Cold Water Aquariums vs. Warm Water Aquariums

Cold and warm water aquariums are not one better than the other, they are just different systems and in any case, we must commit ourselves to provide the appropriate conditions and care in order to preserve the life of fish and crustaceans that live there in optimal conditions.

For beginners in aquatics, one of the most important aspects to consider is the type of aquarium to be installed, as the requirements between models may vary according to environmental conditions, the environment where you want to locate and the time available for maintenance and care.

However, the main factor to consider is the type of fish to incorporate, since depending on this we must adapt the ecosystem; the idea is to recreate as best as possible its natural environment. In this sense, the water in the aquarium plays a fundamental role in the adaptation of the species. Although many specimens survive the change in water, other very specialized specimens require the control of parameters, such as the pH (acidity) of the water and the DH (hardness).

Aquariums are classified according to the type of water they contain. For this reason, there are cold fresh water and salt water aquariums; within the latter you will find warm salt water aquariums and tropical salt water aquariums. The tropical water aquariums are one of the best, thanks to the spectacular replicas of the sea floor.

Cold water aquarium

These aquariums are characterized by keeping the water temperature low, around 18ºC; however, if it is lower, the fish are forced to reduce their activity and lower their metabolism in order not to lose heat. They also need a good filtering system that allows them to preserve the properties of the water and thus ensure both the survival of the animals and optimal oxygenation.

Since their assembly and maintenance is less complex than other aquariums, they are an excellent choice for beginners in aquatics. Cold water retains more oxygen and therefore it is advisable to introduce natural aquatic plants, with a suitable substrate so that they can carry out their photosynthetic process and thus contribute to oxygenating the ecosystem. Among the plant species, Vallisneria is one of the most suitable for this type of aquarium because of its tolerance to low temperatures.

However, a clear disadvantage that can occur in these fish tanks is that in regions where summer usually increases the water temperature, the fish could suffocate. For this reason, it is convenient that we install a bubble column or aerator, in order to increase the movement of the water surface and to extend the availability of oxygen.

Learn about the species you can include

There is a diversity of fish that can be housed within this type of ecosystem, among them the koi carp (Cyprinus carpio) and the varieties of Carassius auratus, as they are very striking for their variety of colors: red, blue, white or black oranges. In turn, there are subspecies with distinctive morphological characteristics, such as the telescopic fish or the lion’s head.

Warm salt water aquarium

These ponds are home to a great biodiversity of species, from fish, invertebrates, to hermit crabs and even marine plants of different types. However, they are aquariums that require careful control of both physical and chemical parameters. Controlling salinity, pH, temperature, phosphate and nitrite concentrations is very costly. Also, given the complexity of maintenance and care of some species, it is important to acquire accessories and special systems in stores with qualified personnel for proper advice.

The tropical saltwater aquarium is an attraction from the decorative point of view, because it houses a great variety of corals, fish, gorgonians and crustaceans of unparalleled color and beauty. In addition, they provide people who love seascapes with pleasant sensations and health benefits.

The warm saltwater marine aquarium is recommended because it does not strictly require a high performance filter, calcium reactors, or fluid beds, as it does not contain corals or sponges; in addition, the species for this environment are more robust and resistant. Among the fish that are best adapted to this type are damsels, butterflies or clowns.

Warm freshwater aquarium

There are also warm and fresh water aquariums, which are easier to maintain. They are aquariums that stand out for their wealth of ornament and are characteristic of different spaces, given their beauty and attractiveness to the general public. They are distinguished by the fact that they are equipped with a heating system that allows the cold water to be tempered and maintained at an optimum temperature between 22º and 27ºC.

Among the most important advantages of warm fresh water aquariums are the simplicity of assembly and the ease of maintenance in relation to warm seawater aquariums. For this reason, no previous experience is necessary and, in addition, they allow the introduction of a great variety of fishes of shapes and colors.

Although they may harbour many species, care must be taken when introducing them into the ecosystem. In this sense, we must look for specimens that are compatible with the purpose of avoiding confrontations, given the territorial and aggressive nature that some of these aquatic animals show.

On the other hand, integrating natural aquatic plants will always be the best alternative, since in addition to decorating, they provide an ideal marine environment. They also contribute to the biological cycle of the aquarium and serve as food and protection for many species.

Greater variety of species

The shops that sell this type of fauna can offer a wide selection of species, from the most resistant ones that can tolerate variations in pH levels and temperature, to the most delicate ones with more specific requirements and care.

Among the most common warm water fish, we find Guppys, Mollys, Platys, Zebra, Arlequin, Blue Guramy and Betta, among many others of great color and dynamism.




Mehul D

I’m Dedhia. I’m a computer science engineer from India who lives in Boston, MA. I love dogs and cats, traveling, watching movies and listening to music. I believe it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well and exercising regularly. I founded the website which provides pet owners with information about buying the best products for dogs and cats.