Due to the mystery surrounding marine life, saltwater fish tanks are not common in most homes. With technology bringing about improved fishing equipment and a better understanding of aquatic species, the situation is slowly changing.
Saltwater fish tanks require the same level of maintenance as freshwater aquariums, however, the cost is significantly higher in the case of a saltwater system. You have to use chemically stable and saltwater resilient equipment, aquarium salt, and RO/DI water is expensive, saltwater fish are also more expensive.
Although one may get tempted to cut corners when installing a saltwater tank, investing in the right equipment remains the basis for effective fish keeping. Furthermore, using substandard products jeopardizes the well-being of your fish.
Below are some of the most popular saltwater fish that people keep in their aquariums:
Popularly known as clown anemonefish and false clownfish, this colorful tiny fish comes in yellow, red, black, brown, pink, and orange colors. Sometimes, you can get multi-colored striped ones too. An average false clownfish grows up to three inches in length.
Equally, they have a rounded tail with a lined dorsal fin. Interestingly, all false clownfish are born as a male. Then probably during mating, the dominant one transforms into a female. Note that after the alternation, they cannot change back to the initial sex.
Clownfish are sociable and live in groups led by a female. When the female passes on, a dominant male replaces her. It is easier to spot clownfish with their clicking and popping sound. They are strictly omnivores and love eating worms, algae, and tiny crustaceans.
Like other cichlid fish, Damselfish have one nostril on either side of the head. Also, they have a double anal spine with forked tails. They are quick swimmers and usually very territorial. To avoid clashes in the tank, keep them in a group of similar species.
Damselfishes are brightly colored in blue, yellow, red, or orange. In most cases, they do not grow beyond six inches. While some damselfish feed on plants, others consume smaller aquatic spices.
In captivity, damselfishes love feeding on algae, crustaceans, and commercial feeds. When giving them frozen food, ensure that you thaw it before you put it in the aquarium. Depending on the fish size and species, feed them once or twice a day.
3. Surgeonfish (Blue Tang)
Surgeonfish are known for their sharp spines located on each side of the tail. Some surgeonfish have the spines fixed in position. In others, the spines are hinged at the back of the tail but open directly frontward.
At home, one should observe caution when handling them since the spines can cause deep cuts. Although surgeonfish starts from a translucent larva, they develop different shades of color later in life.
Surprisingly, a young surgeonfish can be yellow in its early days and then change to blue in adulthood. Some popular species include the yellow tang, blue tang, and yellow surgeon.
Though they are mostly vegetarian, surgeonfish enjoy an occasional source of proteins in meat form. For that reason, feed them with shrimp or nutritious commercial protein foods from reliable pet shops.
4. Blue-Green Reef Chromis
This is one of the most preferred salt fish by aquarists because of its beauty and peaceful nature. The most outstanding feature is the stunning blue dorsal side that goes all the way to the belly. It is a friendly fish and cohabitates serenely with almost any other species in the natural habitat.
With their dazzling beauty, Chromis adds glitter and charm to any water tank. Since they are very resilient to different environments, they can live up to 15 years. That depends on whether there is a good supply of quality water and nutritious food.
For enhanced health, feed them several times a day. In each episode ensure that you give them a variety of frozen meals, meat, and herbivore flake. Occasionally, give them vitamin-rich meals as a treat.
5. Flame Angelfish
Flame Angelfish is one popular species from the dwaft angelfish family. They have a bold orange-reddish color with black stripes vertically highlighting the entire body to the fins.
Even though they adjust well in captivity, keep them in a well-established aquarium. The reason behind this is because Flames Angelfish requires at least 70 gallons of water to thrive. Thus, invest in a sizable tank with plenty of live rock and hiding spaces.
Since they are hermaphroditic, it is very easy to breed them at home. There is no noticeable color difference between the male and female.
