How do I start a marine fish tank?

I see that the marine fish tank is so gorgeous and Im thinking of having one for myself. What are the considerations in order to take up this hobby? Is it high maintenance?

sazli Asked on October 2, 2015 in Hobby.
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5 Answer(s)

Hobbies play a big role in the well being of people these days where it provides a channel of recreation, rejuvenation and many a times, a channel of expression as well. Marine fish keeping is one of the hobbies in today’s world where people find peace and tranquility by keeping the fishes for their beauty, calmness and satisfaction. Keeping marine fish differs from the usual freshwater fish keeping in most ways.

Apart from the species which are different, the dynamics of marine fishkeeping also differs considerably. This starts from the fundamentals to the selection of the entire eco-system of the hobby. A marine aquarium which is effective will require more sophisticated equipments as compared to the more conventional freshwater fishkeeping. Generally, marine fishes are more colourful and in most ways more beautiful and hence more attention need to be put into this hobby in every sense.

The major components used in marine fishkeeping are usually glass or acrylic and there must be a water filtration equipment as well as proper lighting and a heater for the aquarium too. Tanks used in this type of fishkeeping usually range from less than 80 liters to more than 1,200 liters which are governed by what type of fish you intend to keep.


Types of marine fish aquariums

If you are a marine fish hobbyist or is thinking of starting one, then you must be well versed with your tools and what you need. The most important thing that you must first consider is the very living environment of your fishes, the aquarium, sometimes refer to as the tank. The marine aquarium is not only the place to keep you fishes but also to keep the marine plants so that you can create a conducive environment to co-exist and live in. Where this is concerned, it is important to know what you want to keep in order to get the right size, environment and type of aquariums.

There are a few types of tanks which are largely dependent on their intentions. It could be FO or fish onl, FOWLR or fish only with live rock or reef aquaria. FOs usually keep the larger fishes which are usually more aggressive which means that the smaller fishes will not be able to live in the same tank. FO tanks usually use chemical or manufactured material. FOWLR and reef tanks on the other hand as the name suggests use live rocks which is a material made up of coral skeletons that produces nitrogen waste metabolizing bacteria which is a method where natural biological filtration is created.

johan Answered on October 2, 2015.
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Filtration and lighting

2 of the most important elements in marine fish keeping are the filtration and the lighting system.  Filtration systems in marine fishkeeping are way more complicated as compared to freshwater fish keeping. There are wet and dry filters as well as protein skimmers in marine fish hobbies where the latter are basically used to remove any organic compounds which could be found before degradation happened. In aquariums practicing the Berlin method that very much uses live rocks, protein skimming too are very common.

Sumps are sometimes used where a water pump in the aquarium is connected to an external container which normally is placed below the tank. A refugium is also sometimes used which come in the form of either containers or small aquariums also placed beneath or behind the main aquarium and then connected to a water pump.

In terms of lighting, it could be slightly tricky as they are used not only for aesthetics purposes but also governs the day and night for the fishes. This is very important to them because it will slowly form a routine for the fishes so that they are aware of when to rest and when to be active. This is called regular cyclical lighting. Other types include Incandescent Lighting, Standard Fluorescent Lighting as well as Higher Output Fluorescent Lighting.

johan Answered on October 2, 2015.
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Common terms in marine fish keeping

In the marine fish hobby, there are many things that you need to consider and you must know. First of all, tropical marine is the most common types of tanks used. This is where fish species used in this hobby are those found in the seas around the tropical climate countries. As a lot of Asian countries are well known for their scuba diving and snorkeling sites, you will find that there are in fact many variety of species in this segment.

Temperate marine which is also known as coldwater marine are those that are able to keep fish species from the older climates which range from 10 to 25C. Among species which are renowned from these parts of the world include the ornate cowfish and the dahlia anemones. Compared to tropical marine fishes, temperature marine fishes are harder to keep and require more attention as well diet like blackfishes and such.

Live rocks are typically, rocks which are found in the seas and those that have so-called ‘lived’ there. They are usually made of limestone and coral skeletons which have decomposed and naturally beautiful as they are covered with algae, coralline and tiny invertebrates which are helpful to the fishes.

johan Answered on October 2, 2015.
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History of Marine fishkeeping

Marine fishkeeping has had a long history and dates back to the times of the Roman when they were recorded to keep Venetian glass jars for their anemones to be put outdoors. It was not until the 1950s that the first personal saltwater fish keeping began using the standard rectangular aquariums. This is still very much how saltwater fishes are kept today and remain as one of the more popular hobbies around. The few common marine fishes which are being kept at the homes include the sergeant major damselfish, the percula clownfish and the jeweled blennies.

Unlike how it is practiced today, saltwater was previously collected from the beach fronts as it was considered to be natural and most suitable. However, it was found that the natural saltwater, despite containing the natural nutrients also contained organisms and pollutants which might not be needed. Since it is not always easily accessible, hobbyists have since started using so-called ‘artificial’ saltwater which are manufactured and mixed to be as natural as possible to ensure a suitable living environment within the aquariums. Apart from the water, the lighting, the surrounding environment as well as the plants used inside the aquariums too play integral roles to ensure the wellbeing of the fishes.

johan Answered on October 2, 2015.
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Types of fish

Clownfish in Marine Tank

Clownfish are related to damsels, and are fairly tough. However, cownfish are more difficult to acclimate to any new tank. Clownfish are very territorial, but are not otherwise aggressive except to other clownfish. They will do fine without anemone, which is good since anemones are much more difficult to keep because anemones require very clean water and high amount and quality of lighting.

Also, each species of clownfish likes particular species of anemones, and none of them will regularly inhabit the inexpensive and easier to maintain Caribbean anemones. Some clownfish are captive raised.

Damsels for marine tank

Damsels are the best beginner fish for a marine tank. Damsels are very tough, being able to withstand worse water conditions than most other marine fishes, not picky eaters and damsels are fairly inexpensive. The down-side is that they are fairly aggressive and because of this, one or two will co-exist in a tank.
Fighting will occur if you put more damsels into one tank. Most fish dealers get away with a lot in their tanks by keeping the tanks so crowded that most of the fish can establish a territory and this is not advisable for long periods of time. It is best to use damsels to break in a new tank.

If you are then going to add other aggressive fish, you can keep the damsels. If you want to keep shy or delicate fish, you should bring the damsels back to the pet store once you and your tank are ready for more fish. There are other damsels such as the blue damsel and yellow tailed damsels which are not as aggressive as others, such as the three striped and domino damsels. In any case, damsels are definitely the best fish to start with for your marine tank.

johan Answered on October 2, 2015.
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