Setting up a Saltwater Aquarium and Fish Tank Cleaning (part 2 of 4)
STEP 2: Prepare and set up your aquarium first
So you've chosen the perfect location and you bought your aquarium with matching stand. You can't wait to fill it up with saltwater fish, live rocks, and other inhabitants you can think of. But wait, there are a few more things that need to be done before set up before you can do that.
Fish Tank Cleaning is Always Important
Make sure you clean your aquarium with freshwater and a soft cloth or sponge (this is very important for proper fish tank cleaning). Remember not to use any kind of chemical cleaners. Rinse it thoroughly and make sure all residues have been washed out. You can now pour the sand or gravel, whichever substrate you've chosen to use, into the bottom of the aquarium followed by your saltwater. Then, you can either buy pre-mixed saltwater that is ready to use for your saltwater aquarium. Or if you plan to use filtered water or the tap water at home make sure you get a sea salt mix.
Follow the set up instruction on the manufacturer's label on how to properly prepare your water using the sea salt mix. Tap water will have minerals and additives that are not good for your saltwater inhabitants. Your tap water contains substances that are toxic to some fish.
Again, Fish tank cleaning is very important and make sure everything is thoroughly scrubbed before moving on and filling your tank.
When you have your dechlorinated water ready, fill aquarium 1/3 full. Measure the specific gravity of your saltwater. It should measure 1.025. Install and start all the other equipments such us lighting, heater, and filter and let it run for a day. During this test run time, check for leaks, set and adjust the heater(s) to the required temperature, check and balance out the salinity of the water if needed, and test all the equipment to make sure everything is working properly.
STEP 3 Aquascape
Aquascaping your aquarium means decorating your aquarium. The possibilities are endless. There is no correct or perfect set up for decorating your aquarium. It is up to you on how you will make your saltwater aquarium attractive. Have fun and be creative. Here is a simple "how to" tips on aquascaping a saltwater aquarium.
Adding live rock as part of your aquascape is a plus. Live rock is important to your saltwater aquarium and inhabitants.
One importance of live rock is that fish will adjust better to their new environment because it is similar to their natural habitat. Live rock also becomes a biological filter of your saltwater aquarium and helps with your fish tank cleaning. It provides the beneficial organisms for proper water management so that you can enjoy your saltwater fish and other inhabitants for a long period of time. Another advantage of live rock is that it acts as a home for corals and other invertebrates and can be used by shy or frightened fish as their hiding place. You can get live rock that are already cured and ready to be placed in your saltwater aquarium. If you have an uncured live rock, then it must be properly cured to create a healthy environment.
Ammonia, which is a toxic compound and pollutant is released into your saltwater if you don't properly cure your live rock. This will compromise the health of your aquarium system. Most live rock will be fully cured in 1 - 3 weeks. By then, it will be safe to add to your saltwater aquarium. Curing your live rock may be done in any type of plastic container that is suitable in size to fit the amount of live rock you have or inside the newly set up aquarium. Getting as large of a water container as you can is recommended, but curing inside the new aquarium is best overall.
Give Aquatic Interiors a call at 210.444.2782 to discuss setting up a "hassle free" saltwater aquarium and fish tank cleaning program.