SETTING UP A SALTWATER TANK SYSTEM
What to Consider Before Starting
- Decide the exact location of where you plan to place the tank. This is an important step. If you are short on space, you may not be able to get a tank that is too large.
- In addition, you need to make sure that you can access it easily for maintenance purposes.
- Find a spot that does not get direct sunlight otherwise you run the risk of having unsightly algae grow in the tank – you could also have problems with maintaining a stable temperature.
- Another consideration is the cost associated with setting up and keeping a salt-water tank. As with any hobby, a salt-water tank can be an expensive venture.
You will need to shop for various supplies and accessories such as:
- Tank, canopy (hood that fits on top of the tank), and stand (for the tank to sit on)
- Live rock (This is optional, but often used in reef tanks and saltwater tanks.)
- Sand and accessories (e.g., rocks and plants)
- Food and water treatment supplies (e.g., salt mix, other additives)
- Lighting system and bulbs
- Heater for the tank
- Filter such as a powerhead, which are probably the most common of aquarium filters. They are easy to install and maintain and provide both mechanical and chemical filtration. Some newer types also provide for biological filtration.
- Fish and corals
- Possibly a hospital tank to quarantine sick fish
Other Factors to Consider
The key to keeping your saltwater tank system running smoothly is to keep up you’re your routine maintenance tasks. In addition to replacing filter media, cleaning the tank glass and testing the tank water you will also need to perform regular water changes. Changing the water in your tank is one task you simply cannot skip – it is essential for maintaining high water quality in your tank which is the key to keeping your fish healthy. Expect to spend about 20 to 30 minutes a day and then about three to four hours a week maintaining the tank. On top of that, expect to spend an additional three to four hours every few months for a full tank cleaning.
They are the simplest type of salt water tank to set up, they cost less in set-up and maintenance costs and may require less stringent filtration.
The potential to overstock the tank with fish thereby overcrowding the fish and causing metabolite pollution and wipeout. Other cons include that you can't keep corals, which are often very pretty and provide a focal point of interest in the tank.
Easier to maintain optimum and consistent water quality. They require only a few steadfast rules regarding lighting, filtration-results, and set-up. A reef system is also very beautiful, more interesting and challenging.
The fact that they are that it is more expensive, more time consuming to set-up and potentially more difficult maintain.
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