During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.

Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities.

We will get through this together. Updated: March 29, References. Taking care of a saltwater aquarium is a fun and fulfilling hobby for anyone who loves marine life! You don't want fish like mandarins that are super-picky about what they eat. Because they're so picky, mandarinfish are tough to keep alive in a tank. Read on for another quiz question. Not exactly!

How to Care for Saltwater Fish

You definitely don't want aggressive fish in your saltwater tank. But mandarinfish are pretty docile, unlike, say, groupers. Pick another answer! Not quite! Mandarinfish aren't particularly territorial and can get along with other types of fish. Damselfish should be avoided for their territorial nature, though. Try again All saltwater fish are somewhat sensitive to environmental fluctuations. However, mandarinfish aren't especially sensitive, so they're unlikely to be killed by tank conditions.

Mandarinfish are saltwater fish. The reason not to put them in your saltwater aquarium has more to do with their personality. You're not wrong, but there's a better answer! To keep a saltwater aquarium clean, you'll need a mechanical filter. This isn't the only thing that needs a power supply, though! Try another answer It's important to keep your tank a constant temperature, so you'll need to keep your heater plugged in at all times.

But you'll also need outlets for other tank elements.Here is information about setting up a refugium for your saltwater aquarium, which is a safe haven for sessile inverts and other delicate species, and a place to cultivate macroalgae and live foods such as copepods and amphipods. Refugiums have been found to be an excellent platform for cultivating food sources amphipods, copepods, and macroalgae in a separate but still attached system.

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Each type of refugium has its pros and cons. Don Carner explains what a refugium is, how to plumb and put one together, what lighting to use and what you can place inside of it. If you have been thinking about building an acrylic aquarium, but thought that acrylics were too hard to work with, here is the perfect project for you. Complete with parts list, instructions, and photos. Top refugium for saltwater aquariums.

Refugiums are great add-ons for saltwater aquariums. Refugiums in Saltwater Aquariums. Building A Refugium. DIY Acrylic Refugium. Continue to 5 of 5 below.

Top Refugiums for Saltwater Aquariums. Read More.The items listed here are pieces of equipment and components that are fundamental for setting up and running a saltwater aquarium or reef tank system. Live Rock plays an important role in a marine tank.

Many marine animals, fish in particular, can be quite territorial. It is important to provide ample shelter or places where the animals can hide, sleep, and avoid potential problems with aggression from other tankmates in the confined space of an aquarium. Once you have decided where you are going to place your new aquariumyou will need to choose a tank that will fit the available space.

diy saltwater aquarium

Fortunately, there will probably be a number of different tank sizes and styles that will work for you. While you are shopping for your new tank, keep an eye on what equipment filtration, lighting, etc. Buying an aquarium package or "kit" can save you a lot of time and money as everything included is designed to fit the tank. For larger spaces, one of the Top Gallon Aquariums might work for you.

diy saltwater aquarium

If you have the space and desire, one of the Showsize Display Aquariums might be just the ticket. For those who want to design your own tank and save money at the same time, you might want to explore the DIY Aquariums route. Building your own aquarium is remarkably easy to do. Many of the packages include an aquarium standif not, there are a number of manufactured Aquarium Stands and Cabinets to choose from.

How to Care for Saltwater Fish

The type of lighting you choose will be based on the type of system you have planned to set upas well as what kind of livestock you will be keeping in it. If you are not purchasing an aquarium kit or package you will have to select your tank lighting.

While shopping for lighting, keep in mind that you may want to upgrade your tank from a Fish Only to a reef tank in the future. Buying fixtures which can be retrofitted with more powerful bulbs in the future might be a better buy in the long run.

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These sleek, compact and efficient fixtures are now available with reef grade bulbs. You will also find that using a Power Center to control your lights and other electrical equipment will greatly simplify running your new aquarium. Protein Skimmer Protein skimmers remove Dissolved Organic Compounds DOC's directly from the aquarium system water, before they are processed by the biological filter. While not essential to an aquarium filtration system, many people find that skimmers do take a lot of the load from the biological filter, allowing a larger fish and invertebrate population in the tank.

What protein skimming is, and how it works will help you understand their function.

How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium

Before purchasing a protein skimmer, you will need to determine where it will be placed in your system. Some links to help you compare prices of the different types of protein skimmers are:.

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Depending on the size of your aquarium, the use one or several powerheads is an excellent way to provide good water circulation throughout the system.

