July 8, 2022

My first salt-water aquarium

When I was a kid I kept a small, fresh-water aquarium. It was fun, but I always knew that the really cool fish lived in salt water. Fast forward 40 years or so and I’ve finally put together a salt-water reef” aquarium.

I’ve started small because there seems to be quite a percentage of people who bail on them within the first year or so. I want to be sure it sticks before spending tons of money and going all-in.

I went with the beginner” BioCube 32. I set the tank up the first week of June. Added live” rock and sand. Put in an additional powerhead pump for better flow, and waited. Aquascaping” the aquarium was fun. I think I have a configuration that looks nice and also leaves plenty of nooks and crannies for critters to hide in.

New tanks need to go through an initial Nitrogen cycle before adding any fish or corals. Using live rocks and sand helps move this along. I tested my water for Ammonia and Nitrites every day or two, and after two weeks it was ready.

I bought my first fish, an Ocellaris Clownfish, on July 3rd. Clowns are everyone’s first fish. They’re cool and easy to care for, so why not? Mine is a designer” Black Clown. We named him Marcus” for no particular reason.

Marcus the Clownfish in his new homeMarcus the Clownfish in his new home

Isn’t he cute! (All clowns are born male).

Since Marcus seemed to be doing well, I added another fish yesterday. A Bicolor Blenny. We named this one Benny”. (I know).

Bicolor Blenny (Photo Wikipidia)Bicolor Blenny (Photo Wikipidia)

I haven’t taken a photo of him yet because he’s still hiding in a hole on the rocks. I did take a snap while acclimating him. Acclimation involves slowly adding water (drip by drip) from my aquarium into his water from the local fish store (Water Colors Aquarium Gallery)

Acclimating BennyAcclimating Benny

I also added a couple of Astrea snails in anticipation of algae growth.

Astrea snailAstrea snail

So far, so good. There’s a lot to learn about keeping a reef tank. Water parameters are critical, especially with coral. I can’t wait to start adding coral! There are feeding issues, cleaning, filtering, diseases, livestock problems, and on and on. It’s awesome so far. I love fish!


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