Though saltwater fish is a great hobby to have, it’s not one that is cheap for a beginner. It can cost anything from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on the size of your saltwater tank and how many fish you choose to keep in it. Like any other type of aquarium, a saltwater aquarium setup isn’t the easiest thing to do. There are things that need to be set up before you can even add saltwater or salt mix (for saltwater tanks) to the saltwater aquarium.
Medium or large-sized plastic pitcher
Hydrometer (optional) – if your salt mix has one, it will be calibrated to read specific gravity at 1.023 SG. Otherwise, you can use a simple floating object or a piece of styrofoam.
Hairdryer/Heat gun (optional) – if your salt mix contains magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), you will want to warm the salt for around 5 minutes before using it.
Water salt and salt mix (for saltwater tanks) should be purchased from a store that has a good reputation within the saltwater aquarium community.
Before anything else is done for saltwater aquarium setup/saltwater tank, one must get all equipment needed for saltwater fish tank in preparation for when the time comes to add salt and salt mix. The salt mix is a major part of a saltwater tank since it makes up most of the volume of the saltwater tank in this case which means that having a reliable source will save money and time instead of buying salt from local pet stores which won’t always have your preferred brand/type salt mix and salt.
Once salt and salt mix has been gathered, it is now time to set up the saltwater aquarium equipment needed for the saltwater tank. It can be broken down into two different ways: permanent and temporary setups. The permanent saltwater tank setup is one that will be used until everything in it has either died or become too large to fit comfortably within the saltwater aquarium. This way of setting up a saltwater tank is what most people think of when they think of saltwater fish tanks since this is their usual type of saltwater fish tank. Though this does allow for more flexibility with your fish choices, later on, it requires some rather large investments after buying all the equipment needed for the water fish tank which means making saltwater aquarium setup worthwhile and cost-effective. The saltwater salt and salt mix will be added to the salt tank using a medium or large plastic pitcher and placed within it until the salt has dissolved completely.
Once this is done, you can now prepare your saltwater tank for saltfish installation which consists of setting up all equipment needed for the saltwater fish tank ahead of time before anything else is done. It helps if only one person does these things as opposed to several people doing them since it tends to go faster that way since everything that needs to be done at this point requires being quick about it so not much damage from your water salt and salt mix (for saltwater tanks) gets done during
Once all equipment needed for the saltwater salt tank has been set up, salt and salt mix can now be added to the salt tank for the saltwater fish tank. The salt mixture should not be poured into the water all at once, but rather in small doses since this will allow you to measure how much salt is being placed within the saltwater aquarium.
It is recommended that around 1/2 cup or less of the salt mix is put within saltwater aquariums for every gallon of water it contains. Some people choose to make their saltwater tanks more complicated by using three different types of salt mixes which are Reef Crystals (made by Instant Ocean), Tropic Marin Bio-Actif Marine Salt Mix (made by Tropic Marin), and Oceanic Natural Sea Salt Mix (made by Oceanic salt and salt mix (for saltwater tanks)). The salt mix will dissolve at around the same speed as the salt, though adding too much salt in saltwater can cause some problems since salt mixes come with different concentrations of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) which means that adding too much salt to your saltwater aquarium can result in it being far more concentrated than you desire.
During this step of how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners, water must be treated before putting any fish into their new home. This can either be done by using chemicals or live rock/sand to help get rid of excess nitrates. Otherwise, this step is not required if chemicals are unavailable since you should have already waited two weeks before moving saltwater salt and salt mix into your saltwater aquarium or saltfish.
After salt and salt mix has been added to the salt tank, then the water within it must be treated so as to eliminate excess nitrates introduced by some fish such as clownfish. There are two ways of removing nitrates during this step: using chemicals or live rock/sand to help get rid of excess nitrates. Using chemicals can either be done by using an ammonia removal product or using a de-nitrate product designed for saltwater tanks. Using live rock and sand is another option that not many people use which consists of buying live rock and placing it into your saltwater fish tank at this point since you want all your equipment set up and salt and salt mixed in the saltwater salt tank before placing saltfish into their new home.
