Tips for Saltwater Aquariums

 

  1. Check accuracy of your hydrometer by measuring salt content of freshwater.
  2. pH and alkalinity are not the same thing. pH is a measure of the hydrogen ions concentration. Alkalinity is the measure of how much acid it takes to bring water down to a certain pH. In a reef tank you need to test your alkalinity. You cannot assume that alkalinity is OK if your pH is fine.
  3. The water that evaporates from your tank is freshwater, not saltwater. New saltwater is used to replace the water removed when you perform water changes. Use a hydrometer to monitor specific gravity.
  4. When cycling a tank, you need to monitor the ammonia and nitrite. Once it is cycled, ammonia and nitrite will always read zero unless you are adding some via chloranimes in your top water or if something dies in your tank. Once your tank is cycled you need to monitor alkilinity and nitrate weekly.
  5. When vacationing for less than 7 days, do not allow a novice, well-meaning neighbor, to feed your fish. Most aquariums can go 8-10 days without feeding.
  6. One drop of medication, trace, conditioner etc., use as directed. Two drops per gallon is not better than one.
  7. When running a saltwater fish tank, raising the temp. to 83° and lowering the salinity to 1.020-21 will kill out and inhibit the spread of parasites, thus alleviating a large part of disease problems.
  8. Rotation of diet is the key to longevity and color.
  9. For early detection of problems, look daily at all fins, eyes, lens clarity and rate of breathing and eating habits.
  10. Itching on rocks by fish is not necessarily a disease, a fluxuation of PH, caused by low alkalinity, may be the problem.