5 Smart Ways To Save On a Saltwater Aquarium Installation

A new aquarium installation is a big decision. Good aquarium equipment isn’t cheap, and you need to keep in mind the initial setup costs for your saltwater aquarium, plus the ongoing operating costs to keep your custom aquarium flourishing. However, once your aquarium is set up, you’ll be amazed at how much enjoyment you get from it for so little money.

To truly enjoy your new saltwater aquarium without worrying about how much it will cost you in the end, use these cost saving tips. They’ll make your aquarium installation much easier on your pocketbook, and they’ll make setup worry-free:

1.) Size Matters

The larger the tank, the more upkeep it will require. You’ll also have to supersize all the gear that keeps your custom aquarium functioning. On the flip side, you don’t want your tank to be too small that it can’t hold the number and variety of fish and plants you want. Like all things, it’s best to avoid too little and too much fish tank.

A modestly sized fish tank is generally best for beginning aquarists. A tank in the range of 30 to 55 gallons should be big enough for lots of fish, but small enough to keep the aquarium maintenance at a reasonable level.

If you’re on a tighter budget, consider a tank that is small enough to keep on a desk or other existing flat surface. The desk will have to be sturdy enough to hold the substantial weight of your aquarium. When in doubt, it’s smart to budget for the additional purchase of an aquarium stand.

2.) Be Cautious About Reef Tanks

Starting with a fish-only or FOWLR (fish only with live rock) system versus a reef tank will save you a ton of dough. Reef systems come with some significant added expenses. These expenses include the price of special high-intensity lighting that corals and other photosynthetic invertebrates demand. Reef tanks also need ongoing supplementation of calcium and alkalinity.

Include fish that won’t continue to get too large for your tank as well as are known to be disease resistant. Consult with fellow hobbyists to determine the best fish to include in your budgeted saltwater aquarium installation.

3.) Look for Energy Efficient and Used Equipment

Utility costs add up. Purchase energy efficient pumps and powerheads to save money on electricity.

You can also save money by purchasing used tanks and equipment. You will  need to be careful when doing this as you don’t want to purchase faulty equipment or a busted tank. Check the seams of tanks to make sure that they will be stable when water is added to the tank. Glass tanks are usually best.

Purchase your used aquarium tank and equipment from someone you know and trust, or from a seasoned hobbyist. Buying used equipment online might not be the best option as you can’t ensure that it comes from a trustworthy source.

4.) Have a Quarantine Tank On Hand

This is a money-saving suggestion that not too many people think of initially. By making a small investment in an additional small quarantine tank you can save the lives of your other fish. As a bonus, it saves the costs of replacing fish in the future. If a fish is sick, they can easily wipe out the rest of your other saltwater fish. This could be an expense of thousands of dollars in some cases.

This is also a great suggestion to use when you initially purchase a fish for your tank. Keep new fish in the quarantine tank for a few days before introducing it to your custom aquarium. This way you can observe to see if it is healthy before letting it join the others.

5.) Don’t Overfeed Your Fish

Lastly, do not overfeed your fish. This is cost effective as well as preventative of fish getting sick from overeating. Fish always look like they are starving, and they very quickly learn to recognize feeding time. When you see your fish begging for food, you may be tempted to overfeed them as they will seem to do this every time. It is important to only feed fish a tiny amount of food, three to four times a day or as the food manufacturer label prescribes.

Ask a Pro About Your Aquarium Installation

A basic saltwater aquarium on a budget is certainly possible. When you decide you want a saltwater aquarium installation, it’s smart to go to a local aquarium or fish store. The prices on the internet may be lower, but nothing can replace the guidance, assistance, and long term savings you will get with expert, hands on help.

If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area, call Aquatech Aquarium Services.  They’ll get your aquarium installation off on the right foot, and they’re available for regular aquarium maintenance as well.

The Inside Scoop On Hermit Crabs for Saltwater Aquariums

Hermit Crabs make a very peculiar looking and wonderful aquatic addition for all kinds of reef or saltwater aquariums. Also known as one of the ‘Tank Janitor’ creatures, they are well known for helping keep tanks free of debris and algae. Many keepers of saltwater or reef custom aquariums use hermit crabs to keep their tanks a little cleaner and help reduce aquarium maintenance. They are also known for charmingly taking up residence in empty shells they find suitable.

