On this page, we would like to introduce
different aquarium technologies that are
widely used in maintaining saltwater aquariums.
If you are a novice, please first visit our
Frequently Asked Questions page. We stress
that all of the following systems have actually
been using or testing by ourselves. We guarantee that all the products have
been tested by ourselves and have met our
own satisfaction before they get passed to
our customers' hands. Our goal is to compare
different systems in terms of their advantages
and disadvantages. We want to draw your attention
to the questions that you should look into
the next time you go to your local pet stores.
Since there is a rich choice of different
systems used in saltwater aquariums, please
visit this page the next time you visit our
site. Please check the following information
before you choose a link at the bottom.
Here are two pictures taken from our store.
(Above left) Each of the tanks is 200 Gallon and is
8 feet wide. The top tank has two different
lighting systems installed, whereas the bottom
tank has two identical sets of lighting systems
installed. We will look at the different
lighting systems installed in this tank closely
in the MoreLighting section. (Above right) This is a picture of a Phase II system.
The Phase II system has two light bulbs installed.
We will look at the Phase IV system in the
MoreLighting section and compare it the the
Metal Halide Lights. We have also included
a discussion (and a picture from one of our
customers' tanks; See Doug's Tank) of the advantages of installing a Moonlight
system to your reef tank.
The Bottom Tank (Above Left)
Two sets of Power Compact systems are installed
in the bottom tank. It is much brighter than
the top tank. The point of using this system
is to have as much natural light (7500K)
as possible. The systems shown here is a
6500K unit. (K is the temperature unit Kelvin.)
Compare to Metal Halide Light, which is the
best of all lighting products available,
the Power Compact system is more economic
than the Metal Halide Light. Although there
is still a big difference in their performance,
Power Compact system provides the second
best products at a reasonable price which
ranges from $200 to $700 CAN.
The systems shown here only have day light
installed. You can choose to install an Actinic
Blue lamp (7100 K) to the system. The Actinic
Blue lights are usually installed to provide
the blue spectrum in ocean.
The Actinic Blue Lights are generally desirable
in saltwater aquariums because they
provide a more comfortable looking than pure
bring out the natural color of the corals
The Top Tank (Above Right)
On the left hand side of the top tank, there
is a 4 feet Phase II system installed. On
the right hand side, there is a Coralife
Dual Light Strip system installed. We have
installed flouscent lamps which bring a softer
tone than the Power Compact units in the
bottom tank. Flouscent lights are considered
as the entry level of lighting systems. They
are mainly used for fish only tanks. They can also be used in reef tanks
that have only Mustroom Rocks, Polyhs, and
certain types of soft corals. However, if
your reef tank have other corals, you should
use a combination of day light and flouscent
Please be aware that there are many different
band names of lighting products in the market.
It is necessary to learn more about the lighting
requirements for the types of corals that
you are interested to keep in your tank before
you buy them. Different combinations of lights
affect the living corals and fish differently
and if the system does not provide the desire
spectrum, you can have a Slime Algae problem!Back to Jump Links
The water and chemical condition of the aquarium
system seems to be a very confusing topic
in maintaining any aquarium system. However,
keeping a good water condition is so critical
for all people who want to have a successful
tank. There are indeed a number of chemicals
that you must constantly monitor in order
to keep tabs on the water condition. We will
start off by looking into the signifiance
of salinity, pH and (pH and KH) buffer capability,
and carbonate hardness. We will also recommend
three devices that you can consider to deal
with these associated issues.
Depending on the their portions found in
natural sea water, there are mainly three
groups of chemicals: the major ions, trace
elements, and heavy metals. Members of the
major ions are: calcium, chloride, magnesium,
potassium, sodium, strontium. Trace elements
account for only a minor portion in the natural
sea water, but they play a major role in
keeping a good living condition for the fish
and corals in your tank. Heavy metals elements,
like Cobalt and Copper, are bad for your
tank and you should always guard against
a high concentration of the heavy metals.
A high concentration of the heavy metals
is fatal to your fishes and corals. However,
heavy metal elements are generally not a
problem in the tanks. If you do everything
correctly, heavy metal elements should not
be present in your tank.
Back to Jump Links
On the left,we have a picture of a simple protein skimmer.
We also use this picture to illustrate the
working principle of the protein skimmer
on the MoreBioFilteration page. On the right, we have a picture of a Redox controller.
A Redox controller is used to control the
ozone level in your tank. You can get a lot
more information about these and other devices
in the MoreBioFilteraton section.
The goal of explaining the issues of biological
filteration in saltwater aquarium is an ambitious
one. There are three other topics that we
need to properly introduce before we can
actually discuss the biological filteration
process - biochemical decomposition, algaes
and live rocks. It is difficult to understand
the steps and the objectives of all equipment
used in the biological filteration without
an understanding of the biochemical process.
Furthermore, the biochemcial process is closely
related to the living conditions of algaes
and signifiance of live rock. This gives
the road-map of the following discussion.
Because of the scope of the discussion, we
will not use more of the unfamiliar biological
terms for the specfic bacteria than necessary.
For those who are interested in learning
about the biological details, please refer
to related reference books. Our objective
is to provide an easy way to understand the
biological filteration process, which is
critical in proper maintainance of your aquarium
Back to Jump Links
More about chemical conditions MoreChemicals
© Wai's Aquarium Ltd, 2000, 2001. All rights