The key to cultivating a healthy and thriving aquarium is to maintain high water quality in your tank. The quality of your tank water is impacted by a number of different factors including the number of fish you keep, the amount and type of food you offer, the frequency with which you change the tank water, and the quality of your filtration system. If you stick to a routine for maintenance and avoid overfeeding your fish, it shouldn’t be difficult to keep the water quality high.
Another aspect of water quality in an aquarium is water chemistry – this includes things like the hardness of your tank water, the salinity, and levels of certain toxins like ammonia and nitrate. One component of water chemistry that many aquarium hobbyists overlook but is actually very important is pH. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of pH in a marine tank and how to manage it.
What is the pH Scale?
In technical terms, pH is the measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. In more simplistic terms, pH is a measure of the alkalinity or acidity of a liquid. Measurements of pH are taken on a scale from 1 to 14 with 7.0 being a neutral value – measurements below 7.0 are acidic and measurements above are alkaline. Though different species of fish and other tank inhabitants have slightly different preferences for pH, the ideal range for a marine aquarium is between 7.8 to 8.5, though a pH of...read more
If you were asked to name some of the differences between a freshwater tank and a reef tank, you would probably list things like salinity and lighting requirements. Another difference you shouldn’t forget to consider is water movement. Water movement is important in any aquarium but it is particularly important in a marine tank, especially one that houses corals. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of water flow in a marine tank and to receive some specific tips for cultivating proper water movement in a coral tank.
Understanding the Basics of Water Flow in Marine Tanks
When it comes to water flow in your marine tank, you need to understand more than just what it is – you need to know why it is important. Not only is water flow an integral part of an authentic marine environment, but it plays an important role in gas exchange. As your fish take in oxygen through their gills, they produce carbon dioxide as a waste product and that carbon dioxide can build in your tank water. When the CO2 levels in your tank get too high, it can have a negative impact on the pH and the alkalinity in your tank which, in turn, could cause problems for your fish.
Another important thing that water flow accomplishes in a marine tank (particularly a reef tank), is sweeping accumulated detritus away from your corals. Live corals have a mucus coating that serves to protect them. When water flow...read more
Any experienced aquarium hobbyist will tell you that there is a lot more involved in keeping a saltwater tank than in keeping a freshwater tank – it is just the truth. But just because maintaining a thriving saltwater tank is a little more challenging doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth it! Saltwater fish are some of the most colorful creatures on the planet and there is something rewarding about caring for a tank full of vibrant, thriving fish. As you do so, however, you are going to experience setbacks and problems – here are some tips for dealing with common saltwater tank problems:
1. Temperature Fluctuations – One of the simplest yet most important things you need to do to keep your saltwater tank healthy is to maintain a stable tank temperature. The ideal temperature for your tank may vary slightly depending on the type of fish you keep, but you should aim for something in the range of 72°F to 84°F as your outside temperatures – something between 75°F and 81°F is better. Keeping the temperature in your tank stable can be a challenge if you live in an area where the climate fluctuates. Your best bet is to invest in a solid aquarium heater (or two if you have a large tank) and hook them up to a thermostat so you can set the ideal temperature you want to maintain. It will also help for you to keep your tank away from direct sunlight and protected from drafts.
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