Having a clean salt water aquarium is one of the most important things a hobbyist can do in order to maintain growth good growth in his fish and corals. Unfortunately this is also one of the hardest things to do and one of the most time consuming as well. These are my top 5 ways to keep your salt water aquarium clean and if followed correctly it will have your aquarium thriving in no time.
- Do weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly water changes – Changing your salt water in your tank will provide your ecosystem with some fresh and contaminant free water. It is a good rule of thumb to try to change 10% of your total water a week and gradually increases if you plan on doing just a monthly water change (up to 25%). If you want to keep your aquarium in tip top shape then it is recommended that you do a little bit of work weekly so that your levels do not get out of control.
- Reduce the amount of time your lights are on – Lighting issues can be one of multiple issues that is causing algae or a spike in your levels. If your salt water aquarium is having an issue with algae growth and water changes aren’t helping then you might want to consider lowering the time your lights are on. Algae relies on light in order to grow and if you are leaving your light on for over 6 hours a day then this could be one of the culprits.
- Do not over stock your tank – Having too many fish tank send your tank in a frenzy. Once your tank is cycled and the beneficial bacteria is present then you can start introducing fish into your aquarium. Unfortunately some hobbyist take this time to buy as many fish as possible and there inst enough beneficial bacteria to cope with all of the additional waste. A good rule of thumb to follow is 1 inch per fish from the nose to the base of the tail per 5 gallons. If you have a smaller tank then this will keep your stock to a minimum but this will also insure that the fish you are able to house will flourish.
- Learn how to feed your fish – Over feeding your fish will be one of the easiest ways to turn your good clean salt water aquarium into some swamp water. When feeding your fish make sure to turn off all of the pumps and slowly feed them small amounts of food until they are full. You will be able to minimize decaying food on your sand bed if you slowly introduce food.
- Invest in a good filtration system – The most important item in your aquarium will always be the filtration system. This is what will keep your tank clean and free of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia.If you have a salt water aquarium then do not use a hang over the back pin wheel filters. You will definitely want to add some live sand and rock to your system to introduce beneficial bacteria as well have a protein skimmer. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE FILTRATION! A good bulk of your budget for your aquarium should be spent here. The better the equipment the less of everything else you have to do.
Having a thriving and flourishing salt water aquarium is more science then you think. Having to properly monitor all of the minor levels in your tank will be very time consuming. Make it a habit to check on your tank frequently and often so that your tank can become a show tank and the envy of your block.