How to look after marine fishCaring for marine fish is an expensive and challenging hobby, but it’s also very rewarding. Aquarium enthusiasts all over the world have discovered the joys of keeping exotic fish in a carefully-managed habitat, and you don’t need a degree in marine biology to join them.
However, you will need to be patient and diligent. You should be prepared to invest a fair amount of time in your marine aquarium if you wish to enjoy it to the full.
First, do your researchSetting up a home aquarium isn’t something you should rush into, especially if you’re going to be looking after saltwater fish for the very first time. Read up on the subject and familiarise yourself with the day-to-day requirements of a marine aquarium. Caring for marine life isn’t enormously difficult work, but your fish will suffer if you fail to stay on top of things.
Again, we recommend visiting our showroom before you get started – this will give you a chance to have a conversation with one of our experienced marine specialists, who will recommend the best setup for what you have in mind and address any queries or concerns you might have.
What fish do you want?Every species is different, with its own unique set of needs. Before you buy any live fish, you should think carefully about what kinds you wish to keep in your aquarium, then do a bit of research to find out what each species will need from you.
One of the best things about having your own marine aquarium is seeing a mixture of colourful species swimming around and living together. But if you want to keep a variety of different fish in your tank, you must first make sure that their needs are compatible – not all fish can live together in the same enclosed space.
What equipment do you need?As noted above, there are all kinds of different products available for marine aquaria. Don’t start shopping until you know exactly what you’re looking for – it’s all too easy for beginners to get overexcited and spend a fortune on equipment they don’t really need!
That said, it doesn’t pay to be too tight-fisted when purchasing aquarium equipment. This isn’t a good hobby for people on a very tight budget; you need to make sure that everything you buy is of a decent quality (the lives of your fish may depend on it!) and capable of operating in a saltwater environment.
Here’s a very rough list of what you will need:
- A tank that’s big enough to house all the fish you’re planning to keep
- A filter and skimmer to keep the tank clean
- Light sources – an important part of any marine ecosystem
- A pump to keep the water moving, just like in a natural marine habitat
- A heater, cooler and thermometer to manage tank temperature
- A hydrometer to monitor the salinity (salt level) of your aquarium
Feeding your fishFish have to eat in order to survive. When you’re researching different species, you may notice that some are herbivores, while others are carnivores. Be sure to take this into account when planning your aquarium.
Herbivores (plant-eating fish) can be fed with algae or seaweed; carnivores (meat eaters) must be fed with other marine life, such as shrimp.
Fish food flakes are available for both herbivores and carnivores.
Aquarium filtrationAn effective filter is one of the most important parts of a successful aquarium. Like all living organisms, fish produce waste, and your fish will die if the filter isn’t working to combat the steady build-up of waste products.
We sell a range of high-quality aquarium filters here at Rock ‘N’ Critters. We also stock live rock, which is far more than mere decoration; live rock provides organic filtration, helping to break down the waste produced by your fish and any other critters who call your aquarium home.
We hope this brief introduction to aquarium fish care has given you an idea of what to expect! If you’re ready to take the plunge and begin building your very own marine ecosystem, the next step is to contact the Rock ‘N’ Critters team – we can provide everything you need to get started.