Seawater aquarium – a rather exotic guest in modern homes, although in a normal freshwater reservoir you will not see such bright and amazing colors. Such a creation of human hands will cost more than freshwater counterparts, and it requires appropriate care, but this does not stop true aquarists.
When choosing an aquarium you need to pay attention to certain criteria. First of all, its area: small aquariums seem more convenient, but in fact, taking care of them is more laborious. Distribute the territory carefully: let it be a wide, but not too high reservoir, than an unnecessarily high reservoir – the inhabitants of the saltwater aquarium will clash, because they protect the horizontal, not the vertical space.
Even the choice of form has its own nuances: the products of irregular shape visually distort reality, and the construction, at first glance, complicated, as a result, turns into a total disappointment. No wonder most aquarists choose the traditional rectangular shape.
Take care of a reliable stand – the marine aquarium is very heavy, so its safety is of paramount importance.
Conventionally, marine aquariums can be divided into 4 types:
- For small fish. This is the simplest and most accessible category of aquarium; many varieties of small individuals can coexist in it at once;
- For large predatory fish. The size of such an aquarium is quite significant, and care is required considerable. In such a specific aquarium, moray eels, triggerfish, lions, karangs, and others are most often planted;
- Mixed aquarium. In such a reservoir, both voile fish, shrimps, starfish, and crustaceans can coexist, but here the task of an aquarist is to pick up inhabitants who need approximately the same environment and follow the water indicators.
- Biosystem This so-called reef aquarium is a very complex species, often small fish, invertebrates and live corals become its inhabitants, but large individuals are better not to settle in a reef aquarium – they eat smaller relatives.
Without false modesty, it can be noted that a marine aquarium is really a cause for pride, because its creation requires considerable work and financial costs from the owner. The density of the “home sea” is determined on the basis of the fact that no more than 2.6 cm length of fish should fall into 9 liters of water.
It is necessary to add to this design, living invertebrates and corals, and it turns out that the volume of the reservoir should be at least 200-250 liters. Aquariums of small size (up to 150 liters) are rather short-lived, and it is impossible to settle many inhabitants in them – at most a couple of clown fish and a few mollusks.
The aquarium should be not only an exquisite interior decoration, but also a comfortable home for its inhabitants. The harmony of the composition is no less important than the purity of the tank and the usefulness of the biosystem. Marine aquariums are both natural and exotic, they are suitable for different styles of interior.
The cost of the model depends on the displacement, the material, the shape of the glass, the finish and the size of the stand. The most common outdoor aquarium with a cabinet on a metal frame, sheathed chipboard or plastic.
Glass is the most popular material for aquariums, the best option is borosilicate float glass, but you can give preference to the usual monolithic silicate variations. Products more than 3000 liters are made of acrylic glass.
They are offered by Pilkington (UK), Glaverbel (Belgium), Saint-Gobain (France). Glass thickness is selected depending on the height and dimensions of the aquarium: for a tank with a height of 90 cm, the thickness should be 15 mm, for a height of 50 cm, 10 mm is enough.
On sale to find an aquarium, more than 1000 liters, to find problematic, they are made to order. It is worth remembering that large containers will have an impressive pressure on the floor, they are suitable, perhaps, only for country houses, and even then, subject to additional strengthening.
Optimum dimensions: width up to 50 cm, height up to 85 cm, length up to 2 meters.
A modern marine aquarium can be installed in many rooms, architects say that the optimal place for a “mini-sea” is a partition between rooms, an empty niche or corner, you can embed it in the floor and even build it into a bath. To prevent bacteria from developing in the aquarium, the room temperature should not exceed 24 degrees, many fish are very shy, so sources of loud noises should also be located far away. It is better to place the aquarium at the level of the spectators’ eyes in order to evenly distribute the load under the device to make a cement screed.
All systems (power supply, filtration, aeration) should be supplied through a separate machine, to ensure water is quite suitable polypropylene hoses.
If the aquarium is very large, it is glued right in the apartment – it is a laborious and rather long process, small containers are brought in ready. After that, you can begin to create the underwater world.
In the arrangement of the aquarium, you can use live stones, sea soil – coral sand, baby, small quartz, Kenyan stone, shells, artificial decorations. The main parameters of water quality: temperature range 23-25 degrees, density 1.02-1.06 g / cm3, salinity 30-35%, pH – 8.1-8.3, oxygen 5-15mg / l.
Sea water is prepared using special mixtures of the companies Coralife, RedSea, Instant Ocean and others in distilled water or that has passed several degrees of purification, mineralized or tap water cannot be used. Regularly measure the parameters of water, the natural flow of water can be simulated using centrifugal pumps, you need to change the water regularly, at least a quarter of the volume a week.
Carefully choose equipment for the aquarium: it is manufactured by RedSea, Aqua Medic, Hagen, Rena, Schego, Tunze, Teca, Juwel, JBL and others. Lighting is one of the most important foundations of life for underwater inhabitants, most often fluorescent lamps such as T5 and T8, as well as metal halide lamps are used – they are powerful enough, therefore 1-2 lamps are enough for an aquarium.
The flow, as already mentioned, is ensured by means of pumps, this is a prerequisite, since for many invertebrate organisms the flow is the ability to move and feed. Pumps can be with constant pressure, with a control unit and simulating a real surf – they can even be connected to a PC.
Also required are filters, ultraviolet emitters, foam separators, nitrate-reducers, ozonizers, plankton reactor, auto-pouring system, calcium editor.
If you are convinced that all the equipment is working properly, and the water parameters correspond to the necessary, it’s time to start settling the “sea”. First, run a few small fish, then once a week add another 1-2 individuals. After a couple of months, you can inhabit soft corals and invertebrates – they are very demanding on the quality of the environment.
Try not to overcrowd the tank, but carefully select the species composition. With large individuals you can not plant small fish, otherwise they will become just live food.
If you are a beginner, you should pay attention to unpretentious fish. The first option is the yellow-tailed chrysippter and dascillus, they grow to 5 cm and are not too whimsical.
The yellow zebrasome is also a frequent visitor to the saltwater aquarium, from large predators it is possible to recommend a large-spotted and red-toothed triggerfish.
Also good is a hermit crab, pseudochromis, mandarin duck, imperial angel, moray eel, yellow tweezer butterfly and others.
It is best to first start peaceful individuals, and only then practice on large predators.
As for plants, the most popular ones are water moss, caulerpa, cryptocoryne, echinodorus, kladophora, sea lily, rogolovnik, ambulia, hygrophilia, nomafilla, and others. You can combine artificial and live plants – for artificial and care is almost not necessary.
First of all, care is the timely cleaning of the soil, since organic food residues and waste products significantly pollute the biosystem. They clean the aquarium with the help of a siphon: the smell will tell you about the need to clean it: if the soil is odorless – everything is fine, but if a rotten smell emits – it’s time to get to work. Do not use siphons only when the bottom is completely planted with plants – in this case, use an ordinary garden hose and clean the most polluted areas with it.
Sometimes it is advisable to change the soil, but this is rare – every few years, often fans are limited to regular cleaning.
Control the density of the prepared sea solution with a hydrometer; it is not necessary to completely change it into water – 20-25 percent of the volume is enough per week. It is worth remembering that a marine aquarium is a small, but important ecosystem, so it is imperative to maintain its chemical properties!
Special trace elements for plants, feeding for corals and invertebrates is a necessity.
Regularly clean the aquarium glass using a scraper (magnetic or sponge), change filters, remove dead algae – and your aquarium will shine clean and will delight you and your loved ones for many years!