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 a paid magazine, Coral Magazine is currently the best around
Aquarium water parameter resource guide
Another great 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
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:
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 live stock, you wan 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 to you and go at your own pace.
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 Historyby 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
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 aquarium resources
Reef and Aquarium Charities
As saltwater aquarium and coral reef hobbyists, we are intricately linked to the ocean’s natural coral reefs. We have to protect those reefs and promote sustainable harvesting to invest in our hobby’s future.
While performing a web search for some non-profit charitable foundations dedicated to rebuilding our reefs and supporting sustainable, appropriate harvesting, I was challenged to dig up a reasonable list of charities.
So I decided to start my own list of coral reef and aquarium charities.
I encourage you to evaluate the charities listed based on the merit of your own investigations by going to their websites—don’t take my word for it—I’m not an expert in evaluating charities. You’ll note that I left some of the larger environmental charities affiliated with reef/rainforest protection out. I left them out because I’m not sure if their initiatives are supportive of our hobby or not. While reef-preserving, their intended projects may be intended to restrict aquarium trade. I’m just not sure.
Below is a list of charities using their aquarium resources to help the oceans and reefs we love so much.
Here is a list of coral reef and aquarium charities:
MARINE AQUARIUM COUNCIL www.aquariumcouncil.org
The Mission of the Marine Aquarium Council is to conserve marine ecosystems through the promotion of a responsible aquarium trade
CORAL REEF ALLIANCE www.coral.org
Originally founded in 1994, Coral Reef Alliance has grown from a small, grassroots alliance into the only international nonprofit organization that works exclusively to unite communities to protect our planet’s coral reefs.
CORAL RESTORATION FOUNDATION www.coralrestoration.org
The Coral Restoration Foundation Inc (CRF) is a 501 c (3) non-profit conservation organization created to develop off-shore coral nurseries and reef restoration programs for critically endangered coral reefs at local, national, and international levels.
DELAWARE VALLEY REEF CLUB www.delvalreefclub.org
The DVRC is a non-profit educational society dedicated to the conservation of our ocean reefs. Through an open exchange of ideas and information they encourage propagation reducing the demand for wild caught specimens.
Disclosure: I have been a Delaware Valley Reef Club Member in the past
NEW JERSEY REEFERS CLUB www.njreefers.org
New Jersey Reefers Club is a non-profit educational society dedicated to the conservation of ocean reefs. The purpose of the New Jersey Reefers Club is:
• To promote interest in and enjoyment of all aspects of marine aquariums and reef keeping
• To educate our members and the public on topics related to the biology, physiology, and chemistry of reef biotopes through the sponsorship of meetings, lectures, publications, websites, exhibits and other means.
I hope you found this list of saltwater aquarium resources helpful. Please share this page on Facebook or Twitter to help others find it, too.
OCEAN STATE REEF AQUARIUM SOCIETYwww.OSRAS.org
A non-profit organization commited to promoting conservation and awareness in the saltwater hobby. The Ocean State Reef Aquarium Society (OSRAS) promotes fellowship and support among saltwater aquarists of all experience levels.