Many newcomers to the world of keeping saltwater fish are wondering about the proper accessories for saltwater tanks. A lot depends on what kind of saltwater tank system you prefer. Do you want a reef tank system, a system with live rock and fish, or a system with just fish? Some accessories are considered to be basic; you would need them no matter which kind of system you chose.
Let us assume that you have already chosen the aquarium in the size you prefer. You know where you are going to place it in your home, and you have a suitable stand that can bear the weight of your tank when it is filled with water. You will need to decide what sort of lighting you are going to use. A hood for the top of the tank usually holds the lighting system you have chosen. Remember that for saltwater tanks, the lighting must be very similar to that of the sun. Otherwise, marine fish and coral will not do well.
Gravel, aragonite sand, crushed oyster shell and crushed coral are popular choices as a substrate for saltwater tanks. Since calcium is so important in maintaining the pH in the water of a marine tank, choosing a substrate like gravel, coral or oyster shell that can provide this mineral is a wise choice.
The plants chosen for saltwater tanks are generally live ones. Plastic plants, while attractive and hardy, cannot take a constant bath in salt water without a change in appearance. Live plants that are known to grow in salt water should be chosen. Live rock and coral are often considered as part plant, part decoration by the aquarium hobbyist. These choices grow and need nutrients just as plants do. The shapes and colors of coral are as beautiful a decoration as anyone could want.
Your aquarium filter should be chosen with both the size of the tank and the type of water that will be used in it in mind. A canister filter is a good choice. Saltwater tanks often prefer a filter that includes a protein skimmer. An aquarium heater will be needed as well. Choose a heater that is intended to use around 3 watts per gallon. You will need a thermometer, preferably digital, though some in the fishkeeping hobby do prefer the standard type of aquarium thermometer.
You will need a synthetic salt mix in order to make your salt water, available at any store that sells supplies for marine fish. Do not use regular table salt! A few buckets are handy to have to mix the salt water. In fact, five gallon buckets are a fine accessory for helping you maintain your tank. They can be used to hold plants, substrate, even fish if necessary for a short time. The proper mixing of the water is crucial for the saltwater tank. Just as the quality of the water that marine fish are used to in their native habitat is constant, so must the water that you mix and add to the tank also be.
A powerhead is an excellent choice as one of the proper accessories for saltwater tanks. Powerheads duplicate the wave action of the ocean. As so many of the marine fish sold today are wild caught, having conditions that match the ocean’s is crucial for success.
One of the best accessories possible for your saltwater tank is an EcoBio-Block. This product keeps the aquarium water clean and clear, and releases beneficial bacteria and nutrients into the water to help deal with the organic waste matter. It helps keep the ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels down, and keeps the pH at a constant level. The EcoBio-Block can help you maintain your tank with very little work.
November 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM Comments (0)