Saltwater or Freshwater Aquariums???

@toolfan (305)
United States
March 15, 2007 10:24am CST
I'm thinking of getting a freshwater, or a saltwater aquarium. Which one of these takes more time to maintain, and what are the benefits? I have had a freshwater in the past, but all the bright colored fish seem to be saltwater fish??? Any ideas?
6 people like this
11 responses
@clownfish (3277)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Hi! If you are just starting out, it's recommended that you begin with a freshwater aquarium. Fresh water aquariums are easier to maintain and you can learn about keeping the water temperature constant and keeping the fish healthy before you start a salt water aquarium - basically just get some experience in fishkeeping before you start a salt water aquarium. There are fish of both types, salt water and fresh, that can be difficult to keep, so do some research to make sure that you aren't getting fish that are hard to keep in the first place. Let us know what you decide and we can help you with some fish recommendations, too. :-) Owning an aquarium is awesome, in my opinion! The work to maintain them seems trivial compared to the joy and the learning experiences they provide! I started out with blood parrots. I still have them and they are just incredible to watch! :-) I'm starting my third tank soon, an african cichlid tank. It's exciting and fun! I say go for it! :-)
@toolfan (305)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Thanks very much, I appreciate it. I think that I might go with the freshwater simpily because I work about 70 hours a week, and I don't want to kill the fish. Any ideas on freshwater fish? I am looking for about a 50 gallon tank...I used to have a 20 gallon, and would like something a little bigger.
1 person likes this
@clownfish (3277)
• United States
9 Apr 07
Hi! I'm sorry I didn't get back to you sooner! :-) Angelfish like very deep tanks. I have two medium-sized angelfish in a deep 30 gallon tank and they are doing very well. I wouldn't suggest any very small fish, like neon tetras, only because they can get caught in the filter uptake and drown. I've lost two of them that way and they were only in a 10 gallon tank, which would have not nearly as strong a filter as you would need for a 55 gallon tank. I would suggest visiting a local pet store or looking online to decide what kinds of fish you like best, then make sure you do some research to determine which fish can live with other fish, etc. I recently created a "fishy buffet" because I didn't do the proper research. It's worth it, believe me! :-) Let us know what you decide to go with! :-)
@Fishmomma (11443)
• United States
28 Apr 08
I have never had a saltwater tank; however, my friends all spend more time cleaning them. My suggestion is to go look at the fish at your local stores, as you will be the one to view your tank at home. I suggest getting the largest tank that you can afford and have room to fit in your home. The larger tanks usually have less problems.
@ptygino (72)
• Panama
25 Apr 08
Saltwater tanks bring the Ocean sense to mind, but I also think freshwater aquariums are great becasue of the variety of cool fishes you can put there. I'm actually building one of the right now.. If you want to put up a tank we have best aquarium stands available.. www.aquariumstands.biz You can find the stand that fits your aquarium!!! www.aquariumstands.biz
• Canada
4 Apr 07
The saltwater tanks definetley do take more work, but how much more is up to you. The fish themselves take little more care to enjoy, saltwater(try to use the purest water you can get, metals, chlorine and other water contaminants are very hard on SW fish), temperature, and water flow/filtration are important but not overwhelming. Only after you add other cosmetic items to your tank do you have to start worrying overly about your waters chemistry. In a bare tank or tank with man made decorations with proper biological filtration to remove ammonia and nitrates you have little to worry about. Algae feeds largely on nitrates and phosphates so keep them under control. Only after you start adding Live Rock, Deep sand beds, Corals and other invetribrates do you really have to start looking at your waters alkalinity, calcium content, and other parameters.
@vanities (11387)
• Davao, Philippines
28 Mar 07
i dont think they are..my children love to have one and we did get one all those colored fishes that we bought lives in a fresh water and its easy to maintain..i dont know of any fish that is sold that we can use salt water,,try asking stores selling those fishes..
@nelly5 (1425)
• United States
28 Mar 07
Freshwater tanks are much easier to tend to. They don't take as much time or effert to keep clean. The saltwater aquariums have to have the temperature just right and the PH balance has to be at a certain level. If things are not done correctly the fish could die...resulting in losing a lot of money. Saltwater fish can be very expensive. Fish for a freshwater tank are not as costly. But if you can financially handle the cost of a saltwater tank they are very very beautiful! Much, much prettier than freshwater tanks. If you really want to get a saltwater tank, I would be certain to meet with someone at a pet store who knows specifically about saltwater tanks, so that you could learn as much as possible in order to care for your tank and fish as good as possible. I wish you luck and you will have to let us know which tank you decide on. Have a great day/night. Thanks for the post.
• United States
27 Mar 07
i have 3 fresh water aquariums. i love them. fresh water tanks are least expensive. i have seni agressive fish in mine. in the big tank i have an oscar along with some other semi agressive fish. i have thought of the salt water too but they told me that it is best start with a big tank with them and there is alot to learn first before you even start. they are beautiful though but can be quite expensive,
• Malaysia
26 Mar 07
that's depends. if u stay near the sea. then just go and get every thing u want in the sea. but it is illegal in some country. u might want to go to the pet shop, ask for their opinion.
@Signal20 (2281)
• United States
15 Mar 07
Once you know what you need to do for a salt water tank, it's not that much more difficult. Basically just mixing up some salt water on the side. Other then that, you change the water, check the water parameters the same as a freshwater tank. I know a bunch of people that claim it's easier. But as mentioned, it is a bit more expensive to set up and maintain a salt water tank, simply having to buy the marine salt alone is rather expensive. As far as setting up a freshwater tank, a 50 gallon would be great. There's lots to choose from. Think about doing a strictly African cichlid species tank. They're not as active as say a community tank, but they're some gorgeous fish. And, it's recommended to slightly overstock the tank with them as well to help curb some of their aggression. Here's a link with different fish profiles, there's a category there as well for Africans. Good luck!! http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/categ.cfm?pcatid=830 .
@loved1 (5336)
• United States
15 Mar 07
We have a freshwater aquarium and one of the things I love most about it is that it is so easy to maintain. I do love the wide variety of brightly colored fish that you can have in a saltwater tank, but I don't want the responsibility of upkeep or the expense.
• United States
15 Mar 07
I have heard that saltwater aquariums are VERY difficult to maintain. Though I don't know this from experience. But I have talked to people and they tell me that you always have to worry about the water temperature (way more than if it is a freshwater aquarium) and the ph balance has to be JUST right. Then you have to worry about algae because of the warmer waters, which i think you can help with one of those sucker fish that eats algae. Or you could buy one of those expensive tank cleaners. But I have to agree that the fish are much prettier! If you are willing to put the time and effort into keeping the fish in the right water I would say go for it! If you are like me and like the looking but not the effort to keep it nice then I would advise to stick with freshwater fish.