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The most asked questions about raising saltwater fish with answers

Here are questions and answers for people who raise saltwater fish. All questions have been answered by one of our moderators. If you can’t find an answer on your questions, feel free to ask us.

Big salt water aquariums

The largest marine aquarium can be found in the oceans and seas. There you can see fish in their natural environment. However, if you want to have a natural and healthy marine aquarium, you should have the biggest fish tank you can get. Fish in oceans have a lot of place and very stable conditions, which you can achieve only with a huge amount of water and you have to secure them such conditions in aquarium. But if you have a big aquarium there are problems with the stand because it has to carry a very heavy weight. So the stand can’t be made of weak wooden pieces only. Then the aquarium has to have strong walls and glue which holds the walls has to be of good quality. And it is wise to install the aquarium into a cabinet, so the construction will strengthen the walls.

How to raise salt water fish?

Salt water fish are harder to rise from the egg because not every salt water species breed in aquariums. These are some of the fish which have been bred in the aquariums (links point to randomly chosen fish from each family): Abudefduf sp., Amhiprio sp., Centropyge sp., Dascyllus sp., Equetus sp., Hippocampus sp., Hoppocampus sp., Chaetodon sp., Microspathodon sp., Opustognathus sp., Oxychirrhites sp., Pomacanthus sp., Synchiropus sp., Thalassoma sp. Then the care should be as in every aquarium. The conditions should appropriate for given species, naturally with a water of high quality as well as outstanding food . Water quality depends on good filtration and stable temperature. Another aspect of raising marine fish is that some fish need another aquarium creatures for their life. Some fish eat parasites from the skin of other fish, or they eat algae, or they need anemones for living. You have to be careful regarding keeping such species as well.

Which fish is the best as "the first fish" in saltwater aquarium?

All fish in our database which are easy to keep. You should prefer those which are smaller and peaceful.

What are the advantages of a salt water tank in a living room?

Salt water aquarium is good because of a few reasons. The first one is physical and the another one is psychical. If you have saltwater aquarium, it exhales salt to the air and salt do good for your respiration system. This is the reason why people visit salt mines and why they buy lamps made of a salt stone. I can say that when I was ill and I had a runny nose, the salt lamp had helped me. I could breathe better. And that psychical reason is, like in all types of aquarium are, that if you look at the aquarium, you calm down and your blood pressure gets more stable. It is good to sit down and relax after a stressful day and look at those creatures swimming happily around.

Which fish are aggressive saltwater aquarium fish?

All fish in our database which have aggressive character.

What is the best temperature for marine fish tank?

It depends on the kept fish species. If you are raising aquarium fish from the cold waters you have to manage the temperature to be lower than usual. If you have tropical marine fish, you need temperatures about 24°C. However the best option is maintaining the temperature within intervals which are specific for the fish’ origin or the temperature which the fish have been kept at in the shop where you bought them from. Marine fish are very sensitive to temperature changes.

What is the best way to clean a salt water fish tank?

With filters or with combination of filters and creating natural environment with bacteria.

If you want to buy natural saltwater tank

I am not sure if you can buy a natural marine tank, but you can create one for sure. Then you need some stones and substrate which will become places with bacteria. Such bacteria eliminate harmful excrements of fish and make the water cleaner. Then you should use enough of light so that algae can grow and it will be natural food for herbivore fish.

Can you mix gravel with live sand in aquarium?

Yes, you can. The gravel should be under the sand. But the substrate should not be very deep. Only if you have fish which burrow themselves into the sand.

What is the cheapest way to keep the aquarium temperature stable?

The best way is to have a large aquarium with a huge amount of water. If you have enough water, the temperature is very stable. Another way is to buy and install isolation materials around the tank. Only the front of the tank should be left as glass, so that you can see what is happening in the tank.

Which fish and invents are cleaning salt water aquariums?

Cleaner Shrimp - Lysmata amboinensis - It will eat not eunaten food and detritus
Mexican Red-Leg Hermit Crab - Coenobita species - It will eat meaty bits of seafood, algae and detritus.
Blue Leg Hermit Crab - Phimochirus operculatus - It will eat meaty bits of seafood, algae and detritus.
Turbo Snail Mexican - Turbo fluctuosa - It will eat Hair algae.
Sand Sifting Sea Star - Astropecten polycanthus - It will eat benthic sand crustaceans like spaghetti worms, tube worms, copepods, amphipods and other sandbed infauna.
Queen Conch - Strombus gigas - It will eat Omnivore, will eat hair algae and cyanobacteria algae from substrate.
Nerite snails - algae eater.
Nassarius Snail - Nassarius species - It will eat carrion, excess food and detrus.
Cerith Snail - Cerithidae genus - Eats mainly algae.
Serpent Sea Star Assorted Star - Ophiomyxa species - It will eat meaty bits of seafood and detritus. Also will eat small fish if not fed regularly.
Lawnmower Blenny - Salarias fasciatus - Herbivore and it will eat algae off the rocks, glass and sand, marine and spirulina algae, regular and veggie flake food, pellets and may eat mysis shrimp.
Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse - Labroides phthirophagus - Eating parasites.


