Welcome to Aquatic Warehouse!

How Are Saltwater & Freshwater Aquariums Different?

Differences Between Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums in San Diego, CA

There are many good reasons to consider getting a saltwater or freshwater aquarium. However, not everyone knows what makes them different aside from the water itself. The truth is that saltwater tanks don’t have a lot in common with freshwater tanks. Here are a few of the main differences between the two.


Even though there are nano tanks available, most experts still recommend nothing less than a 50-gallon tank for saltwater fish. The increased water volume makes it far easier to maintain a larger tank. In contrast, there’s no change in maintenance difficulty regarding freshwater tanks of any size, and you can start with a simple 10-gallon tank. 

Costs of Aquatic Life & Equipment

Freshwater tanks are far less expensive than saltwater tanks. In the first place, saltwater fish tend to be more expensive. A freshwater goldfish can be bought for $3-5, while a saltwater clownfish could cost $30. In addition, the costs for freshwater plants and rocks are far cheaper than those for live coral. Saltwater tanks tend to require additional equipment such as hydrometers, protein skimmers, and special light fixtures. 

General Maintenance

Maintenance applies to the fish as well as the tanks themselves. When replacing water, you need to replace 25 percent weekly in a freshwater tank. Saltwater aquariums require a replacement rate of only 10 percent weekly since a well-balanced tank can thrive with the same water for longer periods. On the other hand, you can’t mix tap water with your salt mix since it can lead to high levels of algae. You need to use reverse osmosis deionized water for a saltwater tank. 

As for the fish, feeding can be a bigger challenge for saltwater species. Most freshwater fish that are sold are raised in captivity and are used to being fed by humans, while saltwater fish are often captured from the wild just weeks before someone buys them, so they aren’t used to standard fish foods. The best option is to feed saltwater fish frozen foods until they can transition to pellets.


Saltwater tanks allow for a larger variety of fish than freshwater tanks. You can get far more vibrant colors and more sizes than are available in freshwater, and you can also get more attractive plants and other species. There are also many small creatures that come with live sand and live rock, so you can always see what new arrivals show up over time. However, this isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of freshwater options. Aside from the dozens of freshwater varieties, these tanks also allow you to raise snails and small frogs alongside the fish and plants you’ve chosen.

Whichever type of fish tank you opt for, make sure you purchase the correct supplies. For high-quality freshwater and saltwater aquarium supplies, get in touch with Aquatic Warehouse. Visit our website, or give us a call at 858-467-9297.

Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday / 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


Site Security

secured by

SSL site seal - click to verify

Google Reviews