Picture a bright, vibrant, colorful marine fish tank that’s teeming with life. It’s the image most hobbyists have in the minds when they set out to establish salt water fish tanks. Unfortunately many will not end up with a tank that resembles the picture they started with in their heads. Instead, they’ll end up with a dark, algae-riddled wasteland where only the hardiest of creatures can survive.

Setting up a marine fish tank is hard work – much more than is required for its freshwater counterpart. Here are 3 of the most common mistakes people make when setting up salt water fish tank aquariums and how to avoid them.

1. Starting too Small

When it comes to setting up a marine fish tank, size matters. A common mistake people make is starting too small (under 30 gallons). A small salt water fish aquarium is harder to maintain because the relatively small volume of water in the tank is much more susceptible to rapid changes in water chemistry and temperature. And you don’t want that because marine fish are particularly sensitive to changing water conditions which can be very stressful to them. And while you can relieve your stress through massage or an alcoholic beverage or two, that won’t help your fish. Too much stress can sicken and even kill fish.

The bigger the tank, the lower the likelihood of big swings in water conditions. And that’s good for all of your tank’s inhabitants. So go as big as you can afford when it comes to setting up your salt water fish aquarium with 30 gallons being the smallest tank size I’d recommend, especially for beginners.

2. Overfeeding Your Fish

Overfeeding is the most common mistake made by owners of fish tank aquariums, whether marine or freshwater. Feeding your fish is fun. Since it’s kind of hard to cuddle with your fish, feeding is one of the few ways you can interact with them. Plus, salt water aquarium fish get very excited when food is in the water and they swim faster and dart all over the place, making feeding time one of the most enjoyable times to watch your tank’s inhabitants.

All of these factors make it easy for enthusiastic owners to give their fish too much, too often when it comes to food. Overfeeding, however, leads to two big problems in your tank. First, it pollutes the aquarium. Uneaten food falls to the bottom of the tank or on tank decorations, live rock, etc. and rots if it is not cleaned up. This will screw up your water chemistry, producing nitrates (which you and your fish don’t want) and overloading the tank’s biological filtration. Second, just like with people, if fish eat too much they can experience health problems.

Both those issues can cause illness and/or death. And that’s not going to help you achieve that vision of a vibrant marine fish tank you had in mind when you set up your aquarium. Different species of fish have varying nutritional requirements. Before adding new fish to your tank, make sure you know how much food they require and what type of food they require so you keep your fish well fed, but not overly fed.

3. Letting Maintenance Slide

It’s possible to hire someone to come into your house once a week or month to take care of all the maintenance requirements your tank and its inhabitants have. But that can get kind of expensive and, for something that’s supposed to be a hobby, it’s kind of cheating.

A marine fish tank requires a lot of work to keep it operating properly and its inhabitants happy. Among the things you’ll have to do on a regular basis are water changes, removing excess waste, cleaning the glass, cleaning the filter, testing the water, and feeding the fish (not too much!). If you slack on these tasks for even a month or so, you can cause the water quality in the tank to suffer and that can affect the health of your tank and its residents.

So while it’s more fun to just sit back and watch your tank, it’s critical to keep up with maintenance. Make a checklist of what you have to do. Break things down into smaller chunks that you can do daily or weekly so you don’t have to do it all at once. Tie strings around your fingers to remind you to keep up with your tank maintenance. Do whatever it takes because staying on top of regular maintenance is the most important thing you can do to keep your fish and fish tank healthy.

Those are my big three when it comes to common mistakes that are made when it comes to setting up and maintaining a marine fish tank. While there are other mistakes that can sabotage your efforts, avoiding this three will go a long way toward helping you achieve that vision of owning a healthy, vibrant and thriving salt water fish tank.

Matt Warren is a certified marine fish tank nerd. He shares his passion for salt water fish tanks and their inhabitants and his website, marinefishtank.org.

Author: Matt Warren
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The marine fish tank is thought by many to be a very difficult and expensive undertaking. While that may have true many years ago today advances in the hobby and better understanding of saltwater fish allow even a beginner to keep a successful marine fish tank.

