Blue Lobsters Are Real!

Lobsters are supposed to be red right? … Well, yes and no.

Lobster

Most live american lobsters are naturally colored an olive green or mottled dark greenish brown. In rare cases, lobsters come in shades of bright blue, white (albino), yellow, black, and red have been reported from time to time. Perhaps the most unusual colors are the “half-and-half” lobsters with a line straight down their backs where the two colors meet.

The major pigment in a lobster’s shell, astaxanthin, is actually bright red in its free state; but in the lobster’s shell astaxanthin is chemically bound to proteins that change it to a greenish color. When lobsters are cooked, heat breaks down these bonds, freeing the astaxanthin so that it reverts to its normal red color.

american lobsters

So how does a lobster turn bright blue?
A genetic defect has been found that causes a blue lobster to produce an excessive amount of protein. The protein wraps around a small, red carotenoid molecule known as as astaxanthin. The two push together, forming a blue complex known as crustacyanin which often gives the lobster shell a bright blue color. About one in a million lobsters are blue, but when cooked, it turns red like the other lobsters.

It has been suggested that more than ‘one in a million’ lobsters born are blue, but many do not survive because their bright blue shell brings too much attention to themselves, making them a prime target for predators. Scientists also believe that blue lobsters tend to be more aggressive than their normal colored counterparts. Since they don’t easily blend in, they have adapted and changed to be more aggressive to protect themselves.

The blue lobster is truly another gift from Mother Nature that most people never see. Many professional lobstermen go through their whole lobstering career without catching or even seeing a blue lobster. Those that do have the privilege of catching one, are amazed and excited as it is seen as a once-in-a-lifetime event and feel a sense of awe when they experience seeing the strikingly beautiful blue lobster for the first time. Those that are caught are not normally eaten, but rather given to aquariums and educational institutions and kept on display in tanks for others to admire.

Taxonomy of Homarus americanus:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Crustacea
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Macrura reptantia
Family: Nephrodidae
Genus: Homarus
Species: americanus

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The Hobby Of Saltwater Aquarium Fishkeeping

Quite simply, a saltwater aquarium is designed to offer saltwater marine life with a familiar and contained environment. As a hobby, saltwater aquariums allow individuals to purchase fish as pets and keep them inside their home. The first saltwater fishkeeping, for personal use, became increasingly popular in the 1950’s and was widely enjoyed through the use of glass aquariums that are still famous today.

A saltwater aquarium typically features the tank itself, along with a filter, lighting and an aquarium heater. A saltwater aquarium can be purchased in a variety of different sizes, including small to the very large models. For this reason, prices vary greatly depending on the size and features of the saltwater aquarium.

The features of a saltwater aquarium are very important to the survival of the marine life. As they are used to moving water, filtration is a must. Otherwise, the water would become cloudy and the fish would deteriorate quickly. While lighting is perhaps not as important as a quality filtration unit, it does provide a sense of a routine in a distinction between light and dark. While in the wild, marine life experiences the difference between day and night and will find a similar lighting routine to be similar to their natural habitat.

It is very important that the water in a saltwater aquarium be tested regularly with the use of a test kit. In addition, regular water changes are required of every saltwater aquarium in order to keep the fish’s life clean and safe. Regular tap water, however, will likely feature contamination that may prove harmful to the fish. Chemicals and purifiers used to treat the water is found in most tap waters so, instead, a saltwater aquarium should be filled with distilled water. When changing the water in a saltwater aquarium, the owner must remove up to 20% of the current water and replace it with new saltwater, which is achieved through the use of a saltwater mix.

There are a number of ways to find the perfect fish and a saltwater aquarium to keep it safe. A pet shop is the most likely place to find rare saltwater marine life and provides the biggest selection, while many retail stores offer a freshwater fish selection. When purchasing, it is a good idea to ask if the fish comes with any type of guarantee and/or special car instructions. Saltwater fish are fragile and must be treated according to specific guidelines, which any pet shop owner will detail depending on the fish that you select.

