Showing posts with label Reef Tanks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reef Tanks. Show all posts

2017-11-12

Saltwater REEF Aquariums

Reef Coral - Photo: Pixabay
Historically saltwater aquarium owners have shied away from reefs. No one could understand why when these coral reefs were put into an aquarium the reef had a depressingly short lifespan. Now, thanks to some very persistent aquarium owners, fans of the saltwater aquarium's can enjoy the beauty of their very own coral reef.  There are reefs for every aquarium owner, from the raw beginner to the experienced professional. The saltwater enthusiast can now find the saltwater coral that best suits their abilities, whether they are a rank beginner or an experienced professional.

Zoanthus Coral is a wonderful choice for the person who is just beginning to add coral reef to their saltwater aquarium. Reef enthusiast finds that Zoanthus is a hardy coral that flourishes in most saltwater tanks. Zoanthus coral does not like to be fed a meaty diet and prefers to have its food finely chopped. Zoanthus Coral can be found in a variety of colors, many experienced saltwater reef aquarium owners like to use Zoanthus as a filer coral for their more temperamental varieties of coral reef. Zianthus is also called Sea Mat and Bottom Polyps.

Another good variety of starter coral is Cladiella, Cladiella is also commonly referred to as Colt Coral and Finger Leather Coral. The Cladiella Coral is renowned for is adaptability. Anyone interested in using Cladiella Coral in their saltwater reef aquarium must make sure that it is securely anchored or it will not grow.




Something like Siderastrea Coral.  Siderastrea is a soft coral, that is tolerant of light, temperature, changes in the tanks quality of water, and currents. It is typically tan or gray or white. Although it can occasionally be found in round domes the typical shape of the Siderastrea Coral is flat plates that can measure anywhere from 4-12 inches around. Pink Starlet Coral, Starlet Coral, and Lesser Starlet Coral are three names that commonly refer to Siderastrea Coral.

Once the saltwater aquarium owner becomes comfortable caring for his hardier varieties of coral they may wish to move onto something a little more challenging.

Fish and coral seem to go together, some types better than others. When an aquarium owner is looking to purchase fish they must consider the compatibility of the fish to the coral. It is also important to make sure that the fish you are purchasing for your saltwater aquarium is healthy. Take the time to examine their eyes, scales, skin, abdomen, mouth, and fins before making your final decision.



The eyes of your fish should be clear and bright. A cloudy film obscuring the eye could be a sign of an internal bacterial infection. A saltwater fish that has blotchy scales is a fish that is potentially dealing with an internal disease. Fish that have bruised mouths can sometimes lack an appetite, look for a fish with a firm unbruised mouth. Your potential fish should have an abdomen that is firm, and gently rounded. The fins should be crisp and clean. A fish that has scales that are ragged or one that's fins are starting to droop and sag.

2017-08-30

REEF TANKS And What You Need To Know Before You Start One

A reef aquarium is vastly different from a fish only aquarium. Not only will you need different equipment, but you will need a whole different skill to create and maintain a successful reef tank. Although you can keep fish in your reef tank, the main focus of a reef tank is to display live coral. Introducing certain species of fish can help in maintaining the reef environment and special care should be taken when selecting the appropriate species to compliment the coral in your tank.

electrophoresis
Reef Tank - Photo by shesarii

Reef tanks are primarily filtered by the live rock through a natural process. This biologic filtration is usually supplemented by protein skimmers. Protein skimmers use what is called the foam fracture process to eliminate waste matter and filter the water. A combination of biological filtration and protein skimmers is very effective at keeping a reef tank in ideal condition.

Unlike fish only tanks, reef tanks require constant water movement. Different types of coral require different flow rates, but as a rule of thumb, a flow rate of 10x will be sufficient. What this means is that the flow rate needs to be 10 times the capacity of the tank (in gallons) per hour. It’s important that you adjust and fine tune the flow rates to the specific coral in your tank.

One of the most popular methods of creating water flow is by using power heads. They are simply small water pumps under the water that creates an underwater stream when you alternately switch them on an off. By using a wave timer, the pumps are synced to create a water flow. A newer method for creating and managing water flow is the use of submersible propeller pumps. Although they are more expensive, they use less power and can produce greater water flow compared to power heads.