Tips For Planning a Successful Marine Aquarium

  • Choose The Fish You WantFirst- This is very important because the types of fish you are interested in keeping will determine many things. The kinds of fish you are interested in will dictate how big a tank you will need and the amount and types of support equipment your marine aquarium will need to keep them healthy.
  • Establish Your Budget- Like anything the bigger your saltwater aquarium setup is the more it is going to cost. By not planning you could wind up with a big tank and no money to finish it or for fish. By knowing your budget you will not be setting yourself up for frustration or a poorly set up saltwater aquarium that will ultimately fail
  • Pick The Biggest Tank You Can Afford- Larger marine aquariums are more stable and therefore easier to care for and keep healthy fish in. Knowing the types of fish you want and your salt water fish tank budget can help you decide on the right size.
  • Educate Yourself- Even after your salt water fish tank is setup and running do not stop learning. There is ever evolving information when it comes to saltwater fish keeping. Some of the best information can be found in hobby magazines, on the Internet and through fellow saltwater fish keepers

Do you want a stunning Saltwater Aquarium full of colorful healthy fish? Then head over to http://www.saltwatermethods.com and find out how.

Author: Darin Sewell
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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If you are considering starting a new saltwater setup and are feeling a bit overwhelmed. Well then this article will definitely help you out by going over what you need what you are going to need set up a new saltwater fish tank

Before you buy anything for your new saltwater setup the first thing you are going to have to determine is how much money do you actually have to spend on your saltwater aquarium. This is important because have to be sure how much you can spend before you can plan the rest of your setup.

Once you have a budget in mind then you are going to have to decide on the size of aquarium that you are going to buy. Generally salt water fish tanks in the range of 40-75 gallons are the best for a new marine aquarium. Try to avoid very small tanks that are not very stable and very large tanks that are very expensive.

After you settle on a size for your new marine aquarium its time to choose some fish. Grab yourself some good saltwater fish books and start looking at fish and take notes about the ones you like. Once you have a list eliminate the ones that are going to be to hard to keep alive, that will kill or eat other fish in your tank or that are to expensive.

Once you have chosen the types of saltwater fish that you want you will have to determine the types of filters that you want. Information on saltwater aquarium filters can be a bit overwhelming but if you stuck to a tank between 40-75 gallons then a good canister filter will be fine.

Moving on you will then need to decide how to decorate your salt water fish tank. You have many choices here that range from using dead coral or artificial coral all the way up to exotic live rock. This is definitely a point where most new salt water tank keepers get confused.

If you are having figuring out how to decorate your tank the best thing you can do is take a trip to a local fish store. Here you will be able to see the different ways to decorate a tank and also the support equipment they used to keep them healthy.

Want a crystal clear successful Reef Aquarium? Our reef tank guide will show you how to avoid the common mistakes that lead to fish death, algae and an ugly tank. To get the secrets to creating a stunning reef aquarium visit http://www.dseventures.com

Author: Darin Sewell
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The number one mistake people make when buying a salt water fish tank is to buy one that is too small. Marine fish are used to a lot of space and deep water so you need to buy as large a tank as possible. Don’t worry about filling the tank with sea water, this is not recommended. You should use one of the commercial preparation packs on sale and make up a solution following the exact instructions.

If you are wondering what fish to populate your salt water fish tanks with, you need to speak to an expert. Just as you wouldn’t keep a cat and a mouse in the same compartment, there are certain fish that do not co-habitate very well. How many fish you buy will depend on the species i.e. what size they will grow to and also whether you are going to breed them or not.

You can safely combine clown fish with sea anemones although the later are fatal to most other fish. Normally any fish that comes close to the sea anemone will be fatally stung and consumed but not the clown fish which appears to be immune to the venom. Some people say that the sea anemone will eat scraps of food dropped by the clown fish but whether this is why the two species can live together is anyone’s guess. Angelfish are beautifully colored but are known to fight with members of their own species although the Black and Gold angelfish is less territorial. Everyone wants to have a sea horse in their marine aquarium but remember that these will require live food.

