fish in 2016

Posted by on Sep 23, 2016 in Blog, EricR, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Most Popular Marine Fish in 2016

  Most Popular Marine Fish in 2016 The subsequent list is a compilation of our bestselling medium sized marine fish. Most of these fish can be housed in an aquarium of 75 gallons or larger. These fish are prized for their remarkable patterns and coloration, as well as their active bright personalities.   #8 Heniochus Butterfly/Longfin Bannerfish The most impressive feature about this fish must be the elongated dorsal filament, from which it derives the name “Bannerfish”. Once established it is generally active and fairly hardy for a butterfly fish. These guys look phenomenal in groups, small or large! #7 Hepatus Tang/Regal Blue Tang “Dory”- The popularity of this fish exploded when Finding Nemo hit theaters, and has definitely resurged thanks to Finding Dory. Not to say that the big pictures were the only source of popularity, however; its striking black mask and vibrant blue and yellow coloration make this fish a sight for sore eyes. These fish can be sensitive, and a U.V. sterilizer is absolutely recommended. #6 Bartlett Anthias These are great fish to have swimming out and about in a fish only or reef aquarium. They are usually kept in harems, with one male to multiple females. Interestingly enough, if the male perishes, the dominant female will begin to change sex to take the male’s place. Best kept when fed small meals of high energy foods throughout the day, such as arctipods, reef plankton, or a high quality pellet soaked in fatty acids. #5 Flame Angel These fish are definitely show stoppers, their bright red orange coloration is almost impossible to match. Best as the only dwarf angel in the tank. These fish can be sensitive, so they are also best kept with a U.V. sterilizer. Careful in reef tanks, they have been known to nip at polyps! #4 Melanurus Wrasse/Hoeven’s Wrasse Another great choice if you are looking for something active for your tank. The red, blue, and yellow mask on these fish is certainly something to marvel at. When frightened, or going to bed for the night, these fish are known to bury themselves in the sand.  Should be fed high energy foods, and kept without small crustaceans or mollusks in the aquarium. #3 Foxface Rabbitfish A great fish for any tank! Fish only or reef, even with slightly more aggressive tank mates, these fish can find a home anywhere. They are peaceful herbivores, but they are armed with venomous spines in their dorsal fin that can be used to ward off aggression. When frightened or going to sleep, they can change their yellow bodies to a blotchy grey and white in order to blend into their surroundings. Should be offered algae based foods 2-3 times a week. #2 Coral Beauty Angel The classic dwarf angel fish, these can be housed in a tank as small as 40 gallons. Usually they are better behaved in reef tanks then some of their cousins, but keep in mind, they can always change tastes! A U.V. sterilizer is recommended. #1 Yellow Tang These are vibrant fish great for almost any aquarium of adequate size. These herbivores hail from Hawaii and are beginning to make a bigger scene in the aqua culture industry. Beware adding them as one of the first fish to the aquarium as they can...

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Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Posted by on Aug 26, 2016 in Blog, Patrick D, Saltwater Fish, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016

Most Popular Marine Fish to Buy in 2016 The following list compiles our best sellers among the small tropical group. Most of these fish make great nano reef inhabitants (30 gallons and under). Reef keepers of all sizes desire these fish for their color and behavior, making them the most popular among all marine hobbyists. For most of these fish it is advised to only purchase one per aquarium, regardless of size.   #8 Filamentosa/Flasher Wrasse These small wrasses get their name from the extraordinary dorsal fins and “flashing” colors. They are all from the Indo-Pacific reefs and must be fed Calanus Arcti-Pods to retain their colors. #7 O-Spot Prawn Goby These sand-movers and shakers are one of the most desired nano fish because of their symbiotic relationship with pistol shrimp. They are inexpensive, hardy, and fun to keep. #6 Maroon Clowns They are the only clownfish with a separate genus (Premnas). They use a unique spine on their operculum to spar with other clownfish and conspecifics, thus never add them with other clownfish. #5 6-Line Wrasses A hardy wrasse that stays small (less than 1.5 inches). Although look out! They can be aggressive toward other tankmates later on. #4 Yellowtail/Blue Damsels Only keep one per aquarium. These smallish guys never hide and are some of the most resilient yet docile Pomacentrids. #3 Royal Grammas This beautiful small basslett comes from Caribbean waters, often seen by divers off the coast of Florida. #2 Green Chromis One of the most widespread fishes of the Indo-Pacific tropical reefs, they can be kept in groups in 40 gallons or larger. We recommend not starting with them and only purchasing SHIEC-collected specimens. Come in and ask about this sustainability effort! #1 Ocellaris Clowns “Nemo” – Almost all in the trade are Aquacultured. This is a huge step for our industry. If interested, please call or stop in with any questions you may have on these fish. As an added bonus, mention you saw them on “the most popular 2016” list and get 20% off any of these fish for purchase. Stay tuned for Most Popular 2016 medium...