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Are You In Need Of Saltwater Aquarium Decorations? – Brightening Up Your Marine Tank

Now for the fun part – saltwater aquarium decorations are one aspect of marine fish keeping where you can really allow your creativity to reign free. A variety of decorations are available – from backgrounds, ceramic, resin or plastic ornaments, real or false corals and shells and even plants the sky is (well almost) the limit when it comes to creating a marine world for your fish and other invertebrates.

Saltwater aquarium decorations are fun to buy because unlike the other inhabitants of your tank they don’t require any special care! You won’t need to feed them, provide special habitats and they can’t get sick or die so they are relatively hassle free! A tank without any décor is dull but that’s not all.

A marine tank without any saltwater aquarium decorations is not very exciting AND it can be unhealthy for your fish. Using tank décor makes it possible to break up the physical environment of the tank and is important both for the biological and psycho-social well-being of the fish in your tank. This is because using tank decorations provides hiding places, areas for food to grow on and microbe activity that keeps your tank healthy.

Add to this the fact that saltwater aquarium decorations are nice to look at and fun to work with and you’ll begin to see that décor is essential in any marine tank. The best way to choose your marine tank décor is to visit a store that allows you to see saltwater aquarium decorations in an actual tank, not just on a rack or a table.

Some examples of saltwater aquarium decorations you might like to try in your marine tank are:

Belching clams and treasure chests – These are bubbling and air actuated action ornaments. Spacemen, submarines, clams, and treasure chests are always firm favorites. Even a frog on a log and airstones, are fun saltwater aquarium decorations. The display should be well lit and there should be plenty of bubbles for the best effect!

So what other options are there for saltwater aquarium decorations? What about different and interesting backgrounds? You can purchase a variety of backgrounds like marinescapes, paint-on materials, foils, mirrors and cork stock. You can even buy an in-tank diorama! Display the background effectively and choose tank décor that suits its theme.

Rocks are another good choice for saltwater aquarium decorations. You can choose from sandstones, volcanic and metamorphic rock or even plastic. Some rocks don’t have any impact on water quality while others improve the water quality. If you aren’t sure of a certain rock, play it safe and leave it out. Try pieces of tufa, igneous, silicious/petrified woods), and brackish and African Great Lakes systems calcareous “base” rock. You can usually but rocks by the pound or the ‘piece’. Some rock types are natural while others are artificial.

Driftwood is a great idea for saltwater aquarium decorations. It might be self-sinking or weighted and wither chemically or physically inert or live. Don’t try to cure your own woods. It’s just too time consuming and expensive.

Corals and shells can also be used as saltwater aquarium decorations. Always try to use those from a natural marine source.

Marbles are traditional saltwater aquarium decorations. They can be used underwater – whole circular to flat, marbles and crushed glass are popular in marine tanks. However marbles don’t make for a good biological substrate. They do provide fantastic color to any tank, though.

Faux natural saltwater aquarium decorations are another way of pepping up your marine tank. You can choose from fake rocks, logs, shells, coral, ships and more. Fake they might be but some look quite attractive when arranged properly; so don’t overlook these decorations.

Plastic plants are another option you might want to make use of for your saltwater aquarium decorations. You can obtain some good likenesses of marine plants like sagittaria-turtle grass and vallisneria-zostera for example so don’t overlook them and use them to supplement your real plants while they are growing.

Your choice of saltwater aquarium decorations is up to you but there are some general guidelines to bear in mind when making a choice.

Always make sure that your saltwater aquarium decorations don’t have any sharp edges on which your fish might cut themselves. Never use any substances (rocks, shells etc) that might give off toxic chemicals into the water. Choose shapes and designs that make suitable hiding places for shy animals and good substrates for the growth of marine plants.

Also make sure that your saltwater aquarium decorations are very clean when you put them into your tank. Never use decorations from a tank where the fish or plants are ill or unhealthy in any way. Make sure that there are no spaces within the decorations where fish might get trapped and die.

