Tag Archives: Saltwater 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,

Stimulating growth of coral in a reef tank requires several steps.

admin    May 3, 2021   CATEGORY: Industry News and Tips

Stimulating Growth of Corals in a Reef Tank: A Few Tips that May Do the Trick

The beauty of having corals in a reef tank is being able to watch them work their magic. As corals change and grow, they gives your saltwater aquarium a different aura every month. To encourage this lively environment, it’s important to create a habitat that is not only healthy for fish, but also stimulates growth of corals in the reef tank.

Aquarium hobbyists have learned several tricks over time that can help turn a coral reef tank into an exotic, intriguing waterscape that enhances the atmosphere in a home or business. 

Benefits of Adding Corals in a Saltwater Aquarium

Adding corals in a saltwater reef aquarium serves several purposes.

It creates a more natural habitat similar to what you may find in oceans and seas. Creating a natural ecosystem is a goal of any experienced hobbyist, as it facilitates a healthier, happier atmosphere in the tank.

Adding corals in a reef tank also adds color, beauty, and intrigue in the aquarium. The movement of the corals is a sight to see, and it also helps move the water to keep it cleaner.

Most significantly, corals provide a place for fish to play and hide, which is especially important for timid fish or fish that may feel threatened. If you have saltwater fish that would have relied on corals in the wild, it’s wise to mimic that type of environment in your aquarium in order to make the fish more comfortable.

Stimulating Growth of Corals in the Reef Tank

Adding corals in the saltwater aquarium is only the first step. It’s also important to stimulate growth of the corals in the reef tank if you want to take the appearance of your aquarium to the next level.

Growing corals requires the right combination of light, food, nutrients, and water flow. Many hobbyists who grow coral-only tanks dedicate hours and build their own tools to create the optimal environment to help corals thrive.

Maintaining appropriate temperature and salinity is a key for virtually any type of saltwater fish tank. 

Specifically in this case, the pH level of the water is a key to stimulating growth of corals. 

Some hobbyists choose to create a higher pH in order to do so. An ideal pH level to stimulate coral growth is 8.2 or higher, according to some aquariasts. This tactic is ideal for coral-only tanks, however, as this level may be too high for fish. You may be able to later transfer the corals to a saltwater fish tank.

Use a pH probe or machine to monitor the water of the coral tank. The level of the pH will fluctuate throughout the day, especially because at night there is not as much light energy. Therefore, the pH level may be low first thing in the morning. After hours of natural and artificial light during the day, the level will likely be highest toward the early evening.

While some hobbyists maintain only one type of lighting, others believe that an adequate aquarium light intensity along with the use of a spectrum of light is a better way to stimulate growth of corals in the reef tank.

A saturated solution of calcium hydroxide and water can also be used to increase the pH level. Equipment and products are available on the market to help drip this solution into the tank steadily, safely, and accurately. 

And then, of course, are the basics: food and other nutrients. Corals need zooplankton, nitrates, and phosphates to grow and remain healthy. The levels of calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, and other basic elements must be monitored and maintained as well.

Contact us for more information about how to keep corals healthy and strong in your aquarium.

TAGS: Reef Tank Corals, Saltwater Aquarium, Stimulating Growth of Corals,