Saltwater Reef Aquarium Tips

Setting up a saltwater reef aquarium takes some effort if you want to closely replicate the right environment for your fish and other aquarium inhabitants. Since freshwater creatures are often cheaper and easier to care for, this is a labour of love that should not be taken lightly as careless errors can be quite costly. Still, if you love sea creatures and feel ready to experience their beauty and joy in your home, here are some tips that can help you get started:

  1. Pick your collection wisely
    It may be tempting to select species that simply look good together but for the wellbeing of everyone involved (yourself included) make sure that they complement each other before you put them in close quarters. Similarly, it’s a good idea to consider your desired tank size and location for compatibility with your intended charges.
  2. Know when to build or buy
    There are many advantages to building your own tank. The additional room for creativity is one of the most significant. With a bit of know-how and elbow grease, you can build something unique that will delight you for decades. On the other hand, buying your tank ready-made removes much of the guesswork and is often faster and cheaper if you’d like to enjoy your aquarium right away. It’s a personal choice but worth giving some thought to.
  3. Mix, test and top up
    These three steps can take up a fair amount of time but they are absolutely essential. Mix a large container of RO/DI water and aquarium salt to add to your aquarium. Test the water at least weekly to ensure the right chemistry is maintained for your specific aquarium. If the test ever shows your salinity is too high, automatically or manually add more RO/DI water until balance is restored.
  4. Be careful with light
    Your aquarium light needs to be bright enough to nourish any coral you’re growing but also dim enough not to encourage algae blooms. It also should not be on for the majority of the day. Getting the timing right may require you to observe and adjust for a few weeks.
  5. Clean your glass carefully
    Due to the organic nature of your aquarium’s contents, your tank will collect algae and other debris that can obscure your view. The tools and techniques you should use depend in part on whether your tank is acrylic (which needs a softer touch) or glass (which is tougher). Magnetic tools are generally effective when used weekly and some are acrylic safe.

Some of these tips may be a bit more or less applicable to your aquarium depending on the types of ocean creatures you’ll be hosting. Be sure to do as much research as you can if you have any concerns and feel free to reach out to our team if you have any questions about how to keep your purchases safe and happy!