How To Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium in 9 Easy Steps
Before you even begin thinking about setting up a saltwater aquarium, have
you done the following:
Researched and learned all about keeping a saltwater aquarium first?
Planned your system?
Purchased the equipment and supplies needed to get started?
If you answered NO to any of these questions, we advise that you stop here
and take the time to learn about any of these important topics that you may
have missed, BEFORE you jump in! If you answered YES to all of them, just
follow these 10 easy steps to set up your new aquarium and get it running.
Set Up & Test The Equipment
Make Up The Saltwater
Start Up The System
Prepare The Live Rock
Aquascape The Tank
Let The Tank Cycle
Make Aquascaping Adjustments & Add The Substrate
Purchase & Add Livestock
Set Up A Maintenance & Care Routine
Begin With > Step 1
Step 1 - Set Up & Test The Equipment
Prepare the aquarium by cleaning the tank (only with freshwater and a soft
cloth or sponge), applying a background (if desired), locating and leveling
the stand (leaving clearance for electrical connections), setting the tank
in place with an underpad for cushioning, leveling the tank, installing all
the equipment (unplugged), and filling the tank and filtration equipment
with fresh (tap) water.
Perform a wet test by starting all the equipment and allow the tank to run
for 24-48 hours. During this time, check for leaks, temperature with and
without lights on, adjust the heater(s), as well as make up the saltwater
as instructed in Step 2. If using a protein skimmer, at this time no waste
will be produced until salt and organic matter are added to the tank, but
you can check for bubble production, and if using a counter current skimmer,
test the air pump operation.
When done with the wet test, before turning off all the equipment and emptying
the tank, check the water level to see that it is where you want it to be
with all the equipment running. If not, top it off to the desired level and
create a fill-to line by using an indelible marker and marking an outside
back corner tank panel. This will be your "fill line" for future reference.
Next > Step 2 - Make Up The Saltwater
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