Friday, November 8, 2019

How to setup a Saltwater aquarium

Saltwater aquarium

Saltwater aquarium

STEP 1: The basic hardware of the saltwater aquarium tank and stand.

If your budget allows, the local fish store (LFS) carries large a selection of tanks and stands. If like many of us you are on a tight budget, you can start browsing Craigslist for used items. With a little elbow grease, you can lower your budget considerably. It is strongly suggested that you choose the largest tank possible for your first tank as smaller tanks allow very little room for mistakes. Click here to learn how easy it is to

STEP 2: Choose the location.

Choosing a location for your tank is an important step because an established aquarium is very difficult to move. Choose a location that is not exposed to natural sunlight, avoid heavy traffic areas, do not place the tank too close to the source of heat or drafty areas.

STEP 3: Choose your lighting and filtration.

There are several lighting options but the most common beginner lighting fixtures include Power compacts (PC). You can grow a variety of corals under PC's. If you decide to advance in the hobby and graduate to SPS coral, then your lighting will have to be upgraded to T5's, Halides, or LED's.

Hang on back (HOB) filters, canister filters, and bio-balls are not recommended to reef tanks as they become nitrate factories and complete with your display tank (DT).

Protein skimmers are the ideal filtration method for saltwater aquarium tanks.

The main filter in a reef tank is your reef tank itself. Live rock (LR), refugium, Live sand (LS), and your corals all help to break down nitrates.

Which lighting is best for you?

STEP 4: Water flow and Heaters. Your corals will need water movement. The amount of water movement requirement varies for each species. Powerheads are the ideal product for producing a current inside the tank.

Since most of our decorative marine fish come from the tropics, you will need to heat the water using aquarium heaters.

STEP 5: RO/DI water, Saltwater, Sand, & Live rock. RO/DI water has become a standard in the marine hobby. Unless you live in an area that has excellent tap water, it is highly recommended that you use RO water. Making your own saltwater is easy, simply mix aquarium salt with fresh water and use a hydrometer or refractometer (recommended) to measure the salinity.

Live rock is a very interesting part of this hobby. This is the rock that has been in the ocean for ages and has become saturated with marine life. How much LR do you need? A good starting point is 1.5 pounds of rock for each gallon of water. LR gets very expensive so a good alternative is a base rock. Base rock is a rock that was once LR but may have been out of the ocean for centuries. You can use Base rock, which is much cheaper than LR, and seed it with a piece of LR and in a few months, the base rock becomes LR.

Live sand is another interesting feature of saltwater aquarium tanks. The clean white sand is the reason for mane aquatints becoming attracted to this hobby in the first place. Some reef keepers choose to have bare bottom tank (BB) to assist in keeping a cleaner tank.

STEP 6) Once you have filled your new tank with Saltwater (SW), sand, LR, and heated the water, you are ready to begin cycling the tank. Is my tank cycled?

STEP 7) After your tank is cycled, you are ready for suitable first fish, beginner corals, and a Clean-up Crew.

Marine tank

Fancy a slice of underwater nature in your home marine tank? Awed by the beautiful and lively fishes in "Finding Nemo", such as the Blue Tang and clownfish? An increasing number of hobbyists are discovering the charm and pleasure of keeping a saltwater aquarium. This allows them to understand and relate to nature in a closer way, a very real reward indeed.

Marine tank

Visualize replicating one of Earth's astounding natural environments -- the coral reef -- right in your own home. You can now set up and keep a tank complete with saltwater fishes, corals and landscaping. Aquarium fish care that uses new methods helps to make long-term maintenance easy and ensure the marine inhabitants live healthy and longer.

Keeping saltwater fishes in a home aquarium has been viewed as challenging. Specialized equipment is required, which makes such a marine tank more expensive to keep; still, having this does not guarantee these pricey marine fishes will survive.

Upkeep of the tanks can be bothersome as algae need to be cleaned off frequently, not to mention the periodic cleaning of the under gravel filter and sand. It is easy to understand why many hobbyists tend to give up after a while.

The trick for a beginner to a marine tank is to begin with a system that is designed for the long haul and is "self-adjusting". Stick to beginner fish species and simpler methods with the help of suitable equipment.

A long-term commitment is required as constant care of the aquarium is demanded, with the same level of duty of keeping a live pet such as a cat or dog. If the hobbyist is not prepared, he or she should consider keeping a freshwater aquarium instead.

Much has been learned about the biological processes of nature's reefs and newer aquarium equipment are now available to re-create such an environment. For example, the use of live rock as the main biological filter is one step in this direction, replacing more entrenched methods that use under-gravel filters.

