How To Keep Marine Fish? – Saltwater Tank Setup & Care For Beginners

People in general, think that keeping marine fish is a difficult task. In some cases, this may be true, because saltwater fish needs a bit more time, work, and equipment in comparison to freshwater fish.

But freshwater fish also needs the same sort of attention and care, especially, if one wants to breed them or keep delicate fish. On the other hand, there are several marine fish species that are easier to handle once you are able to understand the correct way of maintaining the saltwater aquarium and establishing a stable environment.

Are you are a beginner looking for a small marine fish aquarium to kick start? ==> Buying a small saltwater tank setup kit like the options below can save you a lot of time and avoid mistakes.

The Basic Parameters

Marine fish are more sensitive to variations in their surroundings. The basic parameters for a marine fish tank are pH, salinity, nitrate, and temperature. At the time of the cycling process, nitrate and ammonia can be a problem. These elements are the same as is in the freshwater tanks, only the degree of intensity differs largely.

For keeping marine fish one should be vigilant towards the pH of the water, and it should not fluctuate more than 0.2 each day. Most of the marine life likes pH ranging in-between 8.0 to 8.4. So, it should never drop below 8.0. Other critical parameters such as nitrites, salinity, and temperature, should be around 20 ppm, 1.022, and between 75F to 80F respectively.

Read Reviews To Learn More

Great price, great kit, no real complaints. – There is a lot of controversies right now with people trying to figure out what is the best test kits for saltwater aquariums. After watching a ton of YouTube videos with everybody keeps saying you gotta buy these or those expensive test kits to get an accurate measure… I am just not convinced. I had been using this kit for over a decade now, I’ll just stick with my API test kits as they work great!

The Basic Components

The basic components for keeping marine fish are synthetic sea salts, filters, lighting, decorations, and test kits. One of the most important items for a saltwater aquarium is the size of the tank, the bigger the better. Larger tanks provide more stability and room for mistakes to be rectified; anyway, tanks should never be less than 20 gallons.

Usually, fish enjoy long, wide tanks; the greater surface area assists in better gas exchange. Another thing that must be kept in the mind is that the tank should never be overcrowded; saltwater livestock should be much lower than the freshwater fish tank. And always use a good substrate such as crushed coral, marine sand, or dolomite.

I use these gadgets for my living room feature saltwater tank.

Make sure to check out tips from other users

My go-to aquarium marine salt – This is a 3 lbs box so it’ll last you forever! Remember to put the box in a gallon zip lock after you open it to protect it from moisture. This box actually has individual bags, so if one bag got wet, it will only affect that bag, the rest of the salt is safe.

See Affordable Price

These are awesome Aquarium filters – A canister or in-tank filter is ten times more work and messy. These filters are far superior to anything except canister systems BUT in some ways, better than canister filters due to ease of maintenance.

Check more before/after photos!

Huge difference! – Even through glass tops, the lighting at half depth is more than sufficient to grow zoanthid (food by light) corals. The fact that the lighting can be adjusted almost infinity to adjust for unique tank needs (coral species) is also a major plus. The sunrise and sunset are very nice features. Especially when adding fish to avoid light shock. I have live rock in my system and measured the intensity using a LUX meter at various depths.

For the cost of replacement bulbs (for those that don’t know, metal halide bulbs should be replaced yearly as they lose spectrum with use), I was able to buy 2 of these LED bars. 

For fish tank decoration, you should start with a design theme, click the images below to see more inspiration

Setting Up  

The first step for keeping marine fish is setting up a tank in the appropriate place and position. Make sure that the stand is equal from all directions; you can usually do this with Styrofoam under the tank. Next, install the filtration, either inside the tank or outside, according to the type of filter. Add substrate after rinsing it with plain water and then arrange the decorations.

Now the tank is ready for adding saltwater, this can be done in a few ways either ready mix the synthetic sea salt with reverse osmosis water or from a purifying unit in the tank or containers but it is advisable to place a plate on the substrate before pouring water into it. Then let the tank become stable for about two days and keep testing until the test shows positive readings, before adding livestock.

Aquarium Filtration      

Fish kept in the tank are confined to a very small amount of water and so contaminants such as scraps of uneaten food or ammonia released from fish’s gills, feces raise the toxic level of the water very soon. Keeping marine fish in such a condition is harmful to the proper development of the fish.

Regular change of water can help to contain contamination but may be impractical due to the size and frequency of water changes required. The best way of tackling this problem is by installing the best aquarium filtration you can afford be it under gravel filtration (UGF) or wet/dry filter.

Selecting a Saltwater Fish      

Keeping marine fish is usually more expensive than freshwater fish, so it is very important to get them home alive and maintain their longevity.

Never purchase a sick fish, always look for a healthy and vivacious fish in the store, and check, if any irregular patches, spots, or wounds on the body. Torn fins are not a problem, they will heal up soon, but other symptoms may kill the fish or even infect other fish of the aquarium.

General Notes

Experienced aquarists suggest that one should always keep a quarantine tank, particularly for saltwater fish. Sick fish needs isolated treatment, because medications or copper etc. may contaminate the fish tank which could be detrimental to the health of other fish.

Remember source water is also necessary for saltwater tanks. Tap water contains chlorinates and chlorine which has harmful effects on marine fish; it also helps in the massive growth of algae. Keeping marine fish needs some extra precautions, but this helps to keep the tank full of lively inhabitants.

Further Reading

Are You Interested In Any Of These Popular Aquarium Accessories?
(Limited Supply Again, Click The Images To Check Current Availability.)

Read These For Your Aquatic Friends:

👉 Trending

👉 Species Introduction

👉 Aquarium Guide

👉 Water Heating Products And Info

👉 Water Pump Products And Info

👉 Aquarium Filter And Info

👉 Turtle Guides

👉 Water Plants

👉 Fresh Water Aquarium Guides

👉 Marine Aquarium Guides

👉 Other Essential Products

Recent Posts