The best saltwater aquarium decorations don’t have to be particularly fancy. If you like spacemen and frogs go ahead and decorate your tank with them – it’s your tank after all. If you prefer a more elegant style choose natural, rather than faux ornaments and study natural systems and try to duplicate some of these environments in your tank.

You can easily glean this kind of information from books on marine biology or by doing some research on the World Wide Web. The more you learn the more accurate will be the marine world you create and this will make your fish and other invertebrates happy and healthy. The most important thing to remember is to have fun with your saltwater aquarium decorations.

But don’t forget the health of your marine ecosystem. Try to find the proper balance between the aesthetic value of your tank and the well-being of your marine life. The only way to make sure that your stock stay healthy is to study, study, study the fish, invertebrates, plants and make sure you give them what they need to survive. Good luck and enjoy your saltwater aquarium decorations!

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Saltwater Aquarium Plants… Here’s What They’re About…

Saltwater aquarium plants add color and interest to your marine tanks and form part of any well thought out marine tank. But that’s not all they do. Macroalgae and marine plants will also make the ecosystem in your tank healthier. Macroalgae are particularly beneficial as they provide a natural form of filtration in the saltwater tank.

Saltwater aquarium plants take in nutrients from the water in order to carry out their biological functions and growth. This action reduces the accumulation of toxic nitrates and phosphates and other impurities in the water. When you use plants in your marine tank the idea is to reproduce your fish and other organism’s natural habitat. A tank that contains saltwater aquarium plants is likely to be a healthy one.

Here are some examples of saltwater aquarium plants that you can choose for your marine tank:

Halimeda or cactus algae are hardy saltwater aquarium plants and won’t be fed on vigorously by most marine fish. It is also non-invasive so it won’t damage nearby corals or invertebrates. It does need good light to grow in however as well as enough calcium for growth. Halimeda are sensitive to high nitrate and phosphate levels and don’t like to be pruned.

Penicillus or “shaving brush” are saltwater aquarium plants that do a great job at absorbing excess nutrients like nitrates and phosphates from the water. They are usually not fed on by most fish and invertebrates except sea urchins. Plant the pencillus in the substrate and make sure the area is well-lit. If you add an iron supplement and trace elements regularly your pencillus should thrive. Pencillus has a hard calcium carbonate skeleton like halimeda an coralline algae and will do well across a range of conditions.

What about macroalgae? Macroalgae are saltwater aquarium plants that come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. They are to be found in a range of colors – red, green, brown and blue. These saltwater aquarium plants are able to photosynthesize. This means they use a pigment called chlorophyll to make their own food for growth and other functions.

In general these saltwater aquarium plants get most of the nutrients they need from the water in the marine tank. These include nitrates and phosphates. This makes them good allies in keeping your tank clean. You will need moderate to strong light for the growth of macroalgae. The way to avoid macroalgae growing out of control is to control the environment in which it lives. This means the water chemistry and amount of available light.

So are there ‘bad’ saltwater aquarium plants? Certain kinds of algae can become problematic in a marine tank.

Bubble algae is one of the most common pest saltwater aquarium plants. Bubble algae forms green bubbles on any hard surface, for example live rock. It can occur in masses of bubbles or single or in small groups of big bubbles. The bubbles might be smooth or rough. Bubble algae look nice, BUT they aren’t!

These saltwater aquarium plants grow fast and can take over your tank. Once you discover it the best thing to do is remove it and keep it under control. It can damage other plant species. You can usually remove it by hand. When you do, try not to break the bubbles as this might cause it to spread.

You can try to introduce certain types of fish like the Sohal Tang or Red Sea/Indian Ocean Sailfin Tang (Acanthurus sohal) to eat bubble algae. The best means of control, however, seems to be the “Emerald Crab”. These crabs won’t damage your corals but will eat the bubble algae. It is a good idea to learn about other such interactions between saltwater aquarium plants and herbivores as they might save you time and trouble in the future.

The emerald crabs are a great idea for the reef aquarium where they won’t fight with other inhabitants. There are even coral farmers who use emerald crabs to control algae around their hard corals! So you can protect your saltwater aquarium plants by stocking some of these little helpers.

