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Saturday, 28 May 2011

How to Get Started in Reef Keeping


In the interest of giving those of you new marine aquarium hobby place to start, I've written this FAQ varieties. I'm tired to answer some basic questions that most people face when setting up your first aquarium SW. It is by no means an exhaustive list and there are many ways to set up the tank. This should serve as a starting point - that will help you begin to ask the right questions and get your feet wet. So maybe your hands .... ok, ok ... clear to his armpits. Let's get started!

Question: What basic equipment and other items I need to start a saltwater aquarium

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A:

1.The tank: Contrary to what you might think, starting with a small tank is the best option. In fact, the higher the better. You see, the greater the amount of water is less apt to be affected by sudden changes of water that are common in beginner's tank. Think of it this way: If you take a glass of water and a gallon of water and add a drop of blue food coloring to each, which will have the color change? Correct, cup. Now imagine you have a fish die in your tank while you're at work. As fish decays, it produces toxic ammonia. small amount of water, the more damaging will be the second ammonia tank inhabitants. Simply put, the larger tank is more forgiving. good size to start a 55 gal or larger.

1.The tank: Contrary to what you might think, starting with a small tank is the best option. In fact, the higher the better. You see, the greater the amount of water is less apt to be affected by sudden changes of water that are common in beginner's tank. Think of it this way: If you take a glass of water and a gallon of water and add a drop of blue food coloring to each, which will have the color change? Correct, cup. Now imagine you have a fish die in your tank while you're at work. As fish decays, it produces toxic ammonia. small amount of water, the more damaging will be the second ammonia tank inhabitants. Simply put, the larger tank is more forgiving. good size to start a 55 gal or larger.

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2 Water: If you ever had a foul tasting tap water, you know that not all water is created equal. Tap water can contain a variety of chemicals, minerals and other impurities that are not suitable for reef keeping. Tap water is likely to contain chlorine and chloramines may be, and even nitrate and phosphate. So, what kind of water do not want to use. There are lots of options, most of which is purified water reverse osmosis (RO water). In the interest of keeping this simple, and not getting over your head, let's just say that the reverse osmosis water gives you a purist. You'll find the RO water in most any supermarket - just check the label. If you go to Wal-Mart, this is the one with green cap and takes less than sixty cents per gallon at the time of this writing. There are also home RO units widely available reef keepers, if you want to clean their water.

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3 Filtration: It can be a real can of worms. There are many different options and many, many different theories about the best type of filtration for a reef tank. The most common and accepted method is to use live rock (LR) and deep sand bed with a protein skimmer. Live rock is simply a way of saying porous carbonate rocks on the basis of the host and the macro-and micro-organisms. Because of its highly porous nature of LR, it is able to support huge quantities of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. Make sure to use a rock that will leech minerals in the water.

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In order to provide enough LR to be an effective biological filter, you have between 1.5 to 2 lbs of live rock per gallon of water. So, in 55 gal tank, you would like to about 82.5 to 110 lbs live rock

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In order to provide enough LR to be an effective biological filter, you have between 1.5 to 2 lbs of live rock per gallon of water. So, in 55 gal tank, you would like to about 82.5 to 110 lbs live rock

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Deep Sand Bed (DSB) is usually two to four inches deep and gives lots of surface area for beneficial bacteria. surface of the host Nitrosomonas and deeper, less oxygen layer is nitrobacters.

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Now May you be saying to yourself, surely there is no way to remove fish waste before it starts to collapse and becomes a problem at the microscopic level. Guess what, you're right!

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This only covers the basics of filtration. Please read the more information you can find on this topic. better understand how this process works, the more success you will have.

4 Lights: type of lighting you provide will depend directly on what you choose to get into your tank. If you want to keep fish (FOR) tank, then you can get for just a standard fluorescent lighting. If you want to keep corals and anemones, you will need a stronger light. rule of thumb is 3-5 watts per gallon - as technology advances to the rule of thumb is less accurate. Many factors such as type of lighting, depth of the container, placing corals will be important as well.

You have many options to choose from, but most are a combination of three technologies: Power Compact fluorescents (PC), high output (VHO) or Metal Halide (MH.).

