Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, we would like to answer a few most frequently asked questions from our customers. These questions are mostly asked by those who are thinking to start saltwater aquarium but with no experience in aquarium at all or switching from freshwater to saltwater aquarium. If you fall into one of these categories, we hope that our answers can show you that keeping a successful saltwater aquarium is not hard at all.

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What setup do you need for a saltwater aquarium ...

What about the tank size ...

Starting Your Cycle ...

Watch you chemical levels ...

What kind of equipment do I need ?

A standard saltwater aquarium should, at least, have the following items:

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How big a tank should be ?

In terms of tank size, we always recommend that the bigger the tank, the better and easier to maintain. However, the minimum size that we recommend is a 50 Gallon tank that comes with a starter kit. Although successful cases also present with less than 50 Gallon, this requires to maintain the tank more frequently. There are plently of less than 50 Gallon tanks being sold on the market that have a set of starter kit included. The starter kit is pretty much enough for beginners, however, it is necessary to buy a biological filter and a protein skimmer for a saltwater aquarium.

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When can I put fish or corals in ?

Suppose that you have just purchased a tank with all the equipment you need and you have mixed the water with salt, the next step is to put a couple of living creatures (like fish, corals, live rocks, or shrimps etc), to kick off the cycle. After that, you should keep track of your cycle. A normal cycle consists of three stages: setting up Ammonia (NH3) level, setting up Nitrite (NO2) level ,and NO3 level. A normal sycle should take about 3 to 4 weeks to set up, depending on the biological load in the tank.

However, it is important to distinguish a peak from a true cycle in the tank. For a 50 Gallon tank, we recommend to have about 10 damsels in the tank to begin with. If you are more interested in going on to the corals later on, it is a good idea to put a minimum of 20 pounds of live rocks in your tank. However, once you have put live rocks inside, you should start checking with your Calcium and Magnesium level also. Calcium level should be set to about 400 - 450ppm and Magnesium level should be kept in the range of 1300 - 1500 ppm.

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What should I watch out for ?

The key to successful aquarium is proper maintenance of the tank. A big part of the problem come from over-feeding and insufficient water change. In the eariler example with a 50 Gallon tank and 10 damsels inside, the consequences of these two actions can become apparent in a month. Fish start to die and nothing seems to stay alive in the tank.

It is about time to realize the importance of different chemcial content inside your tank. There are three major elements that you must always be aware of: Ammonia (NH3), Nitrite (NO2), and pH. If you see your fish not moving a lot, or hiding behind rocks and staying to the bottom of the tank most of the time, the NH3 and NO2 may have been well exceeded the appropriate levels. Although there is no immediate consequences like NH3 and NO2, in the long term pH is the most important chemical content that you have to keep tract of. Otherwise there is simply no living creatures that can stay alive in your tank.

If you want to good reference book to learn further, try this:

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