So what’s your next step? Now that you know a little bit about the good and the bad kinds of saltwater aquarium plants, it’s your job to make sure you learn more. Your local aquarist will be able to tell you more about which saltwater aquarium plants are most suitable for your tank, level of expertise and the other species you want to stock.

You can also do more research on the Word Wide Web, visit your local library or buy books on the subject. Don’t ever buy your saltwater aquarium plants on a whim because you like the way they look. Always make sure you know as much about their nutrient, environment and lighting needs as possible. That way you can avoid making mistakes that cost time and money or even threaten the health of your tank in the long term.

Do choose saltwater aquarium plants that you find attractive as this is part and parcel of keeping a marine tank but never let your desires cloud your common sense. Once you have all you plants set up you will be able to enjoy the animal plant interactions that are so much a part of the marine ecosystem. The purpose of any aquarium is to provide both the fish and you with hours of pleasure and enjoyment. A healthy tank is a happy tank so do take the time to do your research.

Saltwater aquarium plants are very beautiful to look at and interesting to grow so make sure that you take the time to enjoy the plants in your tank. Find out if it is possible to propagate any of these plants from, how to increase or decrease their growth and what nutrients they need to stay healthy. Never share plants between aquariums unless you know they are 100% disease free and always put the health of your tank at the top of your list of priorities! Have fun and enjoy your saltwater aquarium plants!

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How To Care For Your Saltwater Aquarium

Saltwater Aquarium Care – How to Maintain the Health of Your Saltwater Aquarium Plants

Good saltwater aquarium care means taking care of the fish and water quality in your tank but it also means taking care of your aquarium plants. Not only do your aquarium plants create an interesting home and shelter for your fish, they are also essential for the health of your fish, water quality and the tank as a whole. Proper, saltwater aquarium care, therefore, must always take into account the health of your marine plants.

Some marine plants are hardy and easy to care for while others need quite a bit of practice and experience. If you are a novice aquarist it is a good idea to start with hardy plants, as these are easier to care for. Once you have a bit more practice in correct saltwater aquarium care you can move on to fussier varieties.

The first thing to do is to decide what you want to achieve with your marine plants. You should do this even before you buy your tank. If you want big, healthy plants make sure you know what equipment you need, what sort of saltwater aquarium care is required and how much time it will take you to achieve these results.

If you are more concerned with the fish in your tank than plant life then it might be a good idea to invest in one or two plastic plants instead. Responsible saltwater aquarium care means knowing what you want and getting the balance right.

While most marine plants do grow into lush, healthy plants they all need good lighting. This is so that they have enough energy for making their own food by means of photosynthesis. Without sufficient light for photosynthetic activity your plants will remain stunted or die. So part of correct saltwater aquarium care involves making sure that your aquarium provides sufficient lighting for plant growth.

To make sure that your plants are getting enough light keep the following rule of thumb in mind: For each gallon of water in a tank you will require 3 to 5 watts of light. Most aquarium lighting systems are below that level, however so you may need to shop around to find adequate lighting to make sure you are providing the proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants.

In the natural aquarium the fish and plant populations are perfectly balanced and compliment each other. Marine plants create shelter, shade, and even food for your fish! Plants that are well lit will give off oxygen and this creates a good environment for your fish. So proper saltwater aquarium care makes your tank healthy and provides optimum conditions for plants and fish alike.

The fish will, in turn, feed off the carbon dioxide released by the fish. Plants also feed off the waste that fish produce. This helps to absorb some of the waste that might become toxic to your fish. So as you can see proper saltwater aquarium care means maintaining a healthy balance for all the life in your tank.

To provide proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants and fish you need to make sure that conditions in your tank are optimal. Plant growth needs water which is at the correct ph levels. It also needs the water to be at the correct temperature for growth and survival.

Unfortunately this might not fit in with the temperature requirements of the fish species you want to keep. So you might have to decide between plants and fish in some cases. Again, good saltwater aquarium care is always about finding the happy medium.