Salt water fish tanks give you an opportunity to observe these beautiful creatures at close proximity. Do look after them properly and provide them with the correct food but also some coral and other reminders of their old life.

To find what else you may not know about fish keeping, read our salt water aquariums, and other articles!

Join us at: http://www.saltwaterfishtanksinfo.net/

Author: Chris Hartpence
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The ocean is the vastest of all the water bodies. It’s the home to millions of species – playful, colorful, savage and awe-inspiring. The array of fish, their colors, playful lives – part mystery and part comprehensible, ignites a desire to have them close at home. The idea of a salt-water fish tank is the solution. The display of diversity and range is what a salt-water fish tank can offer, as it’s a mini ocean. The salt-water environment provides a scope to display a wide assortment of fish whose lives and behavior patterns are intriguing. Angels, Anglers, Basslets, Batfishes, Cardinals, Clowns, and Damsels – the list is endless.

One has to read, interact with aquarium shops, hobbyists and learn a lot before embarking on this hobby. Education and information can ensure that the fish live healthy and longer, saving lots of money.

A few things like the tank size, water salinity and chemical composition, lighting and filtration, fish combination etc. if taken care off, and then one can have an enjoyable experience as an aquarist.

Seawater can be used in the tank if one is living near a sea or special salt available at the aquarium shops can be mixed with fresh water. When you use seawater, make sure the water is unpolluted. Fetching seawater far from ports and harbors is advisable in this regard. Cooking salt is never mixed to fresh water to create marine water for aquariums.

A compatible combination of fish should be chosen for the tank. Surely, you don’t want to have a fish in the tank, which can have the other fish for breakfast. There are lists of compatibility available and the choice of fish should be based on that to avoid aggressive fish killing tender and shy fish, fish unable to adjust to change in habitat, invertebrates getting killed by treatment for saltwater “ich” of fish etc.

There is plenty of literature around, on this hobby. If studied carefully and followed, the aquarist hobby can be an enjoyable one. The sweat involved initially may be salty but the end result will definitely be sweet. The salt-water fish tank would symbolize color and life in your home.

Fish Breeding FAQ [http://www.fishbreeding.info] – You can find the answer to all you questions about Fish breeding or ask your question in Fish Breeding Forums.

Author: Roger Donovan
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Choosing the between all the various salt water fish tank filtration systems can be confusing to say the least. But, before you choose your specific system, there are a few points you must know no matter which system you choose. Keep in mind filtration is a very important part of your tank, so don’t rush through this step.

In natural habitats, the fish have an ample areas in which to live. In your tank, they are confined to a relatively small quantity of water. In your tank, waste products can quickly build up and spell disaster. That’s where the filter comes in.

Four factors have a huge impact on the success of your tank, and your filtration system. You must have an adequate biological base, the appropriate choice of animals, not over-populate, and don’t over feed. Get one of these factors wrong, and you most likely will have problems with your saltwater tank.

Biological filtration is the most important sector of salt water fish tank filter systems. The biological filters are living organisms within your tank. They consume oxygen and waste material within your tank. It’s not something you can add. They will occur naturally within your saltwater fish tank.

Mechanical Filtration

The second type of filtration for your tank is mechanical filtration. This is where you choose the type of salt water filter system you will use in your new tank.

Mechanical filtration strains the solid particles from your tank water. It will not remove solids trapped by gravel, or other items within your tank. A good mechanical filter traps enough solids to keep your water clear, without becoming clogged frequently.

Smaller openings catch finer particles and are clogged faster than a larger opening. Keep this in mind as you choose your mechanical filtration system.

Types of Mechanical Filters

For years, the corner filter has been the least expensive and most used type of salt water fish tank filtration systems. These clear plastic boxes sit inside the tank. An air stone bubbles air through an airlift tube, which forces water through a bed of filter floss mechanically filtering the water.

