Saltwater Aquarium Guide For Saltwater Fish Hobbyists

Welcome to our Saltwater Aquarium Fish Guide!

On this page you will find articles that will get you started on the right path when setting up that first saltwater aquarium setup.

There is a lot to learn if you have never kept a fish tank before, but don't get discouraged!

The learning process can be quite fun and probably the best advice that we can pass along is to always do your research before you buy anything for your aquarium. Good luck and if you have any questions don't hesitate to hop on the Fish Lore forum and ask a question. There are lots of hobbyists on the forum that are willing to help.

The saltwater aquarium articles below are not necessarily meant to be read in any particular order. In fact (if we've done a good job) there will be plenty of links within the articles that will have you jumping all over the site to learn about something new. Read them at your leisure but remember to have fun! Also, you can always use the search box above if you lose your way.

Latest Saltwater Aquarium Forum Topics


Saltwater Fish and Coral Profiles

Saltwater Fish
List of saltwater fish profiles.

Aquarium Coral
Listing of coral profiles.

Saltwater Aquarium Setup

Aquarium Setup Guides
A list of all the aquarium setup articles.

Saltwater Aquarium Setup Guide - start here if you want to set up a saltwater aquarium or reef tank. This will give you a good introduction to the topics.

How To Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium
Shows you how to successfully setup a new saltwater aquarium using live rock as the primary biological filter. A saltwater aquarium setup is just like having a dog or a cat when it comes to the amount of effort on your part. In order to have a successful aquarium you will have to work at it.

Reef Tank Setup
Provides some introductory information for beginner's to reef tanks. We try to cover everything that you could possibly need for setting up a well functioning reef tank.

Refugium Setup
Information on how to set up an inexpensive hang on the tank refugium using a retrofitted power filter.

Nano Cube Setup
This article shows you how we set up our JBJ 28 Gallon Nano Cube. It comes with a 150 watt HQI Metal Halide.

How To Set Up A Quarantine Tank
How to set up a quarantine tank and why you need to have one ready. Marine aquarium keepers definitely need a quarantine tank (sometimes called a hospital tank). Marine specimens are mostly wild caught and not used to being kept in captivity. Their journey to a dealer's tank is usually much longer and much more stressful for them.

Saltwater Aquarium Equipment

Aquarium Equipment List of all the aquarium equipment articles.

Aquarium Calculator
A calculator for common aquarium conversions.

Salt Mix Comparison for Saltwater Aquariums
A comparison of salt mixes by price.

Protein Skimmer
What exactly is a protein skimmer and do I really need a skimmer on my tank? We cover what skimmers do and hopefully give you enough info so you can decide for yourself.

One of the latest items you can use for your saltwater fish tank to reduce nitrates and phosphates to help prevent nuisance algae from growing in your fish tank.

Activated Carbon
What is activated carbon and should I use it in my aquarium?

Aquarium Water Test Kits
Information on fish tank test kits. If you want to be successful in the tropical fish hobby (freshwater or saltwater) then you'll need to know how to test your tank water. There are many chemical tests that you can run on your tank including: ammonia, nitrite, Nitrate, Salinity/Specific Gravity, pH, Carbonate Water Hardness, Alkalinity, Chlorine and Chloramine, Copper, Phosphate, Dissolved Oxygen, Iron, Carbon Dioxide and others.

Live Rock for Saltwater Aquariums
Information on live rock and some of the benefits of using it in your saltwater tank. What in the World is Live Rock? Live Rock is rubble that has broken off a coral reef structure by natural means such as hurricanes and tropical storms. This rubble is called live rock because of all the living organisms that are found on and within the rock. Many types of algae, crabs, marine worms, small crustaceans, bacteria and other life forms make their homes on the reef structures found in the ocean. When you buy live rock you'll most likely be getting some of these organisms. We discuss the importance of using live rock and the benefits for your saltwater fish.

Calcium Reactor
An article discussing an initially expensive piece of equipment that is used to maintain calcium and alkalinity levels in reef tanks. We give you the info on the calcium reactor and it's use in the aquarium.

Saltwater Aquarium Supplements
Provides an overview of some of the most commonly available supplements for marine aquariums. Do I really need to add supplements like Iodine, Calcium and Magnesium to my tank?

Aquarium Chiller
Talks about what aquarium chillers are and if you really need one for your saltwater reef tank or not.

Reverse Osmosis and Deionization
What is a Reverse Osmosis Water Filter System? Reverse Osmosis is a process whereby water is purified as the water gets pushed through some sort of membrane. The membrane traps the impurities and they can remove 90% - 99% of the impurities from the water. The type of membrane you use determines the amount of impurities that the RO unit will remove. Read more.

UV Sterilizer Information
What is a UV Sterilizer? An Ultra Violet Sterilizer is a water filtration device that uses an ultraviolet light bulb to kill microscopic organisms that are free floating in the water. Parasites, viruses, algae and bacteria (good and bad) are the type of things that are "killed" after passing through the sterilizing unit. Do you really need an Ultra Violet Sterilizer with saltwater fish?

Aquarium Lighting Information
One important aspect of keeping tropical fish is aquarium lighting. This is an often overlooked area that can sometimes be confusing to a beginner. The confusion may come from the many available types of light that you can use for your tank. The main types of light are: regular fluorescent lights, compact fluorescent, high output (ho) fluorescent, very high output (vho) fluorescent and metal halide. Read more.