Fish also eat or tear away sections of plants and this might actually ruin the aesthetic appeal of your tank. Plants may be uprooted by the foraging activity of your fish. So plant care can be a bit tricky and does require some patience. One of the most frustrating aspects of saltwater aquarium care is the occurrence of marine algae.

Algae can really be a problem for the marine aquarist. Sometimes despite the best saltwater aquarium care – lights, substrate additives, fertilizers and CO2 systems – instead of lush plant growth you are confronted with algal growth. Algae can be very difficult to get rid of once it has taken root and it can really limit the growth of other plants.

Usually the aquarist employs various methods of saltwater aquarium care for combating this scourge. These might include using algicides, bleach dips, antibiotics (for cyanobacteria), manual removal or fish or invertebrates that feed on algae.

During an algal attack the amount of food and light is decreased and different amounts of fertilizer are tried – sometimes with success. Correct saltwater aquarium care results in some sort of balance being reached.

The best form of saltwater aquarium care and algae treatment is to provide the tank with a water change. In fact if you could change the tank water daily it would be ideal but this is obviously not very practical. You should change 25% of the water at least twice weekly, however. If you can stick to this schedule the amount of algae in the tank will be reduced and your fish and plants will be healthier. A water change should form a part of routine saltwater aquarium care whether you have an algal problem or not.

So what kinds of plants can you grow in a saltwater aquarium? A variety of plants are suitable for a saltwater aquarium. Choose from grape algae (Caulerpa racemosa), Halimeda Halimeda sp, shaving brush algae (Penicillus capitus), fan algae (Udotea flabellum), corralline bush algae (Galaxaura sp.), sea grass, red gracilaria (which your fish can eat) and many others. Proper saltwater aquarium care means making sure that your plants and fish co-exist in perfect harmony.

Proper saltwater aquarium care means really getting to know your marine tank. Do as much research as possible to ensure that your marine plants and fish have everything they need to grow, stay healthy and be happy. If you get it right, your aquarium will provide you with many hours of entertainment, fun and pleasure. Good luck and enjoy your aquarium!

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A Brief Introduction To Saltwater Aquariums

This introduction to saltwater aquariums was designed with the beginner aquarist in mind. There are many reasons for setting up a saltwater aquarium, not least of which is its beauty. The beautiful colors of fish and coral, interesting algae, soothing sound of bubbling water and the fun involved in creating a fabulous marine world are all reasons why keeping saltwater aquariums gives people so much fun and pleasure.

For the beginner even a brief introduction to saltwater aquariums can seem a bit daunting. This is because not only are marine systems a bit complex to set up and maintain they can also be expensive. Saltwater aquariums are not for everybody and even the simplest marine tank can cause headaches. Fish keeping can be tricky and marine fish in particular take a lot of time and effort to keep healthy.

This is because marine species are far more sensitive to water quality and temperature changes so you will need to be informed about the needs of all your fish as well as the tank itself. Saltwater aquariums require patience and a degree of know-how to make it work. You will also need to make sure that you can afford to keep the tank in a healthy state.

Which saltwater aquarium you choose will depend on your aims for the tank and your personal preferences. There are many different options available in terms of the fish and animals you can keep in your tank as well as the equipment you can choose from. Some saltwater aquariums are not suited for the absolute beginner.

The first thing to decide when setting up saltwater aquariums is what kind of fish you want to keep. The next step is finding out as much about each one as you can. Not all marine species are suited to beginners so you might have to adapt your wish-list to suit your level of expertise. Never take on species that are for advanced fish keepers or you could well run into trouble.

There are two main kinds of saltwater aquariums namely 1) ‘fish only’ or 2) ‘fish only with live rock’ OR ‘reef tanks’.

The first is probably the easiest saltwater aquariums to attempt. This is because in saltwater aquariums of this nature, lighting is not really an issue and you can use a simple tank with its usual equipment and only a few extra bits like protein skimmers, powerheads and live rock or sand.