Another is the use of vigorous water circulation, which helps to distribute both good and bad elements across the tank. Thus, over-concentration at any one area is avoided, creating an environment resembling the ocean where there are chemical uniformity and great stability.

Patience is essential to establish the beautiful marine tank that one so desires with these colorful aquatic creatures. It will probably take half a year to stabilize a new tank and another half for it to be ready for the long haul.

Rushing will not help here as overnight results are hardly attainable by a beginner, even with the expense. The sight of these beautiful saltwater fishes can be the main motivation to keep the hobbyist on track as the home aquarium evolves and takes shape with time and experience.

The success of setting up a healthy and vibrant home marine tank can be very rewarding and exciting. For anyone willing to commit time, energy, money and some creativity, this hobby can provide relief from stress and satisfaction from a tank well kept.

For a lot of hobbyists, keeping a marine aquarium often becomes a life-long passion. Without a doubt, a beautiful saltwater tank is a sight to behold, with all those brightly colored fishes darting around in their beautiful reef environment.

And who knows, keeping a marine tank might even motivate hobbyists to go even closer to nature by taking up snorkeling or diving. Perhaps nothing beats seeing marine fishes in their natural environment and touching the reef corals.

Coral reef

Having your own coral reef is a dream shared by many aquarists. For a long time, it used to be very difficult to grow and maintain coral reefs in aquariums because of the lack of knowledge about them and their needs to survive in a saltwater aquarium.

A coral reef system is complex and requires the right components and proper maintenance. The good thing is that even though some corals are still very difficult to grow and maintain, a wide range of corals are now easy to grow even for beginners.

Coral reef

If you're a beginner or average aquarist when picking corals for your saltwater aquarium, you might want to go with soft corals because they are easier to take care of.

Below are 6 different types of soft corals:

Cladiella Corals: Cauliflower, Finger Leather and Colt Coral. They adapt very well and do best with moderate lightening and water movement.

Palythoa Corals: Button Polyps and Sea Mat. Can grow very fast under bright lightening (might overgrow your other corals). Prefer rapid water movement. Warning: Handle them with gloves to protect yourself from their toxin (the palytoxin).

Sarcophyton Corals: Leather, Mushroom Leather, Toadstool, Toadstool Mushroom and Trough Coral. Adapt to all lightening levels. Moderate water movement is preferred to prevent parasites on their surface.

Discosoma Corals: Disc Anemones, Mushroom and Mushroom Corals. Low light is preferable. Active feeders (small fishes but also detritus and uneaten food).

Zoanthus Corals: Button Polyps, Zoanthid and Sea Mat. Bright light is preferred as they feed on zooxanthellae along with algae, D.O.C.'s and bacteria. Warning: Use gloves to handle them (because of the palytoxin).

As many corals can grow in your saltwater aquarium. This is just a short selection so what you have to do is research the specific needs of the different corals you're interested in and make sure they can grow in the same aquarium. With the right light, water movement and nutriments, you'll have a beautiful coral reef system!

Every hobbyists, either advanced or beginners, wants the best components in their aquarium to grow and maintain their corals in the best environment possible. That is why having a very high-quality saltwater aquarium can make a difference. But the hard part about purchasing an aquarium to grow corals is that many different components are needed and selecting and installing them can be a daunting task.

How to setup a saltwater tank

The marine fish tank setup is not as complex as most websites make it out to be. However, you need to understand what you are doing; otherwise, you might risk the life of your fish and corals. Very subtle changes in water temperature/salt saturation and lighting saturate over time and lead to drastic effects. That being said, everyone can successfully have a marine fish tank set up in a couple of days if they follow certain principles.

How to setup a saltwater tank

Live stones are a part of the marine fish tank, which a lot of people miss. It is simply stone from the natural habitat of the fish, and it contains algae and bacteria which reduce toxins in the water and are responsible for the oxygen/carbon dioxide balance in the tank. This is however, not a secret and is a basic principle of the marine tank setup.

One of the most complex aspects is water. There are various cheap tests that can be used to determine water's nitrate/ammonia content, as well as phosphate levels. These are very subtle but important. The nitrogen cycle refers to how well toxins are being broken down by the algae. The main difficulty is this: in seas and oceans, the large volume of water (trillions of cubic feet) assures that the balance of toxins stays virtually the same, as does the oxygen content and salt content. When you try to compact this into less than a single cubic meter of water, problems occur. That's why you need a filtration system and a proper balance of living organisms. Also, the temperature difference in deep water is almost nonexistent, whereas in a fish tank it is quickly affected by the air temperature. That's why a heater is added to assure that the temperature stays the same.

