FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the best location in a home for a saltwater aquarium?
When considering a location for your saltwater aquarium, you will want to locate it on a stable, flat surface away from doors and windows. It should also be located away from air conditioning vents and radiators. You want to choose a location that has a fairly stable temperature. Sunlight entering through doors and windows can interfere with the aquarium and cause unwanted algae problems. Water is very heavy, so make sure you find a stable location where the aquarium can rest on a level surface.
How long do I have to wait for my tank to cycle?
You have to wait until the nitrite spike has gone and nitrates are starting to rise, for a new aquarium this will be anywhere from 4-8 weeks, it is very wise to wait for this to end, because if you add fish at this stage it will only put more pressure on the bacteria and most likely kill your fish.
How soon after cycling can I add fish to the aquarium?
Once the aquarium has cycled, it is important to add livestock to the tank slowly and gradually. Start with only one or two fish and wait a few weeks. Test the water regularly and watch the ammonia and nitrite levels. They will go up temporarily as the filtration system adjusts to the new bio load. Once the ammonia and nitrite levels return to zero, you can add one or two more fish to the tank. Continue to test the water regularly and if you notice a spike in ammonia levels, wait several weeks before adding any more animals.
What is the recommended Temperature for a saltwater aquarium?
The temperature in a reef tank should be between 25 – 28 degrees Celcius. I run my reef tank at around 26 -27 degrees. I recommend running on the warmer side because it slows the metabolism of your corals allowing them to grow faster. Some hobbyists insist on keeping the temperature of their tanks as stable as possible. My tank has fluctuated all the way from 27-25 degrees within a day, and none of my corals were effected in any way. If you keep your temperature TOO stable, and something happened to your heater, or the power went out, your corals would not be used to the change which could result in death. If your tank fluctuates frequently, your corals will be more resilient when it comes to fluctuations.
What is the recommended salinity for a saltwater aquarium?
We typically measure the salinity of saltwater by measure the specific gravity. The specific gravity of natural seawater is around 1.025. For a fish-only saltwater aquarium, try to keep the water at between 1.024 and 1.026. Some aquarium hobbyists like to keep the salinity of their fish tanks low because this will inhibit the growth of parasites that can cause diseases. It is possible to keep the water as low as 1.019. This is not generally recommended because it can be stressful and uncomfortable for the fish.
What is the recommended flow?
Having the right amount of flow in a reef tank is very important in a reef tank. Flow keeps detritus (waste), and food from settling into the sand bed or rocks, allowing it to stay suspended in the water column so that it has time to reach your filtration system. Detrius and food buildup in the rocks and sandbed will cause high phosphates and nitrates resulting in poor water quality. Most all corals require flow in order to survive. Some corals require more flow than others, that’s why it’s important to carefully place corals in the tank according to their flow requirements. An ideal amount of flow for most mixed reef tanks is about 30x – 50x turnover. An SPS dominated reef tank requires more flow, and can thrive with flow as high as 100x turnover.
How does live rock benefit a saltwater aquarium?
Live rock can benefit a saltwater aquarium in two ways. First, it provides a much more natural look for the aquarium. The rock can be stacked to replicate the look of a natural coral reef. Secondly, it contains nitrifying bacteria that actually helps to filter the water by means of the nitrogen cycle.
How much live rock will I need for my aquarium?
If you are going to be using live rock are you primary filtration system in your aquarium, it is recommended that you use about one and kilo of live rock for every 5 litres of water in the aquarium.
What is the pink/purple stuff that covers the live rock?
The pink, purple, and red colors you see on the live rock are caused by a special type of algae called coralline algae. This algae actually contains a calcareous skeleton. It is highly desirable in a reef aquarium and can be an indicator of good water quality when it grows and spreads within the aquarium.
How long should I leave my lights on?
Don’t ever leave your lights on for 24hours a day, the fish and plants need there rest and without it they will be stressed and it will surely lead to death. Lighting a saltwater aquarium depends on the type of aquarium you have. If you have a fish-only aquarium, it is recommended to leave the lights on for about 8 to 10 hours a day to simulate the natural cycle of daylight. Any other time period may stress the fish and could lead to unwanted diseases. Use a timer to provide a consistent lighting cycle for your aquarium. If you have coral in your aquarium, you should leave the lights on for at least 10 hours each day. Coral contains a symbiotic algae that needs plenty of light to survive. Many people choose to divide their lights and use two separate timers. This way they can light one set and then the other to simulate sunrise and sunset. This is much less stressful for the animals in the aquarium than having the lights come on and go out all at once.
How many fish can I put in my saltwater aquarium?
The number of fish you can have in an aquarium depends on the size of the aquarium and the type of filtration. The general rule is no more than one inch of fish for every five gallons of water. You may be able to keep more than that if you have a really good filtration system and maintain the system with regular water changes.
Do fish sleep?
Yes it has been proven that during the night fish do sleep, it is important to let them get there rest by giving them enough dark time to do this. It’s no use having the tank lights off during the day and then on all night, this will not work. It is best to use lighting during day hours and then at night add some moonlights for added viewing time.