Why are marine tanks generally more expensive to set up than freshwater ones?
Blame the fish. Most freshwater species inhabit changing environments where they’ve evolved a need to adapt to changing conditions. This makes them far more forgiving than marine creatures and to ensure they thrive, more hardware is required.
Although it couldn’t be any more ‘low tech’, Live Rock is a key ingredient in most set-ups and provides both filtration and decor. As this is sourced from marine environments it has to be air-freighted from its point of origin and this adds to the cost appreciably. Since the high-tech heydays of the eighties, marine aquarium keeping has become simpler but there’s still a range of expensive gadgets to make life easier.
Going back a little further, it was common practice to bleach dead coral and rock decor in order to combat the unsightly algae that inevitably took over. This is also a feature of aquaria where savings are made in the wrong areas and the system lacks the stability that comes with plenty of live rock.
As marine fish are generally considered the aristocracy of the aquarium hobby, it’s only fitting that their accommodation is suitably posh!