Here are a few tips you can use for keeping your hermit crabs healthy and happy in your custom aquarium. We’ll first take a brief look at their biology, and their care requirements:

What Are Hermit Crabs, Anyway?

Hermit crabs are crustaceans that live in the ocean, or near its surface. Hermit crabs belong to the order Decapoda, the infra-order Anomuran and the superfamily Paguroidea. Although we call them ‘crabs’, scientists consider them more closely related to lobsters and porcelain crabs, than to true crabs (brachyurids).

You can find hermit crabs throughout the seas and oceans of the world apart from the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Of course, keepers of many reef or saltwater aquariums keep hermit crabs as well. You can find hermit crabs in both land-dwelling and marine forms in the wild. Many terrestrial crabs have fascinating lives and are important in the pet trade in their own right. However, this article will focus on marine dwelling hermit crabs.

It’s a Crabby Way of Life

The most prominent feature of hermit crabs is their need for protection and their dependence on the shells of other marine animals to live. However, shells aren’t the only thing that hermit crabs like to inhabit. People have reported hermit crabs using Tusk Shells, lengths of bamboo or even living sponges. Other species of crabs inhabit the tubes of tubeworms that sometimes enter saltwater aquariums by accident as hitchhikers on live rock.

Hermit crabs use two of their six sets of legs for walking. The crab uses its other legs to move their bodies within their shells and to grip the shell’s interior. Hermit crabs use their front pincers as a ‘door’ of sorts, to block entry into the shell when they have retreated inside.

The Shell Game

As hermit crabs get larger, they need to adopt larger shells to accommodate their growing bodies. In the wild, hermit crabs can evict the current resident of the shell they want. It is imperative that you leave a variety of shells in the aquarium for the needy hermit crab to choose from. This is especially true if you have snails in your aquarium as well. Hermit crabs may just choose your snail’s shell as its new home if it can’t find another one it likes. Some hermit crabs can be quite particular about the shape of the opening and style of the shell they want to live in. That’s why it’s smart to have larger shells of the same type your crab is currently wearing available for them to grow into.

Always make sure to properly clean all shells before you place them into your saltwater aquarium. You can do this by boiling the shells for 5 minutes. Then, tap out the water on a hard surface. This ensures there is nothing lodged inside the shells. Next, dip them in de-chlorinated water, and then drain the water back out again.

Crabs Are on a See-food Diet

Like humans, hermit crabs eat so many kinds of things they’re considered omnivores. A crab will eat just about anything it can get its hands on. They seem to especially enjoy eating many algae species, uneaten fish food, and even dead animals. Usually, most saltwater aquarium keepers will rely on the hermit crab’s ability to scavenge for food. If food seems scarce, you can give a hermit crab an algae pellet or two. However, some aquarists provide a cockle or mussel as a treat for their hermit crabs.

Caring for Hermit Crabs in Saltwater Aquariums

Because they’re so adaptable, most owners of saltwater aquariums believe that hermit crabs are not difficult to keep. It can come as a surprise to learn they can be a little delicate to handle. Hermit crabs are by far the least fussy eaters you’ll find for your tank, and are less likely to be damaged from handling than many other forms of aquatic life. However, hermit crabs to tend to suffer more from a less-than-ideal environment. Therefore, when you take them home from the fish store, they may be less healthy than they should be.  They will need a good environment and feeding to strengthen again.

Generally, saltwater aquariums that you want to add hermit crabs to must have been running for a while on its own, not a new custom aquarium ready for stocking. In other words, a reasonably aged tank, at around six months, is ideal. The parameters of your seawater, such as the pH, temperature, ammonia, nitrite and SG, all need to be totally acceptable. The ideal tank temperature for hermit crabs is between 72 and 78°F with a pH range between 8.1 and 8.4. The specific gravity of the tank should be between 1.021 and 1.028 with kH levels between 150 and 215 ppm. To put it in simpler terms, your seawater needs to be very, clean and seaworthy for your hermit crabs to flourish.

