How to Properly Setup a Salt Water Aquarium for Beginners

When you walk into a pet store and see their beautiful salt water tank all set up and everyone is doing fine.  Well it takes a while to get that way.  But if you want to start a salt water tank then follow these steps.  This is for beginners to get a basic tank set up and let you further your knowledge depending on what kind of tank you are doing.

Fish Only Tank:
These are the easiest to set up.  Most pet stores will tell you to wait 4 weeks before adding fish.  Well you don't have to.  After you have set up the tank and the salt has all settled and it goes clear then you can start these key tips.  While waiting for the tank to clear and a couple flakes of food a day to build beneficial bacteria.

  • You can use damsels or mollies (Yes Freshwater Mollies!) These are cheap and hardy.
  • Add Live Rock this also adds beneficial bacteria.
  • Get water from a persons tank that is already setup. Don't get from a pet store because usually their is something bad in the tank.
  • Take a filter cartridge from a established tank.  This pumps beneficial bacteria into the tank.
  • Add beneficial bacteria chemicals.
  • Add 2 fish per 10 gallon or less to get tank going.
The beneficial bacteria is important because it helps break down ammonia into nitrite then breaks down into nitrate.

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