Another important aspect of reef tanks is lighting. While fish only tanks use lighting primarily for display, a reef tank needs light to “feed” the coral. Since the coral uses photosynthesis to stay alive, lighting is the most important aspect of keeping your coral alive.

The lighting levels required for each type of coral varies widely. While some types of rock require very high levels of light, some only need low light levels. Special care should be taken when picking coral for your tank to ensure that the lighting of your tank is sufficient. As a general rule, 5 to 8 watts per gallon should be sufficient for the most common coral.


By WriteSmith - Articles Source: Reef Tanks And What You Need To Know Before You Start One



2017-01-12

The REEF AQUARIUM With Low Magnesium - What Can Happen?

After checking the usual, Salinity, Nitrate and Phosphates. You should be checking Magnesium, Alkalinity and Calcium. These three parameters are very important when keeping short polyp stony,and long polyp stony hard corals, SPS and LPS respectively.

Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aqu...
Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aquarium of aquarist Mike Giangrasso.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)

So what effects will low magnesium have on your reef aquarium?

You will find it very difficult to maintain high alkalinity and calcium levels if magnesium is low.

Corals will slow in growth and will cause some corals such as Duncans and torch corals to recede, and in some cases die. You may as many other reefers do, think you have something unseen and/or unheard of eating your corals, because branching heads or receding one by one. Don't get fooled by this, it more likely be the case of the weakest dies first as normally the case in nature. Confirm this by checking the level of Magnesium in your aquarium or even better have a list of checks to be carried out on set days.

So what should you do?

If you haven't already, go out and invest in a magnesium test kit and confirm that magnesium levels are low. Then simply use a buffer such as Seachem Magnesium buffer. Be sure to follow the instructions and don't overdose. Like everything in this hobby, do it very slowly. You will most definitely notice an improvement in a matter of days in the appearance of your corals.



As soon as you have adjusted your magnesium level to between 1200ppm and 1400ppm you should then work out the consumption rate of magnesium from your aquarium. This is simply done by checking magnesium over two to three days. For example check Monday and then Wednesday, if your Magnesium as dropped by 30ppm then it is safe to say that your aquarium is consuming 10ppm per day. At this low level in this example i would say it would be safe to adjust once every five days. If consumption is higher i would try and dose daily or every other day.

This is a simple guide and technology advances and chemical advances offer procedures such as dosing pumps and balling lite, these methods can be learnt with experience into this amazing hobby.



Big Al's Aquarium Services, Ltd.

2016-09-30

CORAL and its habitat

Corals are a beautiful addition to any saltwater aquarium and they can also have beneficial effects on the miniature semi-ecosystem that exists in a well functioning aquarium.

Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aqu...
Gorgonian polyps. Photographed in the reef aquarium of aquarist Mike Giangrasso.
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Corals are living animals that are commonly called sessile invertebrates. What this means is that they are animals that don't have a backbone (like vertebrates do) and that they are generally stuck in one spot and can't move around like most animals can. Corals are usually attached to a rock. Corals consist of many individual polyps. The polyps may have an internal or an external skeleton that is made of calcium carbonate. Each polyp has an oral opening that leads to a gastrovascular tube. There is a lot of variety in the types of food eaten by coral polyps. For example, some corals feed by using their stinging tentacles to catch small fish. Other corals eat microscopic organisms, where as some coral polyps don't feed at all, and obtain all their nutrition from zooxanthellae  (a single-celled algae that lives within the coral).

Corals are more complicated to keep than many saltwater fish species, and can for instance require more intricate currents, powerful lighting and supreme water quality. Keeping the water temperature in the ideal range is therefore imperative when you keep corals in you aquarium. Reef building corals prefer quite shallow depths where the light penetration is good and will therefore usually grow at depths of less than 46 metres / 150 feet. The reef building corals require plenty of strong light since they form symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae. Other coral species can however survive without direct sunlight and live much deeper down in the ocean.


Corals should be thoroughly researched beforehand because of their often hefty price tag and demanding water, lighting and feeding requirements. The great part about live rock, aside from the biological importance of using it, is that you can use aquarium silicon sealant to shape the rocks into any type of design you desire. We now have a new term - "rockscaping". You can also use a drill to create small holes in the rock and use pvc pipes to hold them together to make columns or archways. The rockscaping possibilities are endless. Another thing you'll probably need to do is place the rock directly on the tank bottom and not on top of the sand. Sand burrowing species could get injured or worse if you place the rock on top of the sand.