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Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Keeping Seahorses and Pipefish – Not a Pipe Dream

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Blog, Kristen S, Reef Aquariums, Saltwater Fish | Comments Off on Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Keeping Seahorses and Pipefish – Not a Pipe Dream

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Keeping Seahorses and Pipefish – Not a Pipe Dream

Seahorses are one of the most unique and easily recognizable marine fish, so it’s no surprise that many customers ask about keeping them in their saltwater aquariums.  Because seahorses are very different-looking from other fish, they require special consideration when thinking about keeping them at home.  The seahorse’s lesser-known cousin, the pipefish, is also a very interesting fish to keep.  Unlike seahorses, pipefish can be kept in reef tanks, but certain considerations should be kept in mind such as tank-mates and feeding. Seahorses fall into the genus Hippocampus within the Sygnathidae family.  It’s easy to see at first glance that these fish are extremely different from your average tang or clownfish.  Seahorses don’t have scales; instead they have a bony armor that protects them.  They also don’t have a caudal fin; instead they have a prehensile tail that they use to anchor them on to rocks, coral, or algae.  They only use their dorsal and opercular, or modified pectoral, fins for movement and as a result, they’re not very strong swimmers.  In the wild, seahorses live in sheltered areas of coral reefs or grass beds with little water current.  Their horse-like mouth is specially adapted to suck up tiny organisms like amphipods, isopods, copepods, and mysid shrimp like a vacuum. Because seahorses are so specialized, they do not do well in high flow reef tanks competing for food with other fish.  A species only aquarium is the best way to house and appreciate them.  With the right equipment it’s easy to create a seahorse display at home.  A 29/30 gallon tank is a great starter option.  You may also want to consider getting a taller tank; seahorses are more vertical swimmers than horizontal.  After you have a tank picked out, you want to make sure that you have good filtration as seahorses are messy eaters and they are especially sensitive to changes in water quality, so a protein skimmer is a great addition.  The second thing you want to make sure you have is low flow because they can’t swim against strong currents. Unique features of seahorse tanks are hitching posts, or things for the seahorses to hold on to with their tail.  Branch rock, plants, gorgonians, and soft corals can all be used as hitching posts.  Soft corals may be used because they usually don’t have a strong sting; other more aggressive species of corals should be avoided because the seahorses lack scales and are stung much easier.  Crabs and shrimp should also be avoided as they may injure the seahorse or a particularly large seahorse may pick at them.  A good tank mate would be Nassarius snails; seahorses are messy eaters so having a sand-sifting snail will help prevent too much waste buildup.  Feeding seahorses can be a challenging task; they can be fed live foods such as brine shrimp, but should eventually be moved on to frozen food such as mysis shrimp.  Getting a seahorse to eat frozen food may take quite a while, so be patient.  There are many species of seahorse available to purchase that come in a few different colors.  The common species that we carry are Hippocampus erectus, H. reidi, and H. kuda.  There are also hybrids available that are combinations of two species. Pipefish may look very different from seahorses, but...

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Keeping Dory and Responsible Fish Care

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Blog, Conservation, Education, Saltwater Fish, William C | Comments Off on Keeping Dory and Responsible Fish Care

Keeping Dory and Responsible Fish Care

Are you anticipating the release of Finding Dory? We sure are! After the success of Finding Nemo, we expect Dory’s movie to be an even bigger blow out. And like with Nemo, we know you’re going to wonder… “Can I keep a Dory?” Let me begin with, “Yes, absolutely!” We love when people get to bring home a fish they can connect with as well as Dory, but there are some things you should know first… By William Ciaurro Dory Specifics Dory is a fish known as the Hepatus Tang, that’s Paracanthurus hepatus for you nerds! Hepatus tangs, much like other tangs, like A LOT… A LOT of space to swim and roam! I would almost never sell Dory to any tank smaller than 75 gallon. AND YES, that does include the tiny “nano” Dorys we get. These are just babies. The babies will grow, and need a large nurturing tank to grow up healthy. Dory is what I would consider a delicate fish so an ultraviolet sterilizer is an absolute must (see our sizing guide)! Dory should have a very mixed diet consisting of vitamin soaked pellets, frozen mysis shrimp, and LOTS of algae. Tangs prefer to graze throughout the day therefore we recommend the use of algae sheets attached to rocks or clips. My last major key to success with Dory is consistent cleanings. No fish wants to have 40 gallons of water flushed in and out of their tank once a month! It’s much better to do smaller water changes more frequently, like say 20 gallons, every 2 weeks in your 75 gallon aquarium. (wink, wink: Do it!) Please note: Dory does not play well with other Dorys. When they get large, almost one foot, they will be territorial with one another. Being Responsible What do I mean by being responsible? Well fish are animals too. It’s important that we treat them with the same respect that we treat cats, dogs, and other animals with. We at Absolutely Fish always stress that fish live a long time, and you should be prepared for that. Hepatus Tangs can live over ten years. It’s very disheartening when folks bring back their fish in buckets looking all chomped up saying, “I had no idea it would get this big/live this long.” Don’t buy a fish on the false premise that you will “upgrade later”. We would once again like to emphasize, they live a long time, and the last thing we want is for the animal to outgrow the tank. If you’re going to take these animals home to your “ocean in a box,” then please make sure it is in fact an ocean. Fish keeping is not a right, it’s a privilege that we should not abuse. We take a lot of care to ensure that fish end up in great forever homes, and we hope that this blog inspires you. Our aquatic friends mean so much to us, and we hope they mean as much to...

