There was a time not so long ago where the idea of starting a coral reef tank in your house was unimaginable. With the advances in technology, however, it’s not only doable, but it’s actually fairly easy to pull off. We’re seeing an increase in the amount of at-home coral reef tanks, but it’s not something that you can do in just a few minutes. We’re talking about an undertaking much more significant than buying a goldfish and putting it in a plastic tank. If you want to join those that are starting their own coral reef tank, here are five things you need to know first.
5. Location and Size
The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out where your coral reef tank is going to be placed. You don’t want to purchase a large tank and then not have the space for it, after all. You’ll want to pick a spot where you can feasibly place your tank and then measure the area. From there, you’ll be able to determine what size tank you can actually use in that spot. Naturally, the larger the tank, the more effective it’s going to be in the long run, so give yourself plenty of space in your house.
4. Pump It Up
Keeping your coral reef tank clean is going to be vital, and there are plenty of filtration systems and skimmers that will help you along the way. There are a few different filters, with the easiest to use for beginners being the power filter while others include trickle filters and canister filters. Protein skimmers, once you find a good spot for one, will help lighten the filter’s load. Lastly, you’ll need a powerhead that keeps water flowing constantly.
3. Perfect Water
The numbers might seem confusing at first on your water, but there are some essential guidelines to follow. You’ll want to make sure that the alkalinity of your tank’s water is around 10 dKH with the calcium being optimized at 400 ppm and magnesium at 1,300 ppm. The water temperature should be that of room temperature, perhaps a little above depending on your preference, with a setting of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Rock Out
While it might just seem like a decorative item, the type of rock you place into your coral reef tank is extremely important. That’s because fish will want to establish a territory, and certain fish gravitate toward certain rocks. Pick up live rock that has plenty of habitable space so that the fish can tuck away from other groups and get some shut eye. The substrate used in your tank will also have an effect on water quality.
1. The Right Fish
Now that you have everything you need all set up, you have to pick the right fish for your coral reef tank. With that in mind, not every fish that you find is going to be safe for your tank. Some of the best types of fish for your tank include angelfish, gobies, clownfish and surgeonfish. Try to get a nice blend with a lot of different colors to really make your tank stand out, especially when under the right lighting.