Perfect Saltwater Tank

30 gallon tank Custom Hood Custom Stand 1 Phillips Ultralume 1 Cora life Actinic Blue Wizard Electronic Ballast DIY w d filter Amiracle Prefilter Eheim 1250 DIY 30 Air-driven skimmer Hagen 801 power head Tetra Luft G Air pump Hagen 301 (circulation) Ebo Jaeger 100W heater 20 lbs dolomite Misc. Rocks 28 (now 49 including the end caps) Quick Tips to Save your Time and Money Selection of appropriate equipment is very crucial, for example, skimmers. What do I mean Well I mean resources, time, etc....

A supportive husbandwifepartner or be single

Your SW tank will take up more money and time than you can possibly expect, unless you are SUPER good at planning. If you are single, you can skip this requirement, but keep it in the back of your mind when choosing a partner. Your SW fish tank may go away when you move in together. Seriously though, this tank that is a gleam in your eye, will eat up time and money very rapidly. If your significant other is jealous of this or demands the money and time be spent better elsewhere, you should...

Bringing the Fish Home

Once you get the fish home you should set the bag in the destination tank, thus allowing the temperature to equalize. After about a half hour or so, add a 1 4 cup of tank water to the bag. Repeat this process once every 15 minutes for an hour, removing any water if the bag gets too full. Any water you remove from the bag should be disposed of. It will most likely contain parasites and other bad things. After you have the fish acclimated to your tank's water chemistry, there are a couple of...

Concern for the environment and critters

While some will argue that the SW hobby is bad for the environment(Lots of materials and electricity to keep a few wild animals in your house), I feel it has a beneficial effect on the world, if done properly. You should take the time to research your choices for your SW tank so that there is minimal death to your inhabitants. Putting 10 SW fish in a 10 gallon aquarium is either going to end in the death of all the fish, or one big happy fat predatory fish. Don't make snap purchases at fish...

Filtration Installation

Once the tank is placed, install the filtration. If it is an UGF, then place the filter plate(s) on the bottom of the tank. If it is a wet dry, then connect the pre-filter and all the hoses. Prior to adding the substrate, rinse it with plain water until the water runs clear, and then add it to the tank. On top of the substrate arrange the decorations. Now the saltwater may be added. The easiest way to add water to a tank is to place a plate on the substrate and pour the water onto the plate....

General Notes

Keeping a quarantine tank is especially important for saltwater tanks. It can be very difficult to treat a sick fish when it is continually being harassed by healthier fish. Also, some medications, namely copper, will kill invertebrates. You should NEVER put copper into your main tank. Contrary to popular belief, you will never be able to get all of the copper out of the tank. Also, using copper in a tank which contains live rock will decimate the life forms populating the rock, as most of them...

Lighting Requirements

With the setup nearly complete, you need to consider your near-term and far-term lighting requirements. If you plan on having a fish-only tank forever, then you only need a single full spectrum bulb. However, if you plan to advance in your hobby and keep more sensitive animals such as anemones, you must carefully select your lighting (and filtration as well). Anemones require very strong, full spectrum lighting, supplemented with actinic blue. The general rule of thumb is a minimum of 3-4 watts...

Patience

Things take time to develop in this hobby. If you find yourself changing hobbies every week or you can't commit to anything long term, you will probably become quickly bored of this hobby and find out the 1000 setup you bought 3 months ago only sells for 100 used. If you aren't patient, time to choose another hobby. Stable Electricity Without stable electricity your tank will crash and be very smelly. Do the lights in your house blink like Christmas tree lights Do you live in the middle of...

Stand Placement

The first thing you need to do is to place the stand in it's final position. Make sure the stand is level in all direction. Next, place a piece of Styrofoam or rubber on the top of stand where the tank will sit. This eliminates small gaps between the stand and tank reducing pressure points which might cause the tank to crack after being filled. After the stand is positioned, place the tank on the stand. Make sure the tank is level in all directions. Note a tank that is not level has a great...

Wet Dry Filter best filtration systems for a fishonly tank

One of the best possible filtration systems for a fish-only marine tank is a wet dry filter. Although commercial setups are fairly expensive, a wet dry filter can be made very inexpensively at home with little effort. The ARCHIVE has a lot of information about constructing your own W D filter system (as well as other fish related projects). Many people advocate wet dry filters for marine tanks stating they are the only acceptable solution. This is simply not true. Any one of the popular...

What Equipment is Needed

Now that we are comfortable with the basic factors of a saltwater aquarium, let's look into what is needed to run a successful tank. The components needed to run a successful saltwater tank depends a lot on who you talk to. You should never operate solely under the advice of one person. For example, many people advocate using under gravel filters for biological filtration. This however, must be tempered with wisdom. A saltwater tank running an under gravel filter (UGF) with minimal circulation...

Whats the Difference Between Salt Water and Fresh Water

So what's different about saltwater versus freshwater As alluded to above, saltwater fish are more sensitive to changes in their environment. Freshwater fish are found in rivers, streams, ponds and lakes, saltwater fish are collected from oceans and seas. As such, their natural environment is quite stable and they do not readily adapt to major changes in water chemistry or temperature. In addition, since nearly all saltwater fish and invertebrates are captured in the wild (many freshwater fish...

Converting to Saltwater

One of the most frequently asked questions in the news groups is how to convert from freshwater to saltwater. What equipment needs to replaced, what needs to purchased, etc Most equipment used in freshwater can be used in a saltwater system, with a few exceptions. You should start by replacing your gravel with some sort of calcareous material. Examples include crushed coral, dolomite and aragonite. Using these types of substrate tend to help buffer the water and produce a more stable...

Beginner Invertebrates

Many people believe that invertebrates are only for mini or micro-reef tanks. Not so. There are quite a few invertebrates that do well in non-reef tanks. However, not a lot of invertebrates should be attempted by inexperienced saltwater fish keepers. Below is a brief summary of the more hardy invertebrates available to aquarists. There are many different shrimps available in the market, with most of them being perfectly suitable for a lightly loaded saltwater tank. In fact, some shrimps are...

Disposable Income

Hey wait, we've already talked about money right Yes and no. Maybe you have a huge tax return to finally start that 200 gallon tank you've always wanted, but what about maintaining it Pennies right Nope If you consider the cost of salt, test kits, electricity, replacement parts, etc, you should plan to spend at least 50- 100 a month on your tank maintaining it. Do you want to actually ADD corals and fish to your tank on a regular basis Figure at least 100- 300 a month then. Have your credit...

Important Factors

The important factors of a saltwater tank are pH, nitrate, salinity, and temperature. During the cycling process, ammonia and nitrite can also be a problem. These elements are not different from those of a freshwater tank, but the degree to which they may stray is vastly different. The pH of a marine tank is one of the most important factors. Marine fish and invertebrates are especially sensitive to rapid changes in their pH, so keeping pH fluctuations within 0.2 each day is very critical. All...