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Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Becca N, Blog, Cichlids, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank

Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank

Species Suitable for a Nano African Cichlid Tank:   African cichlids don’t have to be kept in a large aquarium. While the majority of African cichlids grow to be at least five inches and longer, there are also interesting African cichlids suitable for smaller aquariums. These smaller species of African cichlids generally grow to be no more than five inches and can be kept in a tank of 20- to 30-gallons. Some species are even capable of being kept in 10-gallon tanks.   The majority of these micro African cichlid species hail from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. There are four categories of suitable species for a 30-gallon Lake Tanganyika tank. As you look over this list keep in mind that as a general rule fish under three inches are suitable for a 10-gallon tank and fish over four inches would do best in a 30-gallon tank or larger.     FREE SWIMMING Cyprichromis leptosema and Paracyprichromis nigripinnis can be kept peacefully in small schools of three or more. The rest of the free-swimming cichlids should be kept one individual fish per species group.   Cyprichromis leptosoma Max size: ~3.5” Paracyprichromis nigripinnis Max size: ~4” Xenotilapia Sp. Max size: ~3” Opthalmoltilapia ventralis Max size: ~6” Reganochromis calliurus Max Size:~6”   GOBY CICHLIDS Should be kept alone or in male/female pairs as they can become very aggressive with other similar types—including their own species. Eretmodus cyanostictus Max size: ~3.5” Spathodus erythrodon Max size: ~3.0” Tanganicodus irsacae Max size: ~2.8”   SHELL DWELLERS For shell dwellers, it is best to choose one of each species and in each size class, as they can become aggressive towards their own kind, especially in smaller tank set-ups. Neolamprologus brevi Max size: ~2.5”  Neolamprologus leleupi Max size: ~3.5” Neolamprologus multifasciatus Max Size: ~2”– thought to be the smallest cichlid in the world! Neolamprologus gracilis Max size: ~3.5” Julidochromis transcriptus Max size: ~3” Julidochromis dickfeldi Max size: ~4.5” Larger Neolamprologus sp. Max size: ~5-5.5” sexfasciatus tretocephalus brichardi daffodil cylindricus     CAT FISH Cat fish are normally peaceful. They can be kept alone or in small groups. Synodontis petricola Max size: 5” Bushynose pleco Max size: 6”     THINGS TO REMEMBER   The total maximum inches of fish should be less than or equal to the gallons of water in aquarium (i.e. 18 total inches of fish is equal to 18 gallons of water). However, with many African cichlid tanks, you can slightly overstock. If your tank is overstocked you must maintain excellent water quality, filter more than usual, and perform frequent water changes. Doubling to tripling your filtration for any African cichlid set-up is recommended.   It is also important to note that Lake Tanganyika has the highest pH of the rift lakes at around 9.0. The addition of lake salts and buffers to the aquarium will help to stabilize the pH to natural levels while also providing the fish with the electrolytes they need–the better the water quality, the healthier and better looking the fish.   At Absolutely Fish we frequently stock all of these small African cichlids and carry all of the equipment you need to keep them happy and...

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Freshwater Invertebrates for Aquariums

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Blog, Kristen S | Comments Off on Freshwater Invertebrates for Aquariums

