Clownfish swimming

When it comes to cycling your aquarium, you must be extra careful to ensure the success of your saltwater aquarium. During the cycling process, you start with a brand new aquarium with no beneficial bacteria. Therefore, you have to ensure doses of beneficial bacteria in the fish tank. To start, place the live sand in your aquarium. The live sand provides a source of natural filtration for your aquarium. After placing the sand, place a ton of live rock in your aquarium! The live rock also acts as a source of filtering to ensure your saltwater aquarium is healthy. Please note that natural filters do a fantastic job! However, purchase an actual filter to make sure your aquarium will be sustainable. 

Why Have Fish Help With Cycling the Tank?

During the cycling process for an aquarium, it takes some time to ensure the aquarium has correct parameters. During the beginning stages, any sudden additions can cause the parameters of the water to bounce. The bouncing of parameters ruins the cycling process for an aquarium. Most of the time, people have to start over once the changes occur. However, before adding a ton of new fish to your aquarium, you should slowly introduce hardy fish. Regarding the quantity of fish, make sure to only add one at first. After adding one fish and waiting a week or two, slowly introduce another fish! However, measure the water parameters often with precision will ensure the aquarium is correct. Just like maintaining a car, having a saltwater aquarium requires work. If you do not have time to properly maintain an aquarium, look into having your local fish store maintain the fish tank!

When you slowly add fish to an aquarium, it prevents your saltwater fish tank from exploding the water parameters. Adding hardy fish will be the first test to see if your aquarium can handle fish after the cycling process! Not only will adding fish test the aquarium, but the fish will also promote beneficial waste! The waste in the aquarium helps the cycling process! However, keep in mind that fish waste must be done in moderation. Also, adding a proper clean up crew will help reduce the waste taking over the aquarium! We recommend adding a few dozen hermit crabs, with the addition of a starfish to clean up a ton of the waste in the sand! Check out our other saltwater articles for more information on the fish!

What are the Best Saltwater Fish for Cycling a Tank?

In this section, we will be listing the best fish that helps with the cycling of your saltwater aquarium. Be patient with the results and always take measurements of the water parameters. You do not want to slack in this area! If you do not take measurements, you will be flying blind in a thunderstorm. Take the extra step, and ensure your fish will not die.

Yellowtail Damselfish

The Yellowtail Damselfish is the first fish that comes to mind when cycling a tank. In general, they are one of the hardiest fish that you can house in an aquarium. Start by placing 1-2 Damsels in an aquarium. Make sure to observe their behavior every day and check if they are eating properly. Only feed the fish a couple of flakes or brine shrimp to ensure there is no excessive waste. These fish can be housed with multiple inverts in the home aquarium. However, please note that they can be relatively aggressive. Avoid putting smaller community fish in the aquarium with them! After having the Damsels in the aquarium for about two weeks, test the water as the deciding factor to add more fish. Follow these steps and perform routine water changes! These fish make some of the best options for cycling an aquarium as fast as possible!

Ocellaris Clownfish

The next best saltwater fish to add to your aquarium is the Ocellaris Clownfish! Like the Damselfish, the clownfish is one of the hardiest fish that you can add to your aquarium! The clownfish is one of the most low maintenance fish that the home aquarium industry can offer. Therefore, you do not have to pay this fish much attention because it will thrive on its own. Feed this fish a low quantity once a day at night time. After housing this fish for about two weeks in your aquarium, your tank’s cycle will improve! The clownfish can be placed in an aquarium with just about any fish or invert! However, keep them away from overly aggressive fish such as Triggerfish or Lionfish. After a while, it may be a good idea to place an anemone in the aquarium to reduce their stress! 

Pajama Cardinalfish

The Pajama cardinalfish may be one of the most unique fish that I have ever seen. The bodies resemble a pepperoni pizza at times, which leaves you hungry looking at the fish! These fish can usually be introduced as a pair when helping with the cycling process. After a while, add additional species to form a proper school for your aquarium. The fish are not picky eaters when it comes to the diet. The fish will eat either flakes or brine shrimp with garlic. After adding these fish, check the water parameters every day! The fish usually does not promote too much waste, but it is best to keep track of everything. Regarding aggression, the pajama can live with just about any community fish. Avoid putting them with super aggressive fish.

Green Chromis

Another option for a cycling saltwater aquarium is the infamous Green Chromis! These fish love to travel in packs, so it is best to put 2-3 of them in the aquarium when cycling. The formed packs between the saltwater fish will overall reduce stress. The reduced stress increases the chances of them surviving the cycling process. The saltwater Chromis is generally hardy as a whole. However, many die at the local fish store when they are shipped to the store. If the Green Chromis survives the first week, they usually stay alive for a long time. There is a common theme of one or two dying in a pack of four or five. Do not be alarmed if this occurs. Test the water in your saltwater aquarium and make sure the cycling process is still on par!

How do I Choose the Right Fish?

As mentioned above, choosing the right fish to assist with the cycling process is challenging. The most crucial factor to keep in mind is the aggression levels. Community fish can not be housed with aggressive fish because they will be killed. The aggressive fish will chase after the community fish and harm them. However, if you choose multiple community fish, everyone will be happy! Also, keep in mind the size of your aquarium. The saltwater fish listed above can be placed in smaller aquariums. However, if you choose other fish, do your research. Visit your local fish store and ask them a bunch of questions. The fish store employees will not mind if the store is decent. You also have the option to go online and ask in forums to find answers. However, be cautious that hobbyists do not have all the answers.

In Conclusion

To finalize the overall article, do your research at all times. We provided a great list of fish to assist with cycling your saltwater aquarium! If you are confused or worried about a factor, do not be afraid to ask for help. The only way to avoid mistakes is by asking other aquarium hobbyists who made the same mistakes. Taking your time during the cycling process of your saltwater aquarium will save you thousands of dollars! Many saltwater fish cost hundreds of dollars, so it is crucial not to waste money. We hope you enjoyed the read! Message us with any questions or suggestions for the health and quality of your fish tank!

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