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Live rock is probably the best bio-filter for a marine tank but you won't find out about it in this book. There are a ton of pictures, but they are all black and white. The topics covered in Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies include:. How to determine which aquarium filtration type you will need How to set the right water temperature in your tank How to properly light your tank Picking the right accessories such as coral, plants, and ornaments Finding the right mix of saltwater fish How to check your salt level Understanding the nitrogen cycle in saltwater aquariums Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies does a fair job on educating the reader on saltwater aquariums and it is easy to read and understand.

These items are NOT good for your fish though. The LFS will sell you this water for around. While this may work for some people, I don't want to suggest it because the water quality in unknown. Too much pollution in the water for my tastes. You need to keep that water level in your tank consistent too. That's because as your water evaporates, the salt remains in the tank. If you have experience with a FW tank and nitrates then it's the same principle where only the water evaporates and everything else gets left behind in the tank.

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The salt level in the tank will rise as the water evaporates so you need to keep the water level in check. You do NOT add salt water when topping off your tank. The only time you add salt water to your tank is when doing a water change. Equipment There are many types of equipment you can have but here's a rundown of the basics.

A reef tank with corals needs stronger lighting because corals rely on photosynthesis, just like a plant does. These inhabitants need light similar to natural sunlight to survive. These fixtures are T5's, metal halide and reef supporting LED's. Your tank depth, inhabitant needs and your wallet will be your deciding factor.

Petco and Animal Planet's Tanked Present: My First Tank - Setting Up Your Tank

There are way too many factors to say which one is best for you but here's an outline. Different corals have different light needs.

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T5 lights are great for tanks that aren't too deep while metal halides are best for deeper tanks. That's because the light output from a metal halide penetrates the water much deeper than a T5.

What that means is say you have a coral that requires a strong light source. If you have a T5 then you might have to place that coral on some live rock towards the top of the tank because that's where the light is the strongest. If you have a metal halide then you could place that coral at the bottom of the tank since the usable light from the metal halide penetrates deeper than a T5.

There's a lot more to consider but I just wanted to give a little overview. That's because live rock will be your main filtration. The bacteria in the nitrogen cycle colonize the rock and do all the chemical conversions. You need enough live rock to accomplish this so plan on about 1. A protein skimmer is also a great investment. This unit removes organic compounds from the water before they get broken down to nitrogenous waste.

If you have a 50 gallon tank then get a skimmer rated for gallons. A gallon tank, then get a skimmer rated for gallons. Your fish like to swim through the water flow, but more importantly is helps in your filtration.


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Your water needs to pass over your live rock in order for it to process the waste. That means for a 30 gallon tank you want water flow of GPH. This water flow is calculated by adding up the gph produced by the equipment in your tank such as powerheads, filters and skimmers. Say you have a gph powerhead , a gph skimmer and a return pump for gph. That would give you a turnover rate of gph in your tank. It's also a great idea to position a powerhead towards the water surface to help agitate the water.

This will provide much great surface area for the water and air to mix and will aid in oxygenating your tank. A reef tank requires more flow in the neighborhood of 20X and up. That's because corals filter the water and get some of their food by filter feeding.

Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies 3. Demystifies aquarium setup and maintenance Combine and care for a wide variety of marine fish and invertebrates Dive into the colorful world of saltwater fish!

You get the latest on feeding, tank upkeep, filtering systems, maintaining live rock, and preventi Demystifies aquarium setup and maintenance Combine and care for a wide variety of marine fish and invertebrates Dive into the colorful world of saltwater fish! Discover how to Choose the best fish and equipment Get your tank up and running Maintain proper water conditions Keep your fish happy and healthy Avoid tank pitfalls Keep a brackish aquarium Paperback , Lifestyles Paperback , pages.

Published January 1st by For Dummies first published March 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies. Lists with This Book. Mar 27, Erin rated it did not like it. This book has a number of troubling issues Lighting is a great illustration of this.

Of the options listed in the book tungsten, fluorescent, power compact fluorescent, mercury vapor, and metal halide , only two are used seriously today: In addit This book has a number of troubling issues In addition, the market is increasingly shifting to the use of LED lighting, which did not even exist when this book was written. This is a common problem with this book: In terms of lighting for instance, metal halide is often considered the cadillac of the lighting options - the drawbacks are the immense heat such lights create and the enormous energy cost of running them, which have led many to turn to LED lighting as a cheaper cooler and more customizable alternative.

T5 lighting is also quite good but as an owner of a T5 light fixture, I'm looking to upgrade to LEDs once I can afford it! Cleaner wrasses are difficult fish at best and nearly all starve to death in any but the largest of public aquariums because they rely on feeding off of parasites and other fishes' slime coats. Furthermore, their collection damages the reef ecosystem.

For this reason they are on most people's "do not buy" list - leave them in the ocean where they belong. You can't just float the bag, scoop a cup of water into the floating bag, and call it a day. Marine fish and especially marine fish are delicate. Acclimation should take place over 30 minutes or more, gradually replacing the water in the bag with water in the tank until you match both salinity and PH of the water as well as temperature.

Saltwater Aquariums For Dummies, 2nd Edition

Many people prefer to "drip acclimate" and allow water from the tank to slowly drip into a bucket holding the new fish. Quarantine tanks are NOT optional, folks. If you don't have the time and space to quarantine, you don't have the time and space to have a reef aquarium. You owe it to yourself and to the fish and invertebrates you care for - treating disease in a reef tank can be all but impossible the medications will kill most of your coral and other invertebrates and may require dismantling the entire tank to catch afflicted fish.