Power compacts will allow you to keep a variety of corals, including all soft corals, and a limited selection of hard coral -. mostly large polyps stonies (LPS)

VHO , while not as intense as PC lights, available in several wattages and afford a similar selection of corals to be kept. However, the VHO is often used in conjunction with Metal Halides.

Metal Halides offers the largest range of options allows for reef keepers to satisfy the most demanding lighting requirements, and corals, including small polyps stonies (SPS). lack of MH lighting is a relatively high cost, and intense heat to be disposed of. Special precautions for cooling must be taken to maintain the water temperature when using MH lighting. At least, you'll have one or more cooling fans of light and water. Another, more expensive cooling option is to use a chiller.

Another less common option that is gaining popularity is the use of T-5 Lighting . T-5-type of high output fluorescent lighting (HO), but which are of smaller diameter and greater intensity than other types of fluorescents. Proponents say the T-5's will one day replace the MH, but others argue that they have the ability to penetrate deeper and should only be used for shallow tanks no deeper than 18 ".

As noted, these are generalizations. Many reef keepers have had success keeping all types of marine life using any of these types of lighting.

5 Edition: the goal of every reef keeper should repeat the natural ocean conditions as much as possible. In this way, you have the greatest chance to create friendly environment for your fish, corals, and invertebrates. Circulation is usually given the power heads, which are small pump placed in the water, which draw water and then wash it off at a higher pressure. rule here is ten times the amount of water per hour. If we use our hypothetical 55 gal tank, that would mean that we would like at least 550 GPH flow. The power of the head should be positioned so as to simulate ocean currents and the creation of flow in all parts of the tank and to avoid "dead spots ". Dead spots, areas of the tank with low circulation, may allow waste to settle out of the water column where it can fall apart and raise the level of harmful ammonia.

Question: What are the nitrate nitrogen cycle ()?

Question: What are the nitrate nitrogen cycle ()?

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A: As mentioned earlier, the decline of fish to produce ammonia. In fact live fish produce ammonia as a product of respiration. It also produces the fish waste and uneaten food decompose (DOC-a.) If allowed to exist in any significant quantity, the ammonia will wreak havoc on your tank inhabitants and can cause death. This is where the bacteria enter the picture. bacteria, which use ammonia in their own metabolic process, called Nitrosomonas. Nitrosomonas thrive in a highly oxygenated environment and consume ammonia in a process called aerobic nitrification. As these bacteria multiply, they used up the ammonia and nitrite produced as a by-product. Unfortunately Nitrites are also toxic marine environment. Fortunately, this is not the end of the cycle and there are bacteria that consume nitrates. These bacteria thrive in low oxygen environments and are called nitrobacteria. They consume nitrite in a process called anaerobic (or anoxic) denitrification. nitrobacteria convert nitrites to nitrates. Nitrates are the end of the line in this process. nitrates are less harmful to aquatic life than ammonia or nitrites, but should not be in any significant quantities. Nitrates are removed by frequent, small changes in the water - typically 10-20% per week. Some people choose to make larger, less frequent water changes. There are some other options for reducing nitrate, but it is a topic for another day.

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Question: How do I set my fill

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Note: Before adding water to your tank, make sure that the tank and the stand level. After the tank that is not level can lead to cracking your tank!

the next decision you need to do is if you want to use sand or crushed coral as a substrate (bottom layer). Some people choose to have a bare bottom tank for aesthetic reasons, but most use one of these two substrates.

for biological filtration, deep sand bed is the most recommended substrate. sand must be clean sand argon. Silica based sand can be harmful for some sand sifting creatures May you decide to keep. Another possibility is still chosen by many people is crushed coral. Crushed coral will not be as effective in hosting anoxic bacteria such as the DSB, but is easily accessible and many like her appearance on the sand. After laying your substrate, you are ready for water.

for biological filtration, deep sand bed is the most recommended substrate. sand must be clean sand argon. Silica based sand can be harmful for some sand sifting creatures May you decide to keep. Another possibility is still chosen by many people is crushed coral. Crushed coral will not be as effective in hosting anoxic bacteria such as the DSB, but is easily accessible and many like her appearance on the sand. After laying your substrate, you are ready for water.

