Caring For Saltwater Aquariums

The importance of the thirty day cycling process cannot be understated; this is a vital part of establishing the ecosystem of each individual aquarium. The exact processes which are occurring during this cycle, however, are often not well explained, or else they may be a little too well explained and no one without a degree in organic chemistry can understand a word that is being spoken.

Green algae is the variety of algae that most people are familiar with. Green algae thrives in any aquarium that receives an abundance of light. The two most commonly seen green algaes in aquariums are hair algae and hard “green dot algae”. Hair algae are long wispy strands of algae that are easily cleaned from the tank. The green-dot algae appears as green dots of algae on the side of the aquarium, it is very difficult and time consuming to remove green dot algae.

Once the aquarium has been properly installed it should be filled with saltwater. You can either purchase an already made saltwater solution or make your own. Once you have filled the tank you should let all of the equipment run for 24 to 48 on a test cycle to ensure that everything is working properly. Take this opportunity to test the temperature, salinity and pH of the water to ensure that the conditions are optimal for the breed of saltwater fish which are going to be inhabiting your aquarium (it is best to research this ahead of time-not all saltwater fish thrive in the same conditions).

By the fifth day these first stage bacteria will have begun to metabolize the ammonia into nitrite. This process will be well established by the end of the first week. At the end of the second week ammonia levels will be completely safe for the fish and nitrites will be at their peak. From here until approximately day 27 the second stage bacteria will be working to begin metabolizing the nitrite to nitrate. By day 30 ammonia and nitrite levels should be all but non-existent as nitrate levels reach their peak and the bacterium are well able to handle maintaining the chemical composition of the water.

This is an example of minimizing Mother Nature’s perfect filtration system in order to provide your fish with the perfect habitat. Hopefully you have chosen to artificially stimulate the cycling process so that it is well established prior to inserting your fish. If you have not it is very important that you keep a very close eye on them while the tank is undergoing its cycling process. The spikes in ammonia and nitrite levels can be severely harmful to fish if they are exposed to it for too great a period of time, and they will likely begin to show signs of distress during these periods of the cycling process. If this becomes severe their conditions can be aided by changing a portion of the water in order to dilute the concentration of these products.

There are many ways you can discourage the growth of algae in your saltwater tanks.One of the simplest ways to limit the amount of algae in your saltwater tank is to reduce your lighting. Leaving your aquarium lights on for less then nine hours a day will limit the amount of time algae has to photosynthesis. Use the lowest wattage possible.

Live rocks, rocks which are covered with both micro- and macroorganisms which help to digest the waste produced by the fish, are a vital part of every natural ecosystem. For that reason it makes sense that they would be an important part of an aquarium environment as well. It is not as simple as dropping a rock into an aquarium and allowing all manner of things to grow on it, however. There is a process that must be followed to ensure optimal benefits for both the large aquarium and the live rock.

Stock your tank with algae eating fish. In saltwater tanks this will be; hard star fish, Yellow Tang fish, Blennies, Turbo snails, Angel fish, and small Hermit Crabs.

Ocean water is the natural habitat of all saltwater marine animals and, consequently, the best water source for any saltwater aquarium. If ocean water is not available, however, and the owner of a saltwater aquarium does not wish to purchase a pre-made saltwater solution it is possible to make saltwater. It is important to use a sea salt mixture that is free of impurities rather than table salt when creating saltwater in order to reproduce the natural environment as accurately as possible. These mixes can be purchased from any store that specializes in the sale of tropical fish.