A Guide To Different Types Of Fish Tanks And Aquariums

Posted on Jan 15 2014 - 10:32am by Carly


Fish tanks are a great way to bring nature into your home and offer a beautiful focal point for your interior design elements. Before adding a fish tank to your home, you will need to think about the type of fish tank or aquarium that will suit your home and lifestyle.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Freshwater Fish Tanks: These types of fish tanks recreate a pond or lake environment with clear water that may house tropical fish, goldfish, freshwater fish and frogs. These aquariums need good filtration, lighting, and water chemistry. 
  • Saltwater Aquariums: Also called marine aquariums, these fish tanks recreate the ocean environment and need to ensure a certain level of salinity in the water to keep the inhabitants healthy and alive. These tanks typically hold coral, crustaceans, exotic fish and eels. They can be fish only, fish only with rocks, or fish with plant life or coral. It can be tricky to ensure the correct water chemistry with fish tanks like these. 
  • Brackish Fish Tanks: This type of fish tank is a combination of saltwater and fresh water and includes fish that prefer some salinity in the water. These inhabitants might include things like cichlids. Like the saltwater aquarium, it is challenging to maintain just the right water chemistry. 
  • Reef Aquariums: This type of aquarium is focused on coral and can require some unique maintenance and lighting to keep the coral thriving. It is complex because different types of coral require different levels of salinity, space, and lighting. 
  • Planted Aquariums: These are not really fish tanks although fish and other living creatures can live in these types of aquariums. The main focus with these is on plants, so the water can be fresh, salt, or brackish.

All of these aquariums require specific types of equipment, and they can be decorated with live or artificial corals and live rock as well as shells. In terms of equipment, you will need to get good filters, a filtration system, and appropriate lighting no matter what type of tank you choose.

One of the most important items is the filtration system because this helps you effectively manage the water chemistry and purity. It is also important to buy things like a heater, thermometer, and substrate. If it is a saltwater fish tank, you will also need saltwater to fill the tank as well as a hydrometer and test kit to measure salinity and water chemistry.

Your local pet store or online retailer (such as Swallow Aquatics) can help you get everything you need to get started with a fish tank.

About the Author

Carly is a freelance writer who enjoys baking, photography and walking in the countryside.