Saltwater Aquarium Blog

10 Most Purchased Saltwater Aquarium Products–SaltwaterAquariumBlog

Are you interested in knowing what the most popular saltwater aquarium products were this year? Let’s take a look.

Most popular saltwater aquarium products in 2019

It’s that time of year, when we take some time off from work, spend a little more time with friends and family, and look back on the year. It’s also a time when we scope out the latest saltwater aquarium products to find out what to add to our gear to make the next year even more successful.

This article takes a look back at the most popular saltwater aquarium products among Saltwater Aquarium Blog readers.

#10. San Francisco Bay Brand Brine Shrimp Hatchery Kit

The #10 most purchased saltwater aquarium product is the San Francisco Bay brine shrimp hatchery kit. This is a good sign, it means your saltwater tanks are full of happily fed creatures.

Brine shrimp hatchery kit

Baby brine shrimp are a calorie-packed live food that is irresistible to smaller marine aquarium inhabitants. Adding a puff of them to your tank is like simulating a zooplankton bloom and can kick off a feeding frenzy.

This is a simple and useful product that allows you to turn a 2-liter soda (pop, coke) bottle into a brine shrimp baby factory so that you’ll never run out of live food for your tank again.

You can learn all about brine shrimp here.

#9. Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry and Natural History

The 9th most popular aquarium product in 2019 was Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry and Natural History, by Eric Borneman. This is one of the must-have texts in the hobby, if you want to keep aquarium corals.

The spine on my copy is soft and breaking down. I still use it, to this day and can’t recommend it any more strongly:

Check out the price on Amazon

#8. Polyp Labs Reef Roids

Some corals may look a bit like plants–and since they can harness light and turn it into energy (with the partnership of commensal algae called zooxanthellae), but corals are most certainly not plants–they are animals–and animals like to eat. Reef Roids, from Polyp Labs, is a very popular and super-convenient coral food supplement.

Get your own Reef Roids

What are Reef Roids? They are a blend of naturally occurring planktons formulated especially for filter-feeding soft corals

#7. API Saltwater Master Test Kit

The # 7 on the most popular saltwater aquarium products list is the Saltwater Master Test Kit, from API. This kit has all you need to do 4 important tests to make sure you understand and monitor the quality of the water in your aquarium:

API Saltwater Master test kit

This kit is essential for when you first start your tank and when you set up your display and quarantine tanks because it has the tests you need to determine when your tank has fully cycled. It is largely complementary to another popular item, the Reef Master Test Kit.

You can also keep track of your results in a Reef Journal.

#6. Julian’s Thing

Now we’re getting interesting. You all aren’t all business, you’re getting some cool/fun gadgets. Julian’s Thing is a neat little tool that helps you with target feeding your corals.

Julian’s Thing

Time to add one to my wishlist (and upgrade from my cheap (and insufficiently long) turkey baster. I’ve been reaching my hand in the aquarium all of these years. This gizmo is the slightly more expensive model than the Sea Squirt. I like the syringe top that allows you to suck up and dispense the food a little more precisely than the bulb-end of the sea squirt.

#5. Fitz PRO – F/2 Algae Food PTA

The fourth most popular product purchased this year was Fitz PRO – F/2 Algae Food, which is an essential product if you want to grow your own phytoplankton at home, to serve as either a food for your tank or if you plan to breed saltwater fish, since this is the food you will feed the rotifers and copepods that will ultimately feed your baby fishes.

A few drops of this added to your growing medium and the phyto will take off. This product seems to go hand-in-hand with item # 3 on the list. It’s the food that your coral food needs :).

#4. The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide

If you could see me now, you’d know that I’m grinning, from ear-to-ear. Beaming even. Thank you for making The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide the 4th on the list of most purchased saltwater aquarium products.

The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide

If you’re not familiar with this book–it’s my flagship book. It’s been a #1 Bestseller in multiple aquaria or fish-related categories on Amazon. It is the first of several books in the Reef Aquarium Series that I authored, but it is by far the bestselling.

#3. Live Marine Phytoplankton

Live marine phytoplankton are some of the most important food items on a natural reef, essentially serving as the base of the food web. Many corals and invertebrates depend on phytoplankton for their nutrition–so it is an extremely popular nutritional supplement.

Live marine phytoplankton

Growing your own marine phytoplankton at home are also important if you plan to breed saltwater fish since this important food product is fed to the rotifers and copepods that will ultimately provide the nutrition your baby fish will need.

To learn about growing our own phytoplankton at home, check out this article.

#2. Reef Crystals Sea Salt

Coming in as the #2 most commonly purchased item is Reef Crystals Sea Salt. One of the most popular articles on Saltwater Aquarium Blog is a review article that compares the various salt mix brands across a few key attributes. You can learn more about that, here.

Reef Crystals

The #1, Most Purchased Saltwater Aquarium Products

Instant Ocean Sea Salt

Perhaps not surprisingly, the top ranking, #1 item on the list of Most-Purchased Saltwater Aquarium Products in 2019 was Instant Ocean brand Sea Salt. This has been the # 1 aquarium product for 3 years in a row.

Instant Ocean Sea SaltWe all need salt for our aquariums and Instant Ocean is probably the most popular brand, in the world. It’s a great, high-quality salt and a good value for the money. It’s also the brand I personally use.

I appreciate YOU

Thank you, loyal reader, for reading and thank you, loyal supporters, for buying the stuff you need in a way that supports this blog.


This list has a combination of some fun things…and some very practical things. In hindsight, it seems fairly straightforward that salt mixes, foods, and test kits top the charts. Those are routine consumables. I’m a bit surprised that no dosing supplements cracked the top 10. I would have expected calcium supplements (kalkwasser or two-part) might have made it.

About this article

One of the ways I am able to pay for the expenses associated with is from commissions paid to me through the Amazon Affiliates program. This is how it all works: supports websites like this one by paying a small commission (at no additional cost to the purchaser…they’ve been doing this since the early days of the internet) when websites link to products…and people buy those products, as a result of the referral.

So the way it works is that many of the most loyal supporters of this site click through those affiliate links to Amazon when they buy their gear because they know they’ll get the best price from Amazon and they know it supports the site.

Others might start their research on this site, click over to get more information, and then make the purchase once they read the reviews and more detailed specs.

There is obviously no personal data shared, just de-identified information about the products purchased. The reason I find this information so interesting is that these are (not necessarily) my recommendations. They are actual products purchased by actual SaltwaterAquariumBlog readers, like you. Which means, they’re really YOUR recommendations.

I’m always looking for new ideas about great products to purchase–and I know many of you are, as well. These articles are a way for me to share back to the community about what you all are doing and what products you value because you voted with your wallets.

Your thoughts

What are your thoughts about this list? Is there a product you expected to see but didn’t? What type of products do you want to see on the next list?

Ten most popular saltwater aquarium products for a reef tank


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