Tag Archives: Freshwater Aquarium

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,

Facts about Discus Fish: Their bodies are flat and round like a discus, and they have distinctive markings on their bodies. Known as the King of the Aquarium, this freshwater fish gets brighter when it senses threat.

admin    May 28, 2019   CATEGORY: Freshwater Aquariums

King of the Aquarium: Facts about Discus Fish

A discus fish is certainly eye-catching, and its body shape gives it a unique elegance that you would enjoy seeing in your freshwater aquarium. But fair warning: discus fish need a lot of love and attention, so they’re more ideal for experienced hobbyists. If you want to give one a home with you anyway or you are an experienced hobbyist who has never owned one of these beauties before, following are some facts about discus fish you might want to know.

Discus Fish Facts for the New or Experienced Hobbyist

• A discus is a type of cichlid.

• It’s known as the “King of the Aquarium Fish.”

• Its body is flat and round, like a discus used in track and field, and it has large, extended fins.

• Discus fish have beautiful patterns on their bodies that generally include wavy lines or nine horizontal stripes.

Discus fish facts: Discus fish are cichlids.  Common colors are red and blue. Known as the King of the Aquarium, this freshwater fish has distinctive marks on its body, which is flat and round like a discus.They are available in a variety of vivid colors, although the three main groups of discus are green, blue, and brown. Their colors get brighter when the fish has intense emotions, such as fear.

• They originate in the Amazon basin of South America.

• Their tiny mouths make them appear as if they are striking a pose.

• Discus prefer warm water with a range of 80 to 86 degrees.

• The pH level of the water should be 5 to 7.

• Its title of “king” is betrayed by its size. A discus fish only grows to about 10 inches and generally weighs less than 9 ounces.

• They are carnivores. Ideal foods for them include blood worms, shrimp, and other substantial frozen foods.

• Males and females will stay together as couples. They stay in slightly acidic water during breeding. Both secrete nourishment from their skin for their newborns. The fry feed off these secretions for up to a couple of weeks.

• They’re peaceful fish, so they get along well with each other.

• In the wild, they’re found in schools, so if you do want to own discus fish, you should have several of them in your freshwater aquarium.

• They’re not the fastest swimmers, which is perhaps why they prefer to stay together.

• The scientific name for discus fish is Symphysodon. The red discus is known as Symphysodon discus, and the blue/brown discus are called Symphysodon aequifasciatus.

• Male discus fish are generally larger than female discus fish.

Discus fish require very clean water, so having the proper filtration system and regular aquarium maintenance is critical to the long-term health of the fish.

• With proper care, your charismatic and charming discus fish can live up to 10 years.

For additional facts about discus fish tank maintenance, contact Seatech Aquariums online or by phone at (602) 628-7270.

Contact Seatech Aquariums for fish tank installation in the greater Phoenix area, as well as additional information or facts about discus fish care.


TAGS: Aquarium Fish Care, Discus Fish, Fish Facts, Freshwater Aquarium,