TYPES OF SALTWATER TANKS: FISH-ONLY, FOWLR AND REEF TANKS

Written by Katherine Barrington Updated March 16, 2015
There are several different types of saltwater aquariums to choose from and each has its benefits and drawbacks. Before you make your choice, learn the basics about each type.
If you are considering starting a saltwater aquarium you have many difficult choices ahead of you. Not only do you need to decide what size tank you want, what type of fish you want to cultivate and what equipment you will use but you also have to think about what type of tank is right for you. When it comes to cultivating an aquarium you have to think about more than just “freshwater” or “saltwater”. The freshwater aquarium category can be divided into a number of different tanks including tropical, cold water and biotope tanks. Saltwater aquariums are no different – there are at three main types of saltwater aquariums to choose from and many more specific options within those categories. Before you go out and start making plans for your tank, take the time to learn about the different types so you can make an informed decision regarding which type of tank is right for you.
 
Distinguishing Between the Types
 
You may be tempted to think that a saltwater tank is a saltwater tank – all that makes them different is the type of fish you cultivate. While this may be true in the general scheme of things, it is not really quite that simple. There are three main types of saltwater tank – fish only, fish only with live rock (FOWLR) and reef tanks. Each of these three categories can be further divided or specified but, for the sake of determining which type is best for you, these three are the ones you need to be familiar with.

 
These three types of tanks are largely distinguished by the type of tank inhabitants – not just fish. When it comes to stocking a saltwater tank there are a number of possibilities beyond just fish – saltwater tanks are often decorated with live rock or, in the case of reef tanks, live corals and other saltwater invertebrates. The basic setup for each type is similar but some tanks will require additional equipment including high-powered lighting systems, protein skimmers and additional tank accessories. The maintenance requirements for each type may vary slightly as well.
 
Fish-Only Tanks
 
A fish-only tank is perhaps the most basic type of saltwater aquarium because all you have to worry about is fish – you do not need to install additional equipment to meet the needs of corals and you do not need to worry about cultivating live rock. Not only is this type of tank one of the most basic, but it is also the least expensive of the three. Although the setup may be simple and the start-up less expensive, cultivating a fish-only tank is not necessarily the easiest option of the three. One of the most important aspects of maintaining any kind of healthy aquarium is establishing and maintaining the nitrogen cycle – the process through which beneficial bacteria in the tank break down toxins like ammonia into less harmful substances. In a FOWLR or reef tank there is a greater colony of beneficial bacteria and other organisms to help speed this process along. In a fish-only tank, however, it may take longer for the nitrogen cycle to become fully established.
 
Another thing to consider with a fish-only tank is that maintenance may be required more frequently than in a FOWLR tank. Because you do not have live rock to harbor a greater quantity of beneficial bacteria, you will need to perform more frequent water changes to keep the water quality in your tank high. If you plan to cultivate a fish-only saltwater tank it would be wise to invest in an aquarium water test kit so you can keep an eye on your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH levels as a means of evaluating the water quality. When it comes to cultivating a fish-only tank there are two main types – community tanks and semi-aggressive tanks. Community tanks generally house several different species which are able to peacefully coexist while semi-aggressive tanks typically house only one species or individuals from different species.
 
Fish Only with Live Rock
 
The main difference between this type of tank and a fish-only tank is the addition of live rock. Live rock is a term used by aquarium hobbyists to describe rock formations which are home to various organisms and algae. These organisms are incredibly beneficial in the saltwater tank, serving as a natural means of biological filtration and helping to keep your tank water clean. The downside of adding live rock to a saltwater tank is the cost – it is generally recommended that you use 1 to 2 lbs. of live rock per gallon in your tank and live rock can cost anywhere between $5 and $10 per pound to purchase. If you want to save some money it is possible to cure your own live rock but you will also have to purchase the cultures to make your rock come to life.
 
When it comes to cultivating a FOWLR tank, it is a good idea to start with the largest tank your intended tank location can accommodate. Larger tanks offer a greater water volume which equates to an increased capacity to recover from mistakes – in a small tank, chemical imbalances may be disastrous while, in larger tanks, the chemicals would be more diluted and therefore less harmful. In terms of equipment, it is important to have a high-quality filtration system in place in a FOWLR tank along with a protein skimmer to help with nutrient control. The best filtration options for FOWLR tanks are wet/dry filters or sump systems.

