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What Kind of Equipment Do You Need for An Awesome Saltwater Aquarium?

Many people never even consider the possibility of owning and maintaining their own aquarium. They often believe that an aquarium needs some sort of “expert” to be in charge of it, or the caring for one should only be left to those who “really know what they’re doing.” Although owning and maintaining an aquarium requires one to understand and learn certain aquatic principles, the difficulty of building and operating one is simpler than you may think. With some effort and passion, you can have a beautiful and dynamic aquatic ecosystem to call your own.

Saltwater aquariums offer greater possibility and diversity than freshwater aquariums, which is one of the main reasons for their growing popularity. If you’re interested in a saltwater aquarium, you will first have to decide what type of tank you want, as each has their pros and cons. There are three types of tanks to choose from:

1) Fish-Only Marine Aquariums

These aquariums are for the display of marine fish, specifically. These tanks tend to have a lot of open space with few aesthetic additions. Some may have artificial or plastic coral to offer color and contrast and simulate a genuine marine-style environment, but the focus of these aquariums is marine fish.

2) FOWLR Aquariums (Fish only with live rock)

This type of aquarium is a hybrid between a Fish-Only Aquarium and a Reef Aquarium. In addition to marine fish, FOWLR Aquariums have live rock. Live rock, while not actually living, is a collection of dead coral that bestows upon the aquarium a host of benefits. Algae often grow on live rock, which allows the growth of many beneficial micro-marine organisms. These micro-marine organisms offer filtration and sustainability to the saltwater. Yet, live rock also introduces an increased level of care that is needed, such as increased lighting, filtering, and supplementation.

3) Reef Aquariums

Reef aquariums do not usually contain marine fish, but rather contain invertebrates such as crabs, clams, marine worms, as well as a host of others. Marine invertebrates are very sensitive to their environments, so Reef Aquariums require even more stringent and special attention than FOWLR systems do. With Reef Aquariums, special attention must be given to water movement and increased supplementation.

After choosing which type of tank you are most interested in, there are several key accessories that will be needed to run a successful and vibrant salt water aquarium. The following are general necessities that are needed for each of the three tanks, yet within each category of tank there is additional equipment needed:

  • Salt Mix
  • Refractometer
  • Substrate
  • Protein Skimmer
  • Power heads
  • Water Filter
  • Test Kits
  • Lights
  • Heater
  • Calcium Reactor
  • Sump and/or Refugium

The business you choose to purchase all of the equipment from will help guide you in the processes of building and maintaining your aquarium. There are many places to choose from when deciding to create an aquarium. If you are located in the San Antonio, Texas area, Aquatic-Interiors offers top-quality saltwater aquarium equipment and expert guidance. Even if you aren’t located in the San Antonio area, there is a plethora of great information on their website at

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