Once you’ve gotten rid of excess nitrates, carbon, and silicate within the saltwater aquarium or saltfish tank (if these chemicals were not removed earlier), then your saltwater fish tank is now ready for adding saltfish to it. If live rock/sand wasn’t used earlier during this step, then add some at this point since it will help with removing any leftover nitrates from the saltwater aquarium.
During how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners, is when you set up your main filtration system which consists of an external hang-on- filter or a canister filter for saltwater salt tanks. Note that saltwater salt and salt mix are alkaline, so these filters should have a pre-filter for adding in the saltwater salt mix since it will affect the filter if put into the main filtration system.
There are several filters that you can choose from when setting up how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners in saltfish including an external hang-on-back filter or using a canister filter in its place. If using an external hang-on-back filter, then attach this to your salt tank after sticking tubing through holes of the top part of your salt tank. Then, let some water get sucked into by the pump before putting one end of another tube into that water which is attached to your saltwater salt and salt mix saltfish tank’s filter.
In case saltfish aquariums don’t have a pre-filter, then saltwater salt and salt mix will be affected by the external hang-on-back filter if this is allowed to enter into the salt tank without first passing through a pre-filter. In this case, after the water has been sucked into the pump of an external hang-on back filtration system for saltwater tanks, put one end of another tubing which leads outside of how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners’ salt tank before putting other ends in front of a powerhead or air pump which can help with getting rid of bubbles created from mixing salt and salt mix together within their saltwater salt tank.
Adding saltwater salt and salt mix saltfish to saltwater salt tanks is simple since you can just pour them in from a cup or if you have a larger salt tank, then the salt mix can be poured directly through an opening on top of the tank so as not to allow it to touch any part of salt and salt mixed bags which were used for keeping it from spilling. In some cases, all that may happen is some excess water gets into how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners’ salt mix before pouring it into their new home but this isn’t something that needs your immediate attention during how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners process.
Now that your main filtration system saltfish for saltwater salt tanks have been set up, the next step in how to set up saltwater salt tanks is getting your heater running. Note that saltwater salt and salt mix require the water to be heated so it shouldn’t be too cold or too hot since these can both affect your saltwater aquarium’s water chemistry negatively which will result in losing saltfish within their new home.
The following step of saltwater salt tank’s setup is when you get your skimmer running by attaching this close into the main filter system before placing its air hose into how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners’ water level (the opening/hose should go below inside of salt and salt mixed bags but not too deep). The saltwater salt and salt mix skimmer is used to collect any salt residue/saltwater salt and salt mixed saltfish food that may be left behind from your saltwater aquarium.
Now, place the saltwater salt and salt mixed fish into how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners that was moved from its old home. Saltwater from this tank should be tested for required levels of salinity as well as nitrate levels before adding in your fishes so as not to cause damage to them if levels are too high or low within this environment since they can all have varying requirements. Next, add in some decorations along with a powerhead which will help keep the water moving around inside of your new saltwater salt tank saltfish salt and salt mix saltwater aquarium setup.
The final step in how to set up a saltwater salt fish salt and salt mixed saltfish includes the addition of food for your existing saltfish. Some great choices are shrimp pellets, brine shrimps, dried plankton, krill pieces, Mysis shrimp, etc since all these can help provide nutrients that are needed by how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners’ saltwater conditioner resulting in better growth as well as coloration. The last thing you need to do is buy seaweed sheets since these can be easily found online or at local stores that sell aquariums/aquarium supplies before placing this into your new home’s saltwater salt mix saltfish salt and salt mixed saltwater aquarium tank.
The above steps are great for getting you started on how to set up a saltwater salt fish salt and salt mixed saltfish saltwater tank so you can begin enjoying this new environment even if it’s just watching your existing saltfish swimming around or having them breed which is also another enjoyable aspect of being an aquarist/how to set up a saltwater aquarium for beginners since many people get interested in breeding these fishes themselves once they start with how to set up a home saltwater aquarium.