Starting a Saltwater Aquarium at Home Checklist

Checklist for Starting a Saltwater Aquarium at Home

The items in this list are essential pieces of equipment and components for setting up and running a saltwater aquarium or system.

  1. Aquarium/Tank
    You need to decide where you want to put your aquarium, determine what size you want or may only have room for, whether you want an acrylic or glass tank, and choose a style that will best fit into the spot you have picked out to display it.
  2. Lighting
    The type of lighting you choose will be based on the type of system you have planned to set up, as well as what kind of livestock you will be keeping in it.
  3. Skimmers, Filters & Filtration Equipment
    Once again, what type of system you are going to set up will help you determine which kind of filters and filtration system to choose.
  4. Powerhead
    Depending on the size of your aquarium, the use of one or several powerheads is an excellent way to provide good water circulation throughout the system.
  5. Live Rock & Substrate
    Here you need to decide on what type of material you want on the bottom of the tank, as well as whether you want to start with a live or non-living medium. plays an important role in a marine tank. Many marine animals, fish in particular, can be quite territorial. It is important to provide ample shelter or places where the animals can hide, sleep, and avoid potential problems with aggression from other tankmates in the confined space of an aquarium.
  6. Sea Salt Mix/Saltwater & Hydrometer
    Sea salts are what make an aquarium a saltwater or marine aquarium. Also referred to as a salinity tester, this item measures the specific gravity or salt content of the water.
  7. Heater & Thermometer
    For smaller aquariums one heater works well, but for larger systems the use of multiple units is advised. With stick-on, floating, multi-function remote digital sensor, and many other types of units to pick from, the material a thermometer is made of is an important factor when choosing one as well.
  8. Air Pump & Air Stones
    Only needed if you are going to run a piece of equipment that requires these items, such as a counter-current protein skimmer.
  9. Test Kits, Additives & Supplements
    For live rock and reef tank systems, calcium (a.k.a. limewater/kalkwasser) needs to be added. Other supplemental vitamins or additives that are beneficial to the health of certain marine inhabitants you may be keeping, such a iodine for crustaceans, are important as well.
  10. Maintenance Tools & Supplies
    This category includes having items on hand such as a various sized plastic buckets or containers, tank cleaning tools such as a siphon tube/hose, an algae scaper or magnet, as well as nets of different sizes, spare equipment replacements parts, and so on. A good way to keep track of what maintenance tasks you have preformed and when is to keep a log book or record of everything you do.
  • 01 of 10

    Aquarium/Tank & Stands

    Checklist for Starting a Saltwater Aquarium at Home

    Aquarium/Tank

    Once you've determined where your new aquarium will go, you'll need to pick a tank that will fit in the given area. Fortunately, there will most likely be a variety of tank sizes and designs to choose from.

    Keep an eye on what equipment (filter, lights, etc.) is included while looking for a new tank. Purchasing an aquarium package, often known as a "kit," may save you a lot of time and money because everything included is specifically tailored to match the tank. The Plug n' Play Mini/Nano Aquarium Kits are a convenient way to obtain practically everything you need to get started in a smaller space. A 1-50 gallon aquarium may be appropriate for bigger rooms. One of the Showsize Display Aquariums may be exactly the ticket if you have the space and desire.

    DIY Aquariums are a good option for individuals who wish to create their own tank and save money at the same time. Making your own aquarium is surprisingly simple.

    Keep in mind that you'll need something to place your new aquarium on/in while you're out shopping. If an is not included in the delivery, there are a variety of premade Aquarium Stands and Cabinets to pick from.

  • 02 of 10

    Aquarium Lighting

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    The sort of lighting you select will be determined by the type of system you intend to install as well as the type of animals you intend to keep in it. You must choose your tank lights if you are not purchasing an aquarium kit or bundle.

    Fish-Only Tank Lighting is less expensive, however Reef Tank and Coral Lighting are more complicated and costly. Keep in mind that you may wish to modify your tank from a Fish Only to a Reef Tank in the future while purchasing for lights. In the long term, purchasing fixtures that can be modified with more powerful bulbs may be a wiser investment.

