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Hobby - marine aquarium
The marine aquarium is a hobby for people who appreciate the vibrant beauty and exotic style of the aquatic world. Having such a miracle at home can be a cherished dream for avid aquarists, but the complexity of the content and equipment can be a big obstacle. Can only a professional make a marine aquarium?
At first it all seems so complicated that it is not surprising that home seas are so rare in apartments. But if you approach the matter responsibly and fully understand the basic principles, then you will be able to complete the task. And if you are thinking of creating a marine aquarium with your own hands, we have prepared some basic information for you.
Equipment for a marine aquarium
The first important purchase will, of course, be the tank itself. Its shape can be different, most often it is a container with a base in the form of a square, rectangle, less often there are forms with a convex front (overview) wall. Displacement matters - at least 200 liters are required, preferably 400 and even more. Do not be tempted by 50 and 100 liters - marine animals get sick and die in them.
Probably the most important purchase will be an external canister filter. Experienced aquarists recommend Eheim 2260 or 2250 and Fluval 403 or 303. You will also need special filler materials such as ceramic chips, charcoal and a sponge.
Buy a thermostat, a skimmer (foam removal apparatus), as well as a pump or pump filter - this is an apparatus for saturating water with oxygen, and in combination with a filter, there is also a waste removal mechanism.
Be sure to ground the aquarium: buy an RCD (residual current device) and call an electrician who will lead it out and connect it correctly.
The next purchase is a supply of coal and salt, bacterial preparations, acidity tests, a simple hydrometer (a float that shows how dense the water is) and a siphon to clean the bottom.
If funds permit, take another UV lamp with a power of 15 watts and a large canister (about 50 liters) to dilute salt in it.
The first month caring for the aquarium will require significant costs and efforts, and then everything will become much easier - daily feeding and about an hour a week for equipment maintenance.
Before starting such a hobby, it will be correct to read as much literature on this topic as possible, so that at first there is no additionalspeed up common mistakes.
Well, the main points of the plan, how to make a marine aquarium yourself, will be provided by our step-by-step guide:
- assemble the tank, install the main decorative elements, connect the switched off filters, filling them with fillers, conduct grounding;
- fill the tank with tap water, stand for 24 hours, drain;
- fill with tap water three quarters of the way, turn on the filters, heating (25-26 ° C) and the pump, stand the system for seven days;
- turn off the devices, clean the filter from the carbon filler and add a new portion, add sea salt to the water (37 grams of salt for 1 liter of water);
- turn on the pump to mix and dissolve the salt, then turn off;
- when the water has settled, clean the bottom with a siphon - there will be a cloudy sediment, it needs to be removed;
- install soil and add all the algae and decorations you have (stones, houses, shells);
- measure the density of water with a hydrometer, bring the indicator to 1'022-1'024 g / l, adding either fresh water or salt solution, at the same time fill the tank almost to the edges (indent from the top edge 4-5 cm);
- wait a week for the water to settle, but after about three days, turn on the filters, pump, skimmer and heating, add a bacterial preparation or live rocks (reefs);
- a week has passed, bacteria have decomposed dead organic matter, and the filters have purified the water;
- check the content of ammonium, nitrites and phosphorus with a test, as well as the acid-base balance (the norm of the first is not more than 0.5 mg per liter, the second is not less than 8.0);
- if the indicators deviate, it means that the decay is not over yet, simply put, something is rotting in the water - you need to find and remove it (remove and clean all the stones and decorations);
- when all indicators are normal, you can launch the first settlers - fish, 2-3 small individuals;
- at this stage, you need to check the indicators daily and carry out water changes until the bacteria colonize the contents of the aquarium and can completely process the fish waste;
- when the process is established, launch new fish, 1-2 per week, carefully checking the indicators with tests, changing the water;
- everything is gradually getting back on track, and in three months you will have a reliable biosystem!
Stones for a marine aquarium
Such stones are also called living, since they are genuine fragments of coral reefs from the ocean, and numerous colonies of beneficial bacteria live in their cavities. Some specimens have on their surface real thickets of polyps (anemones), and inside - small crustaceans, crabs and sea worms. You need to get rid of such guests, moreover, do it on time.
We do not want to scare you, but in marine aquariums without your control, life can go on like in the presentthe oceans - some eat others, others parasitize on all living things. Learn how to install live rock, namely how to get rid of carnivorous anemones, poisonous cones and murex snails, sacculin crayfish, predatory shrimp and all types of worms.
Bringing the purchased stones home, they should be processed - washed under running hot water, always wearing strong gloves, as the listed types of unwanted inhabitants leave painful and dangerous burns and bites.
Having installed the stones, observe life in it in the dark - hungry and active passengers will soon find themselves. At the stage of dealing with them, use special medicines or remove the animals with tweezers.
A few more words about the second favorite decorative element - seashells in the aquarium. Decorating the seabed, they are completely unsuitable for our purposes, but beginners often want to use them - it's beautiful!
The main reason to ditch seashells is the hardness of the water, which invariably grows due to these sources of calcium carbonate (essentially chalk). Not all aquarium fish will get sick and die, their possible proximity to shells depends on the species, but they probably will not be able to reproduce.
Fish for a marine aquarium
To make your home sea delight not only with its bright beauty, but also with a peaceful atmosphere, populate the reservoir with medium-sized and non-aggressive species. As new species are introduced, study the literature to find out which ones get along easily and which ones conflict.
If you decide to keep exotic predatory fish, you will have to limit yourself to one species so as not to turn your aquarium into a torture chamber. But don't be confused, there is no exaggeration in the selection of fish.
Check out the variety of marine aquarium inhabitants:
- hedgehog fish (no neighbors);
- soldier fish;
- angels: centropigus, diacanthus and about 20 other subspecies;
- moray eels (no neighbors);
- fox fish;
- wide family of butterfly fish;
- zebrasoma and other surgeon fish;
- clown fish;
- dogs (no neighbors);
- bulls and many others.
Life expectancy is different for everyone, but with good care, successful acclimatization and timely treatment, most species live for 3-4 or about 10 years, and angel fish are all twenty.
Naturally, from the first days it will be necessary to take care of feeding for the fish, given that different species feed in different ways: there are herbivores, carnivores and omnivores, and some, for example, squirrel fish, eat exclusively live food. Choose the inhabitants soto make it easier to compose a diet for most or all at once.
Don't be fooled that you can dig up worms, feed houseflies, or get by with bread crumbs. For marine fish, branded food is not a whim, but a necessity, so be aware of your responsibility to animals and be prepared to constantly buy good food of a certain type.
So, you understand that this hobby requires cost, attention and diligence. Make it your goal to get it right from the start, but don't be discouraged if something goes wrong - the experience for every aquarist is profitable. We wish you every success in this wonderful and exciting hobby!