Saltwater Aquariums; Equipment, Chemistry, Maintenance

Saltwater Aquarium Equipment

You will have the best success by using all three of the following filters. A biological filter with ceramic rings to remove toxic ammonia which is created from fish waste, decaying plant material and uneaten food. The filter will actually convert the toxic ammonia to nitrate which is harmless to the fish.
A Chemical filter with carbon to extract toxins from the water. A mechanical filter with filter floss to which push the water through the floss and acts like a strainer. This strainer will catch particles that are free-floating in the water because they cannot pass through the tiny openings in the floss material.
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    It is best to use stainless steel equipment because other metals will rust
    You will also need to have adequate water circulation in your saltwater aquarium. The saltwater solution will have lower amounts of dissolved oxygen when compared to freshwater aquariums and the tank water surface needs to be disrupted to maximize oxygen transfer with the surrounding atmosphere.
    Use a gravel that has calcareous material such as crushed coral, argonite, or dolomite to help buffer and stabilize the water.
    A freshwater lighting system will be fine in your saltwater tank, but if you add invertebrates, you will need to increase the amount of light.

    Water Source For Your Saltwater Tank

    The source water you use for a saltwater tank is important. Water from your tap contains chlorine and chloramine and these can kill fish. Phosphates can cause massive hair algae growth over time and possibly outbreaks of red slime algae. If you use the reverse osmosis water purifier, combined with de-ionizing resins, the water will become 98% pure. If you cannot afford this you may use distilled water, as long as it has not been stored in copper containers, because copper will kill invertebrates.

    Chemistry Balance

    It is important to monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels and watch the PH, which tends to fall over time. You can mix a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), with dechlorinated water and slowly add it to the tank over a couple hours. You will see a fall in PH, but it will stabilize to 8.2 over time.
    In a few weeks your aquarium will mature, and you will see brown algae beginning to cover everything in the tank.

    Clean the tank weekly. In time the green algae will replace the brown algae. If this does not happen you will need to increase the lighting so that the green algae can compete more successfully.

    After the tank stabilizes you can do the first major water change, as well as cleaning the gravel with a cleaning product. The new water you add (40 to 50%), needs to have a chemistry balance similar to what you already had in the tank. Keep the PH within 0.2 and the water within a degree or 2 of what it had been.

    Aquarium Tank Maintenance

    Following the first water changeover, you can change the water once a month. Do algae scraping each week.

    Feeding Saltwater Fish

    Feed the fish 2 times per week with a varied diet of flake food, shrimp and clam. A combined food Flake food and frozen live brine shrimp is good. Alternate between shrimp and clam. If you have herbivorous (meat and plant eating fish), also give them romaine lettuce or an algae called Nori.

    Suggested Equipment and Supplies For A Successful Saltwater Tank:

    • 30 gallon tank and Hood
    • Stand
    • Philips Ultralume
    • Actinic Blue
    • Electronic Ballast
    • Prefilter
    • DIY w/d filter
    • Eheim 1250
    • 30″ Air-driven skimmer
    • Hagen 801 powerhead
    • Tetra Luft G Air pum
    • Hagen 301 (circulation
    • 100W heate
    • 20 lbs dolomite
    • Misc. Rocks
    • Fish
    alt Water Aquarium

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