About starting your marine aquarium hobby

Any size tank can be used for a saltwater aquarium. Smaller aquariums need smaller filter systems, but larger tanks will provide much more stable water and allow for more fish and invertebrates. The best advice is to buy the largest tank you can afford and have room for. Make sure to buy a tank made for a saltwater aquarium. The tank should be completely glass on the sides and no metal parts. The salt water will corrode the metal and this can poison the water. Aquariums are also available in acrylic, but acrylic aquariums are pricey and can be scratched more easily.

When considering a location for your saltwater aquarium, place it on a stable, level surface, away from doors and windows. It should also be placed away from air conditioning vents and radiators. You want to choose a location with a fairly stable temperature. Sunlight entering through doors and windows can disturb the aquarium and cause unwanted algae problems. Water is very heavy, so provide a stable location where the aquarium can rest on a level surface.

Since water is very heavy, it is important to use the sturdiest aquarium stand you can afford. Many aquarium manufacturers make very solid wooden cabinets that can easily support the weight of the aquarium while providing much-needed storage inside. Many aquarium specialty stores sell tank and stand combinations where the tank and stand match in color and style. Make sure to purchase a stand that is made to support the weight of the aquarium.

For a seawater aquarium that contains only fish, it is possible to use different filter systems. The system you choose will depend on the size of the tank and the number of fish you want to keep. The best filters are filter canisters and collection filters. Canister filters consist of a small tank (canister) that fits under the aquarium. The canister contains a pump that pumps the water down into the canister and back into the aquarium. Canister filters use both mechanical and biological filtration. The main disadvantage of filter canisters is that they require frequent cleaning and are difficult to clean. They are also not a good choice for large aquariums. Sump filters are widely regarded as the best filters available for marine aquariums. They consist of a large container that fits under the aquarium. Several types of filters are available for sumps, and most use a combination of mechanical and biological filtration. Sump filtration is a good choice for medium and large aquariums.

We usually measure the salinity of salt water by measuring its specific gravity. The specific gravity of natural seawater is around 1.025. For a saltwater aquarium for fish, try to keep the water between 1,024 and 1,026. This equates to approximately 3.5 kilos of salt per 100 liters of water. Some aquarium enthusiasts like to keep the salinity of their tanks low, as this slows the growth of parasites that can cause disease. The water can be kept as low as 1,019. This is generally not recommended as it can be stressful and uncomfortable for the fish.

In the marine aquarium hobby, we generally measure the salinity of salt water by measuring its specific gravity. For a coral reef tank, it is recommended that you keep the SG of the water between 1.025 and 1.028. The specific gravity of natural seawater is around 1.025, so this should be your goal to create a natural environment for your fish and corals.

The salinity of salt water can be measured with one of three instruments. The least expensive option is to use a hydrometer. A hydrometer is usually a clear plastic container with a floating indicator in it. When you add water, the floating indicator will show the specific gravity on a scale. You can also measure salinity with a salinity meter or a salinity refractometer. These are electronic devices that cost more than a hydrometer, but can give more accurate results.

Coral reef aquariums need a lot of light. This is because the coral contains a symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae, which uses light to make food for the coral. Coral grows in shallow tropical waters and is exposed to a lot of sunlight. Your goal is to try to mimic the sunlight in the aquarium. The best light to use for a coral reef aquarium is a metal halide / fluorescent mix or one of the new high intensity LED setups. The general rule is to use 4 to 8 watts per gallon (just under 4 liters). Also, make sure not to choose an aquarium that is too deep because the light intensity decreases sharply with the depth of the water. It is recommended that coral reef aquariums are no deeper than two feet.

Lighting a saltwater aquarium depends on the type of aquarium you have. If you have an aquarium that only has fish, it is recommended that you leave the lights on for 8 to 10 hours a day to simulate the natural cycle of daylight. Any other period of time can strain the fish and lead to unwanted diseases. Use a timer to give your aquarium a consistent lighting cycle. If you have coral in your tank, keep the lights on for at least 10 hours every day. Coral contains a symbiotic algae that needs a lot of light to survive. Many people choose to divide their lights and use two separate timers. This way they can light up one set and then the other to simulate sunrise and sunset. This is much less stressful for the animals in the aquarium than switching the lights on and off in one go.

Balancing the cycle of your marine aquarium

In nature, the nitrogen cycle is a process in which nitrogen is converted via various chemical compounds. In an aquarium, the cycle begins with ammonia, which is released by fish and other animals through waste and the respiratory process. The toxic ammonia is converted into nitrite by special nitrifying bacteria. A second type of nitrifying bacteria converts the toxic nitrite into nitrate. Nitrate is much less harmful to fish than ammonia and nitrite and is usually removed from the aquarium with regular water changes.