Call the Experts on Reef and Saltwater Aquariums

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, and you’d like to add hermit crabs to your saltwater reef tank, it’s smart to speak to the experts at Aquatech Aquarium Service. They can make sure your tank is in perfect shape, and establish a maintenance schedule that will keep it that way.

5 Saltwater Starter Fish You Should Avoid

Saltwater aquariums are popular for their wide range of attractive fish and accessory options. In our last entry, we went over the 6 Big Rules for Choosing Saltwater Starter Fish. However, when selecting fish for your custom aquarium, a list of fish to include is only half the story. It’s just as important to know the types of fish to exclude.

Unlike freshwater aquariums, you may find it more difficult to find the right fish. New saltwater aquariums will need to start off with a population of fish that are hardy, easy to manage and won’t be aggressive towards others.

Even if you think that a certain fish comes from the ocean, or you have seen before in established reef tanks, that doesn’t mean they should be included in home aquariums. Most pet stores will not be knowledgeable or advertise which fish to avoid, so it is helpful to do a bit of research. Here are several varieties of fish that would do more harm than good in a new custom aquarium:

Groupers

Although groupers are a smaller than a lot of other fish, they can still prove to be hostile to your custom aquarium’s fish population. They have mouths that will expand to be quite large. Therefore, they will eat most anything alive that will fit inside of it. Unless you have a tank that is at least 200 gallons and include large fish that can take care of themselves, it is best to not include Groupers in your saltwater aquarium.

Mandarinfish

You may be tempted at first to purchase Mandarin fish for several reasons. Their unique coloring and patterns are a reminder of beautiful coral reefs. They are affordable, known to be disease resistant, and their smaller size will seem beneficial for not overtaking space in your custom aquarium.

This might all sound well and good, but the Mandarin’s  picky diets will be a big problem. You will find it difficult to keep them satisfied since they are dependent on eating copepods and will avoid most other general saltwater aquarium foods. It is difficult to have this type of fish survive in less established aquariums. Large reef tanks with a plentiful population of copepods will keep them healthy and satisfied.

Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse

Similar to the Mandarin fish, the Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse are also picky eaters and would probably starve in most saltwater aquariums. Eating parasites off of other fish is what composes their diet. In new saltwater aquariums, there will not be enough parasites to feed them.

In established saltwater aquariums, these are both helpful and entertaining fish. Their normal behavior includes zipping around in a fun spectacle and cleaning off dead scales and parasites from other fish.

Mollies/Guppies

These fish come from brackish waters. This type of water is considered to be something in between fresh water and salt water. It may not be the best choice at first, but once you get your aquarium going, these are fish that can slowly acclimate themselves to a completely saltwater aquarium environment.

You will also need to prepare yourself to expect more fish than you began with. Mollies/Guppies actively breed in captivity.

Damselfish

Avoid the Damselfish at all costs. They are very destructive to the rest of the fish population in saltwater aquariums. Your other fish will find it hard to live with one.

Don’t let their flowy angel-like appearance fool you, they are some of the most aggressive and territorial fish around. A damselfish will chase around other fish to the point that they die from exhaustion. Their competitive nature will also prevent other fish from eating in you custom aquarium.

Getting the Right Saltwater Fish for a Custom Aquarium

A good saltwater starter fish will be able to tolerate less than perfect conditions. Choose fish that are known to be disease resistant, peaceful at co-habiting, and are easy to manage. The fish in our list just don’t make the cut. By referencing this list of saltwater fish to avoid, it should help you establish a flourishing new saltwater aquarium with a minimum of fuss.

If you’re thinking of adding a custom aquarium for your home or business in the Los Angeles area, be sure to Aquatech Aquarium Service. Picking the right fish from the start is the key to a successful and enjoyable custom aquarium, and Aquatech can help!

