Starting a saltwater aquarium

Have you every wanted to have a pet sea horse of puffer fish? This article is about my experience starting out a new aquarium. Getting a new aquarium came to me when I was looking at a painting of a puffer fish, I decided it would be great to own one so I went through a lot of research and decided I would get some figure 8 and green spotted puffers. I was quick to find that they were picky and need a salinity of 1.008 and that over time that would increase to 1.022. On top of that I would have to get the latest and greatest equipment just to keep the water clean enough and if I added other fish or invertebrates they would quickly be eaten from the aggressive puffer fish, on top of that puffer fish can often contain deadly toxins.

So I went on to PetCo and bought a 46 gallon bow front aquarium,and  it finally arrived 1-3 weeks later, at that point i decided to fill it up with purified water from my local cub  and then added some marine/coral sale from the store to get the salinity up to 1.08. Then i went to the store ready to buy some fish; at that point i talked to the salesman and he informed me that puffer fish are really pick and will die unless introduced to a cycled tank. So i went home bought some pure ammonia and put about 4 doses of 5 ml  using test tubes of Austins clear ammonia into my 46 gallon tank. At this point I decided to get fish other than puffers because i wanted coral so I brought ph just above  8.0,  and moved the salinity to 1.025 and temp to 76 degrees.

Next, I went to a few fish stores and asked about many of their fish and coral. I learned that some coral contain toxin and so you need to handle them specially and personally asked the employees to direct me to non toxic coral.Then I bought my 2 sea horses, 4 emerald crabs, 2 clown fish, and Mandarin Goby and corals. I got home and drip feed my tanks water into a 5 gallon with my new fish and coral then waited two days. Shortly after the two days I went to feed my fish and realized that Mandarin Goby’s won’t eat frozen food so I bought some copepods from a local store (small live critters that all my crabs, fish, sea horses and coral eat) . So overall, salt water tanks are pretty simple but it helps to know what you need ahead of time

Here’s my takeaway

  1. Buy your aquarium right away
  2. Cycle the aquarium right away, and make sure you have the needed ammonia, ammonia test kit, nitrite test kit, and nitrate test kits(API is a good vendor)
  3. Buy your needed accessories such as Filter(Needed), 200 or more watt tank heater(needed), led light bar(needed),  air stones and air pump(optional), protein skimmer(optional)
  4. Buy your decorations and gravel substrate such as crushed coral, rock, or live sand
  5. Buy your hydrometer, and thermometer(side clip on), as well as SearchEm ammonia and ph alert
  6. Cycle your aquarium right when you get it it will take up to 3 weeks(Biospira seemed well worth it to speed up the cycle to me)
  7. Buy some copepods for your fish
  8. Buy your fish -> Be sure to choose fish that logically go together, at a minimum do a common sense approach like looking up the fishes diets and make sure that none of your fish naturally eat each other: I personally chose 2 sea horses, 4 emerald crabs, 10 pieces or coral, 2 clown fish, and a mandarin goby

Here are some of the differnt products I bought, in case your interested in starting a similar aquarium:

If your interested in starting a saltwater aquarium here’s a link to the products on Amazon that I used

SeaClear 46 gal Bowfront Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 16.5 by 20″, Clear

~$437

Nature’s Ocean No.8 Premium Atlantic Crushed Coral with Aragonite, 20-Pound

~$19.5

Instant Ocean Reef Crystal Sea Salt Marine Mix, 200-Gallon

~$50

Instant Ocean 77964 IO BIO-Spira (Marine), 8.45-Ounce, 250-ml

~$16.5

Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO Aquarium Power Filter, 75 – 400 GPH

~$37

Finnex Planted+ 24/7 SE Fully Automated Remote Aquarium LED Fixture, 36″

~130$

Aqueon Preset Heater, 200-watt

~$16

Tetra 77851 Whisper Air Pump, 10-Gallon

~$5.5

Marina 1-Inch Cylinder Air Stone, 4 per Pack

~$5.5

PENN PLAX Standard Airline Tubing Air Pump Accessories, 25-Feet

~$3

Instant Ocean SeaTest Hydrometer

~$13

Alerts Combo Pack, 2 Monitors

~$13

API Ammonia 130 test Kit

~7$

API Nitrate Test Kit

~8$

API Nitrite Test Kit

~8$

Digital pH Meter | NEW | Lightning Fast and Accurate | NO STRIPS & CHEMICALS | High Accuracy Water Quality Tester for Drinking, Aquarium, Pool, Hydroponics and more | BONUS X6 ph buffer powder packs

~$20

Marina Floating Thermometer with Suction Cup

~$2.5

00051 Ammonia Clear 64oz

~$7.5

1pcs Aquarium Heater Cover Guard Protect Fish Against Damage Hydroponic Heater Safe(L Sizej

~$6

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