Corals are very popular with aquarium enthusiasts.  Some of the most common corals are now being successfully kept and grown in a rapidly growing number of home aquariums. There are hundreds of species including soft corals, corallimorpharians (mushroom corals), gorgonians, zoanthids, large-polyp stony corals, and small-polyp stony corals.

For the beginner reef aquarium, there are a number of soft corals, that require less light and less than perfect water quality standards, than their hard coral cousins. These soft corals are the better candidates for converting to a fish only, or fish only with live rock aquarium tank to a reef tank with corals.

You can have coral in any sort of aquarium/fish tank i.e. fish only tanks, fish only with live rock tanks to a full reef tank.


Moving smoothly from tank to tank isn't really all that difficult. You need to move coral because believe it or not there can be turf wars in coral reef tanks. Corals on the reef compete for space. So do the corals in your aquarium. Corals are still deemed difficult for the average reef tank hobbyist but in my experience I have not found this to be true.

Corals are found all over the world, even around the poles. Reef building corals are however only found in warm subtropical and tropical waters. Reef building corals are present in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and the Western Atlantic. Their habitat is generally limited to the region between 30 degrees N and 30 degrees S latitudes. In the Indo-Pacific Ocean you will find reef building corals from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, and eastwards in the Indian and Pacific Oceans all the way over to Panama and a few places in the Gulf of California. In the Western Atlantic corals are living outside Florida, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Belize and around the Caribbean Islands, Bermuda and Bahamas. Reef building corals will only live where the water temperature is warm enough; 20-28 degrees celsius / 68-82 degrees fahrenheit.

    My short reviews can be found at thekeepersreviews.com

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2016-08-07

How to Create and Care for a CORAL AQUARIUM

Many aquarium owners crave to someday own a saltwater tank displaying numerous kinds of coral. This may be achieved is fast easy steps if you use coral starter kits to grow your own coral. This is recommended over buying coral from a store. By growing your own, you ensure it is properly acclimated to your tank. Setting up and caring for the coral aquarium, or reef aquarium is a task that requires a bit of knowledge before starting. There are some steps to take when setting up a new coral aquarium. The process may seem to take a long time, and because of this, many people opt to use fake coral instead. However, the time spent waiting will be well worth it when you are later able to display your own coral aquarium. If you follow some simple steps and have patience for about 12 weeks, you will be able to create and own your piece of underwater paradise.

English: A mass of Plerogyra sp. coral in a tr...
A mass of Plerogyra sp. coral in a tropical reef tank at the Seattle Aquarium. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To begin, the first thing to do is assemble your aquarium. Find a spot in the home that you wish to have it displayed. Follow through with the set up as you would a freshwater tank. When you are ready to add the water to the tank, follow these simple steps. First, pour the sand into the bottom of the tank. Add dechlorinated water to the tank. Next, add the salt and make sure it is mixed until the specific gravity measures 1.205. After the water and salt are added, arrange your live rock as desired and install the heater and the hood of the tank. After doing these things, you must then wait 4 weeks to move ahead.

After the four weeks has passed, you will then add your first living creatures to the tank. It is best to add fish later, and slowly as to make sure the salt balance in the tank is correct and remains that way. At this time, you can add a variety of snails or crabs if you wish to have them part of your tank. You will also need to install a protein skimmer. The tank should be functioning as if it were full of fish. Make sure the filters are working properly and the lighting is right. Remember not to leave the light on for more than 10 to 12 hours a day as it may promote algae growth. After adding some snails or crabs, wait another 2 weeks before proceeding.

Now at week 6, you will add your first pieces of coral. There are many types of coral used in saltwater coral aquariums. Some of the most common are Button Polyp, Yellow Polyp, Hairy Mushroom Coral and Bullseye Mushroom Coral. Make sure when adding your coral, it is attached to the live rock at the bottom of the tank. Wait another 2 weeks. Don't get frustrated... you're almost there! During the eighth week, you can add Aquacultured Coral such as Pumping Xenia, Starburst Polyps and Spaghetti Finger Leather Coral to name a few. Place these corals into the live rock as you did with the previous set of coral.