When setting up a new saltwater aquarium, the nitrogen cycle must be fully set before fish or other animals can be added to the aquarium. This process is known as setting up the nitrogen cycle. Once the aquarium is set up and the filtration system started, ammonia can be added to the water by adding fish food or raw fish to the water from time to time. You should check ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels weekly. It usually takes 2-8 weeks to fully set up a new aquarium. DO NOT rush this process. Better to be careful and wait a little longer. Rushing the process will only result in dead fish. The aquarium is completely balanced when the ammonia and nitrite levels drop to zero.

There are a few ways to speed up the process. Nitrifying bacteria can be purchased from aquarium stores and added to the water to start the process. This can speed up the process considerably, down to as little as 2 weeks. Another way to speed up the process is to use living sand and / or living rock. Live rock and sand contain already established colonies of nitrifying bacteria and can significantly reduce cycle time.
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Once the aquarium has been set up, it is important to add live animals to the tank slowly and gradually. Start with just one or two fish and wait a few weeks. Test the water regularly and check the ammonia and nitrite levels. They temporarily rise as the filter system adapts to the new biological load. Once the ammonia and nitrite levels are back to zero, you can add one or two more fish to the tank. Continue to test the water regularly and if you notice a spike in the ammonia content, wait several weeks before adding more animals.

Living stone and living sand (substrate)

Living rock consists of pieces of rock that come from the ocean floor. It is called “living” rock because it is covered with living organisms. It also contains live bacteria essential for filtering the water in an aquarium. Good quality live rock can contain beneficial algae, crustaceans, starfish, sponges and other organisms and can provide a much more natural environment in a saltwater aquarium. Live rock is sold by the kilo at most local aquarium dealers.

Live rock can benefit a saltwater aquarium in two ways. First, it provides a much more natural look to the aquarium. The rock can be stacked to recreate the appearance of a natural coral reef. Second, it contains nitrifying bacteria that actually help filter the water through the nitrogen cycle. Live rock is so good at filtering the water that it is possible to set up an aquarium without a filtration system, using only live rock and a pump to circulate the water.

By far the best kind of living rock is what is known as “pre-cured”. When live rock is taken from the ocean and placed in an aquarium, some of the organisms on the rock will die. This can increase the ammonia content and pollute the water in an aquarium. It takes several weeks for the rock to stabilize. Once the rock is stable, it is safe to place it directly in your tank.

New live rock must be treated before it can be safely placed in an aquarium. Some of the organisms on the rock will die after being removed from the ocean, and this dieback can pollute the water in an aquarium. To treat the stone yourself, place it in a large plastic or glass container filled with premixed salt water. Use a pump for good water circulation and wait a few weeks. In the beginning there will be a strong odor that will disappear once the stone is stable. Test the water regularly. When the ammonia and nitrite levels are zero and there is no bad odor, it is safe to add the rock to your tank.

Since live rock is usually sold by the pound, select pieces that are less dense. Look for pieces with a lot of holes. This lightens the rock and provides hiding places for fish and invertebrates. It also provides more surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. Think about how you want to stack the rock in your tank and select pieces that stack easily. Make sure to select a few large, flat pieces to create plateaus and build caves for fish to hide and swim through.

If you are going to use live rock as your primary filtration system in your tank, it is recommended that you use about one and a half pounds of live rock for every gallon of water in the tank.

Substrate is simply the material that is on the bottom of the aquarium. Substrate serves two purposes. It provides a natural looking setting for the aquarium and can also help filter the water.

The best type of substrate for a marine aquarium is one that is high in calcium. Broken coral and fine sand, known as aragonite, are both good choices. Broken coral is much coarser and will give the system a different look. It really comes down to personal choice. Many reef aquarium hobbyists prefer live sand. Live sand is grown in the ocean and contains naturally occurring bacteria and other critters that help filter the water and keep it clean.

Living sand is sand that has been cultivated and comes from the ocean. It contains many small animals and microorganisms that can be beneficial to a marine aquarium. Live sand can be used to filter the aquarium water, along with a protein skimmer to remove organic waste. This type of filtration is known as the Jaubert system.
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Living sand is sand that has been cultivated and comes from the ocean. It contains many small animals and microorganisms that can be beneficial to a marine aquarium. Live sand can be used to filter the aquarium water, along with a protein skimmer to remove organic waste. This type of filtration is known as the Jaubert system.

