For beginner hobbyists, saltwater aquariums may seem a bit daunting. There are so many things to think about, and it is a big commitment! When having a tank, you must make sure that everything is healthy, clean, and happy. But does this mean we have to constantly be giving the aquarium attention? 

Fortunately, we are here to give you tips on how to keep your saltwater aquarium low maintenance so you can enjoy your marine life without it being a strain on your time and money! 

Correct Tank Size

Firstly, you have got to make sure that your tank is the correct size for the wildlife you are wanting to maintain. When your tank is too small it cannot fully create a healthy and sustainable ecosystem as it is producing more gasses than the tank can filter out. This leads to excess algae, which is a constant irritation for aquarium hobbyists!

Furthermore, adding too many fish to a small tank can overload the ecosystem and cause your marine life to die.

When you are wanting a low maintenance tank, you must think about the size of the aquarium and how many fish you want. Make sure the balance is correct! 

Clean-Up Crew

A clean up crew is a necessity for every saltwater aquarium. There are so many fish and crustaceans that not only look cool, but clean your tank for you too! This means less work for you, and more awesome creatures to have!

In adding a clean up crew to your saltwater aquarium, you are creating your own little ecosystem and replicating what happens in the wild. This means that you are making a calm and safe space for marine life, providing them with everything they need. 

There are so many different options for your clean up crew and it depends on your tank size, the inhabitants, and its needs. 

Certain crabs, such as the beautiful emerald crab, are great for keeping the algae levels in your aquarium low. They also are known to eat any debris that might be floating in the tank. 

Snails are also a great choice for your clean up crew. They are amazing creatures and most are very easy to look after. The wonderful nassarius vibex snail likes to spend its days sifting through the sand and eating any debris possible. 

Certain shrimps and slugs are also great at doing all the cleaning of your tank, so you don’t have to! 

Check out our clean up crew bundle that has everything you need to make your saltwater aquarium low maintenance! 

Compatible Marine Life

In having some shoaling fish, some bottom-dwelling fish, and some types that hide in the rockery, you are giving each species their own space and therefore letting them exist in harmony with each other. 

In order to create a low maintenance aquarium, you need to really think about the creatures that you are going to put in the tank. You are wanting to make your aquarium as close to nature as possible, so make sure that the marine life you are putting into your tank are compatible with each other. 

You are wanting a mix of fish and crustaceans in your tank that rely on the different areas. For example, don’t put loads of bottom-dwelling fish into the one aquarium. Doing this will stress the fish out and cause illness and disease. 

Check out our great guide to saltwater aquarium fish for beginners to get ideas for your tank! 

Soft Corals 

If you are wanting to have corals in your saltwater aquarium, soft corals are better in order to keep your tank low maintenance. 

Corals without skeletons are much easier to look after than hard corals. This is because corals with skeletons need more nutrients and elements as they grow, and they will die easily if they don’t get what they need. 

However, there are so many great soft corals that look incredible and need very little attention. We have a beautiful range of soft corals available, so go ahead and pick your favorites to buy! 

Sand Sifters 

Creatures that look after the substrate in your aquarium are as important as the clean up crew! An unhealthy substrate means an unhealthy tank. This causes more disease and more debris, creating more work for you! 

Sand sifters, such as goby fish or certain types of snails, will spend their days burrowing in the sand or moving the sand about. They normally are doing this to find things to eat, or building shelters for themselves. 

The movement of the sand is really important in creating a healthy saltwater aquarium as it aerates the substrate and releases gasses. It means that you don’t need to siphon the sand yourself. 

Protein Skimmer 

A protein skimmer is a must when you are wanting to keep your saltwater aquarium low maintenance. 

Protein skimmers produce air bubbles that strip the water of unwanted protein and organic waste. They do this by attracting the molecules and then letting them gather in the skimmer. Because of this, the skimmer will need to be checked every day in case it overflows. 

Without a skimmer, you will get an oily film on the top of your tank from waste. Not having a skimmer also means that the protein and organic waste will break down in your aquarium and release nitrates, which can be harmful to your saltwater aquarium. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are a beginner to the saltwater aquarium hobby, don’t get overwhelmed about the different things that you need to do in order to keep your tank healthy. In fact, so many of the jobs you think you might need to do can actually be done by marine life!

The goal of having a saltwater aquarium is to create a natural ecosystem for your wonderful creatures, and this means as you develop your aquarium you will actually be doing less and less work. With these top tips you can work towards a self-sustaining aquarium that keeps both you and your marine life super happy!