Photograph by Blane Perun

Basics

When setting up your reef tank, there are number of basic requirements and other additional reef aquarium supplies to consider when putting together your tank. First, consider the required equipment and essential components.

Naturally, the first thing you need is an aquarium or tank in the size and style you desire. Reef aquariums usually come in glass or acrylic. You might also want to consider where to display the tank and the proximity to electricity sources for lighting and filtration. Next, you will need to consider a lighting system. This will depend on what type of fish and coral you have in your tank – it is smart to figure out what livestock you will have in your tank before selecting a lighting system. Also, some tanks require a heater.

Often the heat from the lights can provide help in this department. Most corals and salt water sea life need water temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees so therefore you will need a heater to maintain this warm water level. To ensure the temperature in the tank, it is useful to invest in a thermometer.

After deciding the size and lighting system, you will need to think about the filters and filtration system as part of the aquarium supplies. Like the lighting, there are a number of things to consider. Some newer tanks come installed with a filtration system, but generally, there are three options for filtration systems in saltwater tanks: biological, mechanical and chemical.

The filtration systems are essential for removing toxins from the water that can be harmful to the inhabitants. Moving on, the next item to consider is the substrate or what type of surface or material to line the tank with. The general choices are live or not living. Some creatures will eat the substrate, so it is important to consider this when picking the substrate.

A reef tank also needs shelter for its livestock on its checklist of important tank reef aquarium supplies. Generally, fish are very territorial. In considering the rock and coral of a tank, be sure to have plenty of space for animals to hide, sleep and get away from possible aggressors in your tank.

Of course, a reef tank needs sea salt mixes to make freshwater into a salt water environment suitable for these types of corals and fish. You want to look for a combination that is as close to natural sea water as possible without impurities and added chemicals. Moreover, you will need test kits and hydrometers to determine the salinity in the water and the pH levels.

While the above elements are the basics of a reef tank, most saltwater corals and fish respond well to calcium supplements and other trace chemicals that can be added to the tank on a regular basis. It is helpful to have various plastic buckets and containers as well as cleaning tools for maintaining your reef tank.

Blane Perun

Blane Perun

Diver - Photographer - Traveler

Whale in Ocean