When selecting an aquarium, select the largest aquarium you can afford.

Make sure the aquarium will fit perfectly on the location you chose. AND make sure that your budget can afford it!

Saltwater Aquarium with Live Corals (Nano Cube)Buy the largest? Why? Well, would you rather live in one-room apartment or a five-room suite? Got the idea? Fish and invertebrates need space to swim.

They also need enough oxygen to thrive and survive. Those two factors are both limited by the size of the aquarium.

When selecting an aquarium, consider the surface area of it. Surface area is the amount of area on the surface of the aquarium that is exposed to air. This is then related to oxygen content of the water.

“The more surface area your aquarium has, the more room for gas exchange at the surface.” More oxygen will enter the water. And toxic gas like carbon dioxide leaves the water.

Colder water has more oxygen than warmer water. Most saltwater fishes prefer water more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

You have to increase your surface area if this is the case because the amount of oxygen will be limited.

How do you increase the surface area you may ask? Choose an aquarium that has a large area on top of it which will be exposed to air.

Aquarium comes in all shapes and sizes. Two aquariums may have the same amount of volume. But they may be different in the amount of surface area. Taller and slender tanks don’t have a lot of surface area. Shorter and wider tank has more surface area and is better for gas exchange.

Box Fish

Try not to be afraid or shy to bring a measuring tape and a calculator when you go aquarium shopping. You should already have an idea on how big the aquarium will be after picking the right spot you chose for the aquarium.

Another factor when selecting an aquarium is the number of inhabitants you plan to keep. Too many fish will overcrowd it. Filtration system will be overwhelmed. And serious water quality problems can arise.

Fish will also become stressed if its too crowded which can lead to fish diseases and possibly death.

Most aquarium enthusiasts use fish length and tank volume to estimate the number of fish the saltwater aquarium can hold. Larger fish will of course consume more oxygen and more aquarium space.

You can probably accommodate 1 inch of fish per 4 gallons of water for the first six months. Increase fish density to in inch per 2 gallons of water after this period. But keep in mind that fishes grow!

I would prefer to have fewer fish than too many to be safe!

So when selecting an aquarium, think that this is an investment of money and time!

Here are some good options for a saltwater aquarium for different budgets:

When you buy the wrong tank, maybe a small one and least expensive, it may only lead to either buying the right one later on. Or worst, discourage you from becoming a long-term aquarist. This will result then in a waste of money either way.

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