Jack Baty

Director of Unspecified Services

My first salt-water-aquarium

2022-07-15

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. “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. I added a powerhead pump for better flow, and waited. I had to buy water!

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

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

Here he is in my tank:

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

Isn’t he cute! (All clowns are born male…and cute). Since Marcus seemed to be doing well, I added another fish yesterday: A Bicolor Blenny. We named this one “Benny”. (I know).

 Bi-color Blenny
Bi-color Blenny

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 dripping water from the aquarium into his water from the local fish store (Water Colors Aquarium Gallery)

 Acclimating Benny
Acclimating Benny

I also added a couple of Astrea snails in anticipation of algae growth. I’ll need a lot more of these eventually.

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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