The 6 Big Rules for Choosing Saltwater Starter Fish

When you are ready to begin your new aquarium installation, it’s important to choose the right fish for your new saltwater aquarium. But how do you know which fish are the right ones to start your new tank? Here’s what to look for when choosing starter fish for your saltwater aquarium installation:

1. Choose Hardy Fish

When you first start your new custom aquarium, the condition of your water can change rapidly. That’s why aquarium installation experts recommend that you start with hardier species of saltwater fish for your new saltwater aquarium.  Fish that are more tolerant of changes in their environment will be less stressed about differences in water temperature and alkalinity.  As a result, these fish usually tend to live longer.

2. Select Fish That Are Resistant to Parasites

Aquarium installation experts agree that parasites such as ich, flukes, and tremotodes can be a nuisance to any custom aquarium. If your fish are stressed by other conditions, such as other aggressive fish or unsuitable water conditions, they are even more likely to ‘catch’ an infection. There are no fish that are immune to these invaders. However, there are certain saltwater fish that are more resistant to these parasites than other fish.

Saltwater fish such as Mollies and Damsels have been known to be more resistant to these pesky parasites than other saltwater fish. That’s not necessarily a good reason to stock your tank with them. For a new aquarium, an aquarium installation expert may recommend that you avoid starter fish like Damselfish because they can be quite aggressive.  You may want to avoid Powder Blue/Brown Tang fish as they tend to be more prone to infection from parasites like ich.

3. Pick Fish That Are Compatible With Everything In Your Saltwater Aquarium

These fish will probably be the first fish in your custom aquarium.  So you’ll want to choose fish that are peaceful and get along well with other fish. Getting along doesn’t just means that they don’t try to eat all the other fish. Fish that are non-aggressive will be less apt to harass other fish both during the day and at feeding time. Some fish are very territorial, and will harass any fish that comes near them, including fish that are bigger than they are. Other fish are greedy eaters and will try to gobble every morsel you put in the tank at feeding time, and will fight the other fish for it, too. Avoiding aggressive and territorial fish help reduces the stress among all the fish you put in your saltwater aquarium.

4. Choose Fish That Are Inexpensive To Maintain

Saltwater fish vary greatly in the cost per fish. You may not want to choose the most inexpensive fish you can find for your saltwater aquarium. However, choosing a relatively inexpensive fish can help save costs in the long run. Generally, the more exotic and rare the fish, the more expensive it is. Some fish have sold for as much as $400,000!

5. Select Vibrant Fish To Make Your Aquarium Installation Look Its Best

Unless your aquarium is gigantic, the number of fish in your aquarium is bound to be fairly limited. Since you can only fit so many fish in your saltwater aquarium, it’s smart to make each one count. It’s tempting to buy a handful of inexpensive, drab fish to get your aquarium going when you’re on a budget. However, in the long run, your aquarium will be much more interesting if you select each fish for maximum visual interest. Remember, some fish are brightly colored, but shy about swimming in the open areas of your tank. Choose some fish that are fast swimmers to get a good mix.

6. Get a Mix of Personalities

Schools of identical fish look great when they swim back and forth in your aquarium. However, too much of one thing quickly gets boring to look at. Different species of fish look different, of course, but they also act differently as they make their way around your saltwater aquarium. Choose a good mix of “personalities” to add interest to the action in the tank. Mix bold and timid fish, and fast and slow swimmers to ensure a constantly changing aqua

Get Expert Advice From Aquarium Installation Experts

For expert aquarium installation in the Los Angeles area, contact Aquatech Aquarium Service. They’ll help you choose the best starting fish for your new saltwater aquarium. They can help with your aquarium maintenance as well.

Aquarium Service Tips: Mixing Saltwater for Your Tank

aquarium serviceSaltwater aquariums area a great way to enjoy the most exotic and colorful marine life. Watching exotic tropical fish swim back and forth is a soothing, entertaining way to relieve stress.  Saltwater aquariums require slightly more aquarium service than freshwater tanks, but the results are worth the extra time and effort.

