Petfish Aquarium Guide

Freshwater vs Saltwater Aquarium
Freshwater Aquarium Setup
Saltwater Aquarium Setup
Fish Disease
Freshwater Aquarium Fish
Saltwater Aquarium Fish
Brackish Water Fish
Freshwater Invertebrates
Saltwater Invertebrates
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Freshwater vs Saltwater Aquarium


When you first begin considering setting up an aquarium, the first question that may come to mind is whether you should set up a saltwater tank or a freshwater tank. Both options provide advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to give the matter some careful thought and consideration.

A saltwater aquarium will certainly allow you to have an interesting variety of colorful fish; however, if you are a novice to keeping an aquarium you may find a saltwater aquarium a bit daunting. The major advantage of a freshwater aquarium is that it allows you as a beginner to gain experience before taking on the responsibilities of a saltwater tank; which can be time consuming and expensive.



Freshwater aquariums tend to be easier to set up than saltwater aquariums and on average require less time and effort in terms of maintenance. When it comes to expense, freshwater aquariums are also less costly for both equipment as well as fish. Marine fish are required for saltwater aquariums and while they are more colorful than freshwater fish, they are also typically more expensive.

Additions for saltwater aquariums can also be expensive, such as live rock. Live rock provides a great biological filter for your saltwater tank and makes set up and maintenance of the saltwater tank easier, but it is expensive as it is taken from coral reefs.


Lighting is also an important issue. If you have live corals and rock in your saltwater tank, lighting will become even more important. Poor lighting can cause these live organisms in your saltwater tank to die. Of course, lighting is also important to a freshwater tank; however, maintaining the balance is not as delicate.

With a saltwater tank there is also the added responsibility of monitoring the salt levels; a task which is not necessary with a freshwater tank. This is a delicate process. If your salt levels are not properly monitored and maintained your fish, rocks and plants will not survive in a saltwater environment. The water quality must also be monitored carefully; but when compared this task is really not much different than monitoring and maintaining the water quality in a freshwater tank.

Ultimately, the final decision of whether a saltwater or a freshwater tank is best; will depend on how much time and money you want to invest in your aquarium. A freshwater tank can be quite fun, allowing you to keep a number of beautiful freshwater tropical fish while getting your feet wet in the process of maintaining an aquarium. You can avoid the disappointment that goes along with losing an expensive fish while you learn the basics of maintaining a tank when you choose a freshwater tank.


Freshwater Aquarium Fish


Anabantids-Bettas and Gouramis



Butterfly Fish





Hatchet Fish




Saltwater Aquarium Fish



Butterfly Fish

Cardinal Fish






Grammas and Basslets



Porcupine Fish and Puffer Fish


Saltwater Eels

Saltwater Wrasses

Sea Bass

Sea Horses

Tangs and Surgeon Fish

Trigger Fish

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