There are actually several preparations that you need to have before you can incorporate salt water fish tanks set up. It’s not just about choosing any kind of aquarium and then placing it close to your bed or on the window pane to create a refreshing outlook. On the contrary to what you believe, managing and setting up the water tank requires a long process – and quite some time before the actual execution. So, what are the stages and what should you do about it?
Setting a Salt water Fish Aquarium – How to Do It
When you want to manage the salt water fish tanks set up, there are steps to do and you need to make sure that you have covered everything. Be advised that these stages are quite long – and they are quite detailed.
1. Test for Leaks
The first step in salt water fish tanks set up is to test the tank. You want to test your tank – making sure that leaks aren’t present. Do the test before you place the tank. It won’t do any good to be fussy about finding the perfect location without knowing whether the tank can hold up or not. How do you test it, anyway?
- Choose a location. Make sure that if leaks do happen, the location is quite safe and you won’t cause any serious damage. It’s advisable to do it at a parking spot, backyard, or a driveway that can be accessible and reached by a hose. If you don’t have any of that, you can try the basement, mudroom, garage, laundry room, kitchen, or a bathroom. Make sure that the area can support the tank’s weight, is okay when a leak happens, you can easily clean it up, and it should also be level.
- Fill it up with fresh water. No need to worry about mixing any salt or such thing alike. You only want to test out the tank.
- By using a towel, dry out the outside area of the tank. Remove any water or drips around the edge molding. You don’t want to see any water outside – you only want to have the water inside.
- With a piece of tape or erasable market, mark the (water) level on the outside.
- Just leave the tank be – do it for a day or two. Check it regularly. Has the level stayed the same? Do you notice any puddles or leaks? Do you see any droplet beading up around the tank’s seams or the outside corners?
Don’t think of it as a waste of time
Most people would say, “I just bought it. It shouldn’t’ have any leaks at all!” Yes, it shouldn’t have leaked because it’s brand new. But let’s not forget that tanks are basically fragile glass pieces that are connected to thin plastic and silicone. It’s possible that it deals with poor transportation or poor handling during the movement. So, if you want to be safe and you don’t want to take chances, it’s better to check.
2. Move the Tank to the Desired Location Salt water Fish
- Placing the tank is another important step of salt water fish tanks set up. It isn’t just about placing a tank and then you are done. You need to make sure that the location is safe – and your living space is okay with it. And how do you know which location would be ideal for it? Here are the things that determine the placement of the location.
- The floor should be sturdy and solid to support the weight. Keep in mind that a water tank is heavy. A 20 gallon of aquarium weighs around 200 pounds, while a 92 gallon weighs around 1050 pounds. You don’t want to choose a flimsy area of the house to support such a weight.
- The area will be affected. Saltwater aquarium will affect the area as salt may creep to the walls, floors, and tables. Not to mention that the water’s nature is to drip and splash so the area would be humid or wet. Is it okay if the floor is wet? If you have expensive rare Brazilian floor nearby, it may be a bad idea to place the aquarium there. Just make sure that the nearby location or items won’t be damaged (or ruined) if it gets salty or wet – or if you are okay with it when it happens.
- The location should be accessible. Don’t forget that your aquarium needs cleaning and cleansing. You may have to arrange the rock work or clean the glass. If you have any plumbing below or behind the tank, you want to be able to access it. Your aquarium should have easy access that won’t give you an issue.
- ·The aquarium should be visible. After all, this is the reason why you have the aquarium, right? To be able to see the display. Keep in mind that the aquarium will make noises and it will give out light, so you may want to place it in the area not being close to the living room or the area where you record your podcast. Make sure that the aquarium can be seen quite well and it can exude its beauty.
- Your aquarium shouldn’t be the focus of drastic or significant temperature changes. You shouldn’t place the water tank in an area that heats up in summers and freezes in winters, or where it gets direct blazing sunlight and also gets direct splashes of rain or snow. Placing the aquarium in a drafty window would be a bad idea. Be smart about this location. You want to place it in a shady area, but not too enclosed that it may cause serious issue with humidity.