Can it really be done?

All the above may sound complex, but is in fact very simple and all of these aspects are usually automatically covered by a ready to buy marine fish tank setup. However, you will notice that in pictures, the water tanks look "alive" and with bright colors. That is not due to the photography, but due to certain secret aspects of the system, which a few people know. Little changes in the water can have a big impact on the organisms, since they are in the water constantly, and their metabolism is affected by that. But fortunately, you can learn all about this and replicate the same results at home, without having to rely on an expensive marine fish tank setup or anything like that.

Setting up a marine aquarium is fairly easy, but newbies often make mistakes, which causes the inhabitants of the tank to die. These mistakes are usually little, but their effect compounds with time, and after a month or two, the toxins build up. Combining the right fish and corals is helpful and can achieve the perfect oxygen/carbon dioxide levels.

How to set up a saltwater tank includes few basic components, and it is very difficult to do something wrong here. What most people do wrong is the combination of organisms/water type or salt levels. As water evaporates, the salt becomes more. Even slightly higher concentrations can be fatal to the fish. Also, improper oxygen balance can interrupt the normal processes of toxic decay and over time cause problems.

People sometimes notice that the aquarium in pictures is a lot more colorful and alive than their own. They usually contribute this to photography, but in fact, this can be achieved, provided that you know what to do. There are principles to be followed, and the majority of people, including people in the pet store, do not know them very well. That's why 90% of people who get a marine aquarium or try to build one will fail about a month in. It's not because they forget to feed the fish, it's because they do not balance the environment properly. In order to achieve balance, you need proper salt levels, a combination of corals/fish and constant temperature. All of these sounds too complex to achieve, but it is fairly simple. Using a carbon filter and a heater unit will solve most of the problems, depending on the climate you live in.

It is important to do everything right, otherwise, you might sacrifice expensive species of fish and coral. That's why it is good to educate yourself and know all the secrets of setting up a marine fish aquarium. Some people make their own aquarium and buy all the corals and fish separately. That is more interesting than buying an already made one, but people often do that too. You must decide what suits you best. The joy that comes from making your own aquarium is worth it, but you need to educate yourself more if you want to do that. Also, there is no guarantee that ready fish aquariums will have the proper setup. They are also much more expensive than buying everything separately.

The marine aquarium supplies include a glass water tank, filtration equipment for filtering the salts, rock and substrate, saltwater, thermometer, air pumps, air stones, test kits, hydrometers, maintenance tools as well as skimmers. To establish a marine aquarium at your home, you can take help from various companies offering their services through the web. A little browsing will help you in finding numerous firms that supply various equipment required for the efficient functioning of the saltwater tank.

Besides, a protein skimmer is an essential requirement of a saltwater tank. The skimmer helps in removing the dissolved waste and thus keeps the water clean. Besides, a few kinds of saltwater tanks, such as fish only and soft coral reef tanks do not require protein skimmer. All other types of tanks require protein skimmers to keep the water clean. In addition, high water circulation is very important in an aquarium as this promotes the increase in oxygen levels in the aquarium. Low oxygen level degrades the health of corals in the water.

Different kinds of protein skimmers are available in the market. Numerous companies like Reef Octopus, Tunze and Ecotech Marine offer these skimmers. Amongst these, the efficiency of Tunze skimmers makes them very popular in the marine fish breeder's community. Besides, lighting also plays an important role in the marine aquaculture. Though most of the aquariums come with already fixed lights, you can still go for other aqua illumination instruments.

Ledsare commonly used for aqua illumination needs. Besides saving energy, the light also provides the perfect growth environment for numerous varieties of corals and many kinds of fish. In addition, SOL Blue LED promotes the growth of marine plants, which form an integral part of every aquarium. Mermaid's fan, Maiden's hair, Halimeda and shaving brush plants are most commonly grown in a saltwater aquarium. The aqua illumination helps in the growth of these plants.

Saltwater nitrogen cycle

Why is waste harmful? The answer is the saltwater nitrogen cycle. The decomposition of waste products in the aquarium produces ammonia, which is highly poisonous to the fish in it. The cycle continues as the ammonia is oxidized by bacteria into less toxic, but still harmful, nitrites, which are in turn oxidized into much less toxic nitrates. A canister filter provides the means for biological filtration. The sponges in the filter provide a much greater surface area for the bacteria to colonize and thrive. Also, it is important to avoid cleaning the filter media with tap/chlorinated water or any soap or detergent as these will kill the bacteria and have a harmful effect on the fish.

