The best way to bring nature, especially the sea, to your home interiors is by keeping a fish tank or aquarium. There are basically two types of aquariums that an individual can keep - freshwater aquariums and saltwater aquariums, both differing in the type of fish kept inside them. The latter one is the best for keeping exotic fish at your home, while requiring more efforts, than the former, in setting up as well as maintenance. If you want to start a saltwater fish tank at your home, we are here to help you in the task. Read on further to know the things to get for the same, along with some important tips.
How to Build Saltwater Fish Tank
- Fish Tank
- Bleach or Mildewcide
- Distilled Water
- Substrate (Gravel)
- De-chlorinated Water
- Clean the fish tank thoroughly, with a solution of 1 tsp pure bleach and 5 gallons of water. Scrub everything, including tank, plastic plants, decorations and rocks.
- After the scrubbing is over, rinse the tank as well as the items in it several times, with clean water. During this time, make sure to check the tank for any leaks.
- Install the filtration system in the tank, following manufacturer's instructions to the rule.
- Before putting the substrate (gravel) in the fish tank, remember to wash it thoroughly. For every gallon of water that the tank holds, put 1 lb of substrate.
- Place the plants inside the tank, anchoring the bottoms of the plants in the substrate.
- Fill a large bucket with clean, de-chlorinated water.
- Add salt in the water, checking its sufficiency with the help of the hydrometer. Remember, you need to achieve specific gravity between 1.020 and 1.023.
- Fill the fish tank with the saltwater prepared in the above step, making sure to leave about an inch at the top.
- Start the filter system of the tank and add the heater and thermometer. Most of the marine fish do best between 75 and 80 degrees.
- Let the aquarium run for least 72 hours. Make sure to get the temperature settings right and the water moving.
- Cycle the aquarium. It is necessary to get the bacteria to form a steady biological cycle.
- When you are sure that the chemical levels are okay and the tank temperature is within suggested limits, put fish in the tank.
Tips on Starting Saltwater Aquarium
- Always keep the aquarium near an electrical outlet and away from direct sunlight or drafts.
- Never use soap or detergent to clean the things that have to be put inside the fish tank.
- Do not use any metal-item inside the tank, as saltwater causes metal to rust easily.
- Put a 1/4-inch Styrofoam sheet under the tank. It will help distribute the weight more evenly.
- Since water movement is an absolute must in saltwater aquariums, make sure to buy a powerhead.
- Protein skimmer is very necessary for saltwater tanks, as it removes organic debris before it converts to nitrates. You might need an external water pump and possibly, an air pump for your skimmer.