Marine Fish care (the basics)


A featured image for a blog post on Marine Fish care

Keeping marine fish brings all the rewards of cold or tropical fish and more. They are all beautiful and relaxing to watch. It a common misconception that marine aquarium keeping is infinitely more difficult than freshwater, but this is not so.

Not hard to Look After

The simple truth is that saltwater fish are not necessarily more difficult to keep, they just have different requirements than freshwater fish and are a bit less forgiving when it comes to mistakes. This is often debated, but shouldn’t be related to marine fish in general.

With most basic marine fish species, they are definitely no more difficult to keep than their fresh water counterparts. However, other species, especially invertebrates and anemones can be difficult without the right knowledge and equipment.

Coral is hard to Maintain

Keep in mind that anemones and coral, although beautiful, are more difficult to keep than marine fish alone as they have more specific requirements, and are even more susceptible to problems. They will also need powerful overhead lighting to grow. Octopus species for example prove to be very challenging even for experts and long time enthusiasts.

With a marine aquarium you have a larger choice of fish species, not to mention crustaceans, anemones, starfish, crabs, corals, sponges, living rocks, sea horses and more. Some enthusiasts have marine aquariums with no fish at all, just coral, rocks and anemones. These can produce some amazing displays that are truly stunning.

We recommend that you should successfully maintain a cold or tropical aquarium before commencing with a marine setup. This will enable you to learn the intricacies of the care required and form the habits necessary. Tropical fish may forgive you for overfeeding or lack of water changes on the odd occasion, but marine fish will not.

Amazing Colours

With all this in mind, keeping marine fish is becoming easier than ever as knowledge, equipment and technology are getting much better. Keeping marine fish can also be exhilarating as the colour and activity can be amazing to behold and fascinating to watch.

Basic Requirements

If you are about to get any marine fish, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any marine aquarium.

  • Aquarium
  • Filtration (under gravel, corner or power filter)
  • Aeration (air pump & air stone)
  • Lighting (or natural light)
  • Heater
  • Substrate (gravel, sand, pebbles etc.)
  • Marine Salt
  • Food
  • Treated/Stabilized Water
  • Hydrometer & Thermometer

Optional Requirements

  • Filters
  • Aeration
  • UV Lighting
  • Ornaments
  • Plants (live or plastic)
  • Test Kits (pH, ammonia etc)
  • Aquarium Backing


Suitable For People Aged: 15 & over
Experience Required: Cold or tropical preferred
Feeding Care Time Required: 20 Min a Day
Maintenance Time Required: 2 Hours a Week
Minimum Space Required: Aquarium (as large as possible)
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $15 Per Week (Power Required)
Life Span: (approx) 10 to 30 Years (Depending on Species)
Availability: All Year