Beginner’s Guide to Salt-Water Tanks

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Below are few things every beginner should know before setting up a saltwater fish tanks. This guide is simple but thorough, but in any situation, there are so many mistakes a beginner is ought to make, and we can’t be able to cover all of them in this article. However, what’s in this guide increases the chances of getting a perfect home for your fish.

Tank size

As with freshwater tanks, the bigger the tank, the better. 30 gallons for your first tank is highly recommended. A larger tank has large water volumes, which means more water parameters, but there is the advantage side of that ; if something goes wrong on the tank, it will happen a lot slower than in a small tank.

Type of a tank

There are basically three types of saltwater tanks; the Fish only, the Fish Only with Rock and reef tank. I would consider two of these types to be viable for beginners, but the Fish Only setup is quite difficult in terms of biological control. It’s also difficult to keep saltwater fish without live rocks.

Fish only with Live Rock (FOWLR) are the ideal tanks for beginners. They are typically less expensive, easier to keep, and no too demanding like the other two types. The live rock in them is a basically a fragmented piece of coral reef and other marine life including invertebrates, sponge, and beneficial nitrifying bacteria. This rock provides excellent supplemental filtration and helps maintain stable water parameters.

Reef tanks are much the same as the FOWLR but with added corals and anemones. The inhabitants on such tanks require special attention, so please do some research on lighting, water, and supplementation requirements before setting one.

Water requirements

Never use tap water for saltwater fish tanks. Although the tap water goes through the local water supply purification processes, there are impurities and chemicals that are still present in it. These impurities are not good for fish. You should always use reverse osmosis water or deionized water. Water flow is also important since fish prefers swimming through water flow, but more importantly, help in filtration. Pass water over your live rock, and if possible, position a powerhead towards the water surface to agitate the water. This way, a greater surface area will be created for air and water to mix and will help in oxygenating the tank. To maintain healthy levels of minerals in saltwater tanks, you will need to test the water, so buy a test kit.

Lighting requirements

Fish only or FOWLR tanks will work fine with standard fluorescent lighting, 1-2 watts of light per gallon, but a reef tank will require a little bit stronger lighting. This is because corals in the tank rely on photosynthesis which requires a substantial amount of light.

Having a salt water tank means maintaining a strict maintenance schedule to keep your fish and other inhabitants healthy. There are tasks that you must do every day without failing, some weekly, other bi-weekly or monthly. Therefore, make sure you understand what is required of you before setting up a saltwater fish tank. Always make sure the tank works properly, maintain proper temperatures and above all, make sure it has good salt levels before adding fish.

By |2016-04-24T10:51:02+00:00April 24, 2016|Categories: , , |Tags: , , , |1 Comment

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  1. Biodiversity Day | Animalplex May 25, 2017 at 9:23 am - Reply

    […] Ecosystem diversity is harder to define than the other two levels of biodiversity. Ecosystem diversity refers to the variety of ecosystems in a certain location or place. An ecosystems diversity can only be evaluated on a local, regional basis rather than on a global scale. An ecosystem could cover any area such as; a coral reef, an oceanic depth or a small rock pool. An ecosystem is a community of organisms and their physical environment in interaction. An example of an ecosystems diversity would be the Great Barrier Reef located in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living structure on the planet. It provides habitat for nearly 9,000 species of marine life including different corals and fish. Many of these plant and animal species develop a symbiosis relationship. A symbiosis is when two organisms live in a relationship in which at least one of them benefits. Coral reef ecosystems are teeming with the symbiotic relationship, an example of this can be found with the clownfish and sea anemone. The anemone’s tentacles are deadly to most fish, however, the clownfish has developed a coating of mucus which makes them immune to the sting of the anemone. The clown fish can, therefore, live among the anemone and obtain protection from predators. The clown fish also feeds on organisms that could harm the sea anemone and the clown fish’s fecal waste serve as nutrients to the sea anemone. […]

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