One of the most beautiful ways to transform any room into a gorgeous oasis is by investing in an aquarium. An aquarium is a place where you keep aquatic plants and animals and has at least one transparent side where people can view the content. An aquarium adds tremendous dimension and beauty to any room, and can even give off a calming effect. That is why aquariums are often found in the waiting rooms of medical offices. When you have a nervous child (or adult) waiting to see the doctor, and nurses clad in medical uniforms keep scurrying by adding to the apprehension, the fish tank provides a great distraction.
So whether you are putting the aquarium in your home or office, it is always a welcome and eye-catching addition.
Saltwater vs. Freshwater: What’s the Difference?
So, once you have made the decision that you are ready to upgrade your space, and create a magnificent focal point in your room, you will need to decide whether you would like your aquarium to be supplied with freshwater or saltwater.
The basic difference between the two is that a freshwater aquarium uses naturally occurring waters, such as water from ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, or underground water with the exception of seawater, which is water from the sea or ocean. On the other hand, saltwater aquariums are supplied with water that includes salt, hence the name saltwater.
If you really want to give off that wow factor, then go with the saltwater option. It will cost more than the freshwater aquarium, and take more to maintain, but can be very impressive by containing colorful and exotic fish and corals. There are many rare and magnificent fish that can only survive in a saltwater environment and you can even have a reef aquarium, a particularly beautiful type of saltwater aquarium that recreates the floor of the ocean right in your home or office.
Setting up Your Saltwater Aquarium
Take particular care when setting up the tank that it is placed in the optimal location; not in direct sunlight, and obviously in a place where it can easily be seen and enjoyed. Also, make sure the surface or stand where the tank is placed can handle the weight of the tank when filled with water. You wouldn’t want to find out that the tank is too heavy once it is already filled with 50 gallons of water; it will be quite a job to move at that point.
You will then need to make sure the aquarium is clean before adding gravel and then, of course, the water. Take care when adding the water to make sure that you have the right balance of sea salt to the water. Never use table salt for an aquarium.
Saltwater tanks require additional equipment, including special filtration systems, and a heater.
Once you’ve got your tank properly set up the fun begins with aquascaping your tank, decorating your aquarium with rocks, vegetation, and lighting.
Choosing the Best Saltwater Fish
Once you have completed the whole tank set up, and everything is all good with the water, you are ready to add your fish to the aquarium.
There is a whole world of fish out there. With almost 28,000 known species of fish, how do you know which ones to choose?
Before getting into specific fish types, there are a few general points to keep in mind when selecting your saltwater fish.
Size of Fish
It is important to choose fish that are within the same size range since larger fish eat smaller fish, which is something you definitely want to avoid happening in your aquarium. Also, you need to research the growth rate of the fish. Some fish grow at a very fast rate, while others grow more slowly. It is best to choose fish that all grow at similar rates so that you won’t have some of them dominating your tank and outgrow your tank capacity. One more thing to keep in mind is that some fish become aggressive as they grow into adults. You will want to stay away from these species of fish and maintain a peaceful group of fish.
And of course, you will need to make sure that the saltwater fish that you are selecting will fit in your tank comfortably, in addition to the room for growth.
Try to select fish that are easy to feed, and steer clear of any fish that are known to be carnivores, meaning they eat other animals. Being a carnivore fish, in this case, will mean that it will probably end up eating the other fish in your aquarium.
5 Best Saltwater Aquarium Fish
Now, as mentioned previously in this article, there are so many beautiful saltwater fish options out there, but here we will list just 5 of the most magnificent saltwater fish that you are sure to enjoy. All these fish are readily available, easier to care for, and are more affordable. So here we go….
these fish measure up to 5” and require a tank that can hold a minimum of 125 gallons of water. The Lyretail Anthias is bright and almost neon looking. Interestingly, the male is a pink/purple color, while the female is orange. They are extremely social and travel in groups with one male fish leading the females. Once the male dies, one of the females will morph into a male and take a leadership role in the group.
These are an extremely popular choice and are widely known since they were featured in movies: “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory.” They are also known as sea anemones, and there are 28 species within the anemonefish family. The classic clownfish is orange with white and black stripes, but they come in many colors, including red, pink, yellow, and multi-colored stripes. They are active and relatively easy to care for.
this fish is a beautiful white and luminescent, looking particularly impressive when traveling in a group. They are mellow fish that like live rock and are easy to care for.
the Coral Beauty is truly a beauty; comprised of a blue outer body with bright orange towards the center, it is truly a striking fish. Unlike their name, they do not require coral, yet they do like to hide, so make sure to provide lots of rocks and vegetation.
the Butterflyfish is stunning and is sure to add a flash of beauty to your tank. There are many subspecies to choose from and are easy to care for.
There are so many gorgeous, easy to care options out there, but these fish are a great start when creating your saltwater aquarium.