Saltwater vs Freshwater Aquariums: Myths & Facts {Guide 2019}



It is very difficult to choose between saltwater and freshwater aquariums.


The cost of freshwater tanks is less expensive than saltwater aquariums. A freshwater tank material can be acrylic or glass of any size. Freshwater include fishes such as betta fish, tetra fish and, cichlids fishes.

These simple are easy to set up and easy to care. The look of the tank will be beautiful when it has a good quality of the filter and you can also implement live plants that give fish fresh oxygen so they can live a long life.

Saltwater tanks are a little bit difficult to setup. Saltwater aquariums are large, you can purchase if your budget is high. These saltwater tanks are more beautiful than. Some of the fishes which can live in the saltwater are clownfish, damselfish, dwarf angelfish and some other. So, it is difficult to set up a tank.  saltwater aquarium must be cleaned regularly so that it would be hygienic for fishes.

There are many types of fishes available in the market, you can choose a type of the fish you need. Choose a fish which is comfortable in the freshwater because they are easy to take care of.

There are some common myths of saltwater vs freshwater aquariums they are as follows:

Keeping Freshwater Aquariums is Easier


Freshwater aquariums are easy to set up. They require less maintenance, setting up a tank is also easy. The water conditions in the oceans don’t change all the time. A freshwater condition gets changed by flooding and drying. These changes get an impact on the water conditions, chemical composition and addition of the temperature. Freshwater fishes live in 5-9pH of water conditions whereas saltwater tank fishes live 7.8-8.4pH of specific water conditions.

The freshwater environment is suitable only for a few fishes. The water conditions depend on environmental changes. Freshwater aquarium fishes are harder. The changes in the saltwater aquariums are not tolerance for many of the fishes due to their favorable conditions.  Many of the fishes have their way of living. Not every fish are suitable for the same climatic conditions.

It is very difficult to choose a fish tank but by reading this article you can get the idea of buying a tank. If you’re setting up an aquarium for the first time then you should prefer freshwater aquariums over saltwater aquarium because it is easy and simple. Aquariums must be neat and clean so that fish can survive a long way.

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Fishes can’t survive without water and oxygen. You have to provide water in the tank with the minimum level provided in the manual. If you have any doubt for while setting up then you can refer a manual book provided by the company.

Saltwater Aquariums are Expensive


Let start to know the cost of the saltwater aquarium and freshwater aquarium. It is said that freshwater aquariums are cheaper when compared to saltwater aquarium.

Items Saltwater aquarium Freshwater aquarium
Aquarium $50 $50
Substrate $45 $20
Live rock $100 N.A
Salt $25 N.A
Filters $25 $50
Powerhead $50 N.A
Protein skimmer $150 N.A
Lighting $50 $50
Water testing kit $70 $50
Quarantine tank $25 $25
Total cost $590 $245

From the above table, you get the knowledge that saltwater aquariums are twice higher than freshwater aquarium. For saltwater aquarium, you need a lot of equipment to set up a tank. The cost of fish depends upon your budget and the type of fish you select. Freshwater fishes can be purchased from $10-$20, the range of the saltwater tank fishes are $10-$20 and some of them are of $100 each.

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Saltwater aquariums must provide a warranty because if there is any damage the cost will be high. The cost of the aquarium can be controlled by proving warranties for the tanks. This type of aquarium needs a large space to set up. It must be set up in one place if once placed it cannot be transferred to the other place because the weight of the tank is heavy.

Saltwater Tanks are Not for Beginners

People who are setting up a fish tank for the first time then they mustn’t use saltwater tanks. There are many reasons such as cost, maintenance, weight and difficult to set up. As a beginner you will do some mistakes while placing a tank, the mistakes must be learned only on the cheaper tanks. As a beginner, if you use saltwater aquariums then it would be difficult for you to set up and if the aquarium gets damage and you may lose your money.

There is additional complexity for the saltwater aquariums. The fishes of saltwater require a tank of 30-50 Gallons(Check Out 40 Gallon Fish Tank). A freshwater aquarium is said to be a “Beginner’s Tank”. You have to take care of the tank by changing the water and clean up the tank regularly.

If these methods are followed by you then it would be easy to set up a tank. You have to choose the size of an aquarium depending on the type of aquarium and fish. You have to see that the fish in the aquarium is favorable in a tank that you have set up. You can prefer the type of fishes you need.

A small tank(Check Out 3 Gallon Fish Tank) will be enough for freshwater tank fishes. Because the size of the fishes which lives in the freshwater is small. It is important to note that you have to provide a good quality of food to the fishes for their survival.

