How do you get started with a saltwater aquarium? Simple solutions

 

 How do you get started with a saltwater aquarium? Simple solutions

How do you get started with a saltwater aquarium?


Table of Contents


You've decided to start setting up a saltwater aquarium, but you don't know how to get started. Be aware that this type of ecosystem is much more fragile than a freshwater aquarium , much more expensive to maintain and that you will have to be patient and conscientious in its maintenance. Nevertheless, you will enjoy a magnificent spectacle every day, a real little piece of ocean in your living room! Discover our tips for getting your saltwater aquarium off to a good start.


What equipment do you need to start a saltwater aquarium?

A saltwater aquarium requires much more time and costs more than a freshwater aquarium. Recreating a harmonious ecosystem there and maintaining this balance is complex, but the result is much more beautiful and impressive!
The recommended saltwater aquarium is the reef model, which combines both saltwater fish and live rock. This tank is indeed much more aesthetic, more natural and more pleasant than a model FO (Fish only) dedicated to fish only.

What equipment to equip?

The fragility of a seawater aquarium forces any individual who wishes to acquire one to equip themselves with the right equipment...
  1. An aquarium with a minimum volume of 200 liters in glued glass to resist salt water well (which is not the case with aluminum and steel).
  2. Sufficiently powerful lighting of 2 W per liter of the HQI type, that is to say adapted to the marine ecosystem, as well as a predominantly blue actinic T8 neon.
  3. A skimmer to eliminate waste more easily, including nitrates.
  4. Sediment circulation pumps with a power equivalent to almost 40 times the volume of the aquarium.
  5. A resistance of 1 W per liter to maintain the water at 25°C.
  6. A thermometer for temperature control.
  7. A decant.
  8. Osmosis water without nitrites, phosphates and nitrates and add salt (33 g/litre).
  9. Test elements to check the different water parameters (calcium, magnesium and nitrite levels, pH, ...).

How is the installation of the tray going?

Your aquarium should be installed in an easily accessible, unobstructed place to facilitate its maintenance and allow you to admire it, but avoiding passageways that can stress the fish. Avoid placing it in a place with too much natural light, such as the front of a window, so as not to cause excessive algae growth. Choose the place of establishment carefully, because your aquarium cannot be moved once full, because its minimum weight will be 250 to 350 kg. Also remember to put it on a support that can support its weight when full, and not a simple piece of furniture.
  • Wash your aquarium with clean water and without using any products.
  • Then install your equipment such as the circulation pump, skimmer, etc.

How to get your saltwater aquarium off to a good start?

To make a successful start, here are the different steps to follow, knowing that these last several weeks.


Filling the aquarium (2 weeks)

Fill the tank ¾ full with osmosis water. This will help maintain a low level of nitrates and phosphates to encourage good growth of plants and preserve the health of fish.
Add salt for aquarium respecting a salinity of 38 g per liter of fresh water (density of 1025). The water must immediately reach a hardness of 8 KH; if it is higher, lower it using a buffer of 5 to 10 grams per 100 liters. After 24 hours, the acidity of the water should reach 7 KH, which is ideal for continuing the steps.
In a corner of the tray, place limestone sand and form a relatively steep slope. Choose a sand composed of crushed coral, aragonite and calcite. This type of sand helps maintain a good pH of the water. Remember to rinse it well with clear water beforehand.
Then turn on your skimmer and stirring pump and wait one to two weeks before moving on to the next step.
Wash your aquarium with clean water and without using any products.
Then install your equipment such as the circulation pump, skimmer, ...

Placement of live rocks (6 weeks)

Set up your live rocks in the aquarium making sure to maintain the surface previously exposed to the light (pink to red in color) in the same manner. Then turn on your lighting and let it run for 12 hours a day. It is normal for algae to form; they will quickly disappear.
Your live rocks should be placed directly on the bottom pane, as fish and crustaceans like to burrow underneath. This will prevent them from collapsing on them.
The skimmer should normally begin removing a brown colored, strong smelling liquid.
Nitrate levels will rise quickly, but this is completely normal as the aquarium finds its balance and maintains itself. It will take between 5 and 6 weeks.

Setting up the decor (2 weeks)

You can install your decor in the aquarium. Choose the locations wisely, because the decor should not disturb the swimming of the fish. The latter must be able to hide there and turn around without being embarrassed.
As for the living rocks, place the decoration as much as possible on the back glass to avoid any landslide.
You can then spread your sand over the bottom surface of the aquarium.


How do you get started with a saltwater aquarium? Simple solutions


Setting up the first detrivores (3 weeks)

Check the quality of the water: its salt level, its pH and its hardness. If everything is satisfactory and well balanced, you can introduce small invertebrates to the tank, such as herbivorous crustaceans and gastropods (snails, shrimps, hermit crabs). These will feed in particular on algae.
Wait another 3 weeks before proceeding to the next step.

The placement of invertebrates (3 weeks)

Check the quality of the water: its salt level, its pH and its hardness. If everything is satisfactory and well balanced, you can introduce small invertebrates to the tank, such as herbivorous crustaceans and gastropods (snails, shrimps, hermit crabs). These will feed in particular on algae.
Wait another 3 weeks before proceeding to the next step.

The establishment of soft corals (5 weeks)

Implant your soft corals one by one, making sure that each adapts well to the aquarium. Do some research to make sure you're buying corals that combine well. Indeed, some cannot live together or tolerate certain ecosystems. So avoid any compulsive purchase for the well-being of your aquarium!
Do not stick soft corals together, as they will quickly grow and take up space. If you plant them too close to each other, they will have to fight for their territory.

Placing the fish (3 weeks)

You have now arrived at the last stage of starting your saltwater aquarium. If all the water tests are positive, you can install your fish. Be vigilant and don't rush, because fish are the elements that will most disturb the good balance of your ecosystem. So don't ruin all your efforts all at once!
Be well informed to buy only fish capable of living together. Don't overcrowd the aquarium either to allow them enough space to live, knowing that all the elements of your little world will gradually grow and expand!
Remember to avoid any sudden risk of water change. Leave your new fish in the bag on the surface of your aquarium for at least 10 minutes then introduce a glass of water from the tank into the bag every 10 minutes three times. Then introduce your fish into the aquarium with a landing net. Avoid pouring the water from the sachet into the tank, as you could disturb the ecosystem by injecting pathogenic organisms into it.
Feed your fish each day in installments, ensuring that everything is eaten at each stage. Indeed, nothing must fall to the bottom to maintain the ecosystem in the right balance.

achraf ben ammar

About the blogger: An expert in breeding and training dogs. He obtained his certificate in this specialty in 2012 from the Military School. He developed his field from the specialty of dogs to an expert in raising pets in general.

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