Saltwater nitrogen cycle

Plastic "bio balls" and ceramic tubes are commonly used alternative aquarium filtration media used instead of, or together with, sponges for the purposes of biological filtration. However, opinion seems divided on the effectiveness of such a medium in a canister filter. My local aquatic store owner commented that my original set-up using sponges and ceramic tubes was "a nitrate factory" and he advised removing both from the canister filter and replacing them with broken up the live rock with a layer of filter wool at the top of the canister providing mechanical filtration. He advised changing the filter wool twice weekly. I followed his advice, and this produced a slight reduction in nitrate levels but possibly only because of the twice-weekly removal of solid waste from the canister rather than my previous weekly routine of cleaning the sponges.

In this aquarium system, unlike the ocean, the nitrogen cycle ends with the production of nitrates. To prevent the nitrate level building up to a harmful level, it is necessary to make regular partial water changes to replace the 'nitrate-rich' water with uncontaminated water. Again, recommendations vary on the amount and frequency of water changes. My routine included a 25% change every month, but I know there are many advocates of smaller, more frequent changes.

Water can be removed from the aquarium using a plastic jug or a bucket or a combined siphon/gravel cleaner. This device is designed to remove wastes and uneaten food from the bottom of the tank while the water is being siphoned off but the cleaning section will not work on a sandy substrate as it is too fine and will be siphoned off too. Larger pieces of solid waste, such as a dead fish or an uneaten muscle, can be removed by hand or by netting.

Protein skimmer

There are lots of protein skimmer on the market, and it can become hard to make your choice. There is a pretty huge skimmer that can handle more than a thousand gallons of water. But you can have a small one for a 10 gallons aquarium.

Protein skimmer

Look through the specifications of the skimmer. You need to choose one that can handle twice the water for your tank, If your aquarium is 20 gallons, pick the skimmer that can handle a 40 gallons tank. This is an important cause you don't want to finally have a skimmer that can't handle the life in your tank.

There are 3 types of skimmers: hang on, in-sump, and in-tank. If you plan to make a big tank and you have a sump under it, go for a big skimmer that can fit in the sump. That way you won't see it in and around your tank. The hang-on skimmer is a great choice if you don't have a sump. There is skimmer that fits inside your tank, but you always see it and it's not the nicest display.

A protein skimmer is the filtration system for saltwater tanks. You don't need any other filtration system. The only other filtration system that is allowed is a sump or a hang-on tank sump where you use special algae to purify the water.

Chiller for aquarium

Most people who have owned or do own a fish tank have heard of aquarium heaters, these are used mainly to help regulate the temperature in the fish tank especially if you live in a colder climate or during the winter months. But a chiller for aquarium is similar in that it to regulates the temperature of the tank but it used for those owners whom live in the warmer climates to help cool the water down. With owning a fish tank, you know how crucial regulating the temperature of your fish tank is to the success of your fish's lives. So one way you can do this is both with a heater or a chiller depending on your climate and where you live.

Chiller for aquarium

How an aquarium chiller works is that it brings in the warmer water that in your tank into the aquarium chiller and it cools it by transferring the heat and making the water cooler for the fish. Here are a few things to take into consideration while looking for a chiller for an aquarium.

The Proper Temperature for Your Fish
As a proper fish owner, know what the ideal living conditions are for your fish, meaning the temperature of the water. Unfortunately, many people do not know this part and should consult their local pet store for more information. Knowing the proper water temperature for your climate and your breed of fish is so important.
Finding The Temperature Range in Chill:
Take the temperature of your tank water as it then takes this number and subtracts it from what the water temperature should be in the tank. This number is what you need to decide how to set your aquarium chiller.


Just like with any appliance or anything you plug into your walls you want to make sure the aquarium chiller you choose is energy efficient as you will use this often. Be sure to discuss this topic with your pet store staff members.
Just remember if you live in an area that tends to be on the warmer side you may need to invest in an aquarium chiller if you are not sure if you need one call or stop by your local pet store and consult an expert. They will determine based on your location, size of your tank, and the breed of fish you have if an aquarium chiller is necessary.

Protein skimmer for aquarium

Protein skimmers, also known as foam fractionators, are very effective, highly recommended filters for any central water system. It amazed me the first time I saw the waste in the collection cup of a protein skimmer -a rich, thick, dark brown goop extracted from the clear aquarium water. No filter pad on the market removes junk like that. Protein skimming for an aquarium is a natural occurrence that anyone who has ever strolled a beach on a windy day or walked along a rocky shoreline has observed. The brown foam that swirls around in small eddies results from protein skimming on a large scale. A well-designed protein skimmer is worth its weight in gold but be sure to choose a reliable model rated for the amount of water in your system.