Water is an important element for fishes to survive. They also need oxygen which comes from water and live plants in an aquarium. so, if the water gets changed every day it would be good for the fishes and they will come healthy.

Can’t Convert Saltwater to a Freshwater Aquarium

This conversion can be done by doing some adjustments. You have to replace the filter and have to start a new cycle.

This step is followed when you have to change your mindset for keeping a saltwater aquarium. if you’re bored of keeping a freshwater aquarium then you can follow this step. It is important to note that the water should be free from chlorine chemicals. If the chemical is present in this tank then it would be difficult to convert the water.

This step must be followed when you have to change the water in the aquarium. The conservation must be followed in the same way to change the water. Saltwater aquarium must have a proper filter to make your fishes healthy.

Freshwater is with more oxygen and saltwater tank has less oxygen. You need to keep freshwater aquarium because you need to take care of the fishes because freshwater gives more oxygen.

You Can Breed Captivity in Both

These fish tend to breed in seasonal changes. It is not possible to change the season in your aquarium.

As saltwater fishes do not receive any signals to breed in captivity. Fishes perform their work in the period of feeding. Feeding for the fishes must be done correctly. The food must be given through a food pipe. There must be no blockage in the food pipe if it happens then it would be difficult for the fishes and they may die.

If the climate gets change then it would be difficult. So, that the temperature must be set up properly and the heater must be placed in an aquarium with good quality. Different types of fishes require different climatic conditions.

You have to follow the proper steps for setting up an aquarium. You have to see regularly that the fishes are comfortable with the temperature which you have set up.

There must be no confusion for setting up a tank. Follow the manual which is provided by the company and set a type of aquarium you need. The aquarium which you have set up must be the best for your fishes. If an aquarium is planted with live plants then it would help the fishes to take the fresh oxygen. You have to follow all the above steps which could make your aquarium beautiful. You can also include rock stones of different types which gives a good look for an aquarium.

More Algae is Grown in the Saltwater Aquariums

Saltwater aquariums indeed grow a large number of algae. It is the reason why people say freshwater aquarium is best for beginners.

Both freshwater and saltwater tank have ammonia and nitrate compounds which help to grow algae. In freshwater plants requires some nutrients to grow algae, it will all the nutrients are consumed by the plants in freshwater. So, that the algae are restricted to grow in the freshwater aquariums.

In saltwater aquariums plants are grown very hard. Plants need freshwater to grow. The nutrients in this aquarium are not consumed by the plants so that the algae are grown in the saltwater aquariums. To avoid this problem, you need to change the water regularly so that the algae will go on the top of the aquarium.

In saltwater aquariums, if the water is not changed regularly then you can see the growth of algae. It must be restricted when you change the water regularly. You have to take care of this step to avoid the problem.

If you can change the water regularly and to maintain aquariums correctly then you can buy saltwater aquariums.

Size of the Saltwater Aquariums Must be Bigger

The fishes which live in the saltwater aquariums require more oxygen to survive. Saltwater cannot hold the same amount of the oxygen which a freshwater hold. Seawater contains 80% of the oxygen. Saltwater tank has 20% or less oxygen than freshwater.

You can see the change by experimenting, keep a fish in both saltwater tank and fresh water tank of the same size and you can see the change that freshwater fish absorbs more oxygen when compared to the saltwater aquariums. so, the saltwater fishes require the large size of the tank.

If you have a small space to keep an aquarium then you can prefer a freshwater tank. As this aquarium requires a small space, and it can be move from one place to another because it is lightweight. It is best used in different places such as home, offices and any other place you prefer to keep.

The size of a freshwater tank can be small, but when compared to the saltwater aquarium the size must be large. The aquarium which you buy must depend on the size and a type of fish which you prefer to keep in an aquarium.

Aquarium which you buy must be fit for your fishes. Different fishes have different growth rates. They grow according to the change in the change in the environment.


Freshwater is best for beginners, Saltwater is best for the people already have an aquarium in their house or office. The water in the freshwater tank must be changed regularly so that fishes can get fresh oxygen to survive. The saltwater aquariums must be clean up regularly, and the water must be changed regularly to avoid the growth of algae and helps the fishes to live a long life.

Freshwater provides more oxygen to the fishes when compared to the saltwater. A saltwater aquarium must be placed at one place because this aquarium is heavy so, that it cannot be moved from one place to another.

If you grow live plants in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums then it helps the fishes to get fresh oxygen from the live plants.

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