Reef Vs Fish-Only Aquariums

Reef Vs Fish-Only Aquariums
By Todd J. Nelson

Most saltwater aquariums are divided into two major types of setup. These are the reef aquariums and fish only aquariums. There are many differences between these two major aquarium setups, although both have always been popular with a wide range of aquarium hobbyists and tropical fish breeders. It is important to acquire the needed aquarium pet supplies whether you are setting up a fish only aquarium or a reef aquarium.

Aquarium supplies for fish only tanks

Many people favor fish only tanks because these are less expensive than most reef aquariums. With reef tanks, the setup should also cater to the life of corals, anemones, and invertebrates in the aquarium. Most of the elements needed for reef aquariums, such as expensive lighting, are not necessary with most fish only aquariums. Before setting up your own fish only aquarium, you need to be familiar with the essential supplies first of all. From saltwater mixes to aquarium thermometer, there are a few things you need to secure for your own saltwater fish tank.

You will need an aquarium or a fish tank with the right size. Substrate is also needed, such as crushed coral or sand, along with a hydrometer for saltwater and an aquarium thermometer. To keep the water temperature at the right levels, you will need a water heater. Power heads and aquarium filters are also necessary. This type of aquarium is geared principally to keep the fish in perfectly healthy conditions.

The pros and cons of fish only aquariums

Fish only aquariums are not too expensive to set up, making them more popular for people who are working on a budget. With such types of tanks, you will only have to look out for the condition and comfort of your fish, nothing else. Unlike reef aquariums, you don't have to take care of coral life or invertebrate life in your tank.

Nonetheless, fish only tanks are not always easy to set up, although they don't require much spending. You need to check the nitrogen cycle of the tank first, so your fish is assured of a stable and safe environment. Specific aquarium pet supplies are needed to constantly monitor the tank of its PH levels and nitrate and ammonia levels. Water test kits are essential in maintaining the right water quality in your tank.

Aquarium supplies for reef tanks

Reef tanks are set up in order to keep the corals, anemones, and invertebrates growing. With a fish only aquarium, you will only need to look after your fish. But with a reef tank, maintaining the corals and anemones in perfectly healthy conditions is of higher priority. Since water parameters need to be constantly monitored to carry this out successfully, maintaining a reef tank can be expensive.

In a reef tank setup, you will most likely need a few essential aquarium pet supplies. Lighting supplies are needed, including lights and light timer. Live rock for ideal filtration and live sand are also very important, as well as multiple power heads. Prior to setting up a reef tank, it is crucial that you do your own research, so you will know what to expect from it and which steps and aquarium supplies are necessary in successfully maintaining it.

The pros and cons of reef aquariums

Reef aquariums have many advantages. One of the biggest pros in choosing to set up a reef aquarium is that you are able to provide a more natural environment for your fish. With this, your fish will be subject to lesser levels of stress.

However, reef aquariums can be difficult to maintain, especially for those who have just begun keeping a saltwater aquarium. You also need to prepare your budget for additional expenses, especially in keeping the water parameters maintained at the right quality. Getting the right aquarium pet supplies is necessary, if you want to keep your reef aquarium in a stable condition.

Before choosing a fish only aquarium or a reef aquarium, it is best to research first about its requirements. Also look into your budget and check your personal preference as a hobbyist, so you will know which of these aquariums is most suitable for you. Just be sure that whatever set up you choose, you have time for the care and maintenance it requires.

Todd Nelson is a freelance writer who has been involved in the aquarium hobby for more than 15 years. Nelson began keeping freshwater and brackish tanks in his teens and later transitioned to saltwater aquariums. Most of his aquarium know-how comes from personal experience, although he actively participates in his local aquarium club, online message boards and industry events. He is a hands-on hobbyist who enjoys the husbandry and propagation of aquatic life and testing aquarium supplies. To learn more about freshwater and saltwater aquariums, visit today.

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