• Question about setting up a saltwater fish-only tank

    Shane S. writes:
    hello there

    i need some help putting together a saltwater fish only tank. i want to do a community tank. what can i put in it and how many? i don't want to spend a lot.
    Your question isn't a simple one to answer. Granted, there are things you won't need but there are a many things you would to maintain a healthy environment for your fish, one where they can thrive.

    What can you put in there? You'll need to check their compatibility, as some fish are peaceful while others are predators. What are some that you're considering?

    How many? That comes down to the quality of the filtration, as well as the frequency of water changes. The lower the bioload, the more easy your job will be to keep them cared for. A heavy bioload is more work, just like having a dinner party for four people is easier that planning a wedding with 100 guests.

    Here's my article on the cost of running a reef tank, just for comparison and to provide you with some specifics. Not all of it pertains to your needs, but it does give you details you may not have considered yet:


    The short list:
    Aquarium of proper size
    Aquarium stand
    Saltwater - RO/DI water and a good salt mix
    Test kits
    Fish food, varied
    HOB filtration, or In-Sump filtration
    Circulation pumps
    Buckets, cleaning tools, power strips, timers, possibly a controller for heat and cooling
    Fans or chiller, depending on location and time of year
    Quarantine tank for new arrivals, with supporting gear

    And then finally, the fish selection and their dietary needs.