Types of Saltwater Communities
I. Types of Saltwater Aquariums:
Reef Tank- An aquatic community of reef safe tropical fish, corals, and invertebrates (i.e. crabs, snails, shrimp, starfish, anemones, etc.).
A Saltwater reef aquarium is a mini-ecosystem gleaming with dynamic life and exquisite colors. Each organism in the reef community contributes productively to the overall well being of the reef. A myriad of different types of tropical fish, coral, and invertebrates (inverts) provide reefkeepers an opportunity for a unique and thriving ecosystem, as well as a living piece of art.
The biggest difference between a Reef tank and any other saltwater tank is the lighting. Corals need light to photosynthesize and stay healthy. Reef tanks thrive with enhanced water filtration and water conditioning (ranging from every couple days to weekly). Adding a sump below your aquarium creates a more stable tank by increasing the water volume, and provides a nice way to also keep a protein skimmer or refugium hidden under or behind your tank-system. Reef tanks can range in size from a small desk tank to a massive aquarium, whichever you desire.
FOWLR- (Fish Only With Live Rock) Keeping a tank without Corals requires less responsibility, as Corals require cleaner water quality (better filtration) and stronger lighting. There are options available to use fake corals if you still want to add some color and texture to your tank.
**Live Rock provides endless benefits to a Marine aquarium because it supplies the denitrifying bacteria that a closed system aquarium depends on to maintain life. Without live rock, when a fish poops it would poison itself.
Predator Tank- Because there’s an endless variety of tropical fish, it’s important to learn the characteristics of each before building your reef community. While many fish that can be kept in a FOWLR tank can coexist with Coral and other fish, there are others (such as many Angelfish) that will eat Coral or fight with other fish to death. A predator tank, when planned properly, can consist of larger fish that live with other large fish (such as Grouper, Lionfish, Eels, and most Triggerfish) that would otherwise eat smaller fish