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» Setting up a Saltwater Aquarium

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Setting up a Saltwater Aquarium
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Setting up a saltwater aquarium system is no more difficult really than any other type of creation. Its just a list of things that you need to do to begin and end the project.

As with any other project, educate yourself. Research all you can about saltwater aquariums through the use of books pet stores and any other arena you can find with good information.

The First step then, is education.

Secondary to that, will be where in your home you are going to house the aquarium, and picking one out to begin the setup.

Having done so I can tell you that it is a HUGE pain to move an aquarium even a minimal distance and it isn’t easily accomplished without hazard and mischance, so make sure where you place the aquarium is exactly where you want it to be.

Chances are until you take it down, or need to empty it completely to clean it for whatever reason, that you aren’ t going to be moving it any distance. Placement is going to be one of the major considerations therefore.

Keep in mind that you will need sufficient space or access around the tank for cleaning/maintenance, also make sure there is adequate electrical outlets where you select as your tank area. Take into consideration where your electrical outlets are. Make sure to pick a spot where direct sunlight will not shine on it, especially in the hot summer months.

Chances are you will want to make the tank, if not the focal point of the room, at least placed in an area where it will be easily seen to be enjoyed and admired by those who are seated in the room

If you are concerned about the flooring and the weight of a tank, also bear in mind when placing it that a 55 gallon tank filled with water will have about the same weight as two average adult men, or somewhere between 300 and 400 pounds. If you are concerned about structure, place the tank on a weight bearing wall such as an outside wall.

If you are renting, you will want to check with your landlord prior to erecting the tanks. In most cases the no pets clause in the lease does not apply to the aquarium or fish, but he or she may have qualms about various high water and high weight tanks in the house. Lastly, your decision about where the tank will be will be affected by the size of the tank and available space.

With the measurement notes you made while determining the aquarium location in hand, shop around for the size of tank you have figured out you have room for, along with the stand to display it on. If you are looking at buying a complete all-in-one aquarium/cabinet/stand/light hood/canopy combination, make sure you have ample room for this type of unit if you are limited on space.

As far as size or gallons, a basic 20-55 gallon tank will work fine. However, keep in mind that smaller tanks, below 55 gallons, require more maintenance and care. Water quality changes can occur more rapidly and they can get dirty a lot faster, thus requiring more frequent cleaning and water changes.

Aquariums today are being constructed with one of two basic materials, glass or acrylic. Acrylic is stronger and more light weight, but the surface has a tendency to scratch if you are not careful. Glass is less expensive, but it is more prone to breakage and cracking, and is heavier.

Besides the standard rectangular style of aquarium there are a number of other innovative designs on the market today, like the Tenecor acrylic Flat Back Hexagonal, Hexagon, Quarter Cylinder, Pentagon and Vista Corner units
Shop around and see what you can find.

STEP TWO– Filters:

Filtration will be the number one consideration in keeping your tank free of sediment and waste. Marineland Magnum is a recommendation from those who have had saltwater tank for years and they claim that they do not require much more than cleaning out the debris from inside them with tank water.

Also recommended are Hagan Aquaclear 301 powerheads (175 gph each) Ug filters with reverse flow foam filters.

STEP THREE – Substrate:

Substrate is the floor of the tank and the material where the aquarium plants will root. The most important factor is that the substrate should be a material that does not adversely affect the water by changing the pH and water hardness. You want a happy medium. Crushed coral or shells and certain kinds of gravel will create a high pH and high carbonate hardness, which is not good for your aquarium plants. On the other hand low pH and very soft water can cause root-rot, Natural substrates are always best, and try to avoid epoxy coated things such as glass beads of ceramic materials.

STEP FOUR – Heater:

Very self explanatory, particularly if you live in a cold climate.

Lighting: I have been seeing all kinds of opinions with how much light you need for corals, for saltwater tanks in general and for particular fish specifically. Every opinion seems to be different and every lighting scheme believes it is the best out there. Best advice on this one is research research research until you find the perfect scheme for your particular situation. If you are interesting in knowing more about Saltwater tanks, or some of the do it yourself projects that are out there why not pay a visit to ABOUT SALTWATER PROJECTS.

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