Some people, especially the newbies or beginners, are advised to read different saltwater aquarium guidelines before engaging or starting their set-up. It is for their own benefit as saltwater aquariums need a little time, effort and care compared to a freshwater set up. These guides, tips, and advice can save you a lot of money and save you from stress and disappointment in the near future.
Variety and Colors
This refers not to the aquarium or tank but what’s inside. If you want the highest, vibrant, possible colors, there would be no comparison when it comes to a reef aquarium. This part favors saltwater aquarium or tanks the most, as there are a wide variety of fish with decorative colors available in the saltwater ecosystem.
The only freshwater aquarium could come across is the Cichlid tank. It offers natural bright colors, like that of the ocean but even then it does not even come close. And just for some added information, Cichlid tank is often mistaken to be a saltwater aquarium that contains saltwater fish due to its colorful scenery. It is an impression people usually make when they see a Cichlid tank or aquarium as most of them know that a colorful underwater environment usually pertains or refers to saltwater fishes, tanks or aquariums.
Of course, for people with freshwater preference, there are types of plants and freshwater species with bright and vibrant colors but the wonderful color spectrum of the saltwater species provide is more tantalizing and mesmerizing. Adding to that, you could choose amongst so many species of saltwater fish wherein freshwater only has a countable amount of fish species that offers exquisite colors.
In regards with other occupants such as reefs, plants, rocks, and other invertebrates, the saltwater aquarium is still on the edge or on the higher ground compared to freshwater. The vast ocean has tons of wonderful aquatic creatures offered to be displayed, both vertebrates and invertebrates occupants. The same goes with decorative options. Freshwater also has some things to offer like snails, dwarf frogs, and other occupants but the saltwater preference just gives you so many options to choose from.
For the saltwater aquarium, you can choose to have minimal equipment as possible to save on spending but at the expense that you need to exert more effort. This minimal equipment will also cause your fish tank or aquarium to offer less peaceful scenery. But in comparison, an average, non-cheap saltwater aquarium will require and would cost more in terms of equipment compared to a freshwater aquarium set-up.
In addition, most of this equipment, kits, and add-ons required for saltwater are fairly optional but not that necessary on a freshwater aquarium, equipment such as: Live Rock, hydrometer, sump, calcium and alkaline test kits, salt mix, protein skimmer, etc. Some of those kits and mixes, even hydrometer may seem useless for a freshwater aquarium or tank as you do not have to worry about the salinity mixture and level of the water.
Common equipment that could be used for both saltwater and the freshwater aquarium are your filters (May it be external or internal), aerator, heater, tank or aquarium stand, etc. These types of equipment are an investment that could be utilized if you plan on changing your preference from saltwater to freshwater or vice versa.
Here are some aquarium filters which are highly rated and have so many good customer recommendations:
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This is an amazing power filter from Marineland. It is great for large size aquarium with a water capacity of 50 to 70 gallons. It has higher GPH compared to ordinary and smaller filters. This product guarantees a 3-stage filter system that could clean chemical, mechanical and biological contaminants inside the aquarium, all for a great and affordable price.
Next it the Cascade Canister Filter from Penn Plax. This set features an external filter that cleans water through a canister. It has a one-push function system wherein a single push of a button can turn the system on and perform to its optimum performance. There are 2 adjusting valves to control the flow of the water coming in and out of the canister filter.
Lastly, this is the Hang-on External Aquarium Filter from Penn Plax. This may be an external filter but it does the job of cleaning your aquarium quietly. It runs and cleans 300 gallons of water in an hour without making any sound. You can have a peaceful aquarium set-up while being able to maintain crystal clear water.
Ease of Maintenance
We can now possibly say that not all freshwater aquariums come cheaper compared to saltwater aquariums as the expenses of each preference you choose depends on you. You can choose to have a low-end saltwater tank with a sufficient amount of kits and equipment to sustain an aquatic life or a high-end expensive, fully equipped plant tank. Regardless of which, the expensiveness or cheapness of each preference is not really of any issue but just a common misconception.
When it comes to maintenance, however, it is slightly harder to maintain a saltwater tank than a freshwater tank. A good way to put an example is comparing two high-end, fully loaded and fully equipped plant-tank and a reef tank. Both are on their highest end and maintenance gives the plant tank a little edge compared to the reef tank. You need to regulate water temperatures regularly, the salinity level, toxicity, filtration, air and water flow, and more. And comparing a simple FO saltwater tank to a mild plant-tank would result with the FO saltwater tank being easier to maintain or would put them in the same level.
Corals and Other Aquarium Occupants
Corals are only for a saltwater aquarium. Live corals are used for reef tanks or aquariums. Each of these set of corals has their own maintenance process, lighting requirement, water flow or current and diet preference. You need to conduct thorough research about the types of corals you put inside your reef tanks or aquariums. Or seek expert advice from other aquarium owners or even the pet store to where you have purchased your aquarium, fish and/or corals.
Other types of aquarium occupants include your invertebrates, live rocks, stones, pebbles, plants, and fishes. Some people invest in saltwater aquariums to have peaceful mind watching reef corals grow. Most people on the other hand focus on which types of fish they would get for their aquarium. Other occupants can be later decided once you really made it through your initial intent or concept of a saltwater or freshwater aquarium.