Saltwater Aquarium – Selecting Live Animals

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 62,522
    Marine Biologist Jim Karanikas demonstrates how to set up a saltwater aquarium and how to select live animals.

    Jim Karanikas: Hi! Jim Karanikas, live at Tropical Fish World. We've been talking today about how to set up and maintain a saltwater aquarium. Now, I would like to discuss selecting the live animals for your tank.

    First let's talk about the live tropical fish that you can put in your tank. If you've ever been scuba diving or snorkeling in the Caribbean or any of the tropical areas around the world, you can see these absolutely stunning fishes just surround you.

    I would recommend getting a good book about fish, before you start selecting the fish for your aquarium and putting them in. Many of the books out there actually grade the fish on a scale from 1-10 on how easy they are to keep in captivity, and I think that's a great way of choosing fish that are appropriate for an aquarium and those that should be left in the ocean.

    So after you've gone through the books and you've chosen some of the fish there are many groups of fish that are available. Angelfish are absolutely stunning and pretty easy to keep in captivity, remaining tanks, grasses, groupers, line fish that you can put in your aquarium.

    Now, it's the fish when they are caught from the wild, they could be caught by use of nets or chemicals, and MACNA which is a conservation group monitors the way that the fish were caught in the wild and you want to make sure that is the fish that you are purchasing are MACNA certified or the store that you are getting them from purchased fish from a facility that gets fish that are MACNA certified. And that means that they are taken out of the ocean in ethical way. So you want to make sure that the fish that are being collected are appropriate for your aquarium and are collected in a proper manner.

    You can also purchase fish these days that are captively raised. There are many farms out there that are raising live saltwater fish. 10-15 years ago this wasn't available, so you definitely want to take advantage of that now, and if there is a fish that you are interested in such as clown fish, gobies, dottybacks. I would highly recommend getting once that are captively raised. You also want to make sure that you get fish that are appropriate for the type of set up that you have.

    A fish-only tank can accommodate predatory fish, grazing fish, a fish that hides, fish that sit on the bottom, fish that feed at the top. But in reef tank, you have to get very specific with the fish that you add to it. A reef tank has live corals, sponges, crabs and shrimps, and you don't like to put fish in there that are going to eat those critters. So you want to make sure that you choose appropriate fish for the reef tank.

    Next, we would like to talk to you more about some of the common problems or troubleshooting that we might do for your saltwater aquarium or reef tank.