This Article is About
freshwater aquarium
saltwater aquarium
fish one
freshwater fish
types of fish
saltwater fish
careful research
Saltwater Or Freshwater Aquarium: Which Is Right For You?
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Aquariums can be a wonderful addition to your home. They can add a unique decorative touch as well as provide joy in seeing the masterpiece you have created. Additionally, aquariums can offer a soothing, zen-like quality to any space. Once you have decided to commit to bringing an aquarium into your home, the next thing you will have to decide is what type of aquarium you will have. There are essentially two types of aquariums for you to choose from: saltwater or freshwater. Each aquarium has its own unique benefits, requirements and challenges. It is important to explore all of these factors before making your choice and purchase.

Understanding the Difference

The Fish

One of the most profound differences between saltwater and freshwater aquariums is the types of fish. Freshwater fish are generally found in rivers, lakes, streams and ponds, whereas saltwater fish are found in oceans and seas. Typically, freshwater fish are either tank or pond raised while their saltwater counterparts are caught in the wild. Saltwater fish are more vibrantly colored and are available in a wider variety than freshwater fish, but can be more sensitive to changes in water temperature and chemistry. Additionally, a saltwater aquarium allows you to add a wide range of other animals and plant life, such as live coral or other marine invertebrates. However, whether you choose a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, careful research is needed when selecting your fish and plant life. Some fish are more sturdy and stable and can withstand slight changes and variations in their environment while other fish are known to not “play well” with other types of fish or marine life.

The Equipment

When selecting your tank, consider the location in your home you wish to place the aquarium. Almost any size tank will function well as a saltwater or freshwater aquarium; however a larger aquarium will be easier to keep chemically balanced and will offer more options when selecting fish and accessories. Most aquarium equipment is designed to function as a freshwater or saltwater tank. However, there are some considerable differences to consider. Most freshwater tanks will flourish with basic gravel at the bottom of the tank. The gravel comes in many different colors that can be added to enhance the theme of your aquarium. Most aquarists will swear by live rock or reef when creating a saltwater aquarium. Saltwater fish will thrive in this type of environment. Lighting is another important difference in equipment. Lighting is necessary in any aquarium to maintain the health of the aquatic life. Lighting requirements differ based on the type of aquarium and the fish and invertebrates that inhabit it. Maintaining a constant temperature and having an adequate filtration system is a must in any aquarium environment. Finally, you will need a water testing kit. This will help you monitor the levels of your water and adjust as necessary to maintain a properly balanced environment.

The Maintenance

Basic maintenance doesn’t differ much between a saltwater or freshwater tank. With either option, you will need to ensure that all equipment is running properly and replacing filters and cartridges as necessary. The tank will also need to be cleaned periodically. Cleaning the aquarium will typically require you to replace between 10 and 15 percent of the water volume every 2 weeks. The water removed during the process of vacuuming the gravel is usually sufficient. Keep in mind that the new water will need to be treated according to the type of aquarium you are keeping before being added to the tank. Cleaning the aquarium walls and testing the water for proper levels is also an essential part of aquarium maintenance.

The Cost

A saltwater aquarium comes at a higher cost than a freshwater aquarium. The cost does not come from the aquarium itself, but primarily from stocking the aquarium with fish and other accessories. Saltwater fish will often cost more due to the costs associated with collecting and shipping the fish and an increase in supply-and-demand. If budget is a factor in your decision, consider purchasing a smaller aquarium and spending the money on quality equipment. There is little benefit in saving six dollars on a filter when the average saltwater fish costs thirty dollars.

Making Your Choice

Deciding between a saltwater or freshwater aquarium can be a difficult choice, but it is not a decision that you should make in haste or by impulse. Maintaining an aquarium is a long-term commitment and you need to be prepared for the maintenance and cost of providing the right environment for your fish. Make your decision carefully and research all of your options before making a final choice. Fish need to be cared for just like any other pet you may have in your home. They need love, affection and food and be maintained in order to ensure a successful and flourishing environment. However, with the proper care, aquariums can be a wonderful addition to your home that you can enjoy for many, many years to come.

Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Choosing Which Tropical Fish Species You Want to Care for
There are so many different species of tropical fish to choose from. But the first thing you need to do is decide what kind of aquarium you are going to set up, or indeed know which one you already have! For instance our aquarium is a tropical freshwater aquarium which…
By: Kimberley in  Pets  >  Fish   Mar 21, 2011  
  Likes: 0

How to Properly Maintain Your Saltwater Aquarium
Summary Once you have set up your saltwater aquarium, you will need to maintain it. This article will provide an overview of an ideal aquarium maintenance schedule. Once you have finished setting up your aquarium, proper maintenance and routine cleaning is the key to a successful aquarium. You will want…
By: David Francis in  Pets  >  Fish   Jul 16, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Calcium Reactors In A Saltwater Aquarium
Aquariums do not maintain a healthy chemical balance in a confined, unnatural environment. Although your aquarium may seem to mimic a natural habitat, it takes care on your part to help maintain a healthy balance. There are many mechanical devices, chemicals and tools to help ensure that your saltwater aquarium…
By:  in  Pets  >  Fish   Feb 20, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Gas Prices And Fishing
Well it looks like we are going to be paying $5.00 plus for marina gas this boating season. That will definitely cramp the style of a lot of boaters including me. It will also drive up the cost of charters. The question is. Is there anything we can do about…
By: John Stewart in  Recreation and Sports  >  Fishing   May 09, 2012  
  Likes: 5

Aquaponics Questions And Answers
This is an article that will cover a few popular aquaponics questions and answers. Aquaponics systems are systems driven by water supporting both fish and plant life. The fish release waste which turns into nutrients in the water tray - the plant's roots are suspended in the water and they…
By: Chris Evans in  Recreation and Sports  >  Fishing   Jan 21, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Discus Fish Care
Discus Fish Care Information Discus Fish are one of the most popular amongst aquarium owners. They are very beautiful, intelligent fish. Discus fish will interact with you and are able to follow movement. It is said that discus fish will eat out of your hand, and they are always aware…
By: Kevin3 in  Pets  >  Fish   Mar 24, 2011  
  Likes: 1

How To Take Care Of Your Arowana
If there is one freshwater aquarium fish which is prized above any other, it is the arowana. What comes to mind when describing an Arowana? Are they really insatiable predators with insatiable appetites which require ever larger tanks to house and keep them? Are they safe to keep with Sclerophages…
By: John Steven Horvath in  Pets  >  Fish   Apr 15, 2013  
  Likes: 6

Tropical Fish Care Advice for Beginners
This article is aimed at anyone who is just beginning their fish keeping journey. Inorder to succesfully care for and keep fish healthy and happy there are many things which you need to be aware of and be able to implement within your fish tank. This short guide aims to give the…
By: Kimberley in  Pets  >  Fish   Mar 13, 2011  
  Likes: 4

Saltwater Aquariums - Setting Up And Maintenance
Aquariums in your home can be an amazing showcase for you and anyone who visits your home. Deciding which one you want (saltwater or tropical) can be a hard decision as keeping any type of fish/ aquarium should be a long term commitment. Most people who havnt kept fish before…
By: dave martin in  Pets  >  Fish   Feb 22, 2012  
  Likes: 1

Tropical Fish Tank Heater
Due to the fact that fish are cold blooded or to use the correct term ectotherms their body temperature is controlled by the environment around them. If you intend to keep tropical fish the water in your tank will have to be warm, hence you will require a tropical fish…
By: Phil Cripps in  Pets  >  Fish   Nov 08, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Aquarium Lighting: Which is Ideal for My Tank?
Once you decide to bring an aquarium into your home, you will put a lot of time, energy and money into creating a masterpiece aquarium. You have carefully selected the right style aquarium for your taste and placed it in just the right spot in your home. You spent countless…
By:  in  Pets  >  Fish   Feb 14, 2012  
  Likes: 0

Saltwater Aquarium Filtration Systems - The Basics
One of the most integral parts of the saltwater aquarium is the filtration system. This system is tasked with filtering out chemicals and other water waste. Once fish are added to an aquarium, pollution begins in the form of waste products that are produced during normal respiration and digestion and…
By:  in  Pets  >  Fish   Feb 14, 2012  
  Likes: 0

55 Gallon Aquarium Filters
55 Gallon Aquarium Filters Filters for your 55 gallon aquariums are an essential piece of equipment to keeping your water safe for your aquatic life. Having excellent water quality is vital for keeping your fish healthy. Filters are meant to remove the toxins in your water and waste produced by…
By: Kevin3 in  Pets  >  Fish   Apr 14, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Setting Up Your New Aquarium
Many new aquarium owners jump right into the hobby without considering the steps of setting one up correctly. It really does pay to do a bit of planning before you take th plunge into the wonderful world of fish keeping. Take some time to plan just where the aquarium will…
By: Larry Pitts in  Pets  >  Fish   Apr 04, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 2525    Report this Article