Do you ever think about how cool it would be to have a reef aquarium in your own home? It’s like having a hobby, pet, and home decoration all in one!
Many people are deterred from home aquariums because they think it’s too complicated. But if you invest a little time researching, you’ll be ready in no time.
Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn how to set up a reef aquarium.
1. Pick the Fish
Before you get into the tank and the water specifications, let’s talk fish! Are you looking for an elegant angelfish or a playful clownfish? There are plenty of exciting choices when it comes to saltwater fish for a reef aquarium.
Each fish may require different equipment such as food or filtration system. Along with the fish, consider buying live copepods which increase the biodiversity of your tank.
2. Find the Right Tank
Now that you have assembled your list of fish you can plan what size saltwater tank you’ll need. If you have the budget for a larger tank, that’s your best option. Larger saltwater tanks are better for the fish.
Larger tanks are also easier to manage because the water chemistry is more stable. But if you can’t afford a large tank or you don’t have the space for it, a smaller tank can also work if you take very good care of the water.
Once you know the general size you want, you can choose between a build it yourself tank and an all-in-one tank. If you’re just starting out, try the all-in-one aquarium setup first. It takes away a lot of the guesswork and setup time.
3. Put Tank in Position
Choose the best place for your new saltwater tank. Do not put the tank in direct sunlight or a location that gets very hot or very cold. You will also need the tank to be near a power source for the electrical connection.
Once the tank is in position, wipe it down wish freshwater and a cloth.
4. Install Equipment
Each type of aquarium will require different equipment. If you are building your own aquarium tank setup you’ll need to prepare the sump, filter, powerheads, and heating system.
Equipment setup is going to vary based on your setup. So the best thing to do at this point is research your tank and what is required to keep healthy reef and fish.
5. Test the Water
Testing your water will alert you to any potential issues in your filtration system. You can use freshwater for this step because you will end up removing some of the water before adding any live creatures.
6. Substrates and Salt
Once you’ve tested the equipment, remove a few gallons of the water and add your substrate. Then, you can add your sea salt. You can also add sand if desired during this step.
7. Install Reef and Lighting
You’re almost ready to add your fish! But first, place your reef in the tank and set up your lighting system. You can get a light timer so that the lights come on and turn off automatically.
Most saltwater fish will need at least 8 hours of darkness to sleep.
8. Add Your Fish
Now you are ready to add your live fish! Start with one or two fish and maybe a few hermit crabs or snails to manage the waste and algae build-up.
Once you feel more confident that your water and filtration system are perfect, you can add more fish.
Start the Reef Aquarium Process Today
As you can see there are a number of steps in the reef aquarium setup process. And it takes time and care to make sure you have all the right equipment and tools to keep your reef and fish safe.
Don’t rush the process, and enjoy the learning experience along the way!
If you want to read more pet tips, check out the other articles on our site.