These kinds of saltwater aquariums will usually be either a community tank containing species like clownfish, damselfish, gobies, wrass, and dottybacks, or an aggressive tank where you will find species like lionfish, triggers, eels, groupers, and larger predatory species.

Before you choose your fish, make sure you know EXACTLY which species live well together to avoid your tank turning into a complete massacre. If you are a novice to saltwater aquariums start with a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size. This is because most if not all of your fish will easily outgrow the tank

Go for the largest tanks you can afford. The bigger saltwater aquariums are easier to keep in tip-top shape.

Most important to the health of saltwater aquariums is water purification in your tank. This means that even the smallest amount of impurities in the water can hurt your fish Remember most of these animals are found in natural coral reefs where the water is very pure. So you will need to make sure that the water in your tank is clean at all times

In small (10 gallons) saltwater aquariums you can use a Brita filter or water purifier column or you can use distilled water. These methods won’t work in bigger tanks, however. The best bet for any size tank is an RO/DI (reverse osmosis/deionization) system.

Filtration is quite complicated in saltwater aquariums but depends to a large degree on the fish species you intend to keep and how many. In a fish only tank you can use a freshwater filter for example canisters, power filters and the like. You can also try a wet-dry trickle filter. If you decide to keep a reef tank you might want to use a natural filtration system like live rock or sand or a refugium.

Protein skimming is also important in saltwater aquariums and it is strongly recommended that you do it, especially if you have lots of fish in your tank. A protein skimmer uses foaming bubbles to separate fish waste that floats up to the water column from the water’s main flow.

The foundation in your tank will require the laying down of live sand. In saltwater aquariums sand doesn’t only act as a substrate it is also the breeding ground for millions of vital bacteria. These bacteria help the nitrogen cycle to work efficiently. The sand is also home to the small animals that help control the waste products in your tank.

The best sand for saltwater aquariums is calcium carbonate (aragonite). You can get this from crushed corals, or finer sands. You can also use silica and quartz sands but they are not as good.

What about live rock? Probably one of the most expensive features of saltwater aquariums, prices may put off many a budding marine aquarist. Live rock can be bought by the pound and it is expensive because it’s the real thing. In the sea live rock makes up a reef structure with little calcium carbonate structures produced by corals. Since live rock is harvested from nature and laws govern this harvesting you can begin to understand why it is so expensive.

Live rock is important to saltwater aquariums for the bacteria it introduces into your tank. These little organisms keep your water filtered in the same way it does in nature. It also acts as a home and shelter for your fish and a place for coral to grow. It is well worth the high price you pay. ‘Fiji’ rock is a good choice if you can find it. Try to avoid any live rock that has a mantis shrimp on it as they multiply very quickly.

Let’s move on to the lighting in saltwater aquariums. In a fish only or fish and live rock tank lighting is not really an issue. In a reef tank, however, it is critical. This is because light is needed for most corals and anemones to grow. Special lights are needed for a marine tank so use one of the following:

Power Compact Fluorescent (PC)
Very High Output Fluorescent (VHO)
Metal Halide (MH)

Remember you will still need to cycle your tank and perform the necessary water quality testing before you add any of your livestock. So there you have it – the basics of what to start thinking about as you set up saltwater aquariums. We suggest doing plenty of further research to make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you get started.

Marine tanks are not for everyone, so make sure they suit you before you spend a lot of money.

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Do You Build Or Buy A Saltwater Aquarium?

Haven’t decided whether to build or buy a saltwater aquarium? For most people buying a ready-made aquarium is by far the easier option. But if you’re handy with tools and construction you might be thinking of building your own tank. This chapter will provide you with do-it-yourself instructions on how to build a 55 gallon glass aquarium to house your marine life. Ultimately it is for you to decide whether you want to build or buy a saltwater aquarium. If you are more comfortable with a bought tank, by all means, get one!

Building a tank from scratch is challenging and not for beginners unless you have plenty of patience and are willing to ask for help. However using the materials list, step-by-step instructions and advice provided here you can build your very own glass aquarium. Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will find the setup fun and rewarding. However having built your own special tank is doubly satisfying.

