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Setting Up A Saltwater Aquarium

Oct 26, 2007
Aquarium hobbyists do find setting up a saltwater aquarium as quite a challenge, and an interesting one at that. Saltwater fish are much more colorful than freshwater ones, and in a saltwater aquarium, you have many more options with corals, sponges, anemones and several other marine inhabitants. But, saltwater aquariums will also require greater maintenance, and that is the reason it is not easy to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners.

Here are few steps to start out with a saltwater aquarium and to ensure that your aquarium becomes a successful life support system for its inhabitants:

1. Select the right tank.

Your first decision will definitely be to select the right kind of tank to house your saltwater inhabitants. It is always good to have a large tank with saltwater occupants, because of their big-size requirements. Keep at least a ten-gallon tank at the outset.

2. Set up the tank in the right place.

Saltwater fish and other occupants do not like direct sunlight, unless they are continental shelf inhabitants by nature. However, you must make sure not to place your tank in direct sunlight. There should be adequate light where the tank is placed, but no direct sunrays.

3. Set up the aquarium bed.

When you set up the saltwater aquarium bed, you have to make sure that the bed contains live matter. If you buy aquarium gravel then this problem is solved. Aquarium gravel contains biological media such as bacteria that will help to maintain the necessary cycles in the tank for the proper health of the fish living in it. You will also need to clean out this biological media if the water gets too cloudy. Other things you will need on the bed are a live rock, which is much the same in function as aquarium gravel, but is shaped like a rock, and air stones that will help to circulate bubbles of air within your saltwater tank.

4. Check out the requirements of lighting.

A basic rule is to have 4 watts of lighting per gallon of water in your tank. There are different kinds of lights available, like the metal halide lights and the fluorescent lights. When you are starting out, the fluorescent lights are better because they will be able to spread light out into the aquarium in a much better way.

If you have corals in your tank, then your lighting requirements will increase. Corals are light sensitive, and they grow healthier if light falls on them. Hence, you will have to take good quality lighting for your tank. The same applies if you have plants in your tank. But, for beginners, a planted aquarium could be quite tough to maintain. A better way is to begin with a tank that has only fish in it, and then graduate on to keeping plants and corals in the tank when they get enough practice with keeping fish in it.

5. Choosing the fish.

Yes, choosing the fish is the last step when building up a saltwater aquarium and not the first. You will have to select fish that are non aggressive with each other. One good idea is to select one fish first, let it live alone for about a week and then get another. When you do this, you allow the biological system to set in inside the tank before the second occupant is introduced. This also helps the biological media to get adjusted better.
About the Author
SaltySupply.com high quality aquarium supply. We offerProtein Skimmers and Reef Tank Lighting.
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