 
The lighting system you choose will also be more important than in a fish-only tank because you will need extra light to facilitate the growth of the photosynthetic organisms and algae living in your live rock. It is generally recommended that you provide 1 to 2 watts of light per gallon and, if you plan to use a high-powered lighting system, be sure to install an auxiliary fan to keep the tank from overheating. When stocking your tank, do so slowly over a period of several months. Your tank will need time to adjust to the increased biological load and your fish will need time to get used to each other. Start with the least aggressive species, adding all the fish in a particular species group, and end with the most aggressive species.

One of the most challenging types of aquarium to cultivate is the reef tank. This type of tank is generally reserved for experienced aquarium hobbyists due to the requirements for excellent water quality, improved lighting and filtration, not to mention the task of monitoring water parameters on a daily basis. The focus of a reef tank is generally geared toward corals, anemones and other saltwater invertebrates – a reef tank may or may not actually have any fish in it. The focus of the reef hobbyist is generally directed toward cultivating their corals and anemones – a task which may require a great deal of daily care and attention.
 
Another thing to consider in regard to reef aquariums is the high start-up cost. In addition to purchasing a large tank you will also need to invest in high-quality equipment, perhaps even a reverse osmosis unit to treat the water in your tank. In addition to the cost of equipping your tank, purchasing the corals and anemones themselves can also be very expensive. Because cultivating this type of tank requires such a significant investment, it is recommended that you do a great deal of research before embarking on this challenge. Even a simple mistake in regards to water quality can have devastating (and costly) effects on your reef tank so it is important that you are properly educated if you plan to undertake this kind of challenge.
 
Other Considerations
 

In addition to these three types of tanks there is one more type of saltwater tank you might consider – the nano tank. A nano tank is simply a small aquarium, typically less than 30 gallons in capacity. These tanks can be used to cultivate traditional saltwater inhabitants or they can be turned into miniature reef environments. This type of tank is particularly difficult to maintain, largely due to the limited water volume. Not only do you need to pay close attention to your water parameters in a nano tank but you also need to be conscious of how you stock the tank – you will need to limit the size of your tank inhabitants to fish that grow no larger than 2 or 3 inches and to corals that grow slowly. This type of tank is recommended for experienced aquarium hobbyists but, as is true of any type of aquarium, all you really need in order to be successful is the right knowledge and equipment. If you perform the necessary research beforehand and take the time to set up your tank correctly, you should have no trouble.
 
Non-Conventional Tank Inhabitants
 
Whether you decide to cultivate a Fish Only, a Fish Only with Live Rock or a Reef Tank, you always have the option of adding tank inhabitants other than fish. If you choose a reef tank, of course, you will be adding things like corals and anemones, but you have many more options to consider as well. Some of the most popular non-conventional tank inhabitants for saltwater tanks include snails, crabs, and shrimp. Some of the less common saltwater invertebrates include lobsters, scallops, cucumbers, sea slugs, sponges, and sea urchins. Each of these invertebrates provides its own unique set of benefits for the saltwater tank as well as its own set of challenges. Below you will find a simple overview of each of these saltwater aquarium inhabitants:
  • Snails – There are over 40,000 different species of snails on the planet and many of them live in marine environments. Saltwater snails make excellent scavengers in the aquarium because they burrow into the gravel to feed on accumulated detritus and they eat various forms of algae as well.
  • Crabs – There are a number of different crabs that can be kept in the saltwater aquarium including hermit crabs, arrow crabs, horseshoe crabs, and more. Not all crabs are reef-safe so, if you have a reef tank you need to be careful about which type of crab you choose. Most species are scavengers, feeding on detritus and some forms of algae in the aquarium.
  • Shrimp – Not only do saltwater shrimp help to control detritus in the tank, but they can make for a colorful addition to the saltwater tank as well. Shrimp come in a variety of colors and sizes – you need to be careful with some of the larger species because they will feed on small fish.
  • Lobsters – Like shrimp, lobsters tend to inhabit the sandy bottoms of reef tanks, burrowing themselves in the substrate and hiding in the crevasses of rock formations in the tank. Lobsters are typically nocturnal creatures, coming out to feed at night, and they can be fairly aggressive toward others of their kind.
  • Scallops – These invertebrates are filter feeders which means that they sift through substrate and gather microorganisms from the water in the tank to feed. Scallops can be very tricky to maintain in the saltwater aquarium.
  • Cucumbers – This type of invertebrate is best kept in either a reef tank or an invertebrate-only tank. Sea cucumbers are very sensitive to water quality.
  • Sea Slugs – These invertebrates are incredibly unique and interesting to keep in the saltwater tank. They come in a variety of colors and they typically do best in reef environments.
  • Sponges – Sea sponges filter their food directly from the tank water so they may need additional supplementation in order to thrive. These invertebrates need to be anchored to rockwork and they do not do well in sandy substrate.
  • Sea Urchins – Most sea urchins grow between 2 and 3 inches in diameter, though their spines can be much longer. These invertebrates can help to control algae and detritus buildup in the tank.
  •  
Nothing can compare to the beauty of a thriving saltwater aquarium – saltwater fish are some of the most colorful creatures in the world and corals and anemones are a wonderful sight to behold. If you are looking for a way to challenge yourself as an aquarium hobbyist, you may want to consider starting a saltwater tank. You should be aware, however, that saltwater tanks can be more challenging than freshwater tanks to cultivate. Not only do you need to invest in additional equipment, but you may also have to pay closer attention to your water parameters to ensure high water quality. If you prepare yourself with the proper knowledge before you embark in this journey, however, you will be greatly rewarded with a beautiful and thriving saltwater aquarium.

