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Items Needed For A Successful Reef

Dec 7, 2007
Reef keeping can be a delightful hobby, especially if you have the right balance of coral and fish to create a truly beautiful aquarium. You can go and buy a small tank to start off, but that is not always the best move. You might as well go and get the largest tank that will fit in the space you have available, so that you don't need to bother with upgrades. If you go small at first and then decide to go larger later, you will need to make changes in your lights, filtration system, everything really. So the cost for upgrading to a larger tank will be much more than just acquiring the larger tank later.

And your fish will need room to swim and to grow. If you get a small tank you will have small fish that aren't happy because they have no room. This may lead to aggression between your fish and that doesn't make for a good situation at all.

Once you have decided on your tank size, you will need to consider your filtration system, which is where bacteria live. You want bacteria because it breaks down waste. While you can go with mechanical filters, you could instead use a sand bed to mimic how it works in the ocean. This will cost less and work better, so it's a wise choice. Use three to four inches of a fine sand grain and then top it off with one to two inches of heavier sand to keep the lighter sand down.

Next are your rock formations. You will want to start off with figi because of its combination of shape and price, then you can select other rocks based on aesthetics. Between the sand bed and the rock formations, you will actually have created a natural filtration system which all of the critters you place in your tank will like and so will the bacteria you need.

Note that if you are starting with a new tank, you want uncured rock to help cycle your tank, but if adding to an established tank, make sure you used cured rock, so that your cycle is not interfered with.

The next thing to consider is your overflow system including your water pump, sump, and return tubing. You want to use an overflow box set, and a mag drive is a quality pump choice and you can use a tote for the sump. For the tubing you can just use PVC pipe, it's effective.

You need to have a water conditioning system to keep the water fresh for your livestock and to help prevent algae. The right ingredients include a protein skimmer, an RO TFC water filter, and an RO float valve kit.

Your lighting system is also important. You want a mix of two kinds of bulb: 10,000K white and 460 Actinic (blue) bulbs, and put them on a timer because you only want to keep your tank lit for ten hours a day in order to avoid rapid algae growth.

Now that you have your setup, you can go ahead and add your coral and fish, and enjoy your reef tank!
About the Author
SaltySupply.com offers the most premium aquarium supplies on the net. We offer protein skimmers, powerheads, pumps and more for your saltwater aquarium
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