Tue Nov 13 20:39:47 UTC 2007
Welcome to the database of saltwater aquarium fish! Since we are collecting data and building the database’s engine, this site is not completed yet.
The official launch is scheduled on 01/01/2008, however it seems that we’ll be ready earlier:). You can find the list of species which we are going to list here after clicking on this link
If you came here looking for some specific information, be patient please. Meanwhile feel free to learn about marine aquariums and let’s start from the beginning...
We all on this planet come from the water. We are all children of the Earth, but our first home was the sea. Some of us can’t resist and feel they have to return to their roots. Of course we can’t go back to the sea and live there, but we can build up a piece of the sea right in our living room. And we can accomplish this idea by starting a saltwater aquarium.
The difference between marine and freshwater aquariums
The main difference between saltwater and freshwater aquarium is that the marine tank is more sensitive to water changes and it needs more stable water conditions. Usually the saltwater aquarium is more expensive than the freshwater one especially if you don’t live on the coast and you don’t have any natural source of marine decoration and fish. Basically, you need more equipment as well. Every marine aquarium requires much more care than freshwater, but the award you get for your hard work is worth it. The marine world offers more expressive colours than freshwater rivers and creeks, and if you decide to build one, you have to get a large tank, so you can replace the TV with them. Another advantage is that the saltwater aquarium exhales salt into the air which is good for our respiratory system.
Why is the price so high?
The main reason why the marine tanks are so expensive are the fish. Mostly they do not breed in tanks and the surviving rate of the fry is low. These days it is still common to catch fish in the wildness and then they are sold at stores. Also the transport of these caught fish rises the prices.
Sea is a very big space and so the unimaginable amount of water is the reason why there are such stable conditions. Of course in every part of the world there are a bit different conditions. In closed seas the salinity is higher than in the open seas because there is an intensive water evaporation and the water is renewing a little slower. A good example is the Dead Sea. Another reason why this sea has so high salinity is the fact that there are more minerals than usual. The temperature is different too. Of course at the North Sea the temperatures are different than in the waters nearby the Equator. But if we speak only about the tropical seas, there is difference only a few Â°C. As it’s mentioned above, the stable conditions in tanks are important because just like in the freshwater tanks also here could the bad water conditions cause stress and the stress causes illnesses. The temperature is one of the most important things in general. It should be about 24Â°C. Here it is so easy to show you that the size of aquarium is so important. Because the bigger the tank is, the more stable the temperature is, even if there is an electricity outage. Big amount of water is capable to keep the warm for a while. However, not longer than for a one day. You can even stabilize the temperature for unpredictable cases; if you have an isolation material on the back, on the sides, under the tank and maybe within the aquarium cover too. It is enough to have a clear glass only at the face of the tank.
If you have a saltwater aquarium, you have to care about the aquarium equipment naturally. You can’t buy anything what you see at the store. You have to buy a special equipment for the marine tank because if you buy an equipment designed for usage in freshwater tanks it may rust very quickly. The minerals contained in the salt water will attack all the metal parts of the equipment and will destroy it. In special saltwater equipment all the metal parts are replaced by rustles steel, plastic materials, or metal parts are covered by plastic.
Unlike freshwater tanks, marine aquarium needs more and heavy equipment. It is all because saltwater aquariums require stable conditions (the temperature for instance). Mostly, the temperature in your room rises and falls as the time goes by, as years go by and as days go by as well. For example you could notice the temperature about 26Â°C during the Summer, but during the Winter you could see only 18Â°C there. So you canÂ´t rely only on the room heating; at the Summer you need a chiller and during the Winter you need a heater.
The most difficult thing regarding marine tanks is the water filtration. It is not enough to filtrate excrements from the water, you also need a kind of sterilisation. The most suitable types of saltwater filtration is the UV filtration, ozone filtration and the protein skimmer. The UV and the ozone filtration must be be used carefully because they may filter the water too fairly and could result in more harm than profit. For instance, killing too much bacteria so the fish will lose their natural immunity and also the bacteria eliminates nitrates, so that you can lose a natural way of filtration - biological filtration which is just another effective way of cleaning the water. These bacteria live in the substrate so selecting the substrate is very important because bacteria are the cheapest and the most natural way how to keep the water of quality high. You may buy a filter with an aerator, or you can buy the aerator as an standalone product. The aerator has to have a reverse valve so the water will not damage the machine. Also the aerator stone doesn’t have to be grain, because the salt use to choke up. It is very important for two things; The first is that fish need a lot of air in the water and the second one is that there must exist a water stream.
The best option is to buy an electric light, of course isolated from the tank, so the salt will not damage the metal parts. It is the same story with the light as with the water conditions. If you want to have a natural looking aquarium you have to provide a lot of bright light, just like it is on the coral reefs. But such aquarium is full of algae so the water is not crystal clean. Generally, if you want to have a clean water in the tank then you need less light. On the other hand, less light means less algae which is a natural fish’ food. The light should be in the form of long fluorescent tube. If you use normal wolfram bulbs, the water could overheat.
The place and the stand
Another important thing is the place for your aquarium. You have to select the place where the temperature is the most stable during the whole year. If you put the tank near the window, the sun can heat the tank too much in the Summer, and Winters will make it a colder place. Another aspect is the aquarium stand. Usually a marine aquarium is very heavy because of the amount of the water. Also if you want to copy the reef exactly, you need some stones. Another reason why the stand has to be strong. Maybe the stand should be filled out with steel, or it should be made of cement and bricks.
The salinity is a basically the most important factor of keeping marine fish. You can’t just put salt into the water, but also you can’t go to the sea and take some water into the tank. You need a special instant marine water. Usually you buy a bag of it, mix it with the fresh water and than you can put it into the tank. This instant marine water consists of salt, but also of other minerals which marine fish and creatures need. You have to mix all the powder with the water, even if you don’t use all because it might happen that some minerals are only in the one place of the bag and if you do not dissolve it all some important minerals may be missing in the water later.
If you live near the sea you can easily get the decoration right from there. It is natural and for free. The substrate is the home for bacteria, but also some fish find their food at the bottom or they sleep in the sand. Some fish live in anemones and anemones live in rocks. The best option for rocks is the live rock, of course. The bacteria live on such rocks and they clean the water. You can see that choosing the gravel depends on what kind of fish you want to keep in the tank, so before you build up a tank you should know which fish and creatures you are going to raise there.
The behaviour of salt-water fish
The behaviour of marine fish is differs with each species. Some are peaceful and social, and some are very territorial. Some can poison other fish in the aquarium, but they can also harm the human. Some can be venomous too. It is recommended to to keep only one specimen from each species because they are usually very aggressive towards own species, but they are usually peaceful towards other species as well. Many species use to live in shoals at reefs where they can hide, but where they can swim as well. Bear in mind that all hiding places should be as natural as you can create. Usually they are some types of anemones, live rocks, corals or sponges.
If you just bought a new fish, you should simulate similar conditions as they have in their old place. You should ask the seller what conditions they live in in the store’s aquarium, then create such water in your tank and then put the new fish there. It will prevent stress and diseases.
Document created on Tue Nov 13 20:39:47 UTC 2007
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