comments powered by Disqus

Most Recent Forum Discussions

  • Internal parasites? - By friend_of_fish, 05/14/17 06:59:16 pm (0 replies)

    How can I tell when a fish has got internal parasites? I'm beginning to suspect it with one of my fish but I don't know ...

  • Growing plants on driftwood and rock - By friend_of_fish, 05/07/17 06:11:38 am (2 replies)

    What kind of plants can I grow on driftwood and rocks? I assume I need to tie them on with something so that the roots ...

  • Geophagus and plants - By friend_of_fish, 05/07/17 06:09:51 am (1 replies)

    Do you think a couple of geophagus would damage plants? Does anyone have any experience keeping them in a moderately planted tank?

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

Choosing the Right Algae-Eater by the Type of Algae in Your Tank
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ALGAE-EATER BY THE TYPE OF ALGAE IN YOUR TANK
There are many different types of aquarium algae and not all algae eaters will eat every type.
Why is Water Flow So Important in a Reef Tank?
WHY IS WATER FLOW SO IMPORTANT IN A REEF TANK?
Cultivating a thriving reef tank can be a challenge with all of the requirements you must meet.
Shrimp in the Home Aquarium: Spring 2017 Aquarium Trends
SHRIMP IN THE HOME AQUARIUM: SPRING 2017 AQUARIUM TRENDS
If you're looking for a unique way to stock your new tank, give freshwater shrimp a try.

SALTWATER AQUARIUM ARTICLES

AQUARIUM SETUP

If you want to maintain a healthy, thriving aquarium you must be sure to set up your tank properly the first time. The articles in this category will help you set up your tank correctly.

