Article by David H. Urmann
A saltwater aquarium is a great stress reliever. Saltwater aquariums are colorful and beautiful because of the fishes, live corals, crustaceans, mammals, and anemones.
An aquarium setup can be considered a small ecosystem inside your home. It is very relaxing to watch the setup, complete with beautiful fishes swimming before your eyes.
Saltwater aquarium is a setup resembling marine life under the sea. It is more difficult to maintain than fresh water because saltwater fishes are more delicate. It requires a basic knowledge of their nature and natural habitat to keep them healthy in your own tank.
More and more people are drawn to this setup because saltwater aquarium is more colorful and has a greater variety of fishes, corals and other marine living things.
To keep the exotic marine species safe in the saltwater aquarium, you need to use a combination of filters such as mechanical, biological and chemical types to keep the environment healthy and safe for the marine water bodies. Filters also maintain a low level of soluble waste in the tank.
There are numerous filtration systems available in the market, making it easy to take care of these saltwater aquariums. Some of these are the protein skimmer, biological filters, canister filters, under gravel filters, wet and dry trickle filters. You can also add foam and sponge filters and various filtration units like live sand filtration, carbon filtration, live rock filtration and so much more.
Several advanced and skilled aquarists keep octopuses and squids. Others put shrimps, crabs and shells also. In any saltwater setup, the key is to resemble marine life underwater.
You will need some basic equipment to start your setup. One is the power head. It is a small pump attached inside the tank and below the water surface. The power head pulls the water in and expels it back under high-pressure to create turbulence in the waters. For marine fishes, constant water movement is very necessary, just like in their natural habitats. Also, water movement brings food to them. Power head is also important for oxygenation.
In a large tank having numerous corals, it is great to use two power heads situated on separate ends of the tank. You might want to get a wave maker. It will be helpful in producing water motions similar to the sea so that the marine life will easily adapt to your tank.
Also get hydrometers. It measures water salinity in the tank measured in specific gravity. It is also attached inside the wall of the tank. Keeping the right amount of salt in the tank is important to keep the fishes and other marine life alive and healthy.
Use a chiller is to cool the water, especially in summer. Marine fishes live in cold water.
Lighting is also necessary for your setup. For fish only or fish with live rock tanks, a fluorescent light that is pre-installed in the lid or hood are suitable. For mini reef tanks with anemones and corals, install a stronger light. For your reef tank, it is best to purchase a tank canopy kit that houses 3 to 4 very high output or power compact fluorescent tubes.
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