Are saltwater tanks that much harder to keep the freshwater?

The answer is YES! and NO!  A fish only with live rock (FOWLR) tank isn't that much more difficult than keeping an intermediate freshwater system. You have your daily, weekly and monthly routines that you will need to stick to to maintain a happy and healthy fresh or marine system. With saltwater you have the added task of measuring and mixing fresh saltwater for water changes. The biggest difference is that saltwater is much less forgiving if you don't stick to your maintenance routines. If you take the plunge into a full reef with live coral, then the learning curve will go up drastically. Water quality is more important and water chemistry comes into play with managing proper PH, alkalinity, magnesium and other important levels for your tank along with proper lighting. The good news is that there are so many options for filtration and lighting that anyone with the right commitment can grow into an experienced reef keeper!

What's with the name?

We get asked a lot about our store name, Ocean Rift Aquatics. 

"In geology, a rift is a linear zone where the Earth's crust and lithosphere are being pulled apart and is an example of extensional tectonics." (thank you Wikipedia!)

But to  be honest our name has nothing to do with the geology of the ocean floor!  As hobbyists over the last 30 years our two passions have been salt water reef tanks and African Cichlids.  Since the OCEAN provides the saltwater in our passion and the RIFT valley lakes in central Africa provide the freshwater, we decided Ocean Rift Aquatics would represent where we've come from and what we feature the best!