Now you have succeeded in creating your reef aquarium. During the course of the 10 to 12 week mark, you may begin adding your fish to your underwater world. It may seem a long drawn out process to get a coral aquarium up and running, but the time and hard work will pay off for years to come. Creating and caring for your coral aquarium will bring you much enjoyment and a wonderful sense of accomplishment for creating a spectacular coral aquarium.


2016-06-24

Importance of Saltwater INVERTEBRATES to the REEF AQUARIUM

Simply put; No reef tank is complete without invertebrates. Invertebrates provide numerous benefits to the marine aquarium, the same way they do in nature. Algae and fish waste removal are two of the main benefits, however there are countless others. In this article we will discuss some specific groups of inverts and how they can help you keep your reef healthy.

Riffbecken3
Riffbecken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first group of inverts we will discuss are algae eaters. Algae eaters can help keep an aquarium looking clean and presentable during cycling, algae blooms and normal growth in an established aquarium. Nuisance algaes such as cyanobacteria (red slime), brown diatoms, bubble algae, green algae and hair algae can all be battled with diet specific inverts. Select species of crabs, hermits, snails, sea slugs, sea urchins and starfish can provide excellent algae control, as well as add color and diversity to the tank.

Another group of inverts to address are the detritus eaters. Detritus can be described as any organic matter that naturally occurs in the aquarium; some examples are left over fish food and fish waste. Detritus can build up in the tank, dissolve in the water column and cause elevated levels of ammonia, which is the number one fish killer in home aquariums. To avoid this build-up of detritus, we can put invertebrates to work doing what they naturally do in the wild. Select species of crabs, hermits, shrimp, sea urchins, starfish, anemones and sea cucumbers can help keep detritus under control, therefore keeping water parameters in check and your fish healthy.


We have only begun to discuss the need for invertebrates in the reef aquarium. There are many interesting species to learn about, and many beautiful critters that can safely be kept with your fish and corals. A good mix of invertebrates can help you achieve a thriving, healthy aquarium with a 24-hour-a-day maintenance crew!



2016-06-02

AIPTASIA - An Aquarium Pest

English: Sea anemones : 1. Bolocera tuediae 2....
Sea anemones : 1. Bolocera tuediae 2. Anthea cereus, 3. Aiptasia couchii, 4. Sagartia cocoinea, 5. Sagartia troglodytes
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Practically every reef-keeper can identify tales of the numerous hours put in checking out their new aquarium, observing to determine exactly what new life may appear from the liverock. It's virtually a magical period, particularly for someone new to reef-keeping, as the miracles of the sea gradually happen inside the modest glass world we've designed for it. 

 The majority of experiences which involve Aiptasia begin in exactly the same way. All of a sudden, a brand new little anemone is noticed on a freshly added item of liverock or live coral fragment, just a 'baby'... However, quickly that one 'baby' will become two, then several, then a lot more. By the time most reef-keepers realize who their new house guests happen to be, they quickly understand that this problem grows and multiplies at a very quick pace.

In keeping with their name, Aiptasia sp. Anemones (this means 'beautiful') tend to be exquisite critters, but they are additionally obtrusive and hostile competitors. Left uncontrolled, they will often completely over-run a fish tank. This doesn't take much time either, as we quickly discover.

Aiptasia have developed to be dominant neighbors and house-guests. They replicate both sexually and asexually, and they are effective at regenerating and entire creature from a single cell. Furthermore, they're armed and dangerous hunters! When Aiptasia are disrupted (possibly by way of a passing fish or invertebrate) they eject harmful white-colored stinging threads called Acontia which contain venomous tissues known as Nematocyst. These Nematocysts are designed for supplying a powerful sting that can cause tissue regression in sessile corals, immobilize prey, and even kill unlucky corals, crabs, snails or fish. Considered by many experienced reef enthusiasts as a pest (or worse), early identification and action are necessary to quickly remove Aiptasia from your tank before they reach epidemic proportions - making control/removal far more difficult.

Step one to managing an Aiptasia outbreak is proper identification. It accomplishes little to commit time and expense towards a means to fix the wrong issue.

Aiptasia sp.
Aiptasia sp. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aiptasia anemones could be revealed by their similarity to miniature palms, with a polyp body (the Coelenteron) up to two inches in length and an oral disc one inch across outlined with a combination of several prolonged and lots of small tentacles (up to one hundred tentacles may be found) situated in thin bands about the outside border of the oral disc. The tentacles tend to be lengthy slim protrusions that form well-defined tips at their ends.