The pink, purple and red colors you see on the living rock are caused by a special type of algae called coral algae. This algae actually contains a limestone skeleton. It is highly desirable in a reef aquarium and can be an indicator of good water quality as it grows and spreads in the aquarium.

Coral algae turn white when they die. This is a sign that something is seriously wrong in the aquarium. Low calcium and incorrect alkalinity are usually the cause. Some toxins in the water can also cause coral algae to turn white. If you see this problem in your reef aquarium, get your water tested as soon as possible to determine the cause. Work with your local aquarium store to find a solution.

Choosing the right fish for your tank

Most freshwater fish will not survive in salt water. This is due to a process known as osmosis. Osmosis ensures that water moves from low concentrations of salt to high concentrations. When a freshwater fish is exposed to salt water, its cells lose water and the fish dies from dehydration. There are some exceptions. Salmon, eel, and some trout have adapted the ability to survive in both salt and fresh water. There are also a few species of fish that live in what is known as brackish water, which is slightly saltier than fresh water, but not as salty as salt water. These species can adapt over time to live in salt water. An example of this is the molly.

The number of fish you can have in an aquarium depends on the size of the aquarium and the type of filtering. The general rule is that there are no more than an inch of fish per twenty gallons of water. You can keep more than that if you have a really good filtration system and maintain the system with regular water changes.

With proper care and a good environment, most types of saltwater reef fish can live for ten years or more. There have been reports of clown fish living in a reef aquarium for up to 28 years. There may be some exceptions, but if your fish are properly cared for, they will reward you with many years of enjoyment. It depends on how old the fish was when you bought it, but many species are farmed today and should be fairly young.

Believe it or not, fish actually sleep at night. If you shine a light in the aquarium at night, you will notice that the fish are moving very slowly and their colors may also be less pronounced. They will act dazed as if they are confused. That’s why it’s important to put your aquarium lighting on a timer to ensure a consistent lighting schedule that simulates the normal day and night cycle.

While some fish are caught in the wild for the aquarium trade, many species are now bred and raised in captivity. Many corals are now propagated from cuttings known to hobbyists as “frags”. Live rock is now grown especially for the aquarium sector. If you are concerned about the environment, talk to your local fish store and look for one that buys animals that are bred and bred in captivity.

Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans and mollusks. In the hobby of the saltwater aquarium, aquaculture is the process of breeding fish and invertebrates in captivity. Aquaculture reduces the impact of the aquarium hobby on the environment. Several species of fish, including clownfish, are now bred and raised in captivity. Corals are now grown from fragments that have been cut. Live rock is now grown in the ocean for the aquarium trade. Farmers take limestone rock and submerge it in the ocean for several years, allowing organisms to colonize the rock.

The easiest fish to keep for beginners are clownfish, damselfish, blennies, gobies and wrasses. These species are usually easy to acclimate and are slightly more tolerant of water quality issues than many other species.

Angelfish and sailfinch doctors are slightly more sensitive to water quality and may require a little more experience. Butterfly fish are one of the most difficult fish to keep in an aquarium and should only be kept by more experienced hobbyists. Lionfish can be difficult to keep because they must be fed live food. Seahorses are extremely sensitive and difficult to keep. They need live food and will not fare well when kept with other fish species.

When selecting animals from the aquarium store, you should examine them closely to make sure they look healthy. Make sure they don’t have blemishes or white spots. Make sure their eyes are clear and not white. Ask someone in the store to offer them some food to make sure they eat. Do not buy an animal that refuses to eat from the store. When buying coral, choose a specimen with completely open polyps. Do not buy coral with dead spots on it. Most aquarium stores offer a one or more day guarantee in case the animal dies when you get it home.

The best way to acclimate new animals is to put them in a clean bucket along with the water that came with it. Gradually add water from the aquarium to the bucket using a measuring cup or plastic hose. Start a siphon in the tube and tie a knot in it so that the water drips slowly into the bucket. You want to gradually add about three times the amount of water from the aquarium that was originally in the bucket over a 15 to 30 minute period. Then you can put the animals in the container with a net. Be careful not to get fish fins and gills into the net. If you have invertebrates in your tank, DO NOT throw water from the aquarium store into your tank. Many aquarium stores put copper in their water to help prevent disease in the fish. Copper is extremely toxic to invertebrates and will kill shrimp, crabs and coral.

