Saltwater Aquarium Resources Page
Setting up and maintaining a healthy saltwater aquarium is challenging and rewarding. Success in this hobby is 25% education, 25% effort and 50% patience and persistence. The good news is that you have access to more saltwater aquarium resources today than hobbyists did 5 years ago. Sorting through the maze of products and techniques can be a challenge. This aquarium resources guide is intended to help organize some of that information and provide you with a few good starting places to get more information. If you have an aquarium resource that you think should be added, please use the comments field below to let me know. I probably won’t leave the link there but will review the site and include it in the main body of the page if it will be helpful to the readers here.
Reef Aquarium Club Directory
Other reef hobbyists are probably the best saltwater aquarium resources you could connect with. A great place to learn about the hobby and link up with people who share the same passions as you is to join a local reef aquarium club.
Check out this page to see if there is a reef aquarium club in your area.
Another great aquarium club resource is MASNA.
MASNA is the organization that most saltwater aquarium clubs belong to. Their goal is to educate members, assist them with the tasks of managing and growing their clubs and encourage responsible reefkeeping.
MASNA also has a great aquarium resource on their site. It’s a club directory of member clubs. See if there is a saltwater aquarium club near you—or find out how to start one of your own. You can find that aquarium resource here.
Free and paid online saltwater aquarium magazines
A little while back, I wrote a post to highlight the Top 5 FREE online saltwater aquarium magazines. You can find that list here. It is one of the most popular pages I have written (based on page views), so I have included a link to it here, along with the other aquarium resources.
If you are interested in a paid magazine, Coral Magazine is currently the best around
Aquarium water parameter resource guide
Another great saltwater aquarium resource is this article about the 9 most important saltwater aquarium water parameters. It is a short read that is packed with all the information you need to know.
Dealing with aquarium pests
Here are a few saltwater aquarium resources online to find help dealing with aquarium pests:
Blogs and other helpful web-related aquarium resources
Of course, I have no monopoly on helpful saltwater aquarium advice, witty stories, equipment reviews and topics of general interest in the hobby. If you want to immerse yourself in all things fishy or saltwater aquarium hobby related, check out the following websites which have their own aquarium resources and other advice:
Fish Compatibility Chart
An art as much as it is a science–compatibility can make your reef tank a pleasant experience. Incompatibility will cause problems. There is no substitute for in-depth research in this space, to truly understand the behaviors of the fish or corals you hope to add to your tank, but a nice place to get started is with one of the fish compatibility guides that are available online.
Take the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge
If you want to take your saltwater aquarium to the next level, take the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge. Transform your tank over 31 days of actionable advice.
Get an education
Mistakes, in this hobby, can be expensive. If you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment and hundreds of dollars in livestock, you want to make sure to take the time to read and learn so you can avoid making costly mistakes.
One of the best resources I can recommend is to take the Saltwater Aquarium 101 course. Broken up into 24 lectures, you can study when it is convenient for you and go at your own pace.
Buying saltwater fish or livestock online
Here are a few well-known online retailers to consider:
Saltwater Aquarium Resources: The Best Books
My favorite saltwater aquarium resources are the books I have read on the subject. There is no shortage of helpful and authoritative books about the saltwater aquarium hobby. Any aquarist worth his or her salt (pun intended) probably has a bookshelf full of them. If you are new to the hobby, here is a list of books you may want to consider. If you are an old salty, perhaps there is a book here that would help you expand your collection. In addition to the books I have written on the subject, the other books in this list are aquarium resources that I have found to be informative or inspiring.
Disclosure: the images and links below are affiliate links that will direct you to Amazon.com’s website, where you can check out book descriptions and reviews. If, after exploring their site you wish to purchase the book from them, they will pay me a small commission for the purchase at no additional cost to you. I just wanted you to be aware of the affiliate relationship before proceeding.
For starters, I recommend a few books in the Reef Aquarium Book Series:
- The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide: How to Care For And Keep Marine Fish and Corals by Albert B. Ulrich III (a handsome and charismatic individual with an awesome blog). A great aquarium resource for anyone who wants to know what it takes to have a successful saltwater aquarium.
