Saltwater Aquarium Basics
Saltwater Aquarium Basics
Setting up a saltwater aquarium is a more complicated process than setting up a fresh water aquarium and certainly more involved than filling a goldfish bowl with tap water, but the rewards are worth it. Saltwater or marine fish tend to be far more colorful and diverse than fresh water fish. More, an experienced saltwater aquarium aficionado can add other living things like coral, colorful mollusks, sponges and other invertebrates so that their aquarium eventually comes to mimic a miniature reef.
Things to consider if you're getting a saltwater aquarium
First Steps The aquarium owner should first choose where the tank and stand will be. The space were the tank is put should not only be roomy enough for the stand and the tank, but for the accouterments needed to maintain it. There should be at least a half a foot of clearance between the back of the tank and the wall.
The aquarium should also be in a place where it can be drained and refilled easily. It shouldn’t be put in direct sunlight because this will not only heat up the water to the point where it’s unlivable for the fish, but will cause algae to proliferate. The tank also shouldn't be put in an area that’s subject to drafts.
Filters and Lights The aquarium will then need a filter to get rid of the waste material and an aerator to boost the level of oxygen in the water. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency backup source in case the main power goes out.
Different fish have different lighting requirements. Some like bright light and others like the light to be a bit muted. Before, fluorescent lights were used to light tanks, but now LEDs are being used more and more. Though initially expensive, they pay for themselves eventually.
Substrate and Salt The saltwater aquarium owner will also have to carefully pick the substrate they use for the aquarium, so once again, different fish like different substrates. The substrate can be part of the filter system and can be home for some invertebrates like mole crabs.
The aquarium owner will also need to be careful about the sort of salt mix to put in their tank. Going down to the beach and scooping up buckets of ocean water isn’t advisable, given the bacteria and pollutants that are in the ocean! The professional at the pet supply store will advise the owner on the best type of sea salt mix to use.
After all of these necessities have been taken care of, it’ll then be time to add the fish. The aquarium owner should make sure the fish are compatible. Some fish are not only aggressive with fish of other species, but are aggressive with their own species and can only be kept one to a tank. Other fish are happiest in schools. Now, the aquarium owner is ready to enjoy their saltwater aquarium!