Before you get started you need to know a thing or two about working with glass. The tank you are going to build is 14 inches high with ¼ inch glass panels. If you want to make a bigger saltwater aquarium you will need to learn how to calculate the correct thickness of glass for the size of the tank. If you haven’t decided whether to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you might want to consider how comfortable you are working with glass.

Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium, the first thing to do is to draw up a plan or schematic of the kind of saltwater aquarium you want. Make sure that all your measurements are correct so that the tank fits together properly. This aquarium is built with the two end panels fitted inside the back and front panes.

The front, back and side panels are set on top of the aquarium floor. If you don’t know how to cut glass you can ask the professionals to do it for you. If you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you need to understand how the glass is fitted together as this has a lot to do with the stability of the tank.

Whether you decide to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will probably be making use of a lighted hood. When you draw up your plans you must include the hood. You should never place solid glass on the aquarium top as this reduces the gas exchange that occurs at the surface. If this happens your aquarium will not get enough aeration and the health of the tank will suffer.

So what materials will you need to build a saltwater aquarium? Whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium you will need to purchase all the necessary materials that go into making a good marine setup. To build a 55 gallon aquarium you will need the following:

* 1 glass panel for the tank bottom
* 1 front, 1 back, and 2 end pieces of glass
* Single edged razor blades.
* Acetone.
* Non-toxic 100% silicone sealant. (All-Glass® Brand 100% Silicone Sealant)
* Roll of paper towels.
* Washable felt tip marker.
* Roll of duct tape.
* Emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper.

Whether you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium you should choose the biggest one that fits into your home. If your tank is bigger than 30 gallons in size you might want to install a support brace at the tank’s center. Do this by cutting a six inch wide piece of glass that will fit to the outside edges of the front and back panels. Use silicone to position it in place.

Next you will prepare the glass panes. Use an emery cloth or silicone carbide sandpaper to smooth the edges of the glass. Clean the glass pane joints and edges at ½ inch inward using acetone. Prepare the duct tape by cutting 16 strips of tape, 5 inches long. Place these nearby. Always be careful when handling glass. This is true whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium

Place your pieces on the floor or table in the correct order for assembly. If need be, mark them with words or arrows so you don’t lose track. Place the bottom panel on a flat non-scratch surface. Stick 8 pieces of tape to the glass on the bottom side (sticky side up). If you decide to build or buy a saltwater aquarium always take care not to scratch the glass.

Now install the front glass piece. Next fold the two bottom pieces of tape upward and stick them to the glass. Now you are ready to install the first side panel by folding the 2 bottom duct tapes upward and sticking them to the front of the glass. Secure the side piece to the front piece of glass with 2 strips of tape.

Next install the other side piece, and the back panel. Once the tank has been built use silicone to seal the eight joint areas on the inside of the tank. Use a small amount and smooth your thumb over the silicone to level it. Let the tank sit for 24 hours to cure the silicone. It does not matter if you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium, it is always vital that it does not leak!

After the resting period you can fill the tank with fresh water. Let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. Why? You are testing your tank for leaks! A 24 hour testing period is better as it will leave you more confident that your tank is actually watertight. This is important whether you build or buy a saltwater aquarium.

Once you are sure that your tank is fit for your marine world you can set about planning the fish, invertebrates, and plants that will go into your tank. It is not that important whether you choose to build or buy a saltwater aquarium. Most people will probably opt for the ease of walking into a store and choosing a perfect, assembled tank but for those who like a challenge, constructing your own tank can be very satisfying. Once you have set everything up you will feel doubly proud! Enjoy your new aquarium!

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#1 Way For Your Saltwater Aquarium Setup – Choosing A Tank

The type of saltwater aquarium setup you choose depends on a few factors. For example, the kinds of species you want to stock, the space you have available, and your budget. In general you will want to buy the biggest saltwater aquarium setup you can afford that will fit nicely into your living environment.