Saltwater Aquariums
SALTWATER AQUARIUMS
A brief introduction to saltwater aquariums.
Getting The Tank Ready
GETTING THE TANK READY
Creating an ecosystem.
Stocking a Brackish Aquarium
STOCKING A BRACKISH AQUARIUM
A brackish aquarium is an exciting challenge for the aquarium hobbyist.
Types of Saltwater Tanks: Fish-Only, FOWLR and Reef Tanks
TYPES OF SALTWATER TANKS: FISH-ONLY, FOWLR AND REEF TANKS
There are several different types of saltwater aquariums to choose from and each has its benefits and drawbacks.
Setting Up A Saltwater Tank System
SETTING UP A SALTWATER TANK SYSTEM
What to Consider before Starting.
Handy Aquarium Accessories and Devices
HANDY AQUARIUM ACCESSORIES AND DEVICES
There are many accessories and handy devices which can make your life as an aquarium hobbyist easier.
Preparing Saltwater for your Marine Tank
PREPARING SALTWATER FOR YOUR MARINE TANK
Setting up and maintaining a marine tank can be a challenging experience and preparing your saltwater correctly is one of the most important tasks.
Balloon mollies make great additions to the brackish tank.
HOW TO START A BRACKISH TANK
If you are looking for a new challenge as an aquarium hobbyist, try cultivating a brackish tank.
Saltwater versus Freshwater Aquariums
SALTWATER VERSUS FRESHWATER AQUARIUMS
Learn the arguments for choosing to set-up either a freshwater or saltwater aquarium.
Read more articles (9) Aquarium Maintenance (17)
Getting Rid of Aiptasia in Your Reef Aquarium
GETTING RID OF AIPTASIA IN YOUR REEF AQUARIUM
Learn about aiptasia in the reef aquarium and how to get rid of it.
Why is Water Flow So Important in a Reef Tank?
WHY IS WATER FLOW SO IMPORTANT IN A REEF TANK?
Cultivating a thriving reef tank can be a challenge with all of the requirements you must meet.
How to Solve Common Saltwater Tank Problems
HOW TO SOLVE COMMON SALTWATER TANK PROBLEMS
Cultivating a thriving saltwater tank can be a challenge but it is also incredibly rewarding.
Saltwater and Reef Tank Cycling
SALTWATER AND REEF TANK CYCLING
Tips on cycling your fishtank.
Maintaining Your Saltwater Tank
MAINTAINING YOUR SALTWATER TANK
Tips for maintaining a saltwater fish tank.
Choosing the Correct Temperature for a Marine Aquarium
CHOOSING THE CORRECT TEMPERATURE FOR A MARINE AQUARIUM
One of the most important things you must to do ensure the health of your marine tank is to achieve and maintain the ideal temperature.
Maintenance Schedule for Reef Tanks
MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE FOR REEF TANKS
Maintaining a reef tank can be a challenge but as long as you keep up with your routine maintenance tasks, you should have no problem.
Why Do Fish Disappear from the Saltwater Tank?
WHY DO FISH DISAPPEAR FROM THE SALTWATER TANK?
There is nothing as heart-breaking as losing a fish but it can be even more devastating when the fish simply disappears.
How to Deal with Marine Fungus in the Saltwater Aquarium
HOW TO DEAL WITH MARINE FUNGUS IN THE SALTWATER AQUARIUM
Fungal spores are present in all aquariums but, if you are not careful, they can become a problem in the saltwater tank.
Salinity Requirements in a Saltwater Aquarium
SALINITY REQUIREMENTS IN A SALTWATER AQUARIUM
The key to maintaining a healthy saltwater aquarium is to strike the right balance in the salinity of your tank water.
Kalkwasser for the Marine Tank
KALKWASSER FOR THE MARINE TANK
Maintaining proper calcium levels is an important part of keeping your marine tank healthy.
Dealing with Hard Water in the Saltwater Tank
DEALING WITH HARD WATER IN THE SALTWATER TANK
When it comes to maintaining a healthy saltwater tank, water quality is extremely important.
The Dangers of High Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate
THE DANGERS OF HIGH AMMONIA, NITRITE AND NITRATE
Water quality is extremely important in maintaining a saltwater tank.
Marine algae can be beneficial in the saltwater tank.
THE BENEFITS OF ALGAE IN SALTWATER TANKS
Many aquarium hobbyists assume that algae in the aquarium can only be bad.
Learn how to modify the pH in your saltwater tank so you can correct pH problems if they occur.
