Fish aquariums are a great addition to any home or office. They provide a feeling of peace and tranquility that studies indicate can benefit emotional well-being and even cardiovascular health. For example, small fish tanks with goldfish, which were placed in rest homes, helped increase the appetite of poor eaters and improve the morale of the remaining residents.
But, when it comes down to it, the choice between fresh water and salt water tanks leaves many people wondering which is best for their purposes. It is well known that salt water fish are more exotic and beautiful, in general, than freshwater fish.
It is also well known that saltwater tanks take a special kind of maintenance and can be more costly to set up. But looking at the facts can help someone sitting on the fence to make an educated decision about whether or not to invest in the saltwater tank, vs. the fresh water tank.
Initial set up costs for the fresh water aquarium, starting with a $50 tank, will average about $270 total. For a saltwater tank, that includes live rock and a protein skimmer, the cost will go up to about $635 after everything but the fish. Reef tanks cost even more, averaging, with all needed accessories like a reverse osmosis filter, around $1,270.
Then there are the fish. Saltwater fish usually cost a good deal more than freshwater fish. And, because many are fresh caught from the wild, getting them to eat is a challenge. They may even be on special diets for awhile.
On the other hand, once the tank is set up, the fish are done with quarantine, and they have begun eating aquarium food appropriate to their type, saltwater tanks can actually be lower maintenance, in the long run, as the live rock helps keep it clean and the protein skimmer takes out what the rock leaves behind.