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.
What kind of equipment do I need ?
A standard saltwater aquarium should, at
least, have the following items:
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Mechanical Filter - to remove total dissolved solid in the
water and to polish water to sparkling
Biological Filter - to grow nitrifying bacteria and to prevent
biological cycle from being unstable.
UV Sterilizer - to kill harmful bacteria in water.
Protein Skimmer - to remove protein in water and dissolved
Filter Medic - to be added to mechanical filter to remove
specific chemicals in the water.
Basic Elements like salt, bacteria, and tank (if you do
not already have one, please see below
discussion about tank size).
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.Back to Table of Content
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
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.Back to Table of Content
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: Back to Table of Content
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