The first decision that should be made when considering setting up a saltwater tank is what type of livestock the aquarist intends to keep. Everything else, including filtration, lighting, chemistry and overall expense are largely determined by the answer to this first question.
Just as getting a dog or a cat will change your daily routine, getting a saltwater aquarium will alter your life. For example, you’ll need to make arrangements for care while you are away. Depending on the length of your stay, this can range from asking a friend to come in and feed the fish to hiring a professional maintenance service to cover an extended trip. On the other hand, fish don’t need to be taken out for a walk, paper trained, or taken to the vet for shots. They don’t bark at night or dig in your neighbor’s flower beds.
Some fish will learn to recognize your approach at feeding time, but they won’t bounce around joyfully, obviously thrilled that you’re home from work. Watching an aquarium can soothe jangled nerves and provide a sense of accomplishment not unlike that artists feel toward their creations, but if you are looking for companionship, you won’t find it in an aquarium.
Saltwater Tank Maintenance
To keep your saltwater inhabitants healthy and happy, saltwater aquariums require regular and consistent maintenance. The time required to maintain your aquarium depends on the size of the tank.
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Saltwater/Marine fish and invertebrates propose a challenge, as they are sensitive to environmental changes. The temperature, salinity, ammonia, nitrate, nitrate, and most importantly – the pH – must be kept at appropriate levels. Despite the care required, the vast array of colorful saltwater fish more than compensates for the extra effort required and their higher price tag. They can have a lot of company in the tank. Saltwater offers a host of invertebrates such as eels, clams, crabs, corals, and starfish. Marine plants, conversely, are difficult to harvest and are also pricier than their freshwater equivalent
The differences between freshwater and saltwater systems aren’t limited to tank’s inhabitants. The equipment needed for their survival varies as well. Marine aquariums are generally more expensive than freshwater tanks, but your costs drop slightly if you opt for a fish-only system.
Average Time Commitments
Following are the time commitments you need to make for small-, medium-, and large-size aquariums:
* For a 30-gallon tank, plan to spend 4 hours for weekly maintenance and 4 hours for
* For a 75-gallon tank, plan to spend 6 hours for weekly maintenance and 6 hours for
* For a 150-gallon tank, plan to spend 8 hours for weekly maintenance and 8 hours for