Beginner Mistakes When Starting a Saltwater Aquarium
Starting your first saltwater aquarium is an exciting time. There so many choices to make and the fish and corals are tempting to purchase right away. After all, you want a beautiful fish tank to enjoy and relax by! However, there are common mistakes when starting a saltwater aquarium that can break or make the success of your new setup.
4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Saltwater Aquarium.
While there are many excellent nano tank options out there, believe it or not, these small tanks are typically hard to keep. Even seasoned aquarists may struggle to maintain their small tanks. This is largely due to the fluctuations in water parameters. For instance, a 10-gallon tank may only have 8 gallons of water after factoring in the sand and rock. With small amounts of water, fluctuations resulting from evaporation or change in alkalinity leave little room for error. These fluctuations can cause a total loss of livestock and leave most beginners feeling discouraged. As a good rule of thumb, it is recommended that beginners start with a tank 30 gallons are larger.
Adding Saltwater Livestock Too Soon:
Purchasing your first livestock is very exciting. With so many colorful fish and corals to choose from, it can be hard to avoid the temptation. However, it is recommended to wait a week or two to allow the water to stabilize. This will also allow you to ensure the filtration system is working properly, the temperature remains stable, and gauge the level of evaporation. This process will help ensure your livestock investment doesn’t turn into a loss.
Adding Too Much Too Soon:
Remember the old saying “patience is a virtue.” It is ever so true for saltwater reef keeping. While it can be tempting to add a bunch of fish at once, this can shock your system and throw it into a cycle. New tanks need time to develop a natural bio-filter within the rocks and substrate in order to handle the fluctuations cause when adding fish. Start out by only adding a couple of small, inexpensive, and hardy fish. They will help your tank begin a gentle nitrogen cycle that usually lasts 3-6 weeks. After this point, continue to only add fish and corals in small quantities.
You’ll also want to research the type of fish you put in your tank. Not all fish are reef safe nor are they always compatible to be kept in the same aquarium.
Testing Water Parameters:
During the cycle of your saltwater aquarium, you’ll want to test your water parameters for nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia. Once the cycle has risen and fallen again to zero, your aquarium has completed its nitrogen cycle. Take the time to educate yourself on testing your water parameters. After adding corals and completing you’ll nitrogen cycle, you’ll want to continue testing the hardness, PH, and alkalinity of your water. Your livestock will depend on it to thrive and grow into that beautiful saltwater reef you’ve been looking forward to.
Aquatic Dreams is a Local Fish Store in Clearfield, Utah
When you are ready take the plunge into reefkeeping for the first time, visit aquatic dreams in Clearfield, UT. Their experience saltwater professionals can help you select a good tank setup and advise you on the best livestock to add to your new tank. The knowledgeable team can offer advice on helping your tank cycle, what kind of fish are hardy and compatible, as well what kind of corals typically do well in new tanks. Contact your local fish store in Utah for more information at (801) 525-0033.