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Top Saltwater Aquarium Mistakes To Avoid

Top Saltwater Aquarium Mistakes To Avoid

A saltwater aquarium can be truly enchanting, but they often require a high level of maintenance. With the beauty a saltwater aquarium can bring to your home, the last thing you want is to find your fish floating belly-up due to mistakes. The best way to ensure that you get the best out of your saltwater aquarium is to do plenty of research and ask aquarium specialists for advice before buying a saltwater aquarium and stocking it with saltwater fish.

At Melbourne Tropical Fish, we are one of the leading aquarium stores in Melbourne. If you are thinking about starting a saltwater aquarium of your own, our experts can offer the information that you need to get your fish tank off to the right start.


Top Saltwater Aquarium Mistakes To Avoid

Because we want our customers to get the most out of their saltwater fish tank and its enchanting properties, in this article we are going to share some of the most common saltwater aquarium mistakes that hobbyists make all the time.



If you owned an aquarium as a kid, whether a saltwater or freshwater aquarium, you might remember your mother constantly reminding you not to overfeed the fish. Overfeeding your saltwater fish is very easy to do as it can be difficult to tell how much food is appropriate for your fish. For many saltwater fish, the proper amount of food can seem like not nearly enough. However, overfeeding can be a serious problem that can cause fish to become lethargic and sick, and it can potentially even lead to death. Overfeeding your fish can not only affect the health of your fish but it can also have a negative impact on your aquariums overall health.

The first step in avoiding overfeeding understanding the nutritional requirements for the fish that inhabit your tank. Uneaten fish food will accumulate on the bottom of the tank and create excess nitrates that can potentially overload your aquarium filter. Once you know how much food to give the fish, be sure to set up a feeding schedule and stick to it. You also could consider investing in an automatic fish feeder.



After you purchase a saltwater aquarium, it is natural to want to fill it with as many beautiful and colorful fish as possible. However, in order for fish to be healthy and happy, they require enough space to meet their needs for exercise and territorial claims. Overstocking will reduce the available space for fish in an aquarium, potentially risking stress and development of aggression problems — which can lead to conflict among aquarium inhabitants, often resulting in death. When you overstock your aquarium, you increase the levels of fish waste, nitrite and ammonia levels, and even stunted growth of your aquarium’s fish.


Not Acclimating Fish

It is vital that saltwater aquariums are fully cycled before adding fish, invertebrates, and other aquarium inhabitants inside. Additionally, these aquarium residents need to be properly acclimated to the aquarium’s environment before being released into the water. Whenever fish are moved into a new environment, they experience high-stress levels that can lead to various diseases and even death! The acclimation process helps reduce the level of shock, one of the main causes of stress in fish when being placed in a new tank.


Livestock Incompatibility

Not all aquarium inhabitants can exist together harmoniously. Whether you are getting ready to purchase new aquarium livestock or you want to add another species of fish to your fish tank. Before choosing the fish for your tank, it is vital to know whether or not they will get along. Of course, mixing predator with prey will result in conflict and potential death in the aquarium. Additionally, if you have a coral reef aquarium, it is best to avoid fish that nibble at coral.
There are several factors that determine whether or not each species is compatible or not, including:

  • Tank Water temperature
  • Gender
  • Size
  • Temperament
  • Diet
  • pH levels
  • Activity level


Improper Aquarium Filtration

An aquarium’s filtration system is the heart of the tank and can make a difference between the success and failure of your saltwater fish tank. Filters trap solid wastes from your aquarium and convert liquid wastes to a relatively harmless form, then return the byproduct back into to your tank. When it comes to fish tank filtration, its be to be cautious and invest in a filter that is on the large side for your tank’s volume and bio-load. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing that waste and harmful nitrates will be eliminated from your water so that your aquarium inhabitants can be healthy and thrive.


Unreliable Livestock Source

Believe it or not, there are plenty of unreliable saltwater fish vendors out there. Fish that are supplied from these sources are often susceptible to spreading diseases to your aquarium environment. It is best to purchase livestock from reputable fish and aquarium stores or vendors. Remember, at Melbourne Tropical Fish, we carry a wide selection of both freshwater and saltwater fish and guarantee that all of our livestock in healthy!


Inadequate Circulation

Insufficient circulation is common mistake aquarium owners make, especially if they are dealing with a new saltwater aquarium. Proper water movement is vital in ensuring there is a sufficient supply of dissolved oxygen in the tank as well as enough nutrients delivered to the fish and invertebrates that inhabit the space. Additionally, adequate circulation will help prevent algae from building up and will promote gas exchanges and physical and mental activity for the aquarium inhabitants.


Improper Water Source

Starting a saltwater aquarium takes more than just adding tap water to a tank and mixing salt in it to create a desired aquarium environment. For saltwater aquariums, it is best to use purified water to purchase a quality water supply from an aquarium supply store.



There are a variety of fish diseases that require different treatments, especially when it comes to saltwater fish. However, it can often be difficult to differentiate these diseases, making it easy to provide your fish with the wrong medication or an excess amount of medication that can be harmful to their health. It is best to know exactly what disease your fish have before giving them medication for it.


Inadequate Aquarium Maintenance

After the over-exciting joy of owning a saltwater aquarium fades, keeping up with aquarium maintenance can begin to seem like a chore. Improper or careless aquarium maintenance will not only negatively affect the tank’s water quality and cleanliness, but the fish and invertebrates living inside as well. In order to keep your tank and fish in good health, it is essential to keep up with water testing, water changes, and other aquarium maintenance. If you don’t want to bother with the burden of aquarium upkeep, you can always hire a professional aquarium maintenance service to ensure the job gets done right.

By avoiding these common mistakes that many aquarium hobbyists make, you can ensure that your saltwater aquarium is off to a good and healthy start.


When you are interested in starting a saltwater aquarium or already have one, Melbourne Tropical Fish has the supplies, products, and services you need for a beautiful and healthy aquarium. We not only carry some of the best aquarium supplies and items from popular brands, but we also carry a variety of saltwater fish to add to your tank! Additionally, we offer professional aquarium maintenance to help ensure your saltwater fish tank stays clean and healthy. To learn more about our aquarium store in Melbourne, contact Melbourne Tropical Fish today!


Contact Us

Melbourne Tropical Fish

Factory 2/41-43 Sinclair Rd

Dandenong VIC 3175

(03) 9792 5513


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