How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium – Step by Step


Do you want to know how to set up a saltwater aquarium? This article will attempt to answer this question in some detail. Everyone has admired the large saltwater aquariums that can be found in the offices of most dentists, physicians, cosmetologists and marine enthusiasts. But have believed them to be far too much work to bring into their own homes. Fortunately, this is not the case.


Let's dive right in.


Learning How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium


While the process of establishing a saltwater aquarium can be a costly one, in terms of manual labor there is a very simple method which almost guarantees success.


Establishing the Basic Needs of the Tank


Step 1: Assemble and prepare the equipment


During packaging and production the aquarium and all of its corresponding parts have almost certainly been exposed to various pollutants. Such as dust and chemicals. Which can be very harmful to the fish if they are allowed to leach into the aquarium water.


When looking at how to set up a saltwater aquarium it is important that prior to use every piece of the aquarium should be washed with hot, fresh water. Then cleaned with a soft piece of cloth to prevent scratching.


Step 2: Place all of the components in the tank WITHOUT adding any of the decorative features


Then fill the tank to the fill line (which may or may not be already marked on the aquarium. 2 to 3 inches from the top is generally adequate.


This will prevent a major spillover when the tank is cleaned or when the fish are fed.


How to set up a saltwater aquarium involves turning the tank on and allowing it to run for 24 hours. This will ensure that all components are fully functional.


**How to set up a saltwater aquarium with Your Own Saltwater**


Ocean water is the natural habitat of all saltwater marine animals. And, consequently, the best water source for any saltwater aquarium.


If ocean water is not available, however, and the owner of a saltwater aquarium does not wish to purchase a pre-made saltwater solution it is possible to make your own saltwater.


Those who know how to set up a saltwater aquarium usually point out the importance of using a sea salt mixture that is free of impurities rather than table salt when creating saltwater in order to reproduce the natural environment as accurately as possible.


These mixes can be purchased from any store that specializes in the sale of tropical fish.


Step 3: How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium Landscape


Organic substances are not only more aesthetically pleasing than their plastic counterparts, they provide a more pleasing environment for the fish as well.


When looking at how to set up a saltwater aquarium you should keep in mind that fish generally use what humans consider to be decorations as shelter when in the wild. Thus it is important to consider the types of fish which will be inhabiting the tank prior to choosing its decorations.


Step 4: Start the 30 day Cycling Process


When doing this the ammonia level should be tested regularly. This can be done with or without fish in the tank.


Following these simple steps will allow the amateur marine enthusiast to place aside their fears. And enjoy the benefits of a happy, healthy aquarium in the privacy of their own home.


How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium with Live Rocks


Aquariums are beautiful in their own right. Particularly ones which are large enough to make the viewer feel as though they have been transported into an underwater wonderland.


For many individuals the inside of a clear glass aquarium is as close as they will ever come to the wonders of the world beneath the ocean's surface, and for that reason an aquarium which is as close to the natural habitat of its inhabitants as possible is a joy unto itself.


Live rocks, rocks which are covered with both micro and macro organisms which help to digest the waste produced by the fish, are a vital part of every natural ecosystem.


For that reason it makes sense that they would be an important part of an aquarium environment as well. When learning how to set up a saltwater aquarium it is not as simple as dropping a rock into an aquarium and allowing all manner of things to grow on it, however.


A Process that Must Be Followed


There is a process that must be followed to ensure optimal benefits for both the large aquarium and the live rock.


It is very simple to cure live rock before placing it in the aquarium. But this is an important step that must be taken in order to prevent a build up of ammonia in the tank. Which could negatively affect the fish.


To cure live rock first select a plastic container that is of a suitable size to hold the amount of live rock which you are working with. Then fill it with saltwater. Then place a heater and water pump in the "tank" for optimal temperature and circulation.


Once the water has reached the desired temperature remove the heater and pump and half of the water content.


Then pre-clean the rock in a bucket of saltwater by swishing it around to remove any lose organisms and debris. Next, place it in the prepared water. Then reinstall the heater and pump and allow nature to do its thing!


When the Process is Done


The process is done when an ammonia reading of the water in which the rock resides is at zero. And it is no longer giving off an unpleasant odor. Now it is safe to place the rock in your aquarium and allow Mother Nature's perfect filtering system to work for you.


How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium and The 30 Day Cycling Process


The importance of the thirty day cycling process cannot be understated. This is a vital part of establishing the ecosystem of each individual aquarium.


The exact processes which are occurring during this cycle, however, are often not well explained. Or they may be a little too well explained. And no one without a degree in organic chemistry can understand a word that is being said.


The truth is that while the nitrogen cycling process is a complex one it is by no means impossible for the average person to understand.


Jim Kostich of Aquatics Unlimited took the time to put together a thorough, day-by-day explanation of the processes which are occurring during the thirty day cycling process. In a manner that is simple enough for even the amateur aquarium builder to understand.



Watch Out for Toxicity


If you are using fish to stimulate the cycling process take a great deal of care. While on the first day there is likely to be no ammonia in the tank, by the end of the third day these levels will have reached near toxicity.


It is important to carefully monitor the fish during this crucial stage in how to set up a saltwater aquarium. It may be even better to use an artificial source of ammonia to trigger this process.


This will allow you to establish the proper balance in the tank without placing your aquatic friends at risk. While ammonia levels are beginning to rise first stage bacteria are beginning to grow.


How to set up a Saltwater Aquarium by the Fifth Day


By the fifth day these first stage bacteria will have begun to metabolize the ammonia into nitrite. This process will be well established by the end of the first week.


At the end of the second week ammonia levels will be completely safe for the fish and nitrites will be at their peak. From here until approximately day 27 the second stage bacteria will be working to begin metabolizing the nitrite to nitrate.


By following these steps of how to set up a saltwater aquarium by day 30 ammonia and nitrite levels should be all but non-existent. This is due to nitrate levels reaching their peak and the bacterium being very capable of maintaining the chemical composition of the water.


Mother Natures Perfect Filtration System


This is an example of minimizing Mother Nature's perfect filtration system in order to provide your fish with the perfect habitat. Hopefully you have chosen to artificially stimulate the cycling process while learning how to set up a saltwater aquarium. So that it is well established prior to inserting your fish.


If you have not it is very important that you keep a very close eye on them while the tank is undergoing its cycling process.


How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium without Harming the Fish


How to set up a saltwater aquarium involves watching for the spikes in ammonia and nitrite levels. These can be very harmful to fish if they are exposed to them for too long. And they will likely begin to show signs of distress during these periods of the cycling process.


If this becomes severe their conditions can be aided by changing a portion of the water. This will dilute the concentration of these products.


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