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The smallest recommended size is a 30 gallon aquarium, and for saltwater, bigger is always better. A large marine ecosystem can better handle the daily fluctuations in water quality than a small ecosystem. We have found that 55 gallons is a perfect beginner aquarium size. A 55 gallon tank will allow for several types of fish and it is large enough to maintain a stable environment. Keep in mind, that while it is possible to keep a very small saltwater tank, we recommend that only those aquarists with prior saltwater experience attempt it.
So what would be the smallest aquarium a beginning saltwater hobbyist could start out with?
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For years and years, it was believed by most saltwater aquarists that aquariums were not suitable for reef tanks with corals. Here are photos of small (mini or nano) marine tanks that prove the old beliefs wrong. Small Aquariums - Small Aquarium | small saltwater aquarium | fish aquarium supplies
Photo provided by FlickrApr 4, 2017 - Can you have a successful small saltwater aquarium of 40 gallons or less
Photo provided by FlickrCoralife Small Saltwater Aquarium | Nano Aquariums | PetSolutions
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Finding small saltwater fish tank species for a small marine aquarium (nano tanks) is not difficult and they are often easily found in local saltwater reef stores and online. If you have a small saltwater aquarium it is vital to keep it lightly stocked and your water parameters stable. Make sure you research any fish you decide to get before you go to the store. Do not make that impulse buy or you may regret it later.
It's a good idea to know what kind of saltwater fish you want to keep before you purchase your aquarium. Do a lot of research on the various types of marine fish to determine which fish you would like to get. Some marine fish only grow to be an inch or two, whereas other types can grow to 12 or 18 inches! Knowing what kind of marine fish you want will help you decide the size of the aquarium they will need. Many books stress that you shouldn't get started in the saltwater hobby unless you have at least a 40 gallon. But if you've done your research and thoroughly prepared, there is no reason why you can't start with a smaller tank. Be warned, a smaller tank will pose more challenges and will force you to perform more frequent water testing and maintenance.The saltwater fish you're looking to keep in your small saltwater aquarium need to have a few characteristics to make the list below. You also need to keep in mind how they will get along with other species along with conspecifics. For better long term success, look for fish that: A properly set up and maintained saltwater aquarium can cost hundreds of dollars, not including the monthly operating costs. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a small, inexpensive, successful fish tank. However for most people, if you are not willing to invest the time and money required to do it properly, then its best that you not undertake this beautiful and costly aquatic hobby. Once cycled, basic aquarium maintenance includes feeding, cleaning and water changes. When you purchase your new fish, find out what food is best and how often they should be fed. are available in dried and frozen varieties and each type of fish has different needs. Cleaning includes scraping aquarium walls to keep them free of algae and siphoning the gravel on a regular basis. Many small animals like hermit crabs and snails will help keep algae to a minimum as well. Water changes are crucial to keeping your tank healthy. Never change more than 25% of the aquarium water at one time. Changing too much can do much more harm than good. Normal water changes should be done approximately every 14 to 18 days. This keeps nitrate levels in the aquarium below 20ppm and ensures healthy fish and invertebrates. Always pre-mix your saltwater in a container before adding it back into the aquarium and make sure the temperature and specific gravity is equal to that already in the aquarium.Why then, has the small saltwater tank seemingly fallen out of favor? One possible reason is economic. Dealers are likely to realize higher profits on larger aquariums, both from the initial setups and from the subsequent stocking of increased numbers of animals in these tanks. On balance, however, this is not a significant factor, because most dealers are more interested in serving the needs of their customers, who may want or need large aquariums.