- Finding a well-ventilated area is also crucial. You see, water tends to evaporate. When you place your aquarium in a spot, the humidity will definitely increase – because of the evaporation. That’s why putting the aquarium in your bedroom is such a terrible idea. Make sure that the area is well-ventilated – an open and airy location can be an ideal option.
3. Be Sure that the Water Tank Is Level
You need the water tank to be placed on a level spot – that’s the third stage in salt water fish tanks set up. Just because the tank doesn’t leak at the first test, it doesn’t mean that it won’t leak when you have it at home. You see, stress for the saltwater aquarium resulted from uneven pressure (on the seam). If you place the aquarium not in a level area, it would be impossible to fill up a tank without spilling the water on the one side.
And in the end, you put even more pressure on one side. It’s just a matter of time before the seam can no longer tolerate the pressure – and then fail over time. If you want to check whether your aquarium is level or not, use a tool that is named a level. It will help you a lot in maintaining the proper location and also placement.
4. Placing the Substrate within the Bottom Side of the Tank Salt Water Fish
Another way to manage salt water fish tanks set up is to place the substrate (the aquarium material, such as the crushed coral or sand) on the bottom side of the aquarium. When you choose the substrate, be sure that it isn’t only functional, but also aesthetics.
When you consider the aesthetic aspect of the substrate, try to imagine how it looks like. Do you want it be filled with soft corals or hard ones? Do you want it packed with popular fish? Do you want white sand layer on the bottom or the colored sand? Do you prefer crushed shells and corals – or even a bare type? Aesthetic depends on one personal preference and need, so imagine how the aquarium should look like, especially years from now.
Consider the functionality
it would be related to the substrate you pick before. For instance, if you choose crushed coral or sand, there is a possibility that bacteria will grow there. But don’t get jitters just yet – the bacteria isn’t always bad because they actually help filtering the ecosystem inside the tank. They are helpful to convert the toxic and dangerous ammonia to nitrite – and then to nitrate.
However, those crushed corals and coarse sand can be dirtier than the fine sand. So, such sand can help with the filtering of the tank but it is also responsible for the mess and waste. That’s why most people would prefer having bare tanks. Yes, bare tanks are plain and bare, but at least they won’t create such a mess. However, if you decide on keeping fish inside the tank, having the sand can actually help because tiny creatures like to live there. They can be the needed food supply for the fish.
Sand for your aquarium.
you need to decide whether you want a biological sand or the dry type. Live sand means that it is wet (and biologically) active – and big chances that it is colonized by (millions of) bacteria already. With this, you won’t have to cycle your tank. On the other hand, dry sand means that you deal with inactive type. You will have to wash it a lot, but it won’t be as expensive as the live sand. What about combining them both? Of course you can! Add the dry sand on the bottom and then add around two bags of the live sand to mix it up.
5. Add the Rock Work and Arrange It
Once you are done with substrate, you can add the rock work – that’s another step in salt water fish tanks set up. The question is, do you want to use the live rock or the dry rock? With dry rock, you can save money for the purchase. The name already suggests what it is: a dry type of rock that hasn’t been colonized with invertebrates or bacteria. The live rock, on the contrary, is a lightweight rock already invested with invertebrates, algae, and bacteria. In terms of price, live rock is more expensive than the dry one. You need to remember that once the rock is submerged within water (any type of rock, mind you!), it would be live rock eventually.
6. Mix the Saltwater up
You want to mix the saltwater A DAY before you add it to the aquarium. Mixing the saltwater is one method in managing salt water fish tanks set up properly. It doesn’t matter what ever salt mix brand you use. Just use it to the water and mix. Make sure that it clears off. You should heat it up and leave it overnight. Make sure that you know the right proportion of the scoop. In short, you don’t want to rush things when you are in this step. You may want to wait a day before you can finally add it to your aquarium.
7. Place the Powerheads
Your aquarium needs flowing water. Without it, there won’t be any water ecosystem. The algae will grow and your aquarium may be filled with scum. It’s possible that the corals or fish won’t get the needed oxygen for their life longevity. With powerheads, you basically introduce an affordable and inexpensive way for the tank’s water flow.