This is so that your fish and other animals can have the most comfort possible as they grow. The fish and other invertebrates that you choose to stock your tank with need enough space to swim and grow in and enough oxygen to survive. When you choose a saltwater aquarium setup remember that these two factors are determined mainly by the size of the tank.

So let’s talk about the oxygen component of a saltwater aquarium setup. The amount of oxygen in the water is related to the tanks surface area. This means the amount of area on the tank’s surface that is exposed to the air. The greater the surface area of your saltwater aquarium setup, the more room there is for exchange of oxygen to happen at the surface.

The more oxygen that is allowed to enter the tank and the more harmful gases like carbon dioxide are allowed to leave the healthier your saltwater aquarium setup will be. The oxygen content of the water is also influenced by its temperature. In general, the warmer the water, the lower the oxygen content will be.

Most marine species from the tropics like water that is 75 degrees or higher so this means that less oxygen is going to be available to them. This is when it becomes important to increase the surface of the tank by making sure your saltwater aquarium setup is as large as possible.

How do you do this? There is no typical saltwater aquarium setup. Marine tanks come in a variety of shapes and size, but it is the shape of the tank, not its volume that influences surface area. This means that even where two tanks have identical volumes they might not have the same surface area depending on their shape. A saltwater aquarium setup that is tall and slender won’t get a good rate of gas exchange. An ideal design would be one that is short and wide.

Once you’ve chosen your tank its time to start thinking about its residents. Of course the size of your tank is going to dictate how many fish and invertebrates it can house. The main thing to avoid in your saltwater aquarium setup is overcrowding. Too many inhabitants and your tank’s filtration system will be overloaded. Fish living in cramped conditions become stressed and this can lead to illness and death.

You can calculate how many fish your saltwater aquarium setup will hold by stocking one inch of fish per four gallons of water for a period of six months. After this period increase the number of fish slowly to one inch per two gallons. This means that a 40 gallon aquarium should not contain more than 10 inches of fish for the first six months.

So, for example, you might choose one 3-inch queen angel, two 1-inch clownfish, one 2-inch regal tang, one 1-inch bicolor blenny and two 1-inch Beau Gregory’s. Once the six month period is over you could increase the total number of inches in your saltwater aquarium setup to 20.

Of course, your fish are going to grow so you have to adjust for the changing sizes of your fish. The shape of your fish is also important. If your fish are likely to be on the heavy side you will need to stick to the low end of the capacity of your saltwater aquarium setup.

A saltwater aquarium setup will cost you time and money so accept this and don’t skimp. Even if you devote considerable time and effort to a small tank you can still encounter problems. If you choose the wrong one initially you will probably end up having to buy another one and this may be discouraging. In short, if you don’t have the money to buy a tank that’s at least 30 gallons, don’t invest any money at all.

When you choose a saltwater aquarium setup there are many options. You can choose from glass and acrylic and you can even get reef-ready styles complete with pre-drilled holes for equipment and plumbing. Glass tanks sealed with silicon rubber cement are a common choice. Rectangle designs are popular but they are also found in octagon and hexagon. They are non-toxic and don’t scratch easily.

The downside to a glass saltwater aquarium setup is that they are heavy. This means that large tanks will have very thick glass. Try to find one with a plastic frame that will make the tank more stable. Plated glass is shatterproof but not as strong as tempered.

An acrylic saltwater aquarium setup is molded with few seams so they are more transparent. However your view may still be distorted at the corners. Acrylic tanks are not as heavy as glass and so come in a wider variety of shapes and sizes. Acrylic is also stronger than glass. On the downside acrylic tanks can get scratched and are more expensive than glass. They are easily scratched by algae scrapers and decorations. It is possible to buff these marks out with a special kit.

Whichever saltwater aquarium setup you choose make sure it provides a healthy environment for your fish. You also need to make sure that you can afford to maintain it properly and that it suits your lifestyle and available time. Once you have everything set up correctly you will be able to enjoy the colorful antics and shapes of your fishy friends, corals and other invertebrates. Enjoy the wonderful world of your saltwater aquarium!

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