When people think about setting up an aquarium in the home, freshwater fish are usually the type that they start out with. This is because most people are led to believe that freshwater fish are a less expensive, easier to keep option than their marine counterparts. Whilst there is some truth in that assumption, it is a long way from being the whole story. Marine aquariums are not as difficult to maintain as you may have believed, and freshwater setups may not be as easy, or as inexpensive to keep as first thought.
Although freshwater fish are less expensive to buy, marine fish have come down in price considerably over recent years, with the increase in captive breeding programs largely responsible for this. Gone are the days when the normal, run of the mill marine fish, would cost ten times more than its comparable freshwater cousin.
Just like when you are looking at buying a new car, you need to give serious consideration to the running costs of your aquarium as well as the initial purchase price. It’s common to find yourself replacing freshwater fish on an uncomfortably regular basis. This is largely down to the fact that freshwater setups seem to pay far less attention to water quality and filtration, than the marine alternative. A marine aquarium, especially a reef tank with corals, will pay obsessive attention to the filtration, movement and quality of the water. Whereas, a freshwater aquarium is often sold with little more than an inadequate, under gravel or canister filter system. If as much thought was given to filtration in freshwater tanks, as it is in marine tanks, cloudy water and regular replacement of dead fish would be a thing of the past.
Fish such as Clowns, Tangs, Anthias and Chromis can be every bit as hardy as any freshwater fish you care to mention. And it goes without saying that they are an awful lot more colourful and interesting to look at than freshwater varieties as well. Add easy to keep soft corals, such as xenia, leathers and mushrooms into the equation, and you must really start to give a marine aquarium serious consideration over a freshwater set up.
A properly set up and monitored marine aquarium will need very little attention compared to a freshwater aquarium. It will also provide a much more colourful and vibrant addition to any room that it is placed in. There is no doubt, that a lot of study and research is required before embarking upon a marine aquarium hobby, but it really is a much more practical proposition than many people would have you believe.