Building a reef tank for your home is one of the most rewarding projects any homeowner can take on in their spare time. These displays not only allow you to incorporate a beautiful piece of nature into your home’s design, but also give you a deeper understanding of marine life. However, if you’re going to take the plunge and finally commit to owning a reef tank, you also need to be prepared to properly care for it. These are some important reef aquarium maintenance tips to keep in mind in the days following your build.
Feed and Inspect Your Marine Life
The overall health of your fish, corals, and invertebrates is essential to keeping a beautiful tank. As such, you should monitor their health fairly often and take action should some of them seem ill or sluggish. Reef tank owners typically perform these checks when they feed their specimens in order to observe how they move and isolate any that seem to be infected. It’s also common to use this time to perform basic inspections of the tank equipment.
Remember to Test Your Tank Water
Reef tanks require specific chemical levels to properly accommodate marine life. This means alkalinity, calcium, pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate must all be at manageable amounts to not harm your specimens. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are particularly dangerous to fish and can cause them to get sick should you allow their levels in the tank to get too high. Because of this, you should test your tank’s water about once a week to ensure you don’t need to perform water changes.
Perform Regular Water Changes
Water changes are also regular parts of reef aquarium maintenance. In fact, they’re incredibly important to sustaining a constant and stable living environment for your marine life. Should certain chemical levels get to high and become toxic to your fish, switching the concentrated water with your freshly mixed supply can bring those levels back to normal. Just be sure the water is at the correct temperature when you incorporate it so that it doesn’t send your fish or corals into shock.
Monitor the Tank’s Water Flow
Another important reef aquarium maintenance tip is to periodically check the direction of the tank’s water flow. Water flow is incredibly important to an aquarium, as it keeps nutrients moving through the ecosystem, removes toxins from the immediate environment, and prevents the formation of algae. Depending on the direction in which the water is flowing, certain organisms have an easier chance of thriving than others. As such, you’ll need to pay attention to how the water flows through the tank and how high that flow is and identify when you need to switch it up.