One of the fundamental keys to a long-term thriving saltwater aquarium lies in the good upkeep of your tank!
Keeping Aquarium water conditions and the environment for your marine life pristine really is the secret to your success over the years. Having a well-maintained aquarium is the best thing you can do to avoid the problems that other less diligent aquarists often experience. This will save you time, money and the stress of replacing your marine pets.
Did you know that the thought of having to maintain a marine aquarium is the major reason people are put off the hobby? But if your aquarium is correctly set up your maintenance will in fact be less than for other pets such as cats or dogs. Saltwater aquarium maintenance can be easy and fast. Even though it is a chore, making a schedule and doing all the daily, weekly and monthly tasks when they need to be done will ultimately make life easier for you and greatly benefit your marine life.
There are a few factors that influence the frequency and amount of maintenance that needs to be done in your aquarium. The first being what filtration you have in place; a canister biological filter will require more cleaning and checking than live rock which uses macro and microscope life to break down waste very effectively. Increasing biological load on your filtration system will require you do more cleaning, water quality testing and changing of media as will quantity and types of foods used, remember; overfeeding is the primary cause of poor water quality.
Using tank janitors such as crabs, shrimp, sea cucumbers, starfish, marine plants, Blennies or Gobies and nitrate, phosphate removers and activated carbon will all reduce maintenance required.
A marine aquarium maintenance schedule is the best way to stay on top of what needs to be done and when. If you have all the tasks written down in checklist form you cant forget what needs to be done and it spaces out and breaks the maintenance up into easy chunks that you will quickly be able to get done. This is much better than the overwhelm of trying to do everything all at once at the last minute (believe me I’ve learned the hard way!). This schedule can include an aquarium log where you can record any details about your marine life, readings and levels this will really help you stay on top of what is going on with the workings of your aquarium.
So what exactly needs to be done and when? Right, maintenance tasks can be broken up into daily, weekly and monthly chores.
Daily tasks would be things like: checking on your marine life, your equipment and the temperature.
Weekly tasks include: topping up evaporated water, water quality testing, checking filter and emptying protein skimmer cups (every few days).
Monthly Tasks include: Partial water changes (although 15% every 2 weeks is better ;), also adding supplements.
So, regular maintenance really is a must for a consistently healthy saltwater aquarium and even though it may seem like there is a lot to do, if you break it all up into a maintenance schedule it really becomes a series of short, manageable tasks that will save you and your marine life a lot of problems in the long run.