Saltwater Aquariums: Not for the Impatient

So a brand new section to the site, my adventures with a new hobby: saltwater aquariums.  Friday I bought a 20 gallon tank with stand, lights, sump, protein skimmer, heater, sand, salt (not regular table salt!) and live rock.  Now I have an awesome tank . . . with rocks in it.  This is absolutely an endurance game, and if you’ve spent 5 minutes with me, you know patience is not my forte.

Saltwater tanks have to “mature.”  Since it is a closed biological system, you do have to carefully balance the mini-ecosystem.  That means no ammonia, nitrites, phosphates, etc. that are deadly to marine life.  With any luck, I will be adding some crabs and shrimps within the week once I get some algae growth (a good sign that biological filtration is ready), and have a fully stocked tank in a few months.  This tank is being constructed as a “reef tank,” so hopefully we will get to see some great colored corals, polyps, fungus, assorted invertebrates and fish.  I’ve got a few votes for a Nemo and Dorry fish, if I hear “Bubbles!” one more time out of my “housemate” over here I might go postal.

Currently I am on hour 36 since adding my live sand to the tank.  It takes a solid 48 hours for the particles to completely clear and settle, it has truly been an exercise for my OCD.  I have added two photos for your amusement from my iPhone at various levels of settlement.  For all you wise guys out there, at the moment, yes I have pet rocks with helpful bacteria.  Bite me.

Big thanks to two very helpful books.  I would highly recommend both for anyone considering taking the plunge.  It is not a cheap hobby and it does require some time, but for anyone who enjoys the ocean like myself but finds their dive gear a little dusty from the hustle and bustle of mid-twenties life, I think it will be very rewarding!

Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies, Gregory Skomal, PhD

Natural Reef Aquariums: Simplified Approaches to Creating Living Saltwater Microcosms, John H. Tullock

Not a cool tank

Not a cool tank


Much better.

Much better.

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One Response to “Saltwater Aquariums: Not for the Impatient”

  1. Working out, shower, bank, then chilling with a super chill skimmer brooo.

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