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
- Buy your aquarium right away
- 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)
- 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)
- Buy your decorations and gravel substrate such as crushed coral, rock, or live sand
- Buy your hydrometer, and thermometer(side clip on), as well as SearchEm ammonia and ph alert
- 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)
- Buy some copepods for your fish
- 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