The Ultimate Guide To Set Up A Reef Tank
When it comes to saltwater aquariums, suddenly things become complicated. So many factors to consider – salinity, alkalinity, temperature, waves – you name it!
But people are keeping reef for a long time now. With a bit of patience and right piece of information it is quite easy I must say.
Then comes the challenging part. All information are available in the internet, but in a scattered way. Not to mention, there is a good amount of wrong info circulating as well.
This inspired me to create this ultimate reef aquarium guide. I am an aquarist to the core and it gives me immense pleasure to create an underwater ecosystem, be it freshwater or saltwater.
I am not putting my self in the position of someone superior in the aquarist community. I am still struggling and learning new things. And all through my journey I want to share the knowledge with my fellow aquarists.
Now lets dive deep into the topic – how to create a successful saltwater reef aquarium without doing much mistake (at least the ones I made)!
Contents: Topics Covered In this Guide
Choosing Your Aquarium And Selecting Your Fishes
Choosing your aquarium depends on personal preference. There are wide varieties of aquariums available in the market and you can even make your own custom size. Before buying a fish tank first you should decide what you will be keeping in it.
As our focus is to create a reef tank we should be even more careful while selecting the fishes. All species are not reef safe. Let’s checkout the options we have.
List Of Necessary Equipment And Selecting the Best Ones
To create and maintain a successful reef aquarium there are possibly hundred of items that you can buy. But all these are not mandatory. Some will make your life easy, some are good to have and some are just fancy stuff. Let me compile the must have items first –
- Filtration System
- Lighting For Your Coral Reef
- Protein Skimmer
- Wave Maker
- RO/DI System
- Auto Top Off
- Dosing Pump
Make It Salty And Test The Water Parameters
Ah the obvious part of a saltwater reef tank – to make it salty. We have got the list of necessary equipment, so lets talk about reef salts and how to mix it for your salt water aquarium. Our prime target is to create an environment which replicates the ocean. So we need to control the water parameters and get them tested time to time. Success of your reef tank depends mostly on it.
Live Rock, Live Sand And Cycling Your Reef Tank
You need to select your preferred live rock. Cure the rock. Choose the sand for your reef tank and start the cycling process. In saltwater aquarium the beneficial bacteria colony grows inside the live rock and deep inside the sand bed. So they are very important for your reef tank.
Fish Selection And Stocking Guide
At this point you have a cycled tank and it is ready to add fish. We already know what type of fish we should keep but again here are some popular options and also how to quarantine them properly before adding to the main display tank.
Adding Corals To Your Reef Tank
It is your personal preference which type of coral you want to keep. You can go for mixed reef as well but please remember that different corals have different requirements, be it light or nutrients. You need to acclimate the corals while adding to the tank and ensure proper nutrition for them.
Maintenance Tips And Handling Common Issues
Maintaining a saltwater tank is an ongoing process that requires patience and dedication. You need to keep checking the water parameters, dose regularly to ensure healthy growth of you fish & coral and also firefight issues like aiptasia or different types of algae like red slime or cyanobacteria. This section will be updated frequently to cover all common issues and how to handle them.
Hope this guide will be helpful for your reef tank journey. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section and I will be happy to answer them as best as I can. Best of luck!