At the middle of the oral disk is the mouth in the form of an elongated slit. At the bottom of the polyp body is the pedal disk which features as an anchor for the anemone in addition to a means of asexual duplication.

Pigmentation of Aiptasia is a result of the existence of Zooxanthellae (microscopic photosynthetic dinoflagellate alga - species Symbiodinium Microadriaticum). For this reason specimens living in bright locations are often light greenish brown to dark brown, with those in areas which receive less light are typically medium to light brown or tan in color and those from low light areas tending toward a transparent appearance. Often an anemone's column or stalk is lightly marked with parallel longitudinal lines. Sometimes white or light green flecks can also be found close to the tentacles, and it's also not uncommon for juvenile specimens to be completely engrossed in them.

As with any members of the Cnidaria phylum, Aiptasia are able to sting for both offensive and defensive reasons. Just about all Cnidaria possess stinging cells called cnidocytes, each that includes a stinging mechanism, cnidae or nematocyst. Aiptasia have got both cnidocytes on their tentacles in addition to specialised cinclides around the lower area of the column (small blister-like protrusions) by which it expels acontia.

Acontia are threadlike protecting organs, made up mostly of stinging cnidocytes cells which can be expelled from the mouth and/or the customized cinclides once the Aiptasia is agitated. (A lot of anemones don't have acontia or cinclides yet Aiptasia do.)


The nematocysts of Aiptasia possess a contaminant which is stronger than the vast majority of corals held by the enthusiast (with the Elegance Coral - Catalaphyllia jardinei being one exception) and may cause cellular material regression in sessile corals, immobilize prey, as well as kill ill-fated crabs, snails or fish.

As an additional shielding mechanism, Aiptasia may also pull away into tiny holes inside your liverock if confronted. Taking advantage of this trait, it's possible to poke a diagnosed Aiptasia anemone with a probe and view its response. If it quickly pulls itself downwards (as opposed to folding in on itself), it's likely an Aiptasia.

Aiptasia are a formidable enemy, and pose a significant threat to any reef aquarium. Anyone harboring such species in their aquarium should look into natural predators, as chemical fixes don't work in the long run. Peppermint shimp can often suppress Aiptasia, while Berghia Nudibranches can eradicate the problem pests.

    James Dableur is a seasoned aquarium hobbyist, and has kept marine tanks for well over a decade. For more information on Aiptasia Anemone identification and removal, please visit aiptasia.ca [http://aiptasia.ca].
    Article Source: EzineArticles  


2016-04-21

Saltwater Aquarium - 5 "Easy" CORALS

Having your own coral reef is a dream shared by many aquarists. For a long time, it used to be very difficult to grow and maintain coral reefs in aquariums because of the lack of knowledge about them and their needs to survive in a saltwater aquarium.

English: Soft corals from Komodo National Park
Soft corals from Komodo National Park
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A coral reef system is complex and requires the right components and proper maintenance. The good thing is that even though some corals are still very difficult to grow and maintain, a wide range of corals are now easy to grow even for beginners.

If you're a beginner or average aquarist, when picking corals for your saltwater aquarium, you might want to go with soft corals because they are easier to take care of.

Below are 5 different types of soft corals:

Cladiella Corals: Cauliflower, Finger Leather and Colt Coral. They adapt very well and do best with moderate lightening and water movement.

Palythoa Corals: Button Polyps and Sea Mat. Can grow very fast under bright lightening (might overgrow your other corals). Prefer rapid water movement. Warning: Handle them with gloves to protect yourself from their toxin (the palytoxin).

Sarcophyton Corals:
Leather, Mushroom Leather, Toadstool, Toadstool Mushroom and Trough Coral. Adapt to all lightening levels. Moderate water movement is preferred to prevent parasites on their surface.

Discosoma Corals: Disc Anemones, Mushroom and Mushroom Corals. Low light is preferable. Active feeders (small fishes but also detritus and uneaten food).

Zoanthus Corals: Button Polyps, Zoanthid and Sea Mat. Bright light is preferred as they feed on zooxanthellae along with algae, D.O.C.'s and bacteria. Warning: Use gloves to handle them (because of the palytoxin).

As you see, many different corals can grow in your saltwater aquarium. This is just a short selection so what you have to do is research the specific needs of the different corals you're interested in and make sure they can grow in the same aquarium. With the right light, water movement and nutriments, you'll have a beautiful coral reef system!