However, depending on the collection site, some angelfish may develop different colored vertical lines on the skin. The main diet should consist of frozen shrimp, marine algae, spirulina, and quality meat products.
6. Royal Gramma
Originally from the Caribbean, this little fish is perfect both for expert and novice keepers. It is a hardy fish and lives peacefully with others either in the tank or natural environment.
Also acknowledged as Gramma Loreto or Fairy Basslet, the passive fish can live for around five years in captivity.
As a low maintenance fish, it adds brilliant color to a tank with its vivid yellow and purple body. For a healthy Gramma, keep them in an aquarium with not less than 30 gallons of water.
Most importantly, mimic the fish’s natural environment by adding caves and rocks.
Given that they are not excellent swimmers, they love hiding beneath the rocks. Royal Grammas are famous for cleaning characteristics of other species in the tank or natural environment.
It is common to spot them eating off parasites from other species’ skin. When kept in a tank, give them tiny meat products like shrimp and brine.
7. Banggai Cardinalfish
Originally from Asia, it is also referred to as the Kaudern Cardinal. Most of them have impressive sparkling silver and white spotted skin.
The thick black stripes on the body give Banngai a graceful effect. Banggai fish thrive in a well-filtered aquarium with 30 gallons of water. You can put them in a bigger tank and plenty of live rock as well.
Do not forget to add crevices, caves, and overhangs for your fish to play. Ensure that you limit the water movement since Banggai prefers less motion. It is quite easy to breed them in the fish tank. After spawning, the male fish stores the eggs in the mouth to protect them.
For healthy Cardinals fish, you should feed them several meals in a day. A balanced diet consists of flake food, marine pellet, and brine shrimp.
8. Fire Goby
With a unique body outline, Fire Gobies have a white frontal and a red, orange, or pink posterior. The caudal, dorsal, and anal fins are decorated in black color. Safe for their striking appearance, firefish are friendly and have a pleasant personality.
Naturally, they are timid and duck in fright when confronted by bigger fish. Firefish’s tiny posture makes them susceptible to attacks by other species. At home, fish keepers should provide a hiding space for their little friends to run if harassed.
Sometimes, fire gobies attack their own but live in harmony when mating. Apart from algae, firefish require a vitamin-rich diet like brine and shrimp.
9. Mandarin Fish
The mandarin fish are some of the most sought-after fish by marine life photographers. Their magnificent beautiful colors are mind-blowing to anyone who gets a chance to locate one. Such an alluring effect would add a thrill to any aquarium.
Surprisingly, the purpose of the dazzling coloration is not to attract a mate. Instead, it helps to ward off predators and parasites.
According to experts, the bright colors trick predators into believing that the fish is lethal to consume. Nonetheless, Mandarin spines produce venom and can be perilous if exposed to open wounds.
Compared to other saltwater fish, mandarin fish are more complicated to keep because of their specific dietary requirements. Given that they are fussy feeders, it requires extra consideration to come up with a diet that they appreciate.
10. Coral Beauty
The royal blue beauty is another low-maintenance saltwater fish. It is also identified as the Dusky Angelfish, Bluefin, or Two Spined Angelfish. Mostly, they have a deep royal blue head and body. In some cases, the bodies are highlighted with a shimmering yellow or orange color.
Coral Beauty requires loads of water and loves hiding under live rocks. When buying an aquarium get one that fits 70 gallons or more. The main diet includes marine algae, spirulina, meat, and frozen shrimp.
Although the latest technology has simplified the process of keeping saltwater fish, there is still a lot expected from you.
In contrast to freshwater fish marine species require strictly have to live in ideal saline, PH, and temperature levels. To keep your aquarium within the range you should maintain a stringent maintenance routine.
It might take a bit of your time to uphold your tank. So, plan the process well in advance. Remember that if you properly set up your aquarium in the beginning, it becomes easier during maintenance.
To safeguard your fish develop a specific set of rules on how to clean and keep your fish in good physical shape.