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A fish pokes its head through coral. It's possible to transform a freshwater aquarium into a saltwater aquarium like this one.

admin    July 19, 2022   CATEGORY: Uncategorized

How to Transform a Freshwater Aquarium into a Saltwater Aquarium

Can you change a freshwater aquarium into a saltwater aquarium?

Can you use any fish tank for either type of aquarium?

What do you need to change the habitat from fresh to salty? 

The answers: Yes, you can switch the type of aquarium, and just about any fish tank will do.  The only challenging factors may be about the livestock itself.

Changing a Freshwater Aquarium into a Saltwater Aquarium

If you’re planning on starting a saltwater aquarium, any glass or acrylic fish tank would be ideal. Therefore, the tank you already use for a freshwater aquarium should do just fine.

If you plan to use your existing tank, you would need to move your existing livestock into a temporary tank before you begin designing the main tank as a saltwater aquarium. The temporary tank can have only the bare minimum, but it should be safe and enjoyable for the pets for the time being. For instance, you may wish to place a couple items of artificial decor as well as lay gravel, and you should monitor the temperature and pH level of the temporary tank. 

Alternatively, invest in a new tank to make the switch easier on yourself, and when it’s all said and done, you can keep your existing tank as a backup or quarantine tank. (Learn how to set up a quarantine tank here.)

Once you make these choices and complete those steps, you’re ready to design your new saltwater aquarium. To make the change, you will only need the essentials. See our past blogs for details, but the basics you need for a saltwater aquarium include:

  • A durable tank that is of a suitable size for your anticipated design and future inhabitants’ needs
  • A heater, which is sometimes optional for freshwater tanks but is a must for saltwater aquariums
  • Lighting elements
  • RODI water (mixed with your preferred brand of salt)
  • Mechanical filtration systems
  • Natural filtration elements
  • Gravel
  • Plants

Optional but highly recommended additional elements include artificial or live rock, bottom feeders, and decor.  They will add intrigue to the tank as well as provide shelter and entertainment for the animals.

If you’re designing a reef tank, coral must be included as well.

The Livestock

Installing and designing the tank itself shouldn’t be too difficult, but your ability to change a freshwater aquarium into a saltwater aquarium will depend on the livestock.

Do you have existing fish, or are you planning to buy new pets? What types of fish do you have? If you’re planning to add new fish when you get your saltwater habitat set up, will they be compatible with your existing fish? What about the plants?

All of these are very detailed issues best discussed one on one with our aquarium pro, Jimmie, but we’ll try to address the basics here.

Brackish/Euryhaline Fish

Many fish can live in saltwater, freshwater or brackish water, and they’re known as euryhaline fish. If you own these, you should be able to acclimate them to your saltwater habitat. (Learn how to introduce a new fish into an existing habitat here.)

Common euryhaline/brackish fish include various species of guppies, gobies, catfish, and mollies. (Learn more about the versatile molly fish here.)

If you currently have brackish fish, therefore, you’re probably in the best position. (Is this phrase new to you? Learn more about brackish fish here.)

Freshwater Fish that Only Live in Freshwater Habitats

You won’t be able to move certain species of freshwater fish into a saltwater aquarium. You may have to opt for two separate tanks: one freshwater and one saltwater. (Nothing wrong with that, right? The more the merrier!)

Tropical freshwater fish, for example, can’t live in saltwater at all. 

Live Plants

You should be able to replant live plants into the saltwater aquarium with no problem, as long as you use the proper methods of moving and planting plants.

Filtration Systems

Technically you can use the same filters, but saltwater tanks typically require stronger and more comprehensive filtration systems. When you first change your freshwater aquarium into a saltwater aquarium, your existing equipment may be good enough. Later, you may wish to add additional elements or buy more adequate solutions.

For assistance in installing your new saltwater fish tank or designing the aquarium, call us for a design consultation!

TAGS: Aquarium Filtration, Aquarium Plants, Brackish Aquarium, Freshwater Aquarium, Saltwater Aquarium,

Several small fish are shown in a fish tank. ... Can fish eat human food? It's not recommended, but some human foods may be safe for pet fish.

admin    June 10, 2022   CATEGORY: Uncategorized

Are Any Human Foods Safe for Fish?

Can fish eat human food? That’s a question we hear every now and then from our clients. The answer is mostly “no,” but there are some possible exceptions. Even for those exceptions, however, we wouldn’t recommend placing human food in an aquarium because it could be dangerous for the animals and live plants.

Herbivorous livestock may be able to graze on some kinds of fruits and vegetables, and carnivorous fish may be able to eat some kinds of proteins. It’s tricky and limited, so ask our aquarium technician for specifics regarding the human foods that your particular fish can eat if you’re in a crunch.

Generally, human foods that certain fish can possibly eat include:

  • Light white fish, such as cod and tilapia, but avoid feeding them fish that are too oily or that have unhealthy chemical composition
  • Hard-boiled egg yolks
  • Blanched lettuce
  • Cooked peas (without the shells)
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cucumber/zucchini
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Melon

Any human food given to fish must be in small pieces or minced, and you should take care to avoid any choking hazards.

These foods can be freeze-dried or frozen, but never give them canned foods. Canned foods may contain preservatives and other chemicals that can be dangerous to the livestock.

Although it may be possible to feed them these foods if you’re out of fish food, we don’t recommend doing so for the following reasons:

  • The leftovers and fats can cause cloudiness in your tank or generally diminish the appearance of the aquarium.
  • The fish may produce excess, relatively unnatural waste, which can endanger the overall habitat.
  • Fish foods are made with the essentials that fish need, including protein, amino acids, healthy fatty acids (lipids) and/or vitamins. Human foods might not give them the nutrition they need.
  • The fish may become spoiled with human foods and refuse fish foods.

Never place the following foods in your fish tank.

  • Cat or dog food: It is formulated for their bodies, so it will not give fish the nutrients they need. It may also contain ingredients that are generally unhealthy for livestock, such as preservatives.
  • Bread: Fish may eat it, but it can be especially dangerous for them. The yeast, wheat, salt, and preservatives can lead to bloating, which is potentially fatal to fish.
  • Beef, chicken, or pork: These meats typically contain too much fat, which can endanger a fish, and can be difficult to digest.
  • Any foods that are too fatty: Too much fat can be harmful to a fish’s liver and reproductive organs.
  • Cooking oils: They can poison the livestock, contaminate the water, and cling to the tank.

For more information about how to maintain a proper diet for your fish, contact Seatech Aquariums by phone or by sending us a message through our website.

TAGS: Can Fish Eat Human Food, Fish Food,