Freshwater or Saltwater – The ultimate fishy decision!
With the huge range of fish species one can choose between, there must be a quick and simple way to narrow down the options, and that decision is an important one! Freshwater and saltwater fish is the key question when deciding to start a new (or first) aquarium. Many factors, including level of knowledge, available finances, time commitment, and your ultimate goal for the aquarium factor into the decision between freshwater or saltwater fish for your home aquarium.
Many aquatic enthusiasts believe that saltwater aquariums are best reserved for the more advanced fishkeepers, but that is definitely oversimplifying the case. The better thought would be that it is not about how advanced you are at keeping fish, but about how willing and committed you are to keeping saltwater fish. The basic cleaning requirements are more complex and potentially more important to the saltwater ecosystem. If a saltwater aquarium is left uncleaned for more than three weeks then many of the fish will soon become ill and the tank will suffer overall.
There are many more parameters that need to be monitored in a saltwater aquarium. The constraints on salinity, water hardness, ammonia, and nitrites are a bit tighter in this type of fish tank. Of course, monitoring more water parameters also leads to a bigger financial burden compared to having a freshwater setup. Finally, freshwater aquariums do not require such equipment as protein skimmers – some of these specialized fish tank supplies can be hard on the pocket!
If you are willing to put the time and money into a saltwater fish tank, then many hobbyists would agree that it is worth the effort and expense. Most aquatic enthusiasts agree that saltwater fish are brighter, can have more impressive colorings, and are more brilliant! While I am a freshwater fan myself, I definitely agree that many saltwater fish are truly stunning and there is no doubt that I will soon have both freshwater and salt water aquariums.