    Look at Fixtures if you're looking for a long (or even short) term money saver. Reef-safe bulbs are now available for these elegant, small, and efficient lights. Using a to manage your lighting and other electrical equipment will also make running your new aquarium much easier.

  • 03 of 10

    Protein Skimmers, Filters & Filtration Equipment

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    Filters & Filtration Equipment

    If you have not purchased an aquarium kit (package), the type of system you are going to set up will help you determine which kind of filters and filtration system to choose.

    • is the next step in putting your new aquarium together.
    • Canister Filters can be used with almost any type of system.
    • Wet/Dry Trickle Filters have the advantage of being modified to meet almost any demand.
    • Power Filters are usually hung on the tank are easy to use.

    Protein Skimmer

    Protein skimmers remove dissolved organic compounds (DOCs) from aquarium system water before the biological filter processes them. While skimmers are not required for an aquarium filtration system, many users find that they reduce the burden on the biological filter, allowing for a bigger fish and invertebrate population. Understanding what is and how it works will help you comprehend their purpose.

    • Before purchasing a protein skimmer, you will need to determine where it will be placed in your system.
  • 04 of 10

    Powerheads

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    Depending on the size of your aquarium, the use one or several powerheads is an excellent way to provide good water circulation throughout the system.

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  • 05 of 10

    Substrate & Live Rock

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    Substrate

    Choosing the correct substrate for your aquarium is vital since the substrate is more than simply "stuff at the bottom of the tank." Materials used for aquarium substrates come in a variety of colors, types, densities, and sizes. If your tank will have a lot of water movement, a heavier substrate will be necessary to hold it in place. Porosity and surface area will be vital if your substrate is going to be a big element of the biological filter.

    If you're going to utilize a Jaubert/Plenum Filter, be sure the is acceptable for a Deep Sand Bed.

    Live Rock

    In a marine tank, live rock is very significant. Many aquatic creatures, particularly fish, have strong territorial instincts. In the tight space of an aquarium, it is critical to give adequate refuge or places for the creatures to hide, sleep, and avoid potential problems with hostility from other tankmates.

  • 06 of 10

    Sea Salt Mix/Saltwater & Hydrometer

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    Sea Salt Mix/Saltwater & Hydrometer

    Sea salts are what make an aquarium a saltwater or marine aquarium. Also referred to as a salinity tester, this item measures the specific gravity or salt content of the water.

    Hydrometer

    Also referred to as a salinity tester, this item measures the specific gravity or salt content of the water.

  • 07 of 10

    Heater & Thermometer

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    Heater & Thermometer

    One heater is sufficient for smaller aquariums, while many units are recommended for larger systems. The material a thermometer is composed of is a significant element when picking one, with stick-on, floating, multi-function remote digital sensor, and many other sorts of units to choose from.

    Heater

    For smaller aquariums, one works well, but for larger systems, the use of multiple units is advised.

    Thermometer

    The material a is composed of is a significant element when picking one, with stick-on, floating, multi-function remote digital sensor, and many other sorts of units to choose from.

  • 08 of 10

    Test Kits, Additives & Supplements

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    , Additives & Supplements

    Calcium (also known as limewater/kalkwasser) must be introduced to live rock and reef tank systems. Other vitamins or supplements that are good to the health of certain marine species you may retain, like as iodine for crustaceans, are also crucial.

    Additives & Supplements

    Calcium (also known as limewater/kalkwasser) must be introduced to live rock and reef tank systems. Other vitamins or supplements that are good to the health of certain marine species you may retain, like as iodine for crustaceans, are also crucial.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Air Pump & Air Stones

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    Because air bubbles produce in saltwater aquariums, air pumps and air stones are usually only required if you're running a piece of equipment that demands them, such as a counter-current protein skimmer.

  • 10 of 10

    Maintenance Tools & Supplies

    Maintenance Tools & Supplies

    This category includes keeping various sized plastic buckets or containers on hand, tank cleaning instruments such as a siphon tube/hose, an algae scraper, or a magnet, as well as nets of various sizes, spare equipment replacement parts, and so on. Keeping a log book or record of everything you do is a smart approach to keep track of what maintenance activities you've completed and when.

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