Is salt from the Dead Sea good for aquarium?

I would not say so. Does something live there? No. So it is not a good choice. Even the water from seas with normal salinity is not good for aquariums. The best option is to buy instant salt specially prepared for saltwater tanks. Salt water from seas can be filthy and contain dangerous stuff.

What is the difference between freshwater and salt water fish respiration?

There is no difference.

Which fish can you buy?

If depends on where do you live and what does your aquarium store offer. The nearer you are to some kind of sea (or ocean), the bigger will be the offer.

How to make hiding places for saltwater fish?

The best is to see in the nature. Mostly fish hides into the stones, small caves or in other poisonous creatures, like clowns and anemones. So you can go to a store and buy plastic caves or stones and make from them little or bigger caves. Or you can buy big live stones with holes in it.

Is high salinity in aquarium good?

No, it is not good. If there is too much salt in the water, the fish lose more liquid than it could accept and they get dehydrated. Of course some fish, for example from the Red Sea need more salt in the water than fish from the Indian Ocean. You should know where your fish come from, or how much salt do they have in the store, or what water have they been living their life in.

How can saltwater tank harm human?

It should not harm anybody, but there is something which can cause problems. It is the aquarium food. Some food can cause allergic reactions.

How to make fish food for sea aquarium?

One receipt is:

Go to the sea food section in the grocery store, and pick up several shrimp, squid, sea scallops, mussel, clams, fish, and any other raw seafood that is available. The other main ingredient is Nori. You can also use other natural dried sea weeds that you should be able to find in the oriental grocery stores.

First throw the nori (and other seaweed) into the blender and shred into small pieces. Do this while its dry and it breaks up into nice small pieces. Then, remove most of it to leave a hand full in the blender and add half the seafood mix along with some water and blend it into a fine liquid paste. Then add back the rest of the nori, the remaining sea food mix, along with some spirulina flakes, spirulina powder, decapsualted brine shrimp, vitamin drops, a few drops of algal paste, some artificial plankton and rotifers, some yeast and a few drops of Selco. Chop it in the blender so as to give some larger chunkier pieces.

Place the mix into the freezer bags and spread it thin in the bag to allow breaking off pieces easily, and freeze. The finely blended stuff along with the other micro sized food will work fine to feed the filter feeders and corals, and the larger pieces along with the nori works well for the fish, and the other invertebrates such as star fish, and shrimp.

The exact proportion of each is not really all that important, you just try to make sure that there is enough variety to satisfy the wide range of life forms in the tank. They have recently experimented with adding broccoli, carrots and spinach to the mix. You could see the tangs eat the pieces of spinach, broccoli, and carrots. Some other ingredients that they have added to the food include fresh fish, brine shrimp, freeze dried plankton, dried blood worms, and other fish food. The basic idea was to create a one shot food recipe that will take care of the complete spectrum of life forms in the tanks.

Original source can be found at:

How many fish you can put in a saltwater fish tank?

It depends on how large is the aquarium and how do they act. If you keep peaceful fish, then you can put there more fish. If you raise aggressive and territorial fish, then you can keep only a few specimens in general. Various literature which deal with marine aquariums say that one cm of the fish requires 120 cm2 of the surface. Each fish is measured from the head to the beginning of the tail.

How to keep saltwater aquariums

See How to raise salt water fish? please.

Is there any special equipment to start saltwater fish tanks?

Yes, there is. Everything in saltwater tank is special. You need special equipment, because for example in freshwater tanks the equipment don’t have to be protected from too much minerals as it’s in saltwater tanks. Moreover, equipment in marine aquariums must not contain any metal which is connected directly with water. Another aspect of difference is that you need better filtration to remove all excrements from the salt water tank (excrements which you see, but also those which you can’t see). Also you need an aquarium chiller and heater, so you can keep the temperature very stable. In order to keep it stable, placing isolation materials around the tank helps too. The light is almost the same as in freshwater aquarium, but it has to be isolated from the water. So you need some cover which will protect the bulbs from evaporated water.

What is the best temperature for marine fish during the sleep time?

The best option is to keep the temperature stable, so you should not change the temperature during the night.

What are the materials for saltwater fish tank?

The best option is a glass tank glued with silicone glue. However, the tank walls have to be strengthen with ties (wooden or steel) in order to tolerate the water pressure easier. Another materials you can use are plastics or acrylics. But you have to be careful about these materials. They can be easily scratched. The stand can be made from every robust materials as wood, plastic or steel.

What to do in case of metal poisoning in a saltwater tank?

You have to change the water. Approximately 30% of the water should be changed and replaced with new salty water from a special salt mixture for saltwater aquariums. Then repeat this activity until the metal level is in normal.

What are the minerals contained in salt water?

It is like in sea: Cl-, Na+, Mg2+, SO42-, Ca2+, K+, C, Br-, B, Sr2+, F-.

Which is the most expensive marine aquarium fish?

It depends on the location where you live. If you want a fish from the other side of the world, it will be very expensive because of the transport and that not every fish survives the transport. Of course if you want to have a fish which is present on the red list and you buy it at the black market /maybe it is possible, I don’t know/ the price will be very high. In my opinion the best opinion is to buy fish which were born in aquariums instead of taking them from their natural environment.

