A saltwater aquarium can be described as a tank filled with saltwater – the tank is usually with glass borders on all sides – inside which aquatic plants and animals adapted to saltwater habitats are kept for decorative purposes.
Image credit:Animal Planet
Keeping a saltwater aquarium can be quite an interesting adventure, as you would have a sea life in your own personal space. But before enjoying the luxury of having a beautiful sea aquarium, all factors must be considered in other to avoid a disaster.
First you must determine the best location for your aquarium; it should be placed away from windows, outside doors and heat vents. To maintain healthy levels of chemicals and minerals in a marine aquarium, you have to test the water with some test kits.
Coral reefs provide one of the most stable environments on earth for the fish so the most important is to provide a stable environment as possible for your home marine aquarium.
One of the best ways to keep your aquarium up and running, is by performing regular water changes in other to reduce the nitrates accumulation, frequent small water changes are better than one complete instant change.
Also it should be noted that changing the water present saltwater tank is a bit more complicated than changing the water in a freshwater tank. For instance, a hobbyist might have to make a trip to the beach to collect natural salt water or mix up their own salt water by combining various chemical elements.
The water temperature in the aquarium should be monitored occasionally, and adjusted when necessary.
Week in week out, the water should be tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate residues. The aquarium water should be changed almost every two weeks; 10 percent of the constituent water should be discharged and a fresh ten percent of water introduced to replace the discharged quantity.
Just before you water your aquarium you have to install a filter and there are three ways of filtration: chemical, biological and mechanical. Chemical filtration method refers to the use of activated carbon for the removal of dissolved organic compounds present in the tank while mechanical filtration refers to a specially designed canister filter tank or hang-on-tank unit. If you are using an under-gravel filter, always rinse and place the bottom plates into the tank and attach all parts airline, tubes, gang valves, air pump and check the valves. Do your due diligence and make sure the power heads are completely submerged when the tank is filled.
Hook up the air-stone if you want bubbles. Ensure that you add an appropriate amount of water conditioner and/or additive into your tank. Also add the marine salt, a little at time, until your detect a change on the hydrometer specific gravity with readings of about 1.020.
Ensure you place your heater into your tank during installation and place the hood and light onto the tank (if applicable). After all this is done, all you have to do is plug in your filter, light, and air pump and now is the time to wait for about 4 weeks before adding your first fish.