If you’re looking to put together a saltwater aquarium, there are some specific care and maintenance factors you need to take into account. Many of the best practices you will have picked up from keeping a freshwater aquarium can be applied here, but there are some particular things that need to be observed when maintaining a marine aquarium and saltwater fish species.
Everyday Tank Maintenance
Some maintenance steps are more important than others. In fact, there are a couple of things you should be looking to do everyday to ensure your saltwater fish varieties are kept in optimal conditions. The most basic thing you should be doing daily is checking the temperature of your aquarium water. Some aquarists tend to rely solely on thermometers that are stuck to the outside of the tank, but these rarely produce accurate readings.
Instead, think about purchasing an immersion thermometer that can be easily submerged into the water of your tank when you want to take a reading. A high-quality digital thermometer will also ensure the most accurate readings. If you have recently setup a saltwater aquarium, it makes sense to carry out several readings throughout the course of the day. This gives you an insight into temperature fluctuations, allowing you to tackle any major issues before they become a problem.
Daily feeding is also important. Saltwater fish require a more specific diet than freshwater varieties, so don’t rely on basic food sources to keep your animals healthy. You should also ensure that your fish are readily consuming the food you provide them with. Ideally, your fish should consume all the food you provide them with within a few minutes. If there is still food drifting around the tank after a few minutes, you are almost certainly overfeeding your fish. Remove excess food debris quickly to prevent it from breaking down and decaying in the aquarium.
The next time you come to feed your fish, provide them with less food than before. An easy way to keep on top of food debris is to introduce other aquatic species to your saltwater aquarium. Snails are particularly effective at gobbling up old food debris that may have settled at the bottom of your tank, while hermit crabs are another useful species to introduce to a saltwater tank. However, just make sure that any animals you introduce to your aquarium are suitable tank mates for your saltwater fish.
Other Essential Maintenance Tips
You should also be looking to carry out weekly maintenance of your saltwater fish tank. Every week, you should carry out a water quality test. This will give you insights into the pH levels of your tank water, as well as detailed information about nitrite and nitrate levels. If any of these levels deviate too far from the desired level, carry out a water change. You should also keep on top of evaporation.
Water will naturally evaporate from your tank, even if you are maintaining a low water temperature and have sealed your aquarium with a lid. Simply top up the water once a week to combat the issue. This will also prevent unsightly calcium and mineral deposits from tarnishing the inside of your fish tank.
Algae is another issue to bear in mind when keeping a saltwater aquarium. Algae scrubbers can be purchased fairly cheaply and provide you with a user-friendly tool from removing algae build-up on the inside of tanks. Left unchecked, algae growth can affect the composition of your tank water, while also obscuring your view of an aquarium interior.