It really isn't that difficult to find an appropriate gift for an aquarist. There are always basic supplies that need to be replenished, such as test kit refills and air stones. Pieces of equipment wear out and require replacing over time. For this reason many aquarists option to keep back-up equipment on hand, such as a spare heater, thermometer, or salinity tester. Before you start buying gifts, consider these basic items suggested for the saltwater aquarist on your shopping list.
This is a "can't go wrong here" gift. Every saltwater aquarium owner experiences algae build up on their tank glass. Scraping the algae off the tank is part of a normal maintenance routine. Everyone appreciates a new algae scraper that lets them easily remove the algae without even getting their hands wet.
Almost every aquarist has a heater in their tank. Unfortunately, they always seem to burn out at the worst possible time, such as on a holiday weekend when the LFS is closed. Most knowledgable aquarists "try" to keep a back-up heater on hand, but they just never get around to buying one, when there are so many other things that they would like to add to their tanks.
Saltwater Aquarium Books
Books are an invaluable resource to aquarists. Whether it pertains to setting up and keeping an aquarium, selecting and caring for fishes, corals and other invertebrates, books are one of a saltwater hobbyists most treasured possessions. A good aquarium book, especially one with colorful pictures, will quite often end up as a coffee table book and never quite make it to the book case.
Salinity Testers - Hydrometers
Arguably, the most frequently used saltwater aquarium tool used is a hydrometer
. Unfortunately, many hydrometers are made of glass and frequently break, causing a miniature disaster if the contents spill into the tank. The Seatest Hydrometers are constructed of durable plastic, reasonably accurate, last forever and are always a bargain.
Anyone with a piece of aquarium equipment that uses airstones, such as an air driven protein skimmer, will consider a few diffusers a gift from heaven. They can never have enough if them because no matter how well they are maintained, they are not made to last and will be discarded before long. Not exactly the most romantic of gifts, but it's a present that will inevitably be used and appreciated.
It is rather ironic that one of the least expensive pieces of saltwater aquarium equipment, a thermometer, can save you the most money in the long run. Since tropical saltwater critters are extremely temperature sensitive, knowing tank temperature is very important. Aquarium thermometers come in many styles, the newest of which are the "Remote Sensor Digital Temperature/Time/Alarm" models.
Saltwater & Reef Aquarium Test Kits and/or Refills
It seems that most aquarists run out of test kit refills when they need them the most. Snoop around or just ask to see what brand of test kit(s) he or she is using, then buy them some refill reagents or solutions.
1 to 50 Gallon Sized Aquariums
Whether you are a beginner looking for your first tank, or an experienced aquarist contemplating a micro-reef, one of these tanks between 1 and 50 gallons might work for you. With the variety of small tank PC and MH retrofit kits available today, these tanks are a good starting point for just about anyone.