One of the most common chores for a saltwater aquarium is replenishing the salt water itself. Mixing saltwater is a very easy aquarium service task you can do on your own with the right tools from the fish store. Here is a list of things you will need to make the perfect water for your saltwater aquarium:

Gather Your Materials

A Clean bucket or Heavy-Duty Plastic Storage Bin: A large storage bin works well for mixing the water. You can also use them to store extra water. Make sure to thoroughly clean the bucket or bin before you start.

Sea Salt Mix: This is what will turn ordinary water into salt water. Your aquarium service technician can help you in getting the best quality salt mix available. Aquarium service technicians recommend you do not use ordinary table salt or “sea salt”.  It is missing many elements specific to sea life that you will find in sea salt mixes.

A Submersible Aquarium Service Heater: This will ensure the water you use is at the right temperature for the marine life in your saltwater aquarium. Make sure to use one rated for the desired volume of water.

A Thermometer: You will need a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water. Some heaters have a thermal meter already attached. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need a separate one. A floating or battery-powered meter works well to measure the water temperature.

A Small Pump for Circulation: Having a pump helps you to mix the saltwater more thoroughly with less effort. You can also use the pump to transfer the water from the bucket to the saltwater aquarium. That avoids the need to lift a heavy bin full of water.

A Refractometer or Hydrometer: These are tools that you use to measure the amount of salt in your water. They measure the specific gravity of water. The more salt in the water, the heavier the specific gravity of the saltwater.

A Stirring Implement: A simple wooden stick will work just fine. Avoid metal or plastic to minimize any reactions with the salt water. Make sure to clean the stirring implement before using it.

Water, Water, Everywhere

Now all you need is the water. Tapwater works well in most cases. Unfortunately it contains chemicals that are harmful to marine life, such as chlorine, that you must remove first. Seawater is also an appropriate choice, but make sure to use a source of seawater that’s untainted by chemicals caused by wastewater or runoff. Seawater also may need other adjustments before is usable. Aquarium service technicians recommend that you use distilled water, or water treated by reverse-osmosis or deionization (RO/DI).

Fill your container halfway with water. Don’t overfill the container. You’ll  be adding the salt mix, which will displace some of the water. You’ll need plenty of room in the container to mix the salt with the water without slopping over. Once your container has some water in it, add your pump and heater to it. Make sure you have cleaned and tested them before placing them into the water.

Add Salt To Taste

Next, begin pouring the salt into the water slowly into the water and stir it. Test the water frequently to monitor its specific gravity. Your aquarium service technician can recommend the correct specific gravity for your saltwater aquarium.

Let Your Water Rest

Once the water has reached the correct specific gravity, let it sit overnight to circulate, mix, and reach the correct temperature. Leaving the water overnight ensures that all the salt and other elements completely dissolve into the water and reach the desired temperature.

Check It, and You’re Done!

The next day, check the specific gravity and temperature of your water again to make sure it is correct. If you need to, make any adjustments to salinity by adding more water or salt mix.

Now that you have made your salt water, you can add it to your saltwater aquarium! It is a good idea to have extra water already prepared for your next aquarium service and water change.

Aquarium Service Advice From the Experts

Saltwater aquariums are a beautiful addition to any home or business. Whether you are a professional fish keeper or just starting out, a saltwater aquarium provides a captivating display of marine life. If you would like to start your own saltwater aquarium, you can get a great start from the experts at Aquatech Aquarium Service in Los Angeles. Their team, headed by owner Harold Weiner, have been designing saltwater aquariums and koi ponds, and providing aquarium service, for over 25 years. They’ll make sure your saltwater aquarium is a perfect fit for your home or business, and help you with regular aquarium maintenance.

Top Five Fish for Saltwater Aquariums

saltwater aquariums-top 5 beginner fishFish keeping is fun for everyone, from young children the elderly. Keeping saltwater aquariums can be a great way to enjoy fish from all over the world’s oceans. It is relatively easy to keep and maintain a saltwater aquarium, although they may be a little more complicated than a freshwater aquarium.  Whatever extra effort is required to keep saltwater fish is worth it, however. You’ll be amazed at the how many different types of exotic fish are available for your saltwater aquarium. There’s a wide  selection of plants and other features, too. But what are some great aquarium fish if you’re new to saltwater aquariums? We’ve assembled a list of the Top Five Saltwater Fish for beginners.

