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.

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Lighting Systems
Water and Chemical Condition
Biological Filteration
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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

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 lights instead.

Warning

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!
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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.

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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 system.

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More about lighting systems MoreLighting


More about chemical conditions MoreChemicals


More about Bio Filteration systems MoreBioFilteration

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