While sharks can be kept in aquariums, they are one of the most difficult fish to care for. They require large amounts of live food and a lot of space to swim. They require a very large aquarium and will eventually grow too large to keep in captivity.

Choosing invertebrates for your aquarium

Invertebrates are more difficult to keep than fish. They are much more sensitive to changes in water quality. If you decide to keep invertebrates, keep a close eye on your calcium and alkalinity levels. You will also need to use extremely pure water. Tap water is not an option for invertebrates. For the beginner, hermit crabs, snails and soft corals are probably the easiest to keep. They are generally more tolerant of water problems.

Invertebrates are sensitive to changes in water quality. They also require that calcium and alkalinity levels be kept at the correct level. If you plan to keep invertebrates, you should routinely test your calcium and alkalinity levels. You will also need to use very pure water. It is recommended to invest in a RO / DI water filtration system. Never use tap water. Tap water contains many chemicals that are toxic to invertebrates. These chemicals will build up over time as you change your water. If you cannot get a RO / DI filter, you can use distilled water from the supermarket. Many aquarium stores also sell premixed salt water for use in reef aquariums.

Anemones are notoriously difficult to keep alive in an aquarium. They need impeccable water and light conditions. They also require a minimal amount of water flow. Even with perfect water and light, some anemones just don’t do well in captivity. If you want something for your clownfish to nest in, consider a soft coral instead. If your water quality is really good, you can try a torch coral. When fully open, torch corals resemble anemones and clown fish will use the coral as a host. Torch corals close at night, but the clownfish will adapt to this behavior.

Keeping crabs and shrimps requires excellent water quality. Cleaner shrimp and striped coral shrimp are usually quite strong as long as calcium and alkalinity are kept at optimal levels. Starfish also need good quality water. Be careful with snake stars and brittle stars. In an aquarium they can grow quite large. Some can even become fish eaters if they get big enough. Harlequin shrimp should only be kept if you have the patience to take care of them. They only eat starfish and nothing else. Hard corals require impeccable water quality and the correct lighting levels. They should only be kept by experienced hobbyists. Anemones, mussels and oysters are also extremely difficult to keep alive in an aquarium. They should be avoided by all but the most experienced aquarium hobbyists.

Octopuses can be kept in an aquarium but are extremely difficult to care for. They should not be kept with fish as they will eat whatever they catch. They are incredibly talented escape artists and will climb out of the aquarium through the smallest spaces. In addition, they are expensive to purchase and have a very short lifespan. Most octopus species only live for one to two years.

No, your shrimp or crab didn’t come back to life, it just exchanged its armor. While hard-shelled invertebrates such as crabs and shrimp grow, their hard shell does not grow. They should periodically discard the old shell by throwing it off. This process is known as molting. When a shrimp or grab sheds, they will hide for a few days as the new shell hardens. The old shell remains and may look like a dead animal.

Choosing corals for your aquarium

Corals are some of the most difficult animals to keep in an aquarium. They require extremely good water quality and water chemistry. They also need the right amount of light and water flow. There are many different types of corals. Soft corals are the easiest to keep. They are more forgiving of water quality issues and don’t require as much light as hard corals. Soft corals are a good choice for the beginner. Hard corals come in two types. Large Polyp Stony (LPS) corals are a little easier to keep, while Short Polyp Stone (SPS) corals are extremely difficult to keep in an aquarium. SPS corals need bright lights, perfect water quality, and plenty of water movement. SPS corals should only be kept by experienced reef aquarium hobbyists.

Both soft and hard corals can be kept in an aquarium as long as the water is checked and changed regularly. Soft corals are available in small polyp colonies such as leather corals and gorgonians and large polyp colonies such as button corals and mushroom corals. Hard corals come in two types. Large Polyp Stony (LPS) corals have large polyps and are the easiest hard corals to keep in an aquarium. LPS corals include torch corals and brain corals. Short Polyp Stony (SPS) corals have short polyps and are much more difficult to keep. SPS corals include acropora, cup corals and branching corals.

While coral is still being harvested from the ocean, many corals are propagated by cutting fragments to grow new specimens. If you are concerned about the environment, buy your corals from an aquarium store that gets their corals from cuttings, also known as frags in the hobby.

Fragging is a process of reproducing corals by cutting pieces, also called frags, to grow new specimens. Although coral is an animal, it can be grown from cuttings like some plants. Many corals are now propagated by fragments for sale in aquarium stores. In addition, many aquarium enthusiasts break their own corals to trade with others. Fragging is a method of aquaculture. It is an environmentally friendly method of obtaining coral for reef aquariums.