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Serpent starfish

Serpent Starfish Serpent starfish belong to the family Ophiuridae (one of the five Echinoderm families), which also includes basket and brittle sea stars. These species are very popular in the aquarium trade for their bright and exotic colors and hardiness in the tank. The serpent and brittle starfish are closely …

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Mysis Shrimp: A Favorite Fish & Coral Food

One of my favorite frozen foods to feed my saltwater fish is frozen mysis shrimp. Almost every fish I have ever kept has instantly recognized the floating white morsels as a meal. I’ve offered them at the same time as flakes (which would otherwise be voraciously eaten if it wasn’t …

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Emerald crab

Emerald crab: a fine addition to any reef clean up crew The emerald crab, Mithraculus sculptus, is a quiet, shy, and fun to watch member of the reef clean up crew (CUC). As the name implies, the emerald crab is green–but unlike the name–this crab does not shine like a jewel. Rather, the …

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Starfish ID Please

Hitchhiker Starfish ID Please Do you have these starfish growing in your tank? I do. They are called Asterina Starfish. They are tiny starfish that grow up to be about a quarter of an inch to an inch across (Sprung 2001)—which I found out, through painstaking scientific examination, is approximately …

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Role of sponges in a coral reef ecosystem

What images come to mind when you think of a coral reef? I don’t think it would be much of a stretch for me to guess that one of your top three images that came to your mind was certainly not of sponges. If stony corals and clownfish are on …

Clean up crew: is it worth it?

The job of a clean up crew (CUC), in a saltwater aquarium, is to keep the tank clean by eating the leftover food, algae, and detritus in your tank. A clean up crew typically consists of a mixture of crabs, snails, and the occasional shrimp. But the use of clean …