Having a goldfish is cool and all, but having a clownfish? Even cooler.
If you have ever imagined having a saltwater aquarium to create a beautiful underwater ecosystem of your own, then you are in the right place. It isn’t as hard as you think to set up a saltwater aquarium, and it really doesn’t take as much time, money, or stress to put the tank of your dreams together.
Interested in learning more about saltwater fish tanks? Keep reading for a simple guide for what to do next.
Plan and Prepare
Making sure you have all of the necessary tools and equipment is essential. Budget out what tank you want for your living space (be sure to check your lease for tank size limits if you’re living in a rental space or condo) and figure out the kind of creatures and such you want living there. Also, keep in mind that you will need an aquarium light and filter for the water.
The tank should reflect the size of the fish and coral you want in the space, so make sure that it will fit not too large and not too small. Another thing to note is that you should scout out a location away from air vents, building exits, and windows to keep the water temperature stabilized, as any change will stress out your wet friends.
Cleaning Your Supplies
After you purchase all of your tank supplies and find the perfect spot, but before you purchase the creatures, make sure you clean your tank and gear. Always avoid cleaning detergents, as this could harm the fish.
Try just using a damp cloth to give everything a wipe down, or if it happens to be a used tank use the good old-fashioned method of vinegar and water to get grime off of the tank.
After cleaning the tank, make sure you remember to clean the substrate, or floor material, for the tank. This is important because it can contain dust particles, that will be harmful to your tank’s inhabitants if it isn’t rinsed.
Some common mistakes made by beginning aquarists, like leaving the tank lights on before you get fish, can be really detrimental to the ecosystem so make sure to read up on it.
Time to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium
Next, you need to begin adding in the substrate, or the floor material. This can be coinciding with the preference of the type of fish you plan on purchasing because some prefer soft sands to rocks or even crushed coral. Although putting together this aquarium may take weeks, your ecosystem will thrive because of it.
After the substrate has been gently added to the tank, you can begin adding in water. This must specifically be water that has gone through reverse osmosis and then mix in your salt. Testing the water chemical levels can be crucial to your aquarium’s health, so make sure to cure your substrate for the appropriate amount of time and sort out the water levels before bringing home any fish.
Check ammonia levels and adjust pH levels as needed. You need to buy a hanna ph meter kit to test the pH balance of your aquarium’s water. With a saltwater aquarium, it is vital to manage the chemical and mineral levels.
Relax and Maintain
Now that you’ve learned to set up a saltwater aquarium, the hard part is over. When all is said and done don’t forget to kick your feet up and take in all the beauty you created.
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