Reef Tank Care

established reefWhat makes reef tank care different than any other saltwater aquarium care?  With typical saltwater aquariums, the aquarist has to worry about the health of the saltwater fish by maintaining temperature, feeding quality foods, and changing the water regularly so that even the least hardy fish has a chance to thrive and survive.  In a reef aquarium the hobbyist must take into consideration all of the previously listed chores as well as deliver proper nutrients, light and movement in the tank for the corals and anemones and invertebrates to have a fighting chance of doing well.  When it comes to owning a reef tank, the expectations of a healthy environment are increased dramatically.  Not only because of the diversity of the inhabitants in the aquarium but because of the added expense involved in providing proper lighting and temperature for the animals that you choose to put in the tank.

Most, but not all, reef tanks will need a chiller in order to keep the water from getting to warm and effecting the corals, anemones and invertebrates negatively.  While fish can for the most part handle a modest rise in temperature, a great many corals cannot.  Anemones are hit and miss as to how warm the water can get before it takes its toll on them.  Some bubble anemones can actually do well in water above 90 degrees Fahrenheit while many carpets, sebaes, and long tentacles will literally start to fall apart, polluting the tank and taking other fish and invertebrates with them (by fouling the tank so fast).  Even live rock can be destroyed if the temperature increases too high or too rapidly. Chilling units are not cheap by any means, but they can save your coral reef and your wallet in the long run by keeping everything alive and striving in a well controlled environment.

Very basic anemones can survive with minimal lighting, but if the reef aquarium that you want to own includes any of the nicer anemones and corals, the investment must be made to provide proper lighting for the required amount of time each day.  Tanks that have quality lighting (covered in Saltwater Tank Lights) with timers that control everyday the amount of each spectrum that is available to the tank reef, will do much better than those that are controlled by a switch that people tend to forget to turn on and off.  Reef tanks require steady, quality, lighting to ensure that they have a great chance for survival.  The money that is put into a reef tank in the setup stage will pay off in the long run with a beautiful aquarium.

The one assumption that I made going into this article is that the aquarist would be aware of the importance of the filtration and the maintenance involved.  Having said that, be consistent with water changes and the replacing of media, such as carbon, sponges, socks, prefilters, etc.  Monitor your tank with testing kits so that you have a real grasp as to the changes that are taking effect inside your aquarium.  Set aside the time to clean and maintain your reef tank correctly on a regular basis.  Don’t let water quality become so bad that you have to do maintenance. Preventative maintenance goes along way in determining the failure or success of your reef aquarium.

Not only is it extremely important to provide the necessary upkeep described above, but for the sake of the anemones, corals and other invertebrates, make sure that you give them the nutrients that they too need.  Calcium, iodide, strontium and molybdenum, are just a few of the things that they will need.  Depending on the bio load that you have and the types of corals, anemones, and invertebrates you decide to keep, test kits for carbonate hardness, calcium levels, etc. may be required so that they get what they need when they need it.  Although this article avoided going into detail as to the specifics of every minute thing that is involved regarding reef tank care, it was truly the intention to open the eyes of the hobbyist who hasn’t made up their mind yet to owning a coral reef aquarium.  Plan ahead and know that a certain investment is required of both time and money before setting up that new tank.

Article Name
Reef Tank Care
Reef tank car is tough enough. The knowledge in this article helps to ensure the hobbyist is prepared before setting up a reef aquarium.

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