Clownfish

A clownfish is probably the most popular fish for beginners. Their bright, striking colors make it a classic marine fish. Clownfish are relatively inexpensive, and quite hardy. Although clownfish can be somewhat territorial, they’re usually not aggressive towards other fish. There’s one very unusual aspect about clownfish. If you place two or more males together in saltwater aquariums, the largest, most dominant fish can change its gender to female! They may even begin to breed in your tank.

Blennies and Gobies

These fish are bottom dwellers, and are usually a very hardy fish. Most are relatively small, usually reaching no more than a few inches in length. The fish have a lot of personality, and feature very striking colors. They do prefer an aquarium with a lot of places like rocks and crevices where they can hide. However, blennies and gobies are always a great addition to saltwater aquariums.

Firefish

These are very pretty, peaceful fish to add to saltwater aquariums. They tend to do very well with other fish. Firefish are commonly considered to act as a barometer of sorts for your saltwater aquarium. If the quality of water in your tank is decreasing, these fish are usually the first to sense it. If everything is OK, their dorsal fin will stand upright. When the fish is feeling stressed, due to poor quality water or overcrowding, the fish’s dorsal fin will lay flat against its back.

Cardinalfish

Cardinalfish are really great beginner fish for new keepers of saltwater aquariums. They have a very striking color pattern and body shape, which makes them very interesting to watch. They make an especially captivating display as they swim in a school. Cardinalfish are hearty, eaters, and generally are very peaceful towards other fish.

Crabs and Shrimp

There’s no reason to restrict the type of sea creatures you place in your saltwater aquarium to fish alone. Adding crabs or shrimp to saltwater aquariums adds variety and excitement to your underwater environment. They’re relatively hardy, and they get along great with most other fish. There are many different types of shrimp and crabs to choose from.  They each have their own shape, color, and personality. It is fun and interesting to watch these creatures interact with other fish in your aquarium.

Setting Up Saltwater Aquariums

In their natural environment, most saltwater fish tend to live close to corals, rubble, or sea plants.   They use this natural cover to quickly dart to safety if the need arises.  Some fish live in burrows in the sand, usually near rock outcroppings. In saltwater aquariums, your fish will thrive if they have the same types of hiding places. Rocks, coral skeletons, or sea plants are all great additions to make your fish feel at home.

Fish Need Elbow Room, Too

So how many fish should you put in your tank? A good guideline is to keep two fish for every ten gallons of water. Of course, this is not an exact number. Larger, more active fish produce more biowaste than smaller fish. Smaller, slender fish or passive bottom dwellers tend to put less load on the filtration system. It is still important to perform regular aquarium maintenance, however.

Get To Know Your Fish Better

You’ll be amazed at the large number of saltwater fish and invertebrates available for saltwater aquariums at your local fish store. You can skip a lot of trial and error by learning from people who have cared for aquariums for a long time. That way, you’ll have fewer problems and be able to simply enjoy the ever-changing glimpse of the ocean that saltwater aquariums provide.

Jellyfish Are an Aesthetic Saltwater Delight

Aquarium jellyfishThe latest trend in ornamental saltwater aquariums, jellyfish provide an aesthetic delight for hobbyists with their mesmerizing forms and soothing movements. With the right setup, you can have these exotic creatures anywhere in your home.

It does require a lot more thought, however, than just setting up a standard aquarium, since jellyfish are such delicate organisms. If you follow these steps, you can successfully set up and enjoy your new jellyfish habitat for years to come.

Jellyfish have very specific requirements when it comes to establishing a compatible ecosystem. If you are setting up your own tank, pay particular attention to how the water moves in your tank. Jellyfish can easily be sucked into a filter and liquefied. If you’re not using a tank and filter setup that’s specifically designed for jellyfish, you’ll need to make several modifications.

Keep it simple

If you enjoy “aquascaping” then jellyfish are not for you. Decorations threaten the integrity of the jellyfish, literally. By necessity, their tanks must be plain.

