Saltwater Aquarium Setup

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 9,501
    Marine Biologist Jim Karanikas shows how to set up a saltwater aquarium for your saltwater animals.

    Jim Karanikas: Hi! Jim Karanikas from Tropical Fish World. Showing you how to setup and maintain a saltwater aquarium. Now the first thing we are going to need is of course water. We are going to take tap water and you chlorinate it with the chlorinating drops. We are going to add in the appropriate amount, I have got about 4 gallons to 5 gallons of water in here, approximately 1 cup of sea salt, mixed with 2 gallons of water give us the proper salinity, got about 2 cups here, and I am going to pour in and we going to stir it around and we're going to mix it around real good so it all dissolves. We're going to make sure that the salinity is at correct level.

    Now a hydrometer is a piece of equipment that you would use to measure the salinity of sea water. Grab some water pull it out, and we want to see what the level is by where this pin rest. If you have a saltwater reef aquarium lighting is very important. When a fish only aquarium about half a watt or 1 watt per gallon is sufficient, but for a reef tank we want to get 3 to 5 watts of light per gallon.

    So as you can see with our different choices here we can either get a higher wattage bulb, and put fewer of them on there or we can get a lower wattage bulb and crowd the whole top at the tank up with light bulbs. So, I would recommend getting something a little higher wattage to see a fewer balls. Of course first of all we are going to need the aquarium and aquariums are available in glass or acrylic. These are called bio balls and they have been designed to maximize surface area in the filter so that live bacteria can grow on here and breakdown the fish waist as it's being produced in aquarium.

    So another type of filter that we can use on a fish tank that I would recommend using on a reef tank is a protein skimmer or foam fractionators. This type of filter takes water out of your aquarium, puts it in the chamber where it's mixed with fine bubbles, these fine bubbles act almost like a magnet and attract the waste particles in the tank before bacteria gets a chance to break down and end produce nutrients that grow algae.

    Another useful piece of equipment is UV Sterilizer and as the waters goes around this ultraviolet light, it kills or disinfects the water some of the parasites that are free swimming in the tank are killed and eliminated from the aquarium.

    Of course you are going to need a heater to maintain the temperature of your water and there is many of these products available. I would have recommend getting a good book about fish before you start selecting the fish for your aquarium and then putting them in.

    Many of the books out there who actually grade the fish or a scale from 1 to 10 on how easy they are to keep in captivity. And I think that's a great way of choosing fish that are appropriate for an aquarium and those that should be left in the ocean.

    Good luck with keeping your tank.