HOW TO MODIFY PH IN A SALTWATER TANK
The pH level in your saltwater tank is incredibly important for the health and vitality of your tank.
What NOT to do with a Saltwater Tank
WHAT NOT TO DO WITH A SALTWATER TANK
Learn what "not" to do when starting out with your saltwater fish or reef tank.
How to Remove a Mantis Shrimp From a Saltwater Aquarium
HOW TO REMOVE A MANTIS SHRIMP FROM A SALTWATER AQUARIUM
In this article you will receive an overview of what mantis shrimp are, how they can impact your saltwater aquarium, and how to remove them properly.
Reef Tanks (13)
Tips for Using Rockwork in Saltwater and Reef Aquariums
TIPS FOR USING ROCKWORK IN SALTWATER AND REEF AQUARIUMS
Building a beautiful saltwater tank landscape out of rock is a challenge but with some helpful tips you can make it work.
The Top 5 Most Colorful Corals for a Saltwater Tank
THE TOP 5 MOST COLORFUL CORALS FOR A SALTWATER TANK
With more than 2,000 different species of coral out there, how do you choose the right option for your tank?
Reef Aquariums: Is Bigger Really Better?
REEF AQUARIUMS: IS BIGGER REALLY BETTER?
Cultivating a reef tank is an exciting but challenging task - learn more about choosing the right size for your reef tank.
Beginner Coral Species: Low-Light Corals
BEGINNER CORAL SPECIES: LOW-LIGHT CORALS
Keeping corals in a saltwater aquarium can be challenging but these low-light species are perfect for beginners.
How to Care for Marine Blue Sponges
HOW TO CARE FOR MARINE BLUE SPONGES
The blue sponge makes a great addition to the marine tank.
Recommended Species for Nano Tanks
RECOMMENDED SPECIES FOR NANO TANKS
Cultivating a nano tank can be an exciting challenge but unless you choose the right fish for your tank, you may be in trouble.
Bristle Worms in the Marine Tank
BRISTLE WORMS IN THE MARINE TANK
Dealing with pests is an inescapable part of cultivating a marine tank.
Common Myths and Problems Regarding Nano Reef Tanks
COMMON MYTHS AND PROBLEMS REGARDING NANO REEF TANKS
Cultivating a nano reef tank can be an exciting challenge.
Feeding Corals —  Keeping Your Saltwater Invertebrates Healthy
FEEDING CORALS — KEEPING YOUR SALTWATER INVERTEBRATES HEALTHY
If you want to keep your saltwater or reef tank healthy, you need to learn the basics of feeding corals.
Types of Coral for Reef Tanks
TYPES OF CORAL FOR REEF TANKS
Stocking a reef tank can be a challenge because there are so many different types of coral to choose from.
Set-up Guide for a Reef Tank
SET-UP GUIDE FOR A REEF TANK
If you have ever considered starting a reef tank, read this setup guide to make sure you start your reef tank off right.
A nano reef is a miniature reef environment less than 30 gallons in size.
WHAT IS A NANO REEF?
Whether you are looking for a new challenge as a saltwater aquarium enthusiast or you are trying your hand at a reef tank for the first time, a nano reef is a great way to go.
Reef Aquariums
REEF AQUARIUMS
An overview of the reef aquarium along with a short history.
Aquarium Lighting (3)
UV Sterilizers for Reef Aquariums
UV STERILIZERS FOR REEF AQUARIUMS
A UV sterilizer is a valuable piece of equipment to add to your reef tank or fish-only saltwater aquarium.
Tips for Lighting a Reef Tank
TIPS FOR LIGHTING A REEF TANK
When it comes to maintaining a thriving reef tank the type of lighting system you choose is incredibly important.
Saltwater Aquarium Lighting and Heating
SALTWATER AQUARIUM LIGHTING AND HEATING
Kind of lights you need.
Heating and Filtration (8)
Saltwater Aquarium Filtration
SALTWATER AQUARIUM FILTRATION
The type of filtration system you choose for your saltwater aquarium is incredibly important.
Wavemakers for Saltwater Tanks
WAVEMAKERS FOR SALTWATER TANKS
If you want to keep your saltwater tank healthy, you need to consider the ideal level of water flow.
Reverse Osmosis for the Saltwater Tank
REVERSE OSMOSIS FOR THE SALTWATER TANK
If you want to keep a healthy and thriving saltwater tank, you need to start with high-quality water.
Foam Build-up on Saltwater Tank Surface
FOAM BUILD-UP ON SALTWATER TANK SURFACE
Foam build-up is a common problem in the saltwater tank.