Next, make sure you place your tank in a convenient location out of direct sunlight, away from heat sources and electrical equipment. Then, you can install the filter, following the instruction that came with it. You can use any aquarium filter designed for a tank of at least 8 gallons.

If using the kit filter, you need to remove the sponge filter from cellophane wrapping and rinse in fresh water. Then, lock the filter cartridge into the bubble tube by inserting the bubble tube into the cartridge and rotating. Lock the filter cartridge into the bottom of the tank by inserting it into the bottom of the tank and rotating. Plug the clear airline tube into the air pump.

Next, make sure you rinse the gravel in fresh water. Use aquarium gravel that is porous to keep helpful bacteria, which consume waste created by the jellyfish alive. Make sure you.

After you have covered the bottom of the aquarium evenly in gravel, add a layer of glass marbles to completely cover the gravel to protect the delicate jellyfish tissue from being torn on the gravel. Make sure the marbles cover all the gravel and the entire filtration cartridge.

Temperature is important for jellyfish

Now you can add the heater. Set it to 77 °F – the appropriate temperature for a tropical species, including the common Blue Jellyfish (Catostylus mosaicus) – and affix it to the inside of the tank so that it will be completely submerged.

Once that is done, you can fill the tank with salt water. In the kit tank, the water level needs to be 2 inches (5.1 cm) above the top of the bubble tube for proper water circulation, but below the light bulb housing, so the water does not get over-heated by the light. The safest bet is to buy salt water from your local aquarium store to ensure it has the right pH and salinity. at this point, you should plug the light, pump and heater into an electrical outlet and make sure those components power up correctly.

Now it is time to establish the bacterial colony. If you are using a kit, it should contain Stress Coat and Stress Zyme, which contain helpful bacteria that will colonize your filter. The bacteria digest the waste from the jellyfish. You will need to feed the bacteria before adding any live animals to the tank; otherwise, the tank will accumulate biological waste, which contains poisonous ammonia.

The kit also should contain a bottle of Cycle Starter, and you will need to add the entire bottle. Cycle Starter contains the ammonia excreted by animal as waste and digested by filtering bacteria as food. Run the tank for 7 days. During this time, the bacteria colony will grow in your tank.

Before you add your jellyfish, you will need to check that water for ammonia levels, salinity and temperature. If those elements are well within specifications, you can add jellyfish!

Something Fishy: Damselfish

A yellow DamselfishFor those who are interested in saltwater aquariums one of the crucial aspects is choosing which fish to keep.  A saltwater or marine aquarium is one that holds an environment for fish that need saltwater to live in. The tropical fish known from ocean waters require such a habitat. One of the most popular species of tropical saltwater fish for aquariums is the Damselfish.

Habitat: Nature and Aquarium

Many popular marine aquarium Damselfish species inhabit coral reefs out in nature. They generally get along with other individual fish belonging to the same species.  If several individuals are kept together, they actually move about in schools. They are a hardy species in the tank, adapting well to the presence of a filtration system and accommodating occasional sub-par water quality. The ease in taking care of them is part of why they are popular as aquarium fish.

Feeding Damselfish

In nature, Damselfish diet upon algae, plankton, and small crustaceans.  For those fish that live in aquariums, they may eat almost any fish food that you provide.  The various things that you can find would be fine particles of other fish, squid, or clams. You could feed them blood worms, brine shrimp or even flake fish food.

The Good and Bad

The Good aspects of choosing Damselfish for your saltwater aquarium are many. They are colorful species for the most part, and some even seem to take on a neon glow in blue-colored lighting. Even the black and white types are considered attractive. Their relatively small size also make them an appealing choice for aquariums. Their hardiness also is a benefit for the aquarium owner.

The downside in selecting Damselfish begins with the fact that many are highly territorial in their habitats. They do not like to share space with others, and will be aggressive and bullying toward other fish in their territory, even toward larger fish. They might also snack on some of the small crustaceans and tiny worms in some tanks, even though they are beneficial to the habitat.

All in all, Damselfish are probably the best choice to make if you are stepping into the realm of keeping a saltwater aquarium. An expert will help you make the best selections for your first marine aquarium.