How to start a basic marine aquarium Part 3

All you need to know to get you started.

How to start a basic marine aquarium Part 3

Postby coolreefs on 14 Apr 2010 17:02

After the the nitrogen cycle is complete you are technically ready to add your first livestock.
You will usually find at this stage there is a heavy growth of algae on the live rock, this is quite normal as the nutrients in the water column are high due to the cycling process.
So the first things to add are your clean up crew.
The clean up crew will consist of some hermit crabs, turbo snails, maybe one or two serpent star fish, this is a good starting point to keep the algae under control.

After adding your clean up crew its best to leave them to settle into there new surroundings for a couple of weeks, this is to allow them to get a head start on controlling the algae before any more livestock is added as new livestock will increase nutrients and in turn increase the chances of algae growth.

After waiting a couple of weeks since adding the clean up crew its a good time to do your first water change, this should be about 20% of the tank volume, you should make sure that the new water is of the same salinity and temperature as the tank water.
Water changes should be done on a regular basis from now on, i would recommend 20% every month or 10% every two weeks, this will give you a good water change routine and keep the water in good condition.

So its now time to think about what fish you want to add to the tank, the first thing to do is to work out how many fish you can add to your tank. A rule of thumb is one inch of fish to five liters of water.
As this is just a guide and different fish put different pressures on a particular system its best to under stock in the early days of a new tank.
The second thing to do is make out a list of all the fish you want to keep, this is to allow you to do research on the upkeep of the fish you intend to keep and to see if they are compatible with each other, if you do this stage right it will save you money and hearth ache in the long run.

When adding your fish you should only add one or two fish at a time and leave a gap of a couple of weeks between each addition of new stock.
As most keepers don't have a quarantine tank it is very important to choose fish that are in perfect condition so as to cut down on any health problems. Fish can not be treated with medication in the main tank as this will kill corals and invertebrates and most life on the live rock.
When adding your fish you should turn out the lights and float the opened bag on the surface of the tank so as the temperature equalises in the bag and the tank, as you do this you need to add small amounts of tank water to the bag so the fish can adjust to the new salinity and PH, this should be done over about a half an hour. after this is done and you are about to add the fish make sure you net him out of the bag so as not to add the water from the bag.

This is only a basic guide but after getting this far you are well on your way to keeping a healthy marine tank.
Its very important to keep up a good maintenance routine to keep your tank running well its always a good idea to learn more from a good book or join a club to gain advice from other marine keepers. But the most important thing to do is enjoy you fish tank, after all you have put a lot of hard work into it.

I hope the three parts will be of help to you.


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