Saltwater Aquarium Fish

Adding Saltwater Aquarium Fish?

Saltwater aquarium fish are different from freshwater aquarium fish, in that in nature they come from the ocean instead of lakes and streams. The kinds of saltwater fish used in the aquarium are as diverse as those found in the ocean itself, but most aquarists will use tropical marine life to fill their aquascape, with colorful underwater paradises. The most important detail in knowing how to choose fish for the marine aquarium is doing the research properly. The huge diversity that separates the fish so much is what makes it so challenging to get the proper ecological combination of cycled chemicals, temperature and other inhabitants.

One sure fire method to know the saltwater fish that go together, is to study their natural habitat. If some prey off of others, then they certainly won’t last long in the same aquarium. There are many people who used to just go out to the sea, collect some of the water from the ocean and species from that region and put them in a bathtub to see what would happen, these are more like oceanographers than hobbyists, and are far more interested in the philosophical nature of ocean life. Most inhabitants already in the saltwater aquarium by the time a cautious aquarist has cycled well the environment will be, living sand, living rock, underwater plants and crustaceans before any fish are introduced. And unless living in a tropical region, most hobbyists are going to find themselves spending lots of money in maintaining excellent chemical balance that is directly in accordance to a tropical fish environment.

Temperature is just as important to cold water fish as to tropical fish and knowing if the saltwater fish will be compatible the other inhabitants in the aquarium is only the first step. Cycling the proper chemical balance, so that the same temperature flows throughout the tank is essential for exotic fish survival. Clown fish for example come from the India Ocean and would not enjoy the northern Pacific to swim in. Usually the warmer climate fish have a larger variety of colors due to coral reef photosynthesis, making such clear under water rainbows to swim in.

Choosing the proper saltwater fish is also very important if both they and the other aquarium inhabitants are to survive the claustrophobic artificial environment of a saltwater tank. Make sure that they are healthy and eat properly. Patience can go a long way in saltwater fish buying, as time will tell if they are really healthy and eating properly. Go back and check on the fish many times throughout the month to be sure that they haven’t taken ill or been in any fights. If they come from a natural habitat, then they could need to be cycled in isolation for a few days until they get used to the new temperature, and if too aggressive, then perhaps they would prefer isolation to living in community, one of the better reasons to choose from a specialized saltwater aquarium shop. Healthy fish are not only those with no disease, they are also those that are happy fish. If fish don’t want to eat, or they look really nervous or unhappy in their current aquarium, then they could be depressed, which is one of the first signs of unhealthiness. Unhappy fish get sick easy and can make other fish sick.

Compatibility, Temperature and Health; compatible fish will be used to the same kind of ecological community in which they find themselves in nature and will be happier in a place that tries to imitate those given conditions. Temperature is important to all saltwater fish as they really cannot tolerate temperatures that exceed or do not achieve their natural habitat, and temperature stability is far more comfortable for them. Healthy saltwater aquarium fish are happy saltwater aquarium fish, and to be sure that they are healthy it is always a good idea to patiently study them for a couple of weeks to a month before bringing them home, most salesmen, are only interested in getting them out of the store and in your aquarium as fast as possible.

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Posted in Articles on August 17, 2005.

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