Model Design

Ultimate Secrets To Saltwater Fish

Idiot Guide To The Marine Aquarium

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Nocturnal Fish

You need only enough lighting to observe the behavior of the fish and invertebrates in this model design. The ideal arrangement includes a bright white, 5000K fluorescent lamp paired with a red one. The white lamp is used only for maintenance and to observe the aquarium during daytime, while the red lamp illuminates the night scene.

Aquarium Capacity 55 gallons

Aquascape Materials crushed coral rock fine grade coral rock about 40 pounds, assorted sizes branching coral skeleton a large piece, artificial or natural

Background black


Apogon cyanosoma 5

Apogon maculatus 1

Sphaeramia nematoptera 3

Ophiocoma sp 2

or Ophioderma sp 2

Eucidaris tribuloides 1

Special Requirements

The low light level means little algae growth, so make sure the sea urchin gets a bit of seaweed now and then.

The inhabitants I have selected for this tank number among the most durable species found in the aquarium trade. Apogon maculatus, the flame cardinalfish, lives in the Caribbean and tropical West Atlantic. This area also provides most of the brittle stars you are likely to encounter, as well as Eucidaris. The flamefish spends more of its time in hiding than the other two species suggested for this model design. It is coral pink in color with a large, dark eye and two black spots on each side of its body. It may be aggressive toward its own kind or similarly colored species.

Sphaeramia, one of the standards of the aquarium trade, is known as the pajama cardinalfish because someone fancied its white posterior with pinkish polka dots looked like pajama bottoms. The middle region of its body is crosshatched in black and pearl, while the anterior portion is brassy yellow. The large eye is red. Add all three specimens simultaneously, and allow them to sort out their own pecking order. Aggression rarely leads to anything serious.

Apogon cyanosoma, attractively patterned in alternating blue and orange stripes, it also has large eyes. It will learn to feed during the daytime more easily than the other two.

None of these fish gets much longer than about four inches, and all thrive on a varied diet of typical aquarium foods. Make sure to include foods advertised to contain color-enhancing components, which help to keep the red and orange pigments looking vibrant.

For aquascaping this tank, try to find slablike pieces of coral rock that can be stacked to form ledges. Also, create caves by leaving a couple of openings in the structure big enough to accommodate any of the cardinalfish. Cave construction using coral rock is an art that benefits from practice. Lay everything out on a table and try different configurations before permanently installing the rock work in the tank. For maximum stability, you may need to secure some pieces with silicone.

From time to time, unusual nocturnal species appear in shipments. The pineapplefish, Cleidopus gloriamaris, an Australian native, is a fascinating prospect for this model design. It has proved hardy in captivity when fed live foods.

124 Saltwater Aquarium Models

124 Saltwater Aquarium Models


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