Which is the most venomous saltwater fish?

Synanceia Horrida - Estuarine Stonefish is one of the most venomous fish. It even can kill human.

Ozone cleaning in saltwater fish tank

Ozone filtration is a very effective way how to clean the water. But there are disadvantages of this solution as well. Ozone is very toxic and it must not be introduced into the water, otherwise it will kill the fish. It also can destroy/damage plastic parts of the pump. The best option is to use protein and ozone filtration.

How to place equipment in marine tank?

It is mostly your decision. Only the heater should be placed behind something, because it may happen that the heater is hot and the fish can get burnt. Usually the equipment is placed in a way when it’s not seen.

Plastic salt water aquariums

It is a cheap way how to get an aquarium, but it is not as resistant as the glass aquarium. It can easily get scratched and after time it loses it’s clearness.

Salt water aquarium cover

The cover is an important thing for some reasons. The first one is that the cover protects the bulbs from contact with salt water, then it helps to prevent too intensive water evaporation. Some fish may jump out from the water and the cover does not allow them to do so. Another important thing is that it helps to keep the water temperature at stable values.

Salt water tank aerator

It is important to have one in the marine tank. In the ocean, fish have much oxygen, so the water in the tank has to be well aerated.

Salt water fish tank conditions

The most important condition are: specific gravity, salinity, temperature, pH. The best is to keep specific gravity between 1,020 and 1,025. Temperature and salinity depends on where do the fish come from. Tropical marine aquariums should have about 24°C and the salinity is in all the seas a bit different. The salinity all around the world is from 30 to 40g/l. The pH should be about 8 to 8,3. If the pH is lower, it is the right time to change it.

Social salt water aquarium

Social marine aquarium can be achieved by keeping peaceful species which live in shoals, and fishes which are peaceful to other species. Feel free to find such suitable fishes in our database. Only a few fish are aggressive towards their own species.

Substrate for a salt water aquarium

Substrate in salt water aquarium is very important. It is the home of helpful bacteria, it keeps the water in good quality, it is a place where some aquarium creatures live and some fish sleep and breed in the gravel. If the substrate contains calcium, it keeps the pH value stable. As the substrate you can use fine sea sand or fine crushed shells.

What to do if you have too much salt in a salt water aquarium?

If there is too much salt because of the evaporation, then the easiest way how to get the water into normal is to put there some fresh water. Naturally, clean water only. Mixing the water is the easiest and fastest way.

What is the word for a fish that can swim in fresh and salt water?

If a saltwater fish moves to fresh water in order to breed, it is called anadromous. And if a freshwater fish breed in salt water, they are called catadromous. But we don’t know about special name for fish that live in freshwater and saltwater.

Why can some fish live in freshwater and salt water too?

This is the way of their life. They live in environments where they have fresh, brackish and salt water. It is the part of evolution. Sometimes juveniles require freshwater conditions and as they are getting older, they are moving to oceans.

What materials can you put in a marine aquarium?

Glass, plastic, wood and rust resistant materials. If you want to put some decorations there, the best are things right from the sea, such as stones, shells and so.

What might happen if a saltwater fish is put into a freshwater aquarium?

The fish will die. Freshwater fish have to pee a lot, because the pressure inside of their bodies is higher than the water’s pressure around. So that the water gets into them through the skin. But the saltwater fish have lower pressure, so the water is going out of their body very quickly. They have to drink a lot. If you put them into fresh water, they will drink, but not pee, so they drown in their own body.

What salinity should be the water of a marine aquarium?

It depends on where do the fish come from. Every sea has it own salinity. For example the Red Sea has about 40g/l, the Caribbean Sea has about 35 g/l and the Sea around the Singapore has about 31g/l. So the salinity in your tank should be at about the same value as your fish would have in their natural environment.

Salt water salinity in a fish tank

The salinity is directly related with SG (specific gravity) and temperature. You should measure the specific gravity in order to ensure that everything is all right. See this link for more details, please.

When to put a fish into a salt water tank?

If you are starting a new tank, you should wait a few weeks until you introduce any fish into the tank. The most important aspect is to have stable conditions in the aquarium and you also need time so the bacteria will spread all around the tank. Otherwise the fish will be stressed and will easily get sick and die.

Why is the saltwater tank water evaporating?

It is the same with all liquids. For molecules of a liquid to evaporate, they must be located near the surface, be moving in the proper direction, and have sufficient kinetic energy to overcome liquid-phase intermolecular forces. Only a small proportion of the molecules meet these criteria, so the rate of evaporation is limited. Since the kinetic energy of a molecule is proportional to its temperature, evaporation proceeds more quickly at higher temperature. As the faster-moving molecules escape, the remaining molecules have lower average kinetic energy, and the temperature of the liquid thus decreases. This phenomenon is also called evaporative cooling.

Document modified on Wed Jan 14 14:52:04 UTC 2015
Document created on Sun Dec 23 22:01:24 UTC 2007
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