Today there are better methods,that don’t take up space, look nicer, and perform well.

Power filters are used by many. You’ll find many styles of power filters. The most common hangs on the back of the tank. A siphon tube pulls water from the tank into the filter box and passes the water though a mechanical filter. An internal pump returns the filtered water into the aquarium. Power filters come in many sizes suited for small to large aquariums

Under-gravel filters work by slowly passing water through the gravel on the bottom, which sits on top of a perforated plate. The water pumped with an airlift, with bubbles air lifting the water in a vertical tube attached to the filter plate. One problem is that the gravel clogs up with waste creating a health risk for your fish.

Sponge filters are an efficient,cheap form of biological filtration. Water is forced through porous foam by air bubbling through an airlift tube. Water flowing though the sponge allows the growth of a colony of beneficial bacteria that neutralizes toxic ammonia.

Chemical Filtration

Chemical filtration removes dissolved wastes from aquarium water. The most popular chemical filtration is the carbon filter method. Your water is filtered through gas activated carbon. The best GAC for filtering water is made from coal and is macro-porous (larger pores).

Cris Stanford is the publisher of www.saltwater-aquarium-secrets.com where you’ll find money saving advice and expert tips on how to set up the perfect salt water fish tank filter systems.

Author: Cris Stanford
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Saltwater fish tanks have their own unique qualities and demands. But, for the reef aquarium lover, it’s well worth the effort.

You’ll get many hours of enjoyment without hassle if you get your salt water fish tank setup correctly. If you miss a few steps, you’re sure to have problems. They may not show up right way, but your fish will suffer in the long run. So please, be patient and follow all the steps in order.

Before You Begin

Do your research before starting your salt water fish tank setup. If you haven’t yet purchased your system, you find many choices available. Don’t hesitate to research and ask questions as you’re making your choices. Each set requires different parts and equipment, but most specialized aquarium stores are more than happy to help you get started.

What basic equipment do you need? You’ll need filters, pumps, heaters, lights, test kits, and sea salt mixtures, and substrate material (maybe something like coral). There’s other optional equipment, but these are the basics.

Once you’ve chosen your system, you’re ready to begin the setup. First you’ll need to clean and level the tank. Then you can begin to arrange your background making sure to leave room for the necessary system pieces that must go into the tank.

Starting the Saltwater Fish Tank Setup and Testing

Once your tank is set, level, and the background is installed, you’re ready to test your new system. Follow directions for your specific saltwater tank precisely. This may take some time, but it’s worth it. Test your system before you put it into your tank. Once that’s done, you can go on to the next step of your salt water fish tank setup.

If you have not already put in your saltwater solution now is a good time to do this. Once your solution is in, turn your tank on, and let it run for around 24 hours. During this test run, you can make changes to the water, if necessary. Just make sure everything is working correctly with no leaks.

Saltwater Aquascaping

Turn off any equipment that may be running. Put aside equipment that may get in the way. You have to siphon out half the water in the tank and save it. After removing some water, arrange your rocks and decorations how you want them. Once you like your design, add the water back into your tank to the proper level.

Next, turn on the system and let it run. Let your tank cycle. After the cycling is complete – and never before – you can add your fish. Make sure to do routine tests and add water as needed.

Second Tank

After you have your first salt water fish tank setup, why you should look into another tank? Well, one thing that is important when adding a lot of different saltwater fish is to have a quarantine tank to observe each fish before they are put in with others.

It’s important to keep you new fish alone for a while to make sure they’re not carrying any diseases. The last thing you want to do is put a new fish who’s unhealthy in with your thriving fish. Once introduced to the tank, disease spread quickly. It’s better to be safe than to lose all your saltwater fish.

Cris Stanford is the publisher of www.saltwater-aquarium-secrets.com where you’ll find money saving advice and expert tips on creating a fantastic salt water fish tank setup.

Author: Cris Stanford
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The gravel in a salt water fish tank is not the same as the gravel in a standard freshwater tank. Gravel in a salt water fish tank is called aragonite and it does some pretty special things.

