Professional reef tank

Things that you going to need for your first marine fish tank

A marine aquarium is a lifetime dream for a lot of people. Even old aquarium hobbyists dream about having a marine fish tank in their collection. A marine fish tank is a difficult task even for those, who are interested in the aquarium niche for a long period of their life. Even though marine aquariums look very minimalistic and create an image that does not need a lot of equipment, actually, it is not true.

We all know that fish tanks need regular water changes to keep fish and plants happy and healthy. The water of regular freshwater aquariums can be changed easily by using only tap water. When it comes to marine aquariums everything is a lot more difficult when it looks. You can not change marine fish tank water by using water from the sea, this is why you need certain products that prepare water, so it can be added to your marine fish tank.

Since marine aquariums can be quite difficult if you are a newbie in aquariums keeping. This is why we decided to make a list of this you will need for marine aquariums and also in this article, we discuss what things you need to consider before buying a marine aquarium. We hope that in this article you will find useful information!

Fish tank glass and size

Now, let’s talk about aquarium glass itself. Aquarium glass is going to be a base for your marine aquarium. At this point, various aquarium shops have plenty of options for marine fish tanks. If you want a specific shape of your aquarium you can even order a custom aquarium from companies that does it. But first of all, you can not just buy any aquarium from the pets store. If you want to achieve a maximum result and have a stunning view that actually looks like a sea reef, you have to buy a white glass aquarium. Usually, that type of glass is called optiwhite glass. It means that the glass of your marine aquarium isn’t going to be greenish. It is an important step because you are going to look in your marine aquarium through the glass, so make sure that it is a high-quality glass that does not change the natural colors of your reef and fish.

Another important topic that we need to discuss is the size of your fish tank. If you are an absolute beginner we recommend you choose a smaller size fish tank. We recommend you to chose a fish tank between 4 and 8 gallons. If you are more of a professional in this niche and you feel like you have grown up for a bigger fish tank, than feel free to do so! But keep in mind, the larger tank, the more money it is going to need to install and maintain.

clownfish in marine tank

Aquarium stand

As we mentioned above, marine aquariums that you see on the internet looks very neat and minimalistic, you can not see any equipment in it, expect lighting. But don’t be fooled. Marine aquariums require equipment, but it is usually hidden in special aquarium stands. So if you want that minimalistic look, we highly suggest you to look for an aquarium stand. All aquarium shops have these products, but if you want something unique you can find special brands that make customized aquarium stand that perfectly suits your need and blends well in your home design.

Live rock

Firstly, let’s discuss what live rock actually is. The Live rocks are typically extracted for the ocean and they are made of calcified coral that is no longer alive and became hard. Even though the live rock is not technically a live coral it still contains plenty of live organisms such as bacteria that is a great base for your marine aquarium plants and corals that you are going to buy and plant in your marine fish tank.

Another great thing about live rock is that it creates natural hiding places for some fish that you will be owning in your marine aquarium. Also, certain protozoans that live in live rock can be a great food or food supplement for aquarium fish. It is important to mention, that live rock also works as a ph buffer and helps to maintain calcium levels in your fish tank.

Protein Skimmer

There are two main types of a protein skimmer. If you are planning to get a big fish tank, we highly recommend you to get a protein skimmer that goes into the sump. If you decide to have a smaller aquarium and do not want to have a sump, there is a hang-on protein skimmer, but keep in mind that they are more visible than those that are hidden in the aquarium stand.

A protein skimmer is very important equipment for your marine aquarium. It filtrates aquarium wastes and keeps optimal oxygen levels in your aquarium. So all in all, protein skimmer makes the water of your aquarium higher quality.

Reef tank water circulation scheme

Movement of the water

The water of your aquarium needs to be moved, especially in the surface area. For your fish tank water to move you will need a HOB skimmer, powerheads, and return pump from a sump. Water needs to be moved to a higher level of oxygen. Also, since wastes tend to be on the surface of the water, water needs to be moved so protein skimmer can filtrate all the wastes.


And last, but not least, if you want a healthy marine aquarium you need to use a top-quality salt that is specially designed for marine aquarium, and also, you must use reverse osmosis water that contains no TDS. You can get RO water from your tap water if you install a certain filter in your home.


We hope that this article helped you to realize how marine aquarium is installed and how it works. Good luck with your marine fish tank project!