Saltwater Fish Maintenance

algae tankSaltwater fish maintenance is a necessary part of responsible aquarium keeping. Once your tank is established and up and running, the upkeep can be easy if you plan ahead a bit. Most aquarists check on their tank every day just out of habit while they are feeding. It becomes second nature to take a glance, especially when the inhabitants are eating, to see if there are any indications that there might be a problem with one or more of the fish or invertebrates.
Maintaining fish in a saltwater environment does not have to be a terrible experience. But blowing it off for long periods of time can be costly. As a rule of thumb, at least twenty five (25) to thirty (30) percent of the total volume of water should be removed and replaced every month. Whether you choose to do it once per month or in a series of smaller water changes every week or every other week is up to you. But make sure you leave yourself enough time to do a proper and thorough cleaning. Like any other pet, your fish are completely relying on you for everything they need to survive, especially the quality of their water.
Prior to starting the water change process, make sure you have everything you need. All of the best saltwater aquariums have something in common. They use quality synthetic sea salt. There are a lot of cheap mixes out there that tend to have problems holding a steady Ph or they negatively effect the invertebrates, usually because of poor quality control before it ever gets packaged for the consumer. Be cautious and ask the local stores what seems to be the best and whether the local tap water needs any conditioners before using. If you choose to go with the “real ocean” make sure you test the water in your tank often because Ph will drop due to the lack of buffers that are normally found in synthetic mixes. Also, most “real ocean” water lacks nutrients suitable for invertebrates like corals and anemones and must be supplemented.
Part of the regular maintenance is not limited to just the water change. Make sure that you replace your carbon at least once per month or if you are using resins, keep track of how long they have been in the filter so that you can replace as needed. Fish supplies for maintenance should also include any prefilter media that you use as well as conditioners, supplements, algae pads, maintenance scrapers for glass or acrylic, buckets, etc. An aquarium log will help keep track of everything that needs to be done including when to change the aquarium lighting. Bulbs aren’t cheap but waiting to replace lights until they are burned out could cost you in the health of established reefyour live rock and invertebrates, as the useful spectrums are lost.
In conclusion, regular saltwater fish maintenance can make the difference between a money pit and a beautiful healthy aquarium. A saltwater fish tank; fish only or reef or fish only with live rock, can only strive and thrive if given a chance by the owner. Those who have had fresh water tanks in the past and did cleanings every few months will lose saltwater fish if that is the same habit that they carry out on a salt tank. Do the necessary cleanings on a regular basis and you will enjoy your aquarium more than you can imagine. It really doesn’t take that long if you plan ahead.

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Saltwater Fish Maintenance
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This article discusses the importance of doing regular maintenance on your saltwater aquarium.



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