After more than a year of ogling the aquariums at Preuss Pets in Lansing, Michigan every chance we got, we finally decided to get started planing a saltwater aquarium. But where to begin? Here are the basic first steps in planning a saltwater aquarium.
Step 1: Research
There are so many questions to be asked, and decisions to be made when beginning this hobby. Simple questions like “How big of an aquarium do we want?” or “Where should we put it?” seem to be fairly easy to make. Other questions like “How does a saltwater aquarium work?” or “What is salinity and how do I maintain it?” take much more reading and research to answer. So the first step of this hobby is to plan not only the basic logistics, but also to learn about the entire process. To do this we are scouring the Internet and talking with other saltwater aquarists, as well as reading books about the subject. These are the books so far we are finding very helpful.
Step 2: Decide what size aquarium you would like to have:
A decision we have made for sure is the size of the aquarium. Preuss Pets has a variety of tank sizes set up, from small BioCubes with only a few fish, to massive tanks with countless inhabitants. We have decided on a 75 gallon tank, not only for its size, as we wanted a tank of substantial size, but for maintenance reasons as well. Tanks under 55 gallons require more maintenance and care. Also, water quality deteriorates faster in smaller tanks, requiring more cleaning and water changes.
Step 3: Where to put your aquarium:
So far we have learned that even a simple question like “Where should we put the aquarium?” has a very specific answer, and if we did not do our research beforehand, we would end up moving a potentially large aquarium to another location, which could be quite inconvenient. Turns out that direct sunlight can increase the temperature of your tank and promotes unwanted algae growth. Good to know!
We have decided to put our aquarium in the dining room, next to the sliding glass door. It will be out of direct sunlight, is easily seen from the dining room and kitchen, has outlets nearby, and will be against a bearing wall.
Planning a saltwater aquarium begins not only with research about the subject itself, but with decisions such as aquarium size and placement. It is easy to get carried away deciding what types of fish and coral you want in your aquarium before even deciding what size aquarium will fit your home, and how often you are home to maintain it. Make sure to take even the smallest considerations into account when planning a saltwater aquarium.