How To Setup A Saltwater Aquarium

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How to setup a saltwater aquariumA marine or saltwater aquarium can be a great asset to any room with vibrant colors and spectacular back drops of coral, there are two types of aquarium setup for a saltwater tank a reef aquarium or a fish only aquarium.

The reef aquarium is a little more complected to setup than a fish only tank for the purpose of this guide we will setup a fish only aquarium as you can always convert a fish only tank to a reef tank at a later time.

Select a large tank to setup a saltwater aquarium as the marine fish are often larger than freshwater tropical fish and require much more room in the tank you also need room for a reef setup at a later stage around a 150 liter to 250 liter aquarium is ideal.

With saltwater aquariums there is alot of equipment needed like skimmers, large filtration systems and lighting an enclosed cabinet with doors to place the aquarium on is the best way to go as the equipment can be hidden from view inside the cabinet.

As with any aquarium setup select a place out of direct sunlight this will help to keep algae at bay and away from to much foot traffic you do not want a large aquarium to fall over make sure the floor can handle the weight and is level.

The equipment needed to run a saltwater aquarium will differ to what is needed in a freshwater aquarium, a reliable protein skimmer is needed to skim of any protein that is floating in the water to help and reduce ammonia buildup in the aquarium.

The saltwater aquarium needs to be Nitrogen cycled just like a freshwater aquarium and the ammonia levels stabilized before the tank can be fully stocked with fish, the PH level also needs to be managed for a healthy saltwater aquarium using a dedicated saltwater testing kit is the best way to go.

A high quality filtration system is needed with any saltwater aquarium setup these type of filters usually are housed below the aquarium inside the cabinet a hose draws the water down into the filter and a return hose pumps the filtered water back into the tank, a filtration system may also include a sump.

The water for your marine aquarium needs to be mixed with salt compounds purchased from aquarium shops you need to dechlorinate freshwater first then mix them together the best way to do this is in large buckets that have never been used before this is important as you may contaminate the aquarium follow the manufactures instructions for mixing the saltwater.

A high quality lighting system is needed for a saltwater aquarium and quality LED lighting units are a great choice when connected to a timer you can control the amount of light needed within a 24 hour period, with a reef tank the color temperature of the lighting needs to be right as some corals live in shallow water while others live in deep water the deeper you go in water the color temperature changes as corals use photosynthesis to survive this is extremely important.

A suitable substrate is need in the saltwater aquarium and needs to look natural so using heavy sands or crushed coral is a great choice as for decorations you can use large rocks or coral ,in a reef environment the coral can be live but for a fish only tank rocks are fine.

When setting up the electrical equipment below the tank always use a circuit breaker where all the leads connect to you are working in an environment that has the possibility to electrocute if you are not careful always safety first.