Saltwater Tanks for Beginners
If you are considering starting a saltwater fish tank and have little to no experience I think you will find the information on this page useful. Remember there is a difference between a reef tank which is keeping corals and a fish tank.
Before You Buy Fish
Understand that owning a saltwater aquarium is a big commitment. Please, and I mean this in the nicest possible way. If you do not have the time or the energy to dedicate to maintenance and water changes please DO NOT get a marine aquarium. Be prepared to test your water daily for the first 30 days or so. There are weekly water changes of around 10%, topping off evaporated water, and cleaning the substrate and filters regularly. Did I mention the water testing never stops.
Saltwater Fish Tanks for Beginners…..
If your just starting out I would recommend doing your research and if your here your doing just that. Filtration is very important in any marine aquarium. There are 3 kinds of filtration; mechanical, chemical, and biological. I explain this in more detail on the Filtration page. First decide if you want a communal tank or an aggressive tank with fish like Triggers or Lionfish and most Angels. If you are keeping aggressive fish I recommend beefing up your filtration and keeping the substrate on the bottom of the aquarium to a minimum. I wouldn’t use crush coral just a thin layer of live sand no more than an inch deep. If you use something pores like crush coral, food particles can accumulate and cause issues down the road.
I think for those just starting out trying to get everything you need can be a bit overwhelming. It would probably be best to start out with an all in one kit. There are several on the market and are perfectly fine for fish aquariums. They also take the guess work out of the equation. I have an entire page dedicated to setups if you would like to check it out. It will point you in the right direction if you plan on purchasing everything separately.
Picking Your Fish
As always I recommend captive bred fish. They are not as hard to find as they once were. There are several benefits to purchasing captive bred fish. First off they are a lot more hardy and usually acclimate to new aquariums much easier. They also tend to be less expensive. Great starter fish are damsels. They are very hardy and hard to kill. Damsels can tolerate less than ideal tank conditions better than most other fish. This makes them good for beginners so they don’t kill very expensive fish while learning the hobby.
Some of the more aggressive fish can be some of the most rewarding. Trigger fish actually get o know you and learn your habits. They will also try to follow you around. Believe it or not angel fish can be some of the most aggressive fish so be careful choosing your tank inhabitants.