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Aquarium Maintenance Basics

by David Rains
Aquarium Maintenance Basics

Maintaining a reef tank can be a daunting task, but as long as you keep up with routine maintenance tasks, you'll be just fine. To keep your reef tank healthy and the inhabitants comfortable, you have to create and keep up with your maintenance tasks. It's important to note that taking care of a reef tank in some situations may be more complicated than taking care of traditional saltwater aquariums due to the specific and often varied needs of your tank's inhabitants. Reef maintenance is something anyone can do if you're willing to take the time and learn how. 

Below is a basic maintenance checklist that makes sure you're consistently covering the essentials of basic tank maintenance. 

1. Feeding and Observation - Daily

First, it's important to note that you may not need to feed the coral in your tank daily, and it will often take you several weeks to figure out the proper feeding schedule. This brings us to the next part, observation. Every day, you should take a few minutes to observe your tank thoroughly, take stock of what you see, and make sure everything looks healthy and disease-free.

2. Test the Water - Weekly

When you first set up a tank, you will test for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. Once you have reached zero ammonia and zero nitrites, you are ready to add fish. If you have an established reef aquarium and you’re trying to make sure it is in line, you will need to test calcium, alkalinity, magnesium, phosphates and nitrates.

3. Perform Water Changes – Bi-Monthly

You should replace the water in your tanks twice a month. You'll need to prepare your saltwater 24 hours before you perform the water change. You should carefully check the salinity to make sure it matches that of your tank. Do your best also to match water temperature to maintain the temp of your tank.

4. Clean Tank Equipment – Quarterly

Multiple times a year, you're going to need to disassemble critical pieces of your equipment for cleaning so they run correctly. Make sure not to clean all of your equipment at one time. If you clean too much of your tank at once, you can harm the beneficial bacteria in your tank.

5. Make a Schedule

The most important thing you can do is make an actual schedule for yourself. It will help you keep track of what you have and haven't done. It's also a great way to note any changes you observe in your tank.


Still not quite sure how to maintain your tank? Contact us today with any questions you may have; we're happy to help. 

by David Rains

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