Always test Specific Gravity at the correct (aquarium's normal) temperature (see Seawater).
Mix replacement water the day before it's needed and aerate for at least 24 hours.
Replace water when nitrate levels rise and/or when pH levels fall. Add supplements to replace trace elements removed by protein skimmer.
Use some of the discarded aquarium water to hatch Brine-shrimp.
Make sure the aquarium (biological filter more than anything) has matured
- Ammonia 'zero', Nitrite 'zero' and Nitrate minimal - before introducing livestock.
Allow up to 1 kilogram of Live Rock per 5 litres of water. Inspect Live Rock for unwanted 'passengers' such as Mantis Shrimps, Aiptasia (Rock Anemones) before placing in tank.
Only add livestock gradually, to avoid overloading the filtration system.
Make sure livestock is compatible with each other (and invertebrates), and that you can supply their required foods, before buying.
Fit strong enough lamps to ensure adequate algae growth for herbivorous fishes and to support symbiotic algae within invertebrates' bodies. Replace fluorescent tubes as required - may be necessary after six months, more likely every year.
Extra powerheads fitted at various depths around the tank will provide vigorous water currents to bring food to sedentary corals.
Empty Protein Skimmer collection cup regularly. Clean inside surface of Protein Skimmer and remove fatty and algal deposits which may adversely affect performance. Renew airstones in air-operated skimmers regularly.
Add territorially-minded fish in one operation: re-arrange the rockwork in an established tank to force all the fish to find new territories. This will avoid established fishes picking on new arrivals.
If possible, quarantine all new stock in a separate tank for at least two weeks. You can also do this with new pieces of living rock - to see what's hiding in it, before you put it in your main tank.
What Size Aquarium?
Setting-up and Running-In
Fish & Invertebrates
Water Condition Management
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Last updated March 26, 2002