Most people think that setting up a saltwater aquarium is as easy as one, two, three, but unfortunately for them, you still have a lot of responsibilities as a saltwater aquarist, for instance- remembering to feed the fish. You have to set up your aquarium properly from the beginning in order to avoid disappointment and you feeling like you’ve wasted your money.
The first thing to remember is that you always have to look at the costs of elements before you make the purchase. Things such as live rock and certain species of fish can be a bit pricey. Start off your aquarium with less expensive elements, so that, if it fails, you don’t lose that much money.
Before purchasing a fish, make sure that you have knowledge about what it prefers to eat and how much of that at a time, so that you don’t overfeed or underfeed the fish. You also have to know what kind of environment your fish prefers and how easily it gets along with other species.
Having an aquarium filled with live stock is like having a very high maintenance pet. You have to feed it, check for diseases and make sure that they receive all the correct parameters in the water that they live. Remember- these fish’s lives depend solely on you! You have to clean the protein skimmer at least once a week, the glass needs to be cleaned to prevent algae from building up on it, you also have to maintain the light intensity, especially if you have corals in your tank, you have to check your filtration system weekly to ensure that it is still functioning as it should and lastly you have to check the water parameters.
Your livestock didn’t ask for us to remove them from their natural habitat and put them in our houses as a source of entertainment. It will be extremely unfair to abandon them in their time of need, that is why if you are considering to become an aquarist, you have to know that you will still have responsibilities towards it. Patience is key, if you aren’t a patient person, this hobby might not quite be for you. The growing and adaption of things take time and if you rush them, you might risk harming the creature.
Look at me blabbing on like being an aquarist is a pain in the neck. Let me assure you it is definitely worth the effort! It is very interesting and very entertaining at the same time. The aquarium consists of various different colours and you can just sit and watch the fish swim around for hours. It is also known to be very therapeutic.
If you are considering to become an aquarist, here are some mistakes that most aquarists make, that can be prevented:
Not regularly testing the water parameters. Water parameters are extremely important to the well being of your live stock. Some species of fish, corals and live rock may malnourish if you do not maintain just the right amount of parameters in your water, in fact, just a slight change might send them into a state of shock.
Don’t make excuses for losing fish if you know that you weren’t responsibly taking care of them. Admit to yourself when you haven’t spent enough time taking care of your livestock and most importantly- learn from your mistake.
Don’t be a victim of Boring Tank Syndrome. Having to look at the same live stock for a long time, can lead to boredom and not putting in as much effort in maintenance as you used to. Switch things up a bit if you feel like you’re getting bored, even if you have to sell one of your fish to buy a new one. If you are sticking to what you committed to do, you will not be able to fail. Yes, there might be a few ups and downs, but if you do thorough inspections of your equipment, replace your lights every 6-12 months and make sure your filtration system doesn’t have any build up filth, you will be safe.
When a fish dies in your tank, remove it as soon as possible, try to determine the cause of death and check the water immediately to ensure that none of the other fish die as well. If the water check is stable, it means that your fish most probably died of a disease and you should keep an eye out for any diseases on your other fish.
Keeping a saltwater aquarium is really not that hard, most of the time it is fun and entertaining. Having a saltwater aquarium should be like being married. You will get used to it being around, but you shouldn’t stop loving it, because that is when it fails.