Common Problems with Heating in Saltwater Tanks
COMMON PROBLEMS WITH HEATING IN SALTWATER TANKS
Maintaining a stable water temperature in your saltwater tank is important for the health and well-being of your fish.
An aquarium sump can simplify the maintenance of your saltwater tank.
WHAT IS AN AQUARIUM SUMP?
If you are new to the aquarium hobby you may not be familiar with the term "sump".
How to Keep Your Saltwater Aquarium from Overheating
HOW TO KEEP YOUR SALTWATER AQUARIUM FROM OVERHEATING
Learn how to keep your saltwater aquarium from overheating.
What is Protein Skimming?
WHAT IS PROTEIN SKIMMING?
Learn about protein skimming, why it's important, and which aquarists should use it.
Nutrition and Feeding (6)
Top Commercial Foods for Saltwater Fish
TOP COMMERCIAL FOODS FOR SALTWATER FISH
What you feed your saltwater aquarium fish will play a major role in determining their health and vitality.
Tips for Getting Fussy Fish to Eat
TIPS FOR GETTING FUSSY FISH TO EAT
Feeding saltwater aquarium fish can be tricky, especially when your fish refuse to eat.
How to Raise Brine Shrimp
HOW TO RAISE BRINE SHRIMP
Brine shrimp are an excellent source of protein for aquarium fish and they are very easy to raise at home.
Live Foods for Marine Fish
LIVE FOODS FOR MARINE FISH
Feeding your fish a proper diet is the key to keeping them healthy.
Nutritional Needs of Saltwater Aquarium Fish
NUTRITIONAL NEEDS OF SALTWATER AQUARIUM FISH
In order to keep your saltwater aquarium fish healthy you need to understand and meet their basic nutritional needs.
Many saltwater aquarium fish enjoy the addition of fresh vegetables to their diets.
TIPS FOR FEEDING SALTWATER AQUARIUM FISH
What you feed your fish will determine whether or not their reach their full potential.
Saltwater Fish Diseases (5)
How to Treat Saltwater Aquarium Parasites with Freshwater
HOW TO TREAT SALTWATER AQUARIUM PARASITES WITH FRESHWATER
Parasites can quickly become a major problem in the saltwater aquarium if you do not address the issue immediately.
Common Saltwater Aquarium Fish Diseases
COMMON SALTWATER AQUARIUM FISH DISEASES
No matter how hard you try, you cannot completely protect your fish from falling ill.
Good Medications to Keep on Hand
GOOD MEDICATIONS TO KEEP ON HAND
In the event that your fish become ill it is important that you take action to begin a treatment regimen as soon as possible.
How to Deal with Marine Ich in the Saltwater Aquarium
HOW TO DEAL WITH MARINE ICH IN THE SALTWATER AQUARIUM
Marine Ich is a common disease affecting saltwater aquarium fish and, unless you know how to deal with it, it can spread quickly throughout your tank.
Though many saltwater fish diseases are treatable, the best option is to prevent your fish from becoming sick at all.
HOW TO PREVENT SALTWATER FISH DISEASES
There is nothing quite so heartbreaking as losing one of your fish to disease.
Aquarium Decorations (3)
Live rock is the foundation for a thriving saltwater aquarium environment.
CREATING YOUR OWN LIVE ROCK FOR SALTWATER TANKS
Live rock is the foundation for any thriving saltwater tank and it is the base for saltwater aquarium decor.
How to Cure Your Live Rock Before Placing it in Your Aquarium
HOW TO CURE YOUR LIVE ROCK BEFORE PLACING IT IN YOUR AQUARIUM
Learn how to properly cure live rock before placing it in your tank.
Stocking the Tank (26)
What's That? The Top 10 Strangest Looking Saltwater Fish
WHAT'S THAT? THE TOP 10 STRANGEST LOOKING SALTWATER FISH
There are some odd=looking animals out there but these ten saltwater fish are among the strangest.
Why Are Tangs Some of the Best Fish for Reef Tanks?
WHY ARE TANGS SOME OF THE BEST FISH FOR REEF TANKS?
Tangs are not just some of the most brightly colored species of tropical saltwater fish - they are also great additions to the reef tank.
Marine Shrimp for the Saltwater or Reef Tank
MARINE SHRIMP FOR THE SALTWATER OR REEF TANK
Marine shrimp can be a useful addition to the saltwater tank - just be sure to pick the right species.
Keeping Moray Eels in the Marine Tank
KEEPING MORAY EELS IN THE MARINE TANK
Moray eels can be a challenge to keep in the home aquarium but they are well worth it.
