Saltwater fish guide
People passionate about fish will wonder if saltwater fish are the best choice
for them. Many people believe that keeping saltwater fish is very difficult. Not quite so.
A saltwater aquarium is not difficult to maintain, it simply has different requirements. The
main difference between saltwater and freshwater aquariums is the water salinity.
Having a saltwater aquarium is very fascinating and you will no longer have to visit the ocean
to see these incredible creatures. You will have the explosion in front of your eyes due to the diversity of the
saltwater fish; you can even home your very own Nemo.
How to run a successful saltwater
For a saltwater aquarium to thrive it must contain the following components: a tank,
decorations, filtration, lighting, saltwater and test kits.
Saltwater fish are more sensitive to water quality than freshwater fish. The water must be well filtered and oxygenated. The aquarium’s biotope
(habitat) must be carefully put together in order to avoid losing the fish.
To have a successful saltwater aquarium you have to follow the simple rules. These rules relate
to the water’s pH value its salinity, nitrate and temperature.
Saltwater fish are very sensitive to changes in their pH. So it is very important to check pH
fluctuation every day, within 0.2 limits.
The other rule is to keep nitrate level higher than usual, as saltwater fish need higher
nitrates than freshwater fish. The water’s salinity must be kept in normal parameters, so that fish can
acclimatize. Finally, the temperature of saltwater should be between 24 C° - 27 C°. Not to cold and not to
The tank should be between 15 -21gal, the bigger the tank, the better. A smaller fish-tank is
harder to keep and maintain because the ecosystem is very fragile. The aquarium must have a neon tube for lighting
it. The bigger the tank, the bigger the light. Fluorescent lighting is probably the best. It is also very important
to have a good filtration system. The filter absorbs dirt and keeps the water clean. In saltwater aquariums
filtration must be done much more carefully than in freshwater aquariums.
Other must tools are a heater with a thermostatic control, a hydrometer to measure the specific
gravity of your saltwater and various test kits to measure the PH values, nitrate and ammonia levels.
Decorations for the Salwater
The most beautiful part in putting together a saltwater aquarium is decorating it. On the bottom
of the tank you must place the substrate. It is very important to use specific substrate for saltwater. You could
use calcareous sand or crushed coral; also you must have in mind that the substrate is a supplement in tank
Decorating the tank gives you the opportunity to bring your personal touch, but do not
exaggerate! If you are ready to spend some money for your hobby, you can decorate the tank with some coral pieces
but you can use also dead coral, lava rock, live rock, tufa rock.
Using live rock in decorating the saltwater fish tank is a real benefit. Live rock produces a more natural environment for the saltwater fish, and also aids in
nitrification and denitrification, so it is a part of the filtration system. Live rock is actually rock taken from
a reef system which has been populated by many different organisms.
Fish also love to swim through coral or rock caves, so it would be a good idea to recreate some
caves or crannies. You should also make sure that every decoration is stable, in order to avoid fish getting
How to set up your saltwater fish
The most beautiful part of putting together a saltwater aquarium is decorating it.
On the bottom of the tank you should place the substrate. It is very important to use specific substrate for
You could use calcareous sand or crushed coral; also you must bear in mind that the substrate is
a supplement in tank weight.
Decorating the tank gives you the opportunity to add your personal touches, but don’t get
carried away. If you are able to spend money on your hobby, you can decorate the tank with coral either live or
dead, lava rock, live rock and tufa rock.
Using live rock to decorate the saltwater fish tank gives real benefit to the tank as it
produces a more natural environment for the saltwater fish, and also aids in nitrification and denitrification, as
part of the filtration system. Live rock is actually rock taken from a reef system which has been populated by many
Fish love to swim through coral or rock caves, so it would be a good idea to recreate some caves
or crannies. You should also make sure that every decoration is stable, to avoid any fish getting injured.
What kind of saltwater fish should you
As you are probably aware, saltwater fish are more expensive than freshwater fish, so it is very
important to know what kind of fish you want in your aquarium. You should also take into consideration when
selecting the fish whether they get along.
Saltwater fish for your
Clown fish - territorial, but not aggressive. It is known also as
Mollies - passive fish.
Surgeons fish -
very important for the tank maintenance as they clean water of
Blennies/Gobies - quite likely to disturb the other fish in the tank, but
they show a lot of personality.
Angels and butterflies - delicate fish, hard to
Lionfish - aggressive species, hard to
Damsels - inexpensive, are resistant to bad water condition but fairly
You can also populate your tank with saltwater invertebrates like shrimps, crabs, sea urchins
and Starfish also with Anemones but these are not for beginners. Invertebrates are very sensitive to water quality
and conditions. They might have stress symptoms if the water quality is poor.