Every hobbyists, either advanced or beginners want the best components in their aquarium to grow and maintain their corals in the best environment possible. That is why having a very high quality saltwater aquarium can make a difference. But the hard part about purchasing an aquarium to grow corals is that many different components are needed and selecting and installing them can be daunting task.



This is why we recommend Red Sea aquariums, and more specifically the Red Sea Max 250 because of its high quality and the fact that this system has all the components needed (+ a starter kit) which makes the installation effortless.

    By Andy J Davis
    To read an in-depth review of the Red Sea Max 250 that covers all the components in details (with pictures) and tells for whom exactly this coral reef aquarium is for and if it is worth the price, feel free to read this Red Sea MAX 250 review [http://redseamax250.net].

    Article Source: EzineArticles


2016-04-14

Creating the Perfect REEF AQUARIUM

Just as nature above the sea level is as variable as the sun, from the deserts of Arizona to the snow topped caps of the Swiss Alps, so can the world under the sea be a constant study in contrasts, with no two reefs the same. This is good news for the underwater enthusiast who is attempting to establish the perfect reef aquarium in their home; there is no established "formula" for the perfect tank. There's plenty of room for creativity!

our 440 l reef tank
440 l Reef tank (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing that cannot be shirked upon is the size of a tank. It must be more than adequate to allow the species of fish that are chosen to inhabit it plenty of room to exercise and grow. Just as a person cannot thrive in an enclosed environment, neither can a fish. A 75 gallon tank is a generous size for the home marine biologist to establish their own eco-system and allows for space for several species of fish to spread out (provided they are compatible species, of course. Putting two species together who are unsuited to tank life together is a recipe for disaster, regardless of the size of the tank).

Courtesy of advances in the convenience of establishing a home aquarium it is now possible to purchase an aquarium that has been pre-drilled in order to prevent overflow. This provides a cleaner look than the traditional "hang on the back" overflow system for the home professional who is attempting to create the picture perfect reef aquarium.

There are many options for decorating a reef aquarium, although it is generally much more aesthetically pleasing and healthy to the fish to keep all of the decorations one hundred percent organic. Live rock is a vital element to any eco-system, yet makes a lovely addition to a home saltwater aquarium. The microorganisms which grow on the rock (the rock is not really alive, obviously; it gets its name from the fact that it is a natural habitat for many species of bacteria) will help to filter out the harmful waste products produced by the fish that will accumulate in the water of a saltwater aquarium in spite of the filtering system-after all, how often does Mother Nature need to clean her saltwater aquarium? She has created the perfect filtering system as long as man does not add any elements to throw off the balance.

Live plants and coral are also essential elements to the perfect reef aquarium. There are many different types of plants which can be added to a reef aquarium, and it is best to choose based on the species of fish which will be inhabiting the tank. For successful transplantation of live aquarium plants it is essential that the sand or silt on the bottom of the tank be deep enough to allow the roots of the plants to successfully take hold. These plants will also require additional light and carbon dioxide to allow for proper photosynthesis.



There are many options for creating the perfect saltwater aquarium, many of them very costly; however, with the proper mix of imagination and frugality it is possible to create a reef aquarium that is aesthetically, ecologically and financially friendly.


2016-03-16

12 Weeks to Your Own CORAL AQUARIUM

Saltwater tanks are sought after by many aquarium enthusiasts, however they are more tedious to maintain so are not often undertaken. Keeping a saltwater aquarium requires patience, and having live coral in your saltwater tank requires patience and knowledge. Patience, we say because the healthiest and hardiest path to owning a home coral aquarium is to grow you coral.

Monterey_Aquarium_57.jpg
Photo  by xbeta 
While it takes more time, growing your own coral makes it much easier to maintain the health of your coral. You must become educated about the requirements for growing coral, and follow very specific procedures, but if you can be patient for approximately 12 weeks, you can grow your own coral for your home saltwater aquarium.

The basic set-up of a saltwater aquarium is the same as a freshwater tank. You purchase a tank and filter, and then select the best location for your aquarium. Once the tank is ready for water, there are several steps to follow:

1. Fill the bottom of the tank with sand.
2. Now it is time to add the water. Your aquarium water must be de-chlorinated.
3. Next add the salt, making sure to mix it so the gravity measures exactly 1.205.
4. Arrange any live rocks and plants you would like to include in the tank.
5. Finally install the water heater and place the hood on top of the aquarium.
6. And now you wait. About 4 weeks to be exact before moving on.

