Things You Will Need to Setup Basic Marine Tank

  1. Aquarium and aquarium stand

In Marine tanks, the bigger is always the better.  It is easier to maintain and the water parameters does not fluctuate easily compared to smaller tanks.  Of course the bigger the tank, the more expensive it is to setup. 


You really have to consider your budget in selecting the size of your tank.  Expenses go exponential as the tank gets bigger.  It requires bigger pumps, bigger skimmer, more lights, more live rocks, more sand, more salt, and more livestock.


  1. Live Rocks

Live rocks in marine tank serves as a filter and a home for your fish.  Beneficial bacteria and micro organisms will take refuge on these rocks.  To calculate the amount of live rocks you need to put on your system, most people use the formula: Amount of water volume (in gallons) x 1.5 lbs.  Of course if you have sump or a refugium, you can put more live rocks.


  1. Sand

Some people does not like sand for the reason, it is easier to clean the tank if it is bare bottom.  On the other hand, people like to put sand on their system for the benefits it can give on the marine setup.  This adds to the natural look and beauty of the tank.  The san can also be a home for the critters and worms that comes along with your live rock.  In due time with the correct thickness, it will also become a nitrate reducer.


  1. Saltmix

The Saltmix really depends on your preference.   There are 3 most widely used brands of Saltmix, the Reef Crystals,InstantOcean, and Red Sea Saltmix.  Of course there are others but these are the most widely and commonly used in marine tanks especially on reef setups.


  1. Water

The most recommended type of water to be used in Marine tank is of course the RO/DI or water that has gone reverse osmosis process.  For those who are in a tight budget, deep well water will do.  Now if a deep well is nowhere near you and you are in a tight budget, the tap water will do but it needs to be stocked for 3 days with aeration to remove the chlorine.  Please do note that the tap water might contain some minerals that may not be good in your marine tank.  So caution is advised when using the tap water.


  1. Hydrometer

This device is used to measure the specific gravity of water that you have.  The green markings indicate the ideal specific gravity for marine tanks.


  1. Pumps/ Powerhead/Wave Maker

Water circulation is very important in the marine tank.  These devices will allow the water to circulate properly thus help bringing the detritus and uneaten food to the skimmer.


  1. Protein Skimmer

Protein skimmer filters the marine tank from organic wastes like fish poops, uneaten foods and others.  Some people swear that Protein Skimmer do more harm than good, other swear that this is a necessity and is a must in reef tanks.  Anyway, I’m using one and my tank has never been better. 


Make sure to buy a skimmer that is rated twice or 3 times the volume of your tank.  Pairing this one with a good wave maker or power head makes a good combination.


  1. Test Kits

Most people skip this one but I think this is important so you are aware on what parameters are not right if in case you start getting trouble in keeping things alive.  This is also important so you will know when your tank will become ready for stocking.

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