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An Introduction To The Saltwater Aquarium - Part 2

Aug 17, 2007
Why do people want to keep saltwater aquariums in the first place? Well, the answer to these questions will naturally differ from aquarist to aquarist. Some aquarists are intrigued by the challenged. They started out with easy freshwater species, advanced to breeding freshwater species that hardly anyone can even keep alive in aquariums, and now they are looking for yet another challenge to face.

Most aquarists are however keeping saltwater aquariums simply because they are fascinated by marine life forms. By keeping a saltwater aquarium, you will be able to select from a much wider range of species than before. Some of the most colourful fish species in the world are for instance marine species that must be kept in saltwater. Marine Angelfish, Damselfish and Clownfish are three examples of popular saltwater species that you will find in many marine aquariums.

In addition to fish, you can for instance keep corals, anemones, marine crustaceans and weird and wonderful animals like jellyfish and octopuses. There are three main types of saltwater aquariums: FO, FWLR and Reef aquariums. The abbreviation FO stands for Fish Only while FWLR means Fish With Live Rock. Some aquarists will also keep more rare species in their aquariums, such as jellyfish, squids and octopus. The reef aquarium is generally considered to be the most complicated of the three main forms of aquarium. In a reef aquarium, the fish is not the centre of attention.

Focus is instead placed on various forms of delicate corals. Corals have very particular requirements and will for instance need supreme water quality, intricate current patterns and extremely strong lights. When you arrange your saltwater aquarium, it is very important to you only select equipment and decorations suitable for saltwater use. As mentioned earlier in this article, the chemistry in a saltwater aquarium differs from that found in a freshwater aquarium.

An item that would be safe to use in a freshwater aquarium can therefore be unsuitable for a marine aquarium. You must also keep in mind that marine species tend to be extremely sensitive to pollution and changes in water chemistry. A piece of aquarium decoration that excretes a tiny amount of a dangerous compound can be enough to kill many marine life forms.

Most saltwater aquarists rely on a combination of biological, chemical and mechanical filtration to keep the water quality up in the aquarium. By using quite a large aquarium, you will also make it easier to maintain a stable environment with low levels of soluble waste.

A saltwater aquarium smaller than 55 gallons (200 litres) is considered quite difficult to keep. You can decrease the biolode by never over-feeding your aquarium inhabitants. Any uneaten food must naturally be removed from the water as soon as possible, and the same thing is true for dead organisms.

It is also common for saltwater aquarists to introduce scavenging organisms to the aquarium since these animals will consume scraps of food before it starts to decay and pollute the water.
About the Author
Allen Jesson writes for several sites including http://www.seapets.co.uk, the UK's leading retailer of aquariums and fish tanks and http://www.saltwaterfreshwateraquarium.com , an excellent information resource for any owner of a salt water or fresh water aquarium.
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