AQUARIA How to Set Up Fresh and Salt Water Aquariums
Biotic (Living) Type of Fish, newt, turtle etc. Beneficial Bacteria Live Plants Harmful microorganisms and multicellular organisms Abiotic (Nonliving) Substrate (gravel, crushed coral) Plastic Plants Decorative rocks, caves, or toys Equipment (filters, lights, heaters, etc.) Wastes (EX.Ammonia) Factors to Consider
Step 1 – Select Organism • Select the Organism(s) Determine its needs • It could be fresh