004: Saltwater Aquarium Equipment Part Four: Water Movement And Tools

Lots of water movement is crucial to just about any marine aquarium. The region of the ocean where the creatures we aim to keep come from is in constant motion. Even if you only intend to keep fish, some powerheads dedicated to providing water movement are necessary. For corals the aim is to replicate the turbulent flows of a reef. Powerheads will generally have a flow rating in gallons per hour. Aim to have enough combined flow to turn over the water in the tank once every couple minutes or between ten and twenty times an hour. You may also … Continue reading

003: Saltwater Aquarium Equipment Part Three: Lighting

When it comes to lighting for a saltwater aquarium there are lots of choices, probably more so than for any other item you’ll need. Options include various types of florescent, metal halide, and LED lights. For a setup without any corals or other light craving invertebrates lighting can be pretty basic, even a simple florescent fixture with a few full spectrum bulbs will do. However, for full reef setups proper high power lighting is crucial.   The first category of high intensity lighting we’ll explore is florescent. Florescent lights come in a couple different sizes. Let’s look at the two … Continue reading

002: Saltwater Aquarium Equipment Part Two: Temperature Control

In a saltwater aquarium a consistent temperature, somewhere between about 76 and 80 degrees, is especially important. Changes in temperature affect the salinity of the water, and quick changes in salinity are very hard on most marine creatures. The most effective way to maintain your tank’s temperature is with a heater and a chiller. To pick an appropriately sized heater, take your aquarium’s size, in gallons, and multiply it by five to calculate the wattage. Most heaters will work fine, but do not pick one with a stainless steel outer case. The steel will rust in the saltwater environment.   … Continue reading

001: Saltwater Aquarium Equipment Part One: Filtration

The equipment necessary to run a saltwater aquarium is much the same as what is required for a freshwater aquarium, along with a few additional items. The biggest addition that’s required is a protein skimmer. You may not be familiar with protein skimmers even if you’ve kept a freshwater tank, as they only function properly with saltwater. Sumps, chillers, powerheads, and high output lighting are also more common on saltwater tanks and may be required. We’ll start by looking at filtration.   When first planning out your setup you need to decide if you’re going to want a sump or … Continue reading