Thinking of putting in a new aquarium and cant decide between going with a saltwater aquarium or a freshwater aquarium? There are a few things that you should consider to help you make your choice: commitment, cost and personal choice.
How Much Time do You Have to Commit?Keeping any pet requires a certain amount of time and effort, and although fish are easier than many animals, keeping them happy and healthy is still a serious responsibility. Both salt and fresh water aquariums require daily feedings, frequent observation, and regular partial water changes and filter cleaning.
Marine tanks require a bit more attention at each of these steps. Feeding may be more complex, with different fish or corals requiring different foods, some of which may be frozen or live. Observation will include using test kits or devices to measure salinity, calcium, alkalinity, magnesium and other parameters. Water changes require pre-mixing salt water or purchasing and carrying pre-mixed salt water. Filter maintenance also includes emptying and adjusting your protein skimmer and may include maintaining reactors, refugia and other peripherals. Even changing light bulbs is more time consuming, as marine lighting fixtures are tightly sealed to protect the circuitry from salt and moisture.
Not all marine tanks will have all of these features, but leaving some of them out may limit the types of animals you can keep.
If you want a beautiful aquarium without all of this work, Fintastic offers an in-home maintenance program for marine and freshwater tanks.
What are the Costs Involved?Most of the filtration and lighting choices for freshwater tanks are inadequate for marine use. Marine equipment is considerably more expensive, as are the fish and corals.
In both fresh and salt water, there is a trade-off of time vs. money. Better and more complete equipment will allow you to spend less time on maintenance; using barely adequate equipment will mean that you spend more time making up for the deficiencies in the hardware. Because of the many choices involved, a precise figure is impossible, but on average a marine aquarium will cost 3 to 5 times as much to set up as a freshwater tank of the same size.
What is Your Personal Choice?Each side has something to offer that the other side cannot. In addition to affordability and ease, fresh water offers the possibility of breeding and raising fish, which is extremely rare in marine tanks. Marine tanks offer an unbelievable variety of creatures, from fish to corals, clams, crabs and feather dusters. The colors found in reef fish simply don't exist in fresh water.
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, and your personal taste in aquatic life.
When you have settled on either a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, the next step will be to purchase a tank. For a wide variety of fish tanks for sale, contact Fintastic. We can get you a custom aquarium and install it for you. Visit our website to learn more about these services available in Charlotte, NC. We hope you enjoy your new aquarium!