By Jeremy Richards on Monday, April 25th, 2016 in Custom Builds
A saltwater aquarium can be a beautiful addition to your home or office, and it can offer many health benefits. Watching the fish swim in and out of the grass and coral can lower your heart rate and blood pressure and decrease stress and negative emotions.
With a saltwater aquarium, you also get the benefit of being able to enjoy more exotic fish types, as well as colorful coral. A freshwater tank is more limited in options for plant and fish types. Plus, in Gilbert, you don’t have the benefit of seeing the ocean. So having a saltwater aquarium lets you enjoy a piece of it every day.
Despite the many benefits of having a saltwater tank, there are still many myths about a custom fish tank build that keep people from taking the plunge. Here are a few of the top myths — debunked by the truth:
Many people are intimidated by all that goes into owning a saltwater aquarium, including selecting the fish, sourcing or growing live rock or sand, maintaining the right ratio of nutrients and water salinity, cleaning the tank, and more. But saltwater aquarium maintenance need not be difficult. There may be a bit of a learning curve in the beginning, but you will quickly get the hang of it.
If you’re really struggling, you can work with a professional on your Gilbert custom fish tank build, ensuring that everything is set up properly to start. You can then have someone come into to perform the regular Gilbert maintenance and give you tips along the way.
Saltwater tanks need the right balance of nitrobacter and nitrosoma bacteria to keep the fish, plants and rock healthy. Most people believe that it takes six weeks to reach that balance, but you can actually achieve it in under a day with the right addition of live rock, live sand or bacterial additives.
The truth is that only some changes in the water can be harmful to the fish. Big changes to the salinity level, PH (measuring acid or neutrality), or temperature can all be harmful.
However, removing huge amounts of nitrates from the water at once is not harmful.
Many believe that using Bio-Balls or other wet/dry filters will cause excessive nitrates in their tank. While it’s true that these filters can trap debris that can break down and produce nitrates, the filters are not a problem if they are cleaned regularly. But that’s something you should be doing already with your regular saltwater aquarium maintenance.
A build up of nitrates in your tank can be harmful to the fish and other elements. Many people believe that completely changing out the water is the only way to reduce nitrates when they have reach a harmful level. However, you can actually use algae, mangroves, a denitrator unit, nitrate absorbing products, and either live rock or live sand in conjunction with a filter.
Using one of these other methods can save you significant time and simplify your saltwater aquarium maintenance.
Certain fish and plants are more sensitive to nitrates than others, and for some reason, a myth persists that tangs (surgeonfish) are among them. However, it is has been shown that tangs can actually endure several hundred ppm of nitrate levels for extended periods of time with no ill effects.
It is important that you research the needs of all types of fish, plants and bacteria in your tank so you can better understand the care you need to provide.
Most coral are taken from reefs that are in much more tropical climates. That means that they not only survive but thrive in temperatures often far above 78 degrees.
You can keep your saltwater aquarium at a higher temperature. Again, what’s more important than an arbitrary guideline is to thoroughly research the needs of the livestock in your tank to know exactly what kind of environment they need.
Coral Banded Shrimp are scavengers and parasite pickers. Sometimes, they eat from the rocks or other decor in the tank. Sometimes, they attack other shrimp, but they don’t usually attack other fish.
People often think that the shrimp have attacked their fish because they see the shrimp eating a dead fish at the bottom of the tank. But correlation is not cause. The shrimp is usually eating the fish because it is a scavenger and found the corpse — good eats! — not because it killed the fish to get the corpse.
Popeye isn’t a miniature sailor who appears in your tank with huge biceps. It’s a condition that causes the eyes on your fish to literally pop out. Not pleasant.
Popeye isn’t caused by microbubbles, and we’re not sure how this myth got started. Popeye is caused by bacterial infections in the eye. Exposure to ammonia and physical trauma can cause the infection to form.
Working with the professionals at The Happy Fish can help you understand the truth about all aspects of your saltwater aquarium maintenance and what’s really required to set up a healthy tank. We can perform the custom fish tank build for you, or we can consult on the design or the installation. If you already have a tank and needs some help, we can overhaul it or repair it. We can diagnose and correct issues with the PH balance, arrangement of rocks and decor, and the fish population. Maintaining a saltwater aquarium is a fun and rewarding hobby. Call us today to get the help you need to enjoy your tank.