Why Saltwater Aquariums Are Better Than Freshwater
Coke or Pepsi? The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Saltwater or freshwater aquariums? These are just some of the age old questions crying out answers. While the first two questions are debatable, the answer to the third is clear, saltwater tanks are better than freshwater tanks. This article will explain the top 5 reasons why saltwater tanks are a better option than freshwater.
#1 The Corals!
The first thing that truly sets saltwater tanks apart is the ability to keep corals. While freshwater tanks can include live plants or artificial corals, there is truly nothing that compares to the colors and movement of live corals. New hobbyists have a wide variety of easy to keep corals available to them such as leathers, mushrooms, and the ever popular zoas. For reefers with a bit more experience LPS corals such as hammer corals and frogspawn make a great choice. These easy to keep corals can create a stunning underwater environment that just isn’t possible in a freshwater tank.
#2 The Variety of Fish
While there are undeniably some beautiful freshwater fish available, the variety of fish available to salt water enthusiasts is almost endless. From classics such as Clownfish and Tangs to lesser known species such as the Flame Hawkfish, with its bandit-like expression, there are beautiful fish to fit any sized tank and budget. In addition to the huge variety of fish available, saltwater fish tend to be much longer lived than their freshwater cousins, so hobbyists can often enjoy their fish for years and watch their personalities develop. In the end, a yellow tang is more interesting than a guppy any day of the week.
#3 The Symbiotic Relationships
A freshwater fish tank is just that, a tank containing freshwater fish. On the other hand, a saltwater aquarium is truly a living ecosystem. One of the most interesting parts of this ecosystem are the natural symbiotic relationships that can be recreated. For example, a clownfish can be paired with an anemone, or a pistol shrimp with a goby. The ability to observe these natural relationships in a home aquarium is one of the things that makes the saltwater hobby so fascinating.
#4 Saltwater Tanks are Easier (or Just as Easy)
This may be the most controversial reason on the list but, long term, saltwater aquariums are just as easy as freshwater and may even be easier. A large part of this is due to the fact that saltwater aquariums are true ecosystems and once the tank matures and all the parameters balance, maintenance is actually quite simple. For example, pests can often be eliminated by adding natural predators instead of having to resort to chemicals. For smaller tanks, premixed saltwater can be purchased for water changes. As an added bonus, saltwater fish tend to be much hardier than freshwater fish and will, usually, live much longer.
#5 The Gear!
While not everyone is a gearhead, for those with a more technical mindset there is an endless variety of equipment available to simplify, or even automate, many routine tasks on a saltwater aquarium. Certainly a tank can be run very successfully with a minimum amount of equipment but, for many reefers, the equipment is as interesting a part of the hobby as the livestock.
The reasons aren’t to suggest that freshwater tanks can’t be enjoyable, but for the same amount of work a new hobbyist can choose to set up a saltwater tank instead and never look back! If you are looking for a great first (or second, or third) saltwater aquarium check out the Reef Casa lineup here.