Patience. Remember? The fours weeks will go by quickly, and in no time your saltwater aquarium will come to life before your eyes. The reason you don't add anything to your tank for a month is to allow plenty of time for the salt levels to balance out. At this stage you have to install a protein skimmer, and then you can go ahead and add some snails to the tank, or perhaps even a crab or two. During the next couple of weeks, you want to make sure that the filters perform correctly. Also use this time to adjust the lighting. It is recommended that you don't keep the light on for more than 12 hours per day, because too much light can lead to algae problems.

When you reach the six-week mark, you can finally begin to add some coral. There is a wide variety of coral available for saltwater aquariums, and the most popular include Bull's-eye Mushroom Coral, Button Polyp Coral, Hairy Mushroom Coral and Yellow Mushroom Coral. When you place the coral into your tank, attach it to the live rock that you placed at the bottom when you initially set up your aquarium. And now we wait again; just two more weeks.


After eight weeks, you can add more coral, this time aquacultured coral like Leather Coral, Pumping Xenia Coral, Spaghetti Finger Coral and Starburst Polyps. This coral should be placed into the live rock just as before.

After another two to four weeks, you can begin adding some fish to your home saltwater aquarium. In the realm of things, 12 weeks really isn't that long, and the end result will be more than worth the wait. Because a saltwater environment is so fragile, it is vital that you give this watery realm all of the time it needs to gain balance and begin living harmoniously. The healthy saltwater aquarium that results is a wonderful accomplishment after just 12 short weeks of patience and care.

    By Jenny Styles
    For tips on goldfish care and freshwater aquarium fish information, visit the Aquarium Fish Care website.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


2016-03-03

Successfully Raising CORAL in Saltwater Aquariums

When people start a saltwater aquarium they do so because they have an compulsion to create a miniature version of the ocean in their living room. They want the whole kit and caboodle; the brightly colored fish, the flowing plants, the half rotted pirates ship, and the coral reef. Growing a coral reef in your saltwater aquarium is the ultimate goal for many saltwater aquarium enthusiast.

Elegance Coral — Catalaphyllia Jardinei
Photo  by KAZVorpal 
Beginners that are just starting a saltwater aquarium are not advised to attempt a reef aquarium. Start with a fish only aquarium and become familiar first, once you have mastered that you will be ready to add one of the hardier breeds of coral to your tank.

Before running out and purchasing coral reef, bear in mind that you are not adding an elaborate rock to your tank. Polyps are tiny invertebrate. These polyps work together to form the limestone structures we know as coral reefs. Before you add the reef to your saltwater aquarium you must remember that the life of these polyps depends on your ability to provide them with the proper food, lighting, and water.

Having good water is especially important if your want your coral reef to survive. An abrupt change in your water can cause the polyps to go into a state of shock, this will cause your reef to become discolored.Your aquarium must be filled with clear water which will allow the coral reef to get the full benefit of your lighting. Coral requires a strong water current, outfit your tank with a filter that circulates the water throughout your entire tank. Avoid a linear current.

When you have decided on a variety of coral for your coral saltwater aquarium do some research on the lighting. Some corals have special lighting requirements.

Remember that coral, like all living organisms, require you to feed them. For along time it was believed that coral reefs needed only minimal feeding. This belief was triggered by belief that coral reefs were nutrient poor.  People assumed that the reefs used photosynthesis to feed. The reality is that most coral needs to be fed, at a minimum, weekly (every two to three days is recommended). Most coral needs to be fed food that has to be frozen or refrigerated. 



Throw away any food that has been open for over five months, it becomes stale. You may want to consider purchasing liquid or bottled food for your corral. The size of the polyps in your coral reef will tell you a great deal about their food requirements. If you have large fleshy looking polyps you will be able to feed them large pieces of food, minced meat and large zooplankton. If your have a coral reef that is made up of tiny polyps you have to remember that they can't digest the large pieces of food, these polyps will starve to death in an aquarium that is full of food that is to large for it to digest.

If you have done your homework and are patient and diligent you will be able to enjoy a very successful and beautiful coral saltwater aquarium.