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Marine aquarium, how to get started

Marine aquarium, how to get started

Marine aquarium, how to get started: tips forpreparationof amarine aquarium, necessities, maintenance and expenses to be estimated.

L'setting up a marine aquariumit's just the first step to take. If you already have experience with a freshwater aquarium, know with "salt water" everything becomes more complicated, especially if you want a reef aquarium, rich in corals.

Marine aquarium, how to get started

For thesetting up a marine aquariumyou should have a clear idea of ​​what you want to breed. Of course, if you have no idea and are only now approaching this industry, everything becomes more complicated. In the marine aquarium you can put:

  • Soft corals, coral morphs and anemones (have low requirements)
  • Hard corals lps (of medium difficulty but undoubtedly more demanding than soft corals)
  • Hard corals sps (depending on the species, let's say that the most difficult and demanding specimens are in this category)
  • Fishes
  • Clams
  • Crustaceans

If you want to keep a bit of everything in the tub, know that you will not be able to skimp on the price of the starting materials. If you only want to start with corallimorphs (there are beautiful ones!) Then you can buy entry level material and thus reduce your budget.

Another thing to know: be careful if you want the anemones in the aquarium, they are beautiful but they are stinging for other corals so they cannot come into contact and you will have to keep them well away. In addition, many anemones tend to move around in the tank, so when buying, always ask if it is a basically stationary anemone.

If your idea of ​​a marine aquarium focuses on two clownfish (nemo) and some anemones, then the expense you will have to bear will not be that high. On the contrary, if you want to breed a large number of corals, not only the initial expense will be higher (you will have to buy better lamps, more performing skimmer, filter and ad hoc movement pumps ...) but also themaintenanceperiodic will become more cumbersome.

Here, it is not possible to explain to youhow to set up a marine aquariumwithout knowing what your idea is.

Marine aquarium setup

In general, for thesetting up a marine aquariumyou will need:

  • A tub
  • Lights
  • Movement pumps
  • Filter or sump with return pump
  • Thermostat or heater
  • Skimmer or skimmer
  • Mobile support
  • Osmoregulator (optional and combinable only if you choose the sump)
  • Live rocks
  • Coral sand
  • Resins and bacterial activators

What is the sump? The sump is nothing more than a tank that must be placed in the support cabinet of your aquarium, this tank acts as a filter and houses the skimmer so as to eliminate any encumbrance from your aquarium. If you buy the sump you don't have to buy the filter. If you opt for the sump, you will need, in addition, a return pump and you have the possibility to insert an osmoregulator. What is an osmoregulator? You will find out by reading the paragraph dedicated to marine aquarium maintenance.

How much does a marine aquarium cost?To get an idea of ​​the initial investment, I invite you to read the article "marine aquarium components ".It is not easy to say how much a marine aquarium costs because it all depends on the components and the volume of the tank.

If you are thinking ofbuild a DIY marine aquarium, know that the tub is the one that costs less, today there are excellent extra-clear glass tubs at affordable costs. The greater investment is required for the lights and the skimmer, you just can't skimp on these two components, just as you can't skimp on the cost of the filter if you don't want to set up a sump (for reasons of space).

Marine aquarium: maintenance

Even for maintenance everything depends on the contents of your tank. For amarine reef aquarium, rich in corals, maintenance is constant. Every week you will have to perform nitrate tests, calcium tests, magnesium tests ... and other tests to understand the composition and quality of the water.

Know that the water in your aquarium will be subject to evaporation, therefore the salinity will tend to increase (the water evaporates and the salt remains in a lower volume of water, so the salt concentration increases) ... in practice you will have to top up every week with osmosis water. This means that either you buy ready-made osmosis water, or you decide to produce osmosis water with a small plant (costs 60 euros). To avoid osmosis water topping up, you will need the sump with an osmoregulator, so you will also need to add this to your initial expense.

Inmaintenanceperiodic water changes are also added ... it is true, you have a filter, but if the tests come out with high nitrates (negative for hard corals ... while soft corals and sea anemones have a greater tolerance) you will have to perform changes more frequently.

Generally it is recommended to do a weekly change of 10% of the water, personally I have no rule and I do a change of 30% of the water volume only if the nitrate levels increase and I perform tests on a weekly basis.

Then, if you decide to breed acropora (sps hard corals) and choose neon lamps, you will have to replace the neons every 4 - 6 months, while with LEDs the initial expense may be greater but you will not have this problem ... someone does not recommend breeding hard corals sps with LED lights but from my direct experience I can tell you that instead they have a good yield.

In practice themaintenanceit is proportional to the quantity and type of animals you want to host in the aquarium. obviously the fish eat every day and some should be fed even three times a day ... however, there are also automatic feeders for when you go on vacation!

Thecarerequests from amarine reef aquariumthere are many and if you don't have a real passion, you will end up feeling like a slave to the tub. Read up well before purchasing and if you are confused, start with coral morphs (xenias, discosomes ...) and soft corals, certainly easier to manage. In this way you will get your own idea and you will understand which path to take!

In the photo above, a corner of one of my reef aquariums with a yellow surgeonfish.

For more photos you can visit my instagram profile.