Easy to Keep Saltwater Aquarium Fish
We have been asked several times for a list of easy to keep saltwater aquarium fish. We will gladly provide you with some ideas here, BUT we also want to make sure you know how to select healthy and sustainable fish from your local store. The process of purchasing fish that will live starts with you and your knowledge of what a healthy fish looks like and what to avoid.
Your Local Aquarium Store
We cannot stress enough that you go to a reputable fish store. If you are new to the hobby or are not sure about your store then do a little research online. Also, some general observations and common sense will help you to determine if you should be shopping at a certain store or not.
When you enter the store you should not see dead fish floating, EVER. There really is no excuse for this in a store. Yes all stores do suffer loses but they need to be removed immediately. The store should not smell horrible, this is a great indication that something (or a lot of somethings) is going wrong. Dead things rot... And finally, the tanks should be clean. If you see a lot of old food and waste in the water or glass that looks like it has not been cleaned in weeks then you know you are in the wrong place.
Choosing Healthy Saltwater Aquarium Fish
In order to properly choose a healthy fish you really need to know a few basics about that species. Please take the time to understand what a healthy species looks like. You should be familiar with the colors and behaviors of the fish.
Take time to look at the fish in the store. Look at the colors of the fish, they should be bright and healthy looking. The fish should be alert and active according to its normal behaviors. Watch the swimming pattern of the fish, does it have any trouble swimming? Check both eyes that they are not damaged and not cloudy.
We also recommend that you ask the store to feed the fish. This REALLY tells you a lot about the fish. Do not be afraid to ask this question. Reputable stores will gladly show you that their fish are healthy and they will assume that you are a knowledgeable and responsible hobbyist, which means you are (or will be) a good customer!
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Hardy Saltwater Aquarium Fish
Here is a quick run down of some easy to keep saltwater aquarium fish that you should consider if you want an easy to keep and low maintenance aquarium.
Clownfish: These members of the Damsel fish family are very popular. They can get a little aggressive, especially the larger species. Percula Clowns are the most popular and best options.
Saltwater Aquarium Fish profile: Clownfish
Firefish: This is an easy to keep fish if it is properly acclimated and you only keep 1 firefish per tank. They are aggressive only to each other.
Damel Fish: Probably one of the first fish that most people keep. They are extremely hardy. The downside is that they are often aggressive and the colors of many fade with age.
Goby: Most gobies are both peaceful and easy to keep. Many of the sand-sifting species are fun to watch and help to keep the sand clean.
Lionfish: Only appropriate for a large marine tank. Also be aware that they are venomous, so handle with care. It will be the biggest bee sting of your life!
Yellow Tangs: Provided you have a tank of 60g or more a Yellow Tang can be a great selection. They will help with keeping many types of algae in check. Be aware that Tangs do require a lot of food. Supplement their diet with seaweed sheets or romaine lettuce daily.
ACCLIMATION! The Most Important Step
The last and most important part of successfully keeping your new purchase alive is acclimation. We cannot stress this part enough as it might just be the most critical part of the entire process.
Your fish will be stressed out in its bag and we need to do everything we can to keep it calm and prevent further stress.
Abrupt water chemistry changes can kill your fish. Every aquarium is different and has small to even large water chemistry differences. This is why we need to acclimate fish to your tank water.
We like to use a bucket or a large bowl. Do not use anything with metal in it. Open the fish bag and put the fish and the water into the bucket and slowly start to add water from your fish tank into the bucket. We like to use a small coffee mug or something of similar size for this. About every 5-10 minutes add another cup of aquarium water to the bucket. Do this until you have 3 parts aquarium water to 1 part fish bag water. This should take at least 30 minutes. Now use a net, or your hands and carefully put the fish into the aquarium. Never add water from a store to your home aquarium. It could contain parasites.
This should help you be successful in keeping your saltwater aquarium fish alive and make the hobby easier and more enjoyable.
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