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#1 Way for your Saltwater Aquarium setup Ė Choosing a Tank
Sam Weston

Following on from our introduction to saltwater aquariums this
segment is designed to give you some idea of a typical
saltwater aquarium setup.

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

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 letís 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
tankís 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 wonít get a good rate of gas exchange. An
ideal design would be one that is short and wide.

Once youíve 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 tankís 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 Gregoryís. 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 donít 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 donít have the money to buy a
tank thatís at least 30 gallons, donít 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 donít 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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