Getting your first saltwater tank can be such an exciting event. You will finally be able to sit and enjoy the soothing beauty of your aquarium. However, it can also be frustrating and a bit overwhelming. What equipment do you need? Which fish are best for beginners? Here are some tips to help you start off right.
The first thing you should consider is the actual tank. An acrylic tank is a better insulator than a glass tank and is more stable in terms of temperature. Acrylic tanks are flexible, less prone to leakage and strong, which means they don’t break as easily as glass aquariums. Acrylic is also lighter and easier to drill into, which is important for installing certain filters. If your budget allows it, an acrylic tank would be a good idea.
However, for your first saltwater tank, a glass tank will do just fine, since you will be buying fish that are fairly hardy and easy to take care of. Since this is your first saltwater tank, you should consider purchasing an aquarium kit or package, as it comes with all the necessary equipment you’ll need to maintain your tank.
These aquarium kits usually include filters, heaters, test kits and manuals that will make it easier for you to set up your first saltwater tank. Some aquarium kits are so complete that they come with everything but your fish and water for the tank. These kits include fluorescent fixtures, power filters, plants, fish food, water conditioner and more. They come in sizes that range from about 30 gallons to 50 gallons.
For an extremely low maintenance tank, look for a kit that doesn’t require external plumbing for filtration. On these kits, the filter is attached to the back of the aquarium, making them very easy to maintain.
For your first saltwater tank, you may be tempted to buy the biggest, most colorful fish you can find. However, you really should have some experience with a saltwater fish tank before you spend hundreds of dollars on fish. Budget friendly, hardy fish are the best way to start.
The common clownfish was popular even before the cartoon movie made this hardy fish into a household name. While this fish is fairly easy to care for, it can be a bit aggressive, so you won’t want more than 3 of them in your aquarium. Your fish will be happiest if there are a few of their favorite anemones in the tank, as well.
A damselfish is also a good choice for your aquarium. Because damselfish are so aggressive to other damselfish, it is best to only have one of these colorful little guys in your tank.
Tangs are another popular choice for a first saltwater tank. However, you should be sure you have algae growing on your tank or you will need to provide a suitable alternative. The powder blue tang is the hardiest fish in the species. Since tangs are a bit aggressive, you shouldn’t add more than one to your tank.
Finally, you may want to consider adding some other living things, such as a cleaner shrimp or an anemone crab to the tank. Small hermit crabs are also easy to keep and very amusing to watch.