Compared to a freshwater fish tank, maintaining a saltwater fish tank is time-consuming and is more costly. Freshwater fish tank is easier since it needs less equipment to set up. The cost of setting up a freshwater tank is approximately $300 without the fish. While the cost of setting up a saltwater aquarium is double of that, without taking the cost of the fish into consideration. However, saltwater fish tanks once set up, just need to be regularly maintained.
Also, you can introduce many tropical fish in the saltwater tanks, which makes it many times attractive than freshwater fish tanks. Setting up a saltwater fish tank, is a long procedure and needs to be done carefully. Explaining everything about setting up a saltwater fish tank and maintaining it, in an article is not possible. So, try to research as much as you can on saltwater fish tank, so that you have a pretty good idea about it. Here are some important Dos and Don'ts involved in setting up saltwater fish tank and other tips of saltwater tanks, that you can refer to.
Saltwater Fish Tanks for Beginners
Don't buy a small fish tank
The first step in marine aquarium setup, is to buy a large saltwater fish tank for set-up. Do not buy fish tank for saltwater aquarium set up, which is less than 20 gallons. However, some people say that you should start with a 40 gallon tank. So, the larger the tank the better, as smaller tank pose more problems, as you need to keep on changing the water often, and keep it testing regularly.
Do buy the right equipment
It is important to have all the equipment necessary for setting up a saltwater fish tank. Also, the cost and maintenance of having a saltwater fish tank is almost double to that of a saltwater fish tank. If you can't afford a saltwater fish tank, then going for a freshwater fish tank is advisable. The necessary equipment required for setting up a saltwater aquarium are substrate, aquarium, filter, protein skimmer, power heads for the water movement, a hydrometer, salt mix, live rock, test kit to check pH, ammonia levels, nitrate levels and calcium and alkalinity levels, then you will also need a quarantine tank, fish food, nets, scraper, and regular fluorescent lights. To get more affordable equipment you can go through sites that have equipment and fish tanks for sale.
Don't stick the background, paint it
Here is another tip that will help you in the job of setting up a saltwater fish tank. After you have set up the aquarium stand and the equipment, paint the background on the outside back wall with a dark color. This is a good idea, compared to fixing the background, as you don't have to worry about the salt creeping between the aquarium background and the glass. Then pour the pre-mixed saltwater to the fish tank.
Do allow the tank to settle
Allow the tank to settle for few days,and keep monitoring the parameters very closely, keep checking the pH, salinity, specific gravity, nitrate, ammonia and carbonate hardness level. Once the cycle is completed, slowly add one or two saltwater fish at a time.
These were the tips and tricks on saltwater fish tank set up. To get more detailed info on saltwater fish tank set up, maintenance and choosing the fish, you can use good books on saltwater aquariums. Some of the good books on this subject are The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert Fenner, Complete Book of the Marine Aquarium by Vincent Hargreaves and Complete Encyclopedia of the Saltwater Aquarium. Good luck!