Saltwater vs. Freshwater Aquariums

Looking for a colorful accent for your living room or office? Then look no further than an aquarium, a self-contained universe that can house any number of eye-catching aquatic pals. These infinitely customizable little realms come in two primary varieties: freshwater and saltwater tanks.

When you’re heading to your local fish pet store in Iowa, it can be beneficial to have a basic idea of which type of aquarium you’d prefer. To help you decide, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start clearing space in your home.

What’s the basic difference between saltwater and freshwater?

In essence, a freshwater fish tank recreates the environment of a lake, stream or river. Saltwater aquariums, on the other hand, mimic the ocean floor. Making the choice between the two, however, is a bit more complicated.

What type of fish would you like to stock?

As you might expect, the same fish that thrive in a freshwater tank will die in saltwater (and vice versa). More often than not, the coloring of saltwater fish is more vibrant than that of the fish found in freshwater. Common saltwater fish include the tang family and the orange-and-white clownfish.

Freshwater fish, while more muted in their colors, are much tougher and can still be quite appealing.

How much room do you have?

The amount of space you can devote to your fish tank is significant. Saltwater tanks tend to be larger and require more additional items. Saltwater fish themselves need more room to maneuver to live happily. As a result, saltwater aquariums tend to take up more space than their freshwater counterparts.

Freshwater tanks can get quite big if you’ve got the space. However, because freshwater fish tend to be more hardy than saltwater fish, they can also survive in smaller areas. At a well-outfitted fish pet store in Iowa, you can find freshwater fish tanks that can get as small as a snow globe.

How much work do you want to do?

Once it’s stocked, a freshwater tank requires occasional changing of the water and a few chemicals to keep your fish happy. Heck, buy an algae eater, and you might find you don’t even need to clean the tank that often!

A saltwater tank, on the other hand, takes a little more TLC. You’ll need to maintain water temperature and salinization level, and treat the water whenever you change it. It’s a much more time-intensive endeavor.

What’s your budget?

Because of the extra apparatuses and the sometimes-temperamental nature of the fish, saltwater fish tanks tend to be more expensive. A first-time fish owner can set up a reasonably-sized freshwater tank for as little as $50.

Your fish tank pros

No matter which type of fish tank you have in mind—or even if you’re not entirely sure—the experts at Fish Store Pet Center have you covered. Our team specializes in the setup, care and maintenance of tropical fish tanks of every kind. Whether you want saltwater or freshwater, we’ve got you covered.

For more than 30 years, we’ve been proud to be the go-to fish pet store in Iowa. North, south, east and west, we’ve got satisfied customers (and happy underwater friends) in every corner of the state. Centrally located in convenient Atlantic, Iowa, Fish Store Pet Center is your one-stop shop for all your pets’ needs. Stop by or give us a call today.

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