Learn more about establishing a healthy, beautiful saltwater aquarium, from selecting a setup to match your interests and your home to ensuring the health of your new pets at Bella Coastal Decor today.
A saltwater aquarium can make a lovely, colorful, and interesting addition to any home! If you're feeling ready to try one, planning will make the process go smoothly. Consider the following:
What size tank will fit in your home? What living conditions will your fish require? A common guideline is five gallons of water per one inch of fish, but many saltwater species grow with age, so you'll need wiggle room.
What size tank can you afford to both assemble and maintain? Establishment of healthy conditions followed by acclimatization of the marine are both lengthy processes, so tempting as it may be to start small and upgrade later, it's not advisable. Think long term from the get go.
Once your tank is set up, it will be difficult to move. What room will make for the best viewing? The design features there may determine the kind of stand and tank you choose. Design features of your home may also be accented or assaulted by your choice of tank decor and fish, so think ahead.
Location within your chosen room is also crucial. Direct sunlight will cause excess algae; is there an area in this room with limited, indirect sunlight? Does that area have enough accessible and open electrical outlets for a filter, heater, and lighting system?
You'll need to decide on fish (and other sea creatures!) to host. What species are you interested in viewing? What do they need to thrive? What species are compatible with them?
You'll need a trustworthy place to purchase everything. While much can be purchased online, as a beginner, it will benefit you greatly to locate a local pet/speciality fish store with a knowledgeable staff. They'll be able to inform your decisions and keep you on track.
Once these decisions have been made and the supplies have been purchased, it's go time!
Setting Up Your Aquarium
First, you'll want to clean your new tank with some warm water and a clean rag only. Be thorough. You'll likewise want to be thorough rinsing your chosen gravel, substrate, or sand. Water only. Use a sieve if necessary.
Once the tank and gravel, substrate, or sand are clean, you can place the latter in the former. Make sure the tank is securely in its stand and level. About one pound of gravel or substrate per gallon of your tank will get you to the optimum one inch depth.
Next, the process of achieving the perfect seawater begins. This can intimidate a lot of aspiring saltwater tank keepers, as the ingredients and ratios must be precise to ensure the health of your plants and fish.
Tap water can contain chemicals toxic to them. If you must use it, leave it sitting out for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate before placing it in the tank. Your local pet store may also have a tap water treatment solution available, which treats tap water and makes it safe for inhabitants.
If budget allows, you may purchase premixed saltwater from your local pet store. You can even buy packages of fish tank sea salt, also available at pet stores, with mixing ratios and instructions on the package.
With the tank 1/3 full, gravity test your water. Good? Then fill the rest. Remember that everything else that still needs to go in the tank will displace water. Run your whole system—filtration, heater, and lighting for 24 hours before retesting your water's salt level and temperature.
Now you get to decorate. Consider adding plants and properly cured live rock to your scheme. They add visual interest for you and for the fish, but they also further aid in filtration processes.
To establish the correct level of nitrites, a source of ammonia must be added. Live rock can be used, as well as a variety of other specialty products from the pet store. Let your tank run like this for 4-6 weeks, testing the salt levels, temperature, and nitrite levels often. You're letting your new ecosystem establish itself.
It's finally time to introduce your new friends to their new home! You've already done your research. Choose healthy-looking and -behaving fish from tanks that do not have sick or dead fish in them. Then enjoy your home's new serenity and beauty.