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Stepping Up From Freshwater to Saltwater


Dear Aquaworld,

I am wanting to start me a salt water aquarium.  I have had fresh water fish before for years.  People say salt water fish are hard to take care of.  Is this true?  What all does it take to start and set one up?  Would they be more expensive as far as setting them up?  I do know the fish are a lot more then fresh water but I am wondering the comparison in price as far as maintance and setting up are.

Thank you and God bless,

Rock Springs, Wyoming, USA


Dear Traci,

Ocellaris Clownfish with eggs.

Pictured above, Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) tending to their eggs.

Saltwater does require a hydrometer and marine salt.  On average, saltwater fish do cost more than common freshwater fish, but there are plenty of freshwater fish that cost a lot more than your typical saltwater fish.  Saltwater fish are prone to carrying parasites, so it is always a good idea to quarantine them for at least 3 weeks, and treat them with Copper Power.  See my article "Marine Reef Aquariums Made Easy - The Nano or Mini Reef Aquarium" for an easy to follow guide on how to set up a marine aquarium.

Generally, the cost to set up a marine tank is a little more, but the maintenance is about the same on average.  You will need to make sure that you do not allow to much water to evaporate before you top it off with fresh water, as the salinity can get to high.  Also, make sure you research the fish you want before you buy, as there are a lot of marine fish offered for sale that have an extremely poor survival rate in captivity do to a specific dietary requirement.

Good luck!

Tony Griffitts

Published - 20070805