Since the substrate is more than just the "stuff at the bottom of the tank", Choosing the Right Substrate for your aquarium is important. There are a number of different colors, types, densities and sizes of materials used for aquarium substrates. If you will be having a lot of water current in your tank, you will want a heavier substrate to keep it in place.

If your substrate will be a significant part of the biological filter, porosity and surface area will be important. Sea salts are what make an aquarium a saltwater or marine aquarium. Also referred to as a salinity tester, this item measures the specific gravity or salt content of the water.

Hydrometer Also referred to as a salinity tester, this item measures the specific gravity or salt content of the water. Compare Prices on the Top Hydrometers and Refractometers.Displayed as images, this index contains a collection of all the charts, tables, diagrams and more original content we have put together over the years!

In the table above, the top row indicates the length of the tank, the left vertical column indicates the depth height of the tank. To determine the glass thickness to use for constructing your tank, find the length of the tank in the top row indicated in feet and cm - centimetersthen follow that column down until you reach the height of the tank indicated in inches and cm.

Glass thickness is indicated in mm millimeterswith the number in parenthesis below indicating the Safety Factor. Below, is a quick conversion of millimeters to inches. This is a four view diagram that illustrates step-by-step DIY glass aquarium assembly instructions. So what do marine fishes eat in nature? This table of the primary food groups of marine fishes in nature briefly describes what each group eats. This table shows the values of top major and minor elements as well as related compounds all mainly ionic found in natural seawater NSW that are considered to be essential for saltwater aquariums.

This table can be used as a guideline to compare these elements to those contained in sea salt mixes when choosing a mix to buy.

Note that values obtained from different sources vary, as values can change from test to test for different reasons, but for the most part these values reflect the overall average measurements from various resources referenced to formulate this table.

Although these compounds of common elements are present and harmless in natural sea water NSWthey are often found at undesirable higher concentrations in some sea salt mixes. Therefore, these elements should be considered when choosing a mix to buy for making up aquarium water.

To help you easily compare the differences between essential elements contained in some of the top brand name sea salt mixes sold on the market, we compiled this quick reference elements comparison table based on actual test results that were conducted by the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology reported in Marlin Atkinson and Craig Bingman's "The Composition of Some Synthetic Seawater Mixes" article published in the March issue of Aquarium Frontiers Magazine, and in reference to other Web resources.

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Although there are other elements and compounds to evaluate when buying a sea salt mix, in this table we only address those considered to be primary. The codes in this table reflect our own interpretation of the test results from this report. Also keep in mind that since the tests were conducted, some manufacturers may have made changes to their formulas. This table reflects the abundances or values of the top 14 out of 70 trace elements that are found in natural seawater NSW that are considered to be the Therefore, these elements should be considered when choosing a sea salt mix to buy for making up aquarium water.

Moe, Jr. This diagram above demonstrates the system set up with all the back flush valves in place. The system is running as it normally would. The back flush set-up remains attached to your system once you have installed it. This diagram demonstrates how the quick disconnect valves are closed and opened. The system is in the reverse flow back flushing mode. Bring out the bypass valves from storage when you want to back flush. Just turn the flow off at the double valves, disconnect them, connect the single valves, then turn them all on.

You simply put a bucket under the wastewater vent hose and switch 3 valves. This reverses the flow through the filter. Once a month during your regular maintenance routine just back flush the system for about 30 seconds or so.

This should be sufficient to loosen up the bio media and wash through any detritus or organic buildup trapped.So since I currently go to college and live in a dorm, I decided I would have a little desktop aquarium since I couldnt put a big 70gal aquarium.

I decided to go with a 10 gallon self contained unit just theres no mess with having an extra sump and it fits well on my desk.

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In this tutorial I will show you how to setup an easy to maintain and construct saltwater aquarium suitable for a dorm room. First and foremost I want to add: Saltwater fish do not require the same filtration as a regular freshwater aquarium.

It is advised that you use RODI water when changing water out. Please do not use straight tap water as it contains may chemicals not suitable for fish from the filtration process. Because of the size of the tank, water parameters tend to fluctuate a lot so keeping a close eye on it is advised.

Because I have already setup the tank, I will be going off of the steps I originally took. Did you use this instructable in your classroom?

Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson. Ok now that you have gathered your supplies, yes its pretty pricey but hey its the only pet you can have in a dorm room pretty much and it'll be cool. Step 1: So to start get your tank and remove all of the stickers and labels off of it. Clean the inside of the tank thoroughly and let dry.

In the meantime prep your plexiglass so that you can glue it in. Step 2: You will want to cut your plexiglass into the following measurements or in my case I got lowes to cut it for me x11 inches -8x4 inches Step 3: Drill a hole in the plexiglass like shown in picture. It needs to be big enough for the powerhead to fit through. Also cut 3 to 4 largish slits in the plexiglass to allow the water to flow through it.

diy saltwater aquarium

This is where it can get tricky. Its hard to explain this step so please look at the following diagrams I have posted up of the side view as well as the 3d drawing. You want to make sure the 8x4 piece has plenty of room on the bottom for water to flow.

Make sure the tank is completely dry before applying the silicon or it will not bond well.Several years ago, Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine FAMA and other aquarium periodicals referenced the idea of a refugium as part of a saltwater aquarium. It resulted in a flurry of "how-to" and "why for" articles that occupied many pages in aquarium magazines and continues to be the subject of new inquiries.

Essentially, a refugium is nothing more than a refuge from predation. Sessile invertebrates, such as corals and anemones, and other delicate species need a place to call their own, and the advent of the refugium was just the ticket.

Isolated but connected to the main display tank see diagramthe refugium allows for common water filtration while at the same time keeping more aggressive fish from impacting the delicate creatures. What follows is a diagram showing a simplified refugium setup. Notice that a true refugium is not a reverse photosynthesis device—those are another animal altogether. The true refugium is meant to be seen, as is the main show tank.

Reverse photosynthesis arrangements are meant to be installed in a sump beneath the display tank and are a means of primary biological filtration. This is not so of the refugium. The focus here is to provide a "quiet" zone for seahorsespeppermint shrimpscopepods and amphipodsand other denizens that would otherwise not last long at all in a community aquarium.

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While benefiting from the improved water quality that most reef systems provide, this isolation allows for spawning of shrimps or other animals, as well as providing a nice sand bed for beneficial worms and other sifters. When contemplating installation of a refugium, several factors should be considered. First, where are you going to set it up or place it?

Most agree that placing the refugium as close to the main tank as possible is the way to go. Many aquarists have simply set a gallon aquarium on a table next to its big brother. So where does the water supply come from, and where does it go? Water is pumped into the refugium using an aquarium powerhead pump, or other circulation from the filter pump.

Then the water returns from the refugium into the main aquarium, or the filter sump, by gravity or by siphon action. Time to make a point: The water entering the refugium should come from below the main tank's water surface—not from the overflow—if so equipped. Surface water is skimmed from the main tank into the overflow.

This surface water is laden with oils and other dissolved organics.During these challenging times, we guarantee we will work tirelessly to support you. We will continue to give you accurate and timely information throughout the crisis, and we will deliver on our mission — to help everyone in the world learn how to do anything — no matter what.

Thank you to our community and to all of our readers who are working to aid others in this time of crisis, and to all of those who are making personal sacrifices for the good of their communities.

We will get through this together. Many people keep saltwater aquariums so they can enjoy the beauty of marine fish and corals. As with other species of fish, it's important to keep the aquarium and its water clean. But you may be confused about how best to make saltwater. It's simple, though not as easy as adding table salt to tap water, which could harm your marine fish.

You can mix saltwater for your aquarium by getting the necessary supplies, blending the salt and water, and checking the water conditions. To mix saltwater for an aquarium, start by rinsing out a large container and then filling it not quite to the top with tap water. Then, place a powerhead and heater in the container so you can regulate the water temperature and help the salt dissolve faster. Next, add sea salt mixture from a pet store to the container per the manufacturer's instructions, working in 3 batches and waiting for the salt to dissolve between batches.

Once the sea salt has dissolved, let the water sit overnight and then test the salinity and temperature before adding it to your tank. To learn how to test the salinity and temperature of your mixed saltwater, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Facebook Loading Google Loading Civic Loading No account yet? Create an account. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. As the COVID situation develops, our hearts ache as we think about all the people around the world that are affected by the pandemic Read morebut we are also encouraged by the stories of our readers finding help through our site.


Article Edit. Learn why people trust wikiHow. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. There are 20 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Explore this Article Purchasing Necessary Supplies.

Diy saltwater aquarium

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