Algae Scraper
DIY article on how to create a home-made algae scraper for glass tanks. A good scraper can really make a difference when it comes to getting the encrusting coralline algae off you marine fish tanks.

More Saltwater Articles

The Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
Some call it the biological cycle, the nitrification process, new tank syndrome or even the start-up cycle. They all are referring to the same cycle - The Nitrogen Cycle. This very important cycle is the establishment of beneficial bacteria in the aquarium and in the filter media that will help in the conversion of ammonia to nitrite and then the conversion of nitrite to nitrates.

These are some of the more common saltwater tropical fish and provides information on how to care for saltwater fish. Large Angelfish, Dwarf Angel fish, Butterflyfish, Cardinal Fish, Clownfish, Damsel fish, Dottyback, Dragonet, Eel, Goby, Grammas and Basslets, Saltwater Invertebrates, Jawfish, Lionfish, Pufferfish, Rabbitfish, Seabass, Seahorse, Sea Anemone, Tangs (Surgeonfish), Wrasses and Trigger fish.

Saltwater Fish Disease
Provides descriptions and possible treatment options for common saltwater fish diseases.

How To Acclimate Tropical Fish To Your Tank
Discusses various methods on introducing new fish to your tank. The three main ways covered are the floating bag method, the drip method and the bucket method. Learn some different techniques for acclimating your salt water fish.

Saltwater Aquarium Types
This article will give you a general introduction into the three main types of saltwater tanks. When getting started with saltwater it is recommended to get the biggest tank you can accommodate. Bigger tanks give you more room for error when it comes to water quality and this is especially important for salt water fish and invertebrates. There are basically three types of saltwater setups: Fish Only, Fish Only with Live Rock - FOWLR, Reef Tanks.

Fish Food
One of the most important pieces to the puzzle is to get your fish eating the proper foods.

Aquarium Fish Books
Reading books related to the saltwater hobby is a great way to stay on top of the latest trends in saltwater and reef tank keeping.

Fish Anatomy
Knowing the fish body parts can be very helpful when trying to get help for fish issues.

Build a Live Rock Wall
A DIY article on how to build a live rock wall using pond foam and egg crate.

Coral Reef Zones
Learn about the various areas found on the coral reefs. This is good to know when finding out where the coral you're interested in comes from.

Small Saltwater Fish Tank Species
Provides information on some of the smaller nano species that are kept in smaller aquariums.

Keeping Coral in a Saltwater Aquarium
We try to explain all that is needed when getting into coral keeping. Corals can be quite expensive and water parameters need to be kept in good shape for long term success. Read on to find out what else is needed to get into aquarium corals.

Aquarium Water Chemistry
Information on some of the aquarium water terms that you may encounter. We try to keep it simple. Anyone wanting to be successful at the tropical fish hobby must put forth the time necessary to understand some basic fish tank water chemistry. This will help your fish to not only survive but thrive! You will need kits that will test for the following: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, Water Hardness, Chlorine and Chloramine.

Aquarium Algae Control
This is for those of you that are experiencing algae problems in your aquarium. Why is it happening, how to prevent it, what you need to test for and how to rid your fish tank of it.

Tropical Fish Tips & Hints
We've tried to come up with a list of general tropical fish tips and hints for beginners to the fish keeping hobby. Below you will find our compiled list of the items we thought would especially help a newbie. If you have a good aquarium or tropical fish tip that you would like to share, just complete the form at the bottom of the page and we'll post it.

Aquarium Aquascape Design Ideas
For many fish tank hobbyists, aquascaping can be one of the most enjoyable parts about setting up a fish tank. Decorating your aquarium can be quite fun, but coming up with a good aquascape is not just about making the tank look nice. You really should take into account the tank's future inhabitants when figuring out what you need to do. This is where you get to exercise both sides of your brain to try and come up with something that is not only nice to look at but something that is functional as well.

Tank Maintenance
An article on the importance of proper aquarium maintenance along with a list of things to do on a regular basis with your tank.

Going on Vacation - Your Aquarium and Fish
Things to keep in mind when getting ready to go on vacation. Will my fish tank be ok while I'm on vacation for the next week?

Freshwater vs. Saltwater Aquarium
For the freshwater hobbyist interested in running a saltwater tank, this article discusses the differences between a freshwater and a saltwater fish tank setup.

Aiptasia Control
An anemone that can become a pest in the aquarium. Learn how to control and eliminate this anemone from your tank before it does damage to your saltwater fish tank inhabitants.

Why Set Up a Fish Tank?
You've been to the pet store and noticed the fish tanks and thought "maybe I could do that". Guess what, you can "do that" and it's not nearly as difficult as you may think. The tropical fish keeping hobby has come a long way over the past decade thanks in part to advances in Aquarium Equipment and the plethora of readily available information.

Clownfish Anemone Compatibility Chart
This is an article listing the various clownfish species with compatible host anemones.

Green Bubble Algae
This bubble algae can be a nuisance in aquariums. Find out what you can do to control this algae.

Cyanobacteria - Red Slime Algae
a write up for the monthly aquarium magazine about a bacteria that can get out of hand and make your tank look unsightly.