Freshwater Invertebrates for Aquariums

When setting up a freshwater aquarium many of our customers ask what other kinds of animals they can put in the tank other than fish.  There are many species of invertebrates that are easily kept in a community aquarium and some even help keep the tank cleaner.  Some of these groups include snails, shrimp, lobsters, clams, and crabs. Snails are a great addition to most tanks because they eat algae off the glass and decorations and they scavenge on uneaten flake food which helps keep the gravel clean. A snail’s diet can also be supplemented with algae wafers for them to graze on.  They work very well in peaceful community tanks with nothing aggressive that might eat them.  Harder water is also beneficial, though not required, to keep freshwater snails; the minerals help them build their shell. One popular species is the Mystery snail because they come in several different colors including gold, white, and black.  These snails will help keep the tank clean by eating algae but be careful adding one to a planted tank as they will also eat plants.  Another popular snail is the Nerite snail; these snails have zebra striping on their shells.  Many aquarists also like them because their eggs will only hatch in brackish water so there’s no worrying about there being baby snails in the tank (only white eggs on the glass). Pest snails, such as trumpet snails, can be introduced accidentally to a tank on live plant leaves. There are a few ways to get rid of them.  One way is to place a sheet of algae on the bottom of the tank overnight and the next day many of the snails will be on the algae eating it so you can remove the whole sheet with the snails.  Another way is to introduce something that will eat the pest snails such as a species of loach or an assassin snail.  Assassin snails are opportunistic carnivores so they will eat pest snails if they are available, but they will also eat detritus off the gravel and they do have a cool yellow and brown striping pattern. Another great invertebrate addition for planted aquariums, are crustaceans like shrimp.  There are a lot of different kinds of shrimp that come in a variety of colors.  Similar to snails, shrimp are best added to peaceful tanks with nothing that will eat them, especially the smaller fancy shrimp.  They also like a lot of décor to climb on such as moss.  Shrimp pellets are needed to feed shrimp because it helps keep their exoskeleton strong and helps with molting. Japonica shrimp, or Amano shrimp, are a popular addition because they are great algae grazers, especially in planted tanks; they will eat the algae off of the plant leaves and moss.  Flower shrimp are a cool addition because they have fan-like appendages that they use to fan leftover food towards them out of the water column.  It’s a very unique and interesting behavior to observe.  Ghost shrimp, as the name implies, are basically transparent shrimp.  Be careful adding them to a tank with other shrimp, as they are known to be cannibalistic. The fancy shrimp come in a huge variety of colors.  These shrimp are much smaller than the Japonica or the Flower, so while they...

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Keeping Feather Dusters in the Home Aquarium

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Chris F | Comments Off on Keeping Feather Dusters in the Home Aquarium

Keeping Feather Dusters in the Home Aquarium

“I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough of the bad luck of the worm” said Franklin D Roosevelt. When someone mentions a worm most people picture your stereotypical earth worm living in the garden eating compost and getting eaten by birds in the cool early morning. However several species of worms known as “feather dusters” within the marine aquarium hobby display a splendid variety of colors and patterns along with unique lifestyle. Believe it or not feather dusters are annelids, which simply means they’re closely related to earthworms, such as the ones you find in the garden. However they differ significantly from their mobile relatives by being sessile (living in a fixed spot). Similar to earth worms, feather dusters have a segmented body, although it is usually hidden by a tube constructed of mucus/detritus with some species living within corals or constructing their own calcium carbonate tube. The most distinguishing part of a feather duster is the “crown” which is basically feather shaped rays known as radioles. These radioles are arranged in two half circles that form a funnel utilized in filter feeding of suspended material. The cilia on the radioles generate currents which draw water, food particles and waste in and out of the crown. The feather duster worms belong to several families of Polychaeta. Those with a soft tube consisting of a polysaccharide matrix of mucus/detritus are generally from the family Sabellidae, with a single genus being capable of creating a calcareous tube. The hard tube feather dusters belong to the family Serpulidae. Feather dusters feed on a variety of particulates suspended within the water column such as fine detritus, bacteria, phytoplankton, and tiny microorganisms, most of which are found within a well-established reef aquarium at least a year in age. For best success one should only add a feather duster once the aquarium has been established for this amount of time and there is a healthy population of other reef safe organisms such as corals, fish, shrimp, snails, etc. The addition of various filter feeder foods such as phytoplankton, rotifers, zooplankton, marine snow and various other liquid-based foods will meet their nutritional needs. Remember to feed sparingly as excessive overfeeding will contribute to poor water quality. Water flow is crucial to the health of feather dusters worms and the reef aquarium in general as water currents stimulate natural physical functions, bringing food/waste to and from the organism and helps in respiration. Thus water flow for feather duster should be considered medium and indirect, preferably alternating, flow via a wave maker. Lighting is not a major concern to feather dusters as they obtain the majority of their nutritional needs from filter feeding and don’t directly rely on symbiotic zooxanthellae for their energy requirements. So placement of feather duster worms usually occurs on the bottom/middle portions of the aquarium. Problems with feather dusters in a correct environment are relatively scarce. However, some fish and invertebrates have been known to eat/damage feather dusters deliberately or accidentally. Butterfly fish can easily eliminate feather dusters due to their specific lifestyle and diet. Some wrasse species also have a penchant for eating feather dusters, thus care should be taken to research any potential species being added to an aquarium containing feather dusters. Finally,...

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