Top Recommendations for Tank-Raised Saltwater Fish
TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TANK-RAISED SALTWATER FISH
When purchasing saltwater aquarium fish, you need to think about whether the fish are tank-raised or captive-bred.
Hermit Crabs in Saltwater Tanks
HERMIT CRABS IN SALTWATER TANKS
Hermit crabs do more than just add decoration to the saltwater tank -- they can also help to keep your tank clean.
Saltwater Fish Article Database
SALTWATER FISH ARTICLE DATABASE
Articles on dozens of saltwater fish and appropriate care.
Guide for Keeping Anemones in a Reef Tank
GUIDE FOR KEEPING ANEMONES IN A REEF TANK
Keeping anemones in a reef tank can be a challenge if you are not fully prepared.
Stocking Salt Water Reef Tanks
STOCKING SALT WATER REEF TANKS
Learn how to select the right quantity and combination of fish for your saltwater aquarium.
Keeping Lionfish in the Home Aquarium
KEEPING LIONFISH IN THE HOME AQUARIUM
The lionfish is a beautiful but deadly fish that makes a unique addition to the saltwater aquarium.
Sea Cucumbers for Reef Tanks
SEA CUCUMBERS FOR REEF TANKS
Sea cucumbers are found throughout the ocean but they are a popular addition to saltwater reef tanks.
Selecting and Caring for Saltwater Angelfish
SELECTING AND CARING FOR SALTWATER ANGELFISH
Saltwater angelfish are some of the most colorful saltwater fish available.
Keeping and Breeding Mandarinfish
KEEPING AND BREEDING MANDARINFISH
Mandarinfish are a small, colorful species of saltwater aquarium fish.
Tank-Raised Fish for Saltwater Aquariums
TANK-RAISED FISH FOR SALTWATER AQUARIUMS
Stocking the saltwater aquarium can be an exciting challenge, especially when you have so many options to choose from.
Clownfish in the Reef Aquarium
CLOWNFISH IN THE REEF AQUARIUM
Clownfish are one of the most recognizable types of saltwater aquarium fish.
What Are Good Saltwater Fish For Beginners
WHAT ARE GOOD SALTWATER FISH FOR BEGINNERS
What makes a saltwater fish a good candidate for beginners?
Caring for Saltwater Gobies
CARING FOR SALTWATER GOBIES
The Goby family is one of the largest families of marine fishes, having over 2,000 unique species.
The Secret to Keeping Seahorses
THE SECRET TO KEEPING SEAHORSES
If you are looking for a unique inhabitant to add to your saltwater tank, consider the seahorse.
The Benefits of Snails in the Saltwater Tank
THE BENEFITS OF SNAILS IN THE SALTWATER TANK
While snails are often viewed as a nuisance in the freshwater tank, they can serve a valuable purpose in the saltwater aquarium.
Saltwater fish are known for being some of the most colorful creatures in the world.
UNDERSTANDING THE COLORATION OF SALTWATER FISH
Have you ever been dazzled by the bright colors and bold patterns of a school of saltwater fish?
Sea urchins are a great addition to the saltwater tank.
SEA URCHINS IN THE SALTWATER TANK
If you are looking for a unique invertebrate to add to your saltwater tank, consider the sea urchin.
The Achilles tang is one of the most popular tang species.
TIPS FOR CARING FOR TANGS PROPERLY
Tangs are a group of fish that make excellent additions to the saltwater tank.
If you purchase your saltwater fish online you may have a larger variety of species to choose from.
THE BENEFITS OF PURCHASING SALTWATER FISH ONLINE
If you are thinking about buying some new fish for your saltwater tank, think about purchasing them online!
Commonly Available Reef-Safe Fish & Invertebrates
COMMONLY AVAILABLE REEF-SAFE FISH & INVERTEBRATES
Learn about commonly available reef-safe fish and invertebrates that are good candidates for your reef aquarium.
Saltwater Species That Should Not be Kept by Beginners (and Sometimes not Even by the Experienced)
SALTWATER SPECIES THAT SHOULD NOT BE KEPT BY BEGINNERS (AND SOMETIMES NOT EVEN BY THE EXPERIENCED)
Learn about saltwater animals that beginners (and sometimes experts) should avoid keeping.
Establishing up a Clean-up Crew in Your Saltwater Aquarium
ESTABLISHING UP A CLEAN-UP CREW IN YOUR SALTWATER AQUARIUM
Learn how to properly select and establish a clean-up crew in a saltwater or reef aquarium.