- Reef Journal is the DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO PLAN, MONITOR AND TRACK THE PROGRESS OF YOUR REEF TANK. A helpful, step-by-step guide to setting up a successful reef aquarium. Reef Journal takes you through planning exercises, helps you document your progress and chronicle your success.
- How to Frag Corals: A Simple Guide to Coral Propagation and Coral Fragging for the Marine Reef Aquarium Hobbyist by Albert B. Ulrich III (did I mention the author is charming and funny?) is a great aquarium resource to learn the intricacies of coral propagation with a step-by-step, easy-to-follow roadmap.
- 107 Tips for the Marine Reef Aquarium by Albert B. Ulrich III. With 107 tips here, you are bound to learn a few things. Available in print and for digital download, learn from my best tips, without the boring mumbo jumbo.
- Aquarium Corals : Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History by Eric H. Borneman, Scott W. Michael, and Janine Cairns-Michael. This is actually my preferred aquarium resource for learning about the husbandry and selection of corals. I find this book to be a bit easier to read and learn from than the Reef Aquarium volumes listed below and I recommend this book to anyone interested in keeping corals.
- The Reef Aquarium: (Volume 1) by Julian Sprung and Charles Delbeek. This is the first of the big 3 authoritative texts on the subject. They are dense and read more like academic books than hobby books, but they certainly are comprehensive and authoritative aquarium resources.
- The Reef Aquarium: (Vol. 2) by Julian Sprung and Charles Delbeek
- The Reef Aquarium: (Vol. 3) by Julian Sprung and Charles Delbeek
- A Pocket Expert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes: 500+ Essential-to-Know Species by Scott Michael. This is the definitive aquarium resource for a fast fact-finding session when you are scoping out your next purchase.
- The New Marine Aquarium: Step-By-Step Setup & Stocking Guide by Michael S. Paletta. This is a nice, fast read and provides a great background for a new aquarium set up.
- The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner, Matthew L. Wittenrich, and Scott W. Michael
- Marine Aquarium Handbook: Beginner to Breeder by Martin Moe
- Reef Invertebrates: An Essential Guide to Selection, Care, and Compatibility by Anthony Calfo and Robert Fenner
- The Complete Illustrated Breeder’s Guide to Marine Aquarium Fishes by Matthew L. Wittenrich
- Book of Coral Propagation, Volume 1 Version 1.0: Reef Gardening for Aquarists by Anthony Calfo
Online Equipment Guide
The majority of the equipment you will need for a saltwater aquarium will fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Water purification
- Water movement
- Water testing
- Water temperature adjustment
- Nutrient dosing
- Reef Aquarium Lighting
For more in-depth information about saltwater aquarium equipment, check out the Equipment Guide, which is one of the aquarium resources I developed specifically to dive into more detail about the equipment you need.
Saltwater fish compatibility
One of the more challenging aspects of the hobby is selecting the appropriate mix of livestock so that you have a thriving mini-reef. One of my favorite aquarium resources is a marine fish compatibility chart. It takes a moment to orient yourself to it and get your bearings, but after you understand how to read it, I think you will end up referring to this aquarium resource often.
Discussion forums: A great way to learn from other hobbyists
One of the best saltwater aquarium resources we have at our disposal is the collective insight of people in the hobby. So the best aquarium resources are the people around you. A great to meet people who share your interests in the hobby is by registering for an account and engaging in an online discussion forum. There are a number of discussion forums, and more are popping up all the time. You can generally browse the content of the forums without diving right into the conversation as a visitor without even registering. I recommend you scout out a few of the forums and find one that is the right speed and mix of people for you. Every forum has trolls (grumpy people who use the forums as a way to be a jerk and bully others), but don’t let the bad guys keep you away from chatting with the good guys.
Other saltwater aquarium resources
Here are a few more online saltwater aquarium resources you could check out for more information.