Aragonite is used as gravel in saltwater aquariums for a variety of reasons. For one it is bright white so it will help to show off the colors of the saltwater fish much better.

This special marine aquarium gravel will also help you stabilize the PH in your tank. Aragonite starts to dissolve at a PH below 7.8. When it dissolves it releases minerals that help to bring the PH back up over 8.0 which is great for your fish.It does this 24/7 with out ever taking a break or missing a beat.

It also is believed to release some much needed trace elements into the water when it dissolves and these are believed to improve marine fish and invertebrate health in your tank.

Aragonite comes in a variety of sizes that range from very coarse all the way down to sugar fine sand. While it comes down to personal preference what one is the best most experts agree that you should stick to medium size grains for your saltwater tank.

The large grains can trap dirt, marine fish waste and uneaten food in places where it can decompose and add t algae problems. The very fine sugar sand blows around very easily.

If you have strong currents in your saltwater tank you may have a hard time keeping it from all blowing into one corner, this gets annoying over time.

Do you want a Stunning Marine Aquarium full of healthy colorful fish? Then check out our Saltwater Aquarium Guide that will help you set up the tank of your dreams regardless of your experience in the hobby. You can learn more about setting up a stunning saltwater aquarium at http://www.saltwatermethods.com

Author: Darin Sewell
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Setting up a salt water fish tank requires some planning before you begin. A big part of that planning is to decide where to put the aquarium. Simply putting it where you want it may not be good enough because the location needs to pass a series of tests before it is considered a good and safe spot.

Saltwater Fish Tank Location Check List

No Cold Air- Is the location you chose for your salt water aquarium away from drafty windows or doors or even air conditioning vents that can cause temperature swings? Temperature swings that dip downwards then come back up can stress out saltwater fish and cause disease to break out.

Avoid Direct Sunlight- Is your marine aquarium location away from direct sunlight? While some sunlight is OK a full blown blast of sun through a window can lead to algae growth and overheated tanks. When a salt water tank overheats the oxygen levels in the tank can drop and your saltwater fish can get sick and die.

Is Your Floor Strong Enough- You must make sure that the floor in the location where you want to setup the salt water fish tank can handle the load. While they may seem small a full 55 gallon salt water aquarium can weigh as much as 750 lbs so make sure your floor can handle that weight.

Is There Power- Many people setup their salt water tank and realize the location the y picked has no outlet nearby. They are forced to run ugly extension cords that not only look bad but increase the chances of tripping! If you discover that your marine aquarium location has no power outlets you will have to add one or pick a new spot for your tank.

Want a crystal clear successful Reef Aquarium? Our reef tank guide will show you how to avoid the common mistakes that lead to fish death, algae and an ugly tank. To get the secrets to creating a stunning reef aquarium visit http://www.dseventures.com

Author: Darin Sewell
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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A salt water fish tank is an aquarium that mimics an ocean environment to support salt water fish verses freshwater fish.

Salt water fish tanks are considered more difficult to keep than freshwater tanks because salt water fish have less tolerance for fluctuations that can occur quickly within the closed environment of an aquarium.

Aquariums, when setup properly, operate as self-supporting ecosystems. In an ecosystem, artificially created or natural, every element relies on every other element for its stability. The art of fishkeeping becomes a balancing act of monitoring and maintaining specific parameters in order to keep the entire system stable. This is especially critical in a salt water fish tank because the ocean is an surprisingly stable environment. Life forms that evolved in the ocean do not have the physical ability to adjust quickly to radically changing conditions. Any changes that occur in the ocean occur slowly. For example, a quick drop or rise in the temperature of a salt water tank can cause salt water fish to take ill, even if the fluctuation is relatively small.

Aside from temperature there are many other factors to consider in a salt water fish tank. When the ecosystem is functioning properly, they should all take care of themselves, but they must be monitored. A typical reading for some of these parameters might be:

pH: 8.2

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Author: Peter Mangano
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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