8. Place the Heater
You want to place the heater in the right place. If your aquarium has a sump, you can place it there – the heater would heat the water and run completely – without being seen. After all, many owners don’t like having to see the device. If you do have the sump, place it anywhere – provided that it is situated under the (water) level. Place it at least one or two inches right under the water level. If you don’t have the sump, simply place the heater at the back side of the tank. If you can do it, place it behind live rock. Make sure that it has open space for the right water circulation.
9. Lighting Installation Salt Water Fish
Lighting is crucial because it’s related to the light intensity needed for better growth. That’s why lighting is needed during the stages of salt water fish tanks set up. You can basically use any kind of light for the aquarium, but the LED lights seem to be the popular option these days. They are efficient in energy, cool running, and long lasting. It is also advisable that you have your own timer. Set the timing for the aquarium to have 10 hours to 12 hours of light every day. Feel free to make adjustments, but the 10 to 12 hours arrangement is the general ideal set up. If you want to add corals, dim the lights first when you add the corals. Then gradually increase the light intensity once you are sure that the corals are adjusting well.
10. Cycle the Tank Salt water Fish
You need to cycle the water tank to maintain stable water parameters. This is a common stage in salt water fish tanks set up so your living things within the tank would stay healthy. In the ocean, the water current would take away the waste and toxic chemicals, and then bring the food rich water and oxygen to the corals. That’s why you want to cycle it – as a part of the biological filter. When you add bacteria additive, live sand, and live rock, you can actually speed up the (cycling) process.
11. Setting up an Isolation Tank
In one way to manage a salt water fish tanks set up, setting an isolation (or also known as the quarantine) tank is crucial. This tank is to prevent diseases and pests from coming into the (main) tank. The isolation tank is a simpler and smaller tank that isn’t only used to isolate, but also observe and treat any fish before adding it to the main tank. Whether you want to add corals or fish to the main tank and you want to make sure that they are completely safe and healthy, then you may need to have the isolation tank altogether. For many aquarists and hobbyists, having such a tank can make a huge difference in keeping the tank or closing it for good.
12. Choose Your Fish
After you figure out a way of salt water fish tanks set up, then you need to add up the living creatures. If this is your first time having a fish, then you should pick the one that is easy to care, peaceful (especially toward their tank mates), and inexpensive. The same should also go if you are thinking about growing corals. Your first fish should be aquacultured, meaning that they are grown in a fish farm – not the ocean. Aquacultured fish has better ability to acclimate to home’s lifestyle. If this is your first time, having a wild captured fish may not be ideal.
Knowing the Salt Water Fish Aquarium Type
Before reading the methods on managing the proper salt water fish tanks set up, you need to know what kind of saltwater aquarium type to choose. Do you want a small or big one? What do you want to keep in it – only corals, only fish, or the combination of coral and fish? Do you want to create an aquascape – a reef tank complete with the corals, fish, crabs, shrimps, clams, and snails within an aesthetically designed layout and rockwork? Do you prefer an open aquarium design with only big fish (only a few of them) swimming around – without any corals or intricate design?
It’s okay if you don’t know what kind of aquarium to choose because most beginner aquarists do. But it would actually be helpful to know what you want and expect from the water tank. Moreover, you should also start to plan the style or look for the aquarium. Close your eyes and how do you picture it? Does it have a glass bottom with bare floor? Do you want sand on the bottom side? Do you have sand bed? A sand bed is visually aesthetic but it does take extra effort. A bare floor may be viewed ‘ugly’ by most people, but you won’t have to worry with extra maintenance or care.
In the end
the decision to decorate and plan your water tank is totally up to you. After all, the aquarium should be designed as you like and as you prefer. Just realize that everything you like (or decide) will determine your water tank’s preparation and management. It will also affect the way you manage the salt water fish tanks set up safely.
The process isn’t short or instant, so make sure whether you are ready to deal with them. It takes quite a process and also extra efforts, but if you can manage the salt water fish tanks set up right, you should be able to have yourself a beautiful outcome.