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As explained earlier, you'll want to start with water purified through reverse osmosis. When filling the tank for the first time, it's OK to mix water and salt in a container. Once you have livestock in your tank, you'll want to mix saltwater in a bucket or hose, and then add it to the mailbox. There are several salt mixes out there, all of which have their fans and detractors. No matter what you decide you want to mix the salinity between 1.022 to 1.025. For most salt mixes, you get close to the desired salinity by adding salt to mix at a rate of ½ cup per gallon of water. For default settings, do not fill the container all the way down. Remember that you will move water from a large quantity of rock. Also, if you want to leave enough room in the tank to adjust your salinity. If your salinity is too high, you will add more RO water, if too low, you will add a bit more concentrated sea water. Most reef keepers use a simple swing arm hydrometer to measure salinity, but eventually you May want to consider a more accurate device such as a refractometer. Once the water in the tank, you will want to place and plug in your power head.

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The next step is to add your live rock. Live Rock comes in two ways, cured or uncured. When live rock is removed from the ocean is full of marine life. The future of transportation, some of this marine life will start to die off. The process of drying of solid rock that fail to complete the process before you add it to your tank. Adding uncured LR in your tank can cause a spike in ammonia. Usually, such a class is desirable, but when starting a new tank, it can help in cycling tank - More on "cycling" in the moment

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You can use any live rock or, if you want to save money, you can use 20% live rock and 80% of the base rock. The base rock is porous carbonate rocks on the basis of which is or is not in the ocean or the reef tank, or but has since been removed. If you go this route, just remember that it will take time for your base rock will become home to the macro-and micro-organisms commonly found in solid rock. After a period of time, the base rock and live rock will be different.

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After the live rock in place, your tank will begin to cycle. Cycling is the process by which bacteria are found in your tank. If you add sufficient amounts of live rock, your tank is essentially already passed, but if you add live rock or just add a small amount, you will need the assistance process. In any case, you need to provide a food source for bacteria - namely ammonia. If you are using LR rock cycle your tank, you can add a few hardy fish to provide a source of ammonia. People often use damsels to the task, but please keep in mind that the maids can be very aggressive towards other fish and are also extremely difficult to remove from the tank with lots of rockwork.

After the live rock in place, your tank will begin to cycle. Cycling is the process by which bacteria are found in your tank. If you add sufficient amounts of live rock, your tank is essentially already passed, but if you add live rock or just add a small amount, you will need the assistance process. In any case, you need to provide a food source for bacteria - namely ammonia. If you are using LR rock cycle your tank, you can add a few hardy fish to provide a source of ammonia. People often use damsels to the task, but please keep in mind that the maids can be very aggressive towards other fish and are also extremely difficult to remove from the tank with lots of rockwork.

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Question: What do I do now (Am I ready to add fish )?

A: before you can add any fish, corals, or invertebrates in your tank, be sure to thoroughly investigate your options to purchase before bringing him home. You will find that many creatures are not compatible with each other or May you find beautiful fish only to discover that the voracious eating coral. Many reef keepers find helpful compiled a list of compatible fish and coral - the ones that will live in harmony with each other, are well suited to your tank size and lighting. Make sure to list with you whenever you go to a local fish store (LFS), so it will not be tempted to be inappropriate at the time of purchase. Also remember that you add more fish to go at the last territorial and less aggressive fish can establish the category.

When looking for advice on the various LFS should be aware that just because someone working in a pet store or fish, does not mean that they know what they are talking about . It seems to be especially true of large retail chains. Unfortunately there are those out there that will allow you to make smart purchase just so they can make a sale.

Although the topic is not covered here, I strongly encourage you to do some research on setting up quarantine tank . quarantine tank is used to monitor your new stock for a few weeks to make sure they are disease-free before adding to your main tank. It is much easier to treat the disease in quarantine tank than the one full of corals and other vulnerable animals. One final tip that is especially true in this hobby, "Patience is a virtue." Take your time and make sure you make informed decisions from the very beginning, and this will help avoid unnecessary loss of livestock, as well as cost savings

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I hope you find this information useful and have a better grasp on exactly what is included in this wonderful hobby.

4 comments:

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  3. Hi, very interesting post thanks for sharing. Can I contact your through your email. Thanks!

    Randy
    randydavis387 at gmail.com

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