There are many types of protein skimmers available to marine aquarists: co-current, counter-current, venturi, down-draft, and many more added each year. Counter-current, venturi and downdraft models are superior to co-current models.

A counter-current protein skimmer pumps water into the top of a contact chamber through a reaction chamber and exits at the bottom. Fine bubbles, created with a wooden air diffuser, rise from the bottom of the contact chamber. The bubbles traveling up and the water traveling down cause the water to swirl violently in the chamber. Organic molecules, amino acids, fatty acids and a variety of other pollutants adhere to the surface of the tiny bubbles and congregate at the top of the contact chamber forming a stable layer of foam. When this layer of foam grows large enough, it pushes its way up a riser tube, where it eventually falls out into a collection cup. Here, the foam dissipates and anything that was adhering to the surface fell off. The longer the contact time between the water and the bubbles the more waste will be created.

Venturi protein skimmers for aquarium are operated with one inlet. A water pump is fitted with a venturi valve that feeds air into the rushing water. A mass of tiny bubbles is constantly fed into the reaction chamber. Properly designed venturi protein skimmers are an ideal choice for central systems. They are often built wider rather than higher, conserving space. The venturi valve rarely needs maintenance compared to the monthly replacement of wooden air diffusers in counter-current models and they allow a better turnover rate.

Saltwater fish selection

For that experienced aquarist, a saltwater aquarium may still be a challenging job to maintain it. One of the things that you have to do right is to pick the perfect fish. The right decision with the fish will increase your chances of being successful with this endeavor.

In a saltwater aquarium, your saltwater fish selection should be proper. The species that thrive in saltwater are fishes that can withstand high salinity levels. These fishes can easily breathe in seawater.
These species are not fit for freshwater. In fact, they can die if you do not monitor the salinity level and it drops to critical levels. These marine fishes may not adapt to stress. This can lead to their death.

Saltwater fish selection

You can choose from the more than 22,000 species of saltwater aquarium fishes. There are so many choices that you will definitely find the one for your liking. With marine livestock, you can choose the fish that matches your style, even your favorite colors.

But even with this huge number of choices, you have to take note that saltwater fishes are quite sensitive. These species are very susceptible to changes in the environment. It is the role of the aquarium owner to learn how to keep the environment of the fishes as stable as possible.

When buying the fish, it is much recommended that you get them from expert breeders. This assures you that you have the fish in its best condition. This will almost guarantee higher chances of survival.

Also, inquire from your suppliers if the fishes have been housed for over two weeks in their aquarium environment. Two weeks is the minimum requirement for these fishes to finally adjust to the aquarium. Most of these fishes are sourced from the ocean and they need to acclimatize to their new condition. Unhealthy fishes that cannot adapt with the new environment will usually not survive. Your proper saltwater fish selection will enhance the looks of the aquarium tank.

What are some known species to consider? Aquarists prefer to grow reels, bonefish, rods, marlin, and sailfish. Though these may not be easy to maintain, seeing them grow is such a vision to watch.

In conclusion, choosing the ideal fish species is critical to your success as an aquarist. Choose the right fishes and ask for expert advice on how to maintain them. When they get sick, do not panic and always ask for the proper medications from the key persons in your area.

Saltwater aquarium water changes

While keeping a marine aquarium, you will have to learn to do saltwater aquarium water changes, and while this might seem like a very simple task of just taking water out and adding more back in, it is quite a bit more complicated when it comes to saltwater aquariums. The first thing to do is to purchase two buckets that are the same size so you can avoid confusion when adding water in and removing it from your tank. It is important that these buckets be new, that way there is no contamination between the buckets and your tank. You need to then mark the buckets with "dirty water" and "new or clean water."

Now, since you have a saltwater tank, mix the salt. Using an aquarium pump, you put the correct amount of salt in the bucket. Then place a heater in it along with a thermometer, let this mix for no less than 12 hours. Now you have to remove some water for your tank, begin siphoning it out into the dirty water bucket, and dispose of it. Now you have to add the new clean water back into the tank. This can be challenging if you are using paint buckets, but it can be done. Attach a hose to the pump that you used for mixing and allow it to flow into your tank. When you reach the end of your bucket, you can just directly add it to you a tank and remove the pump. Add water until you reach the designated water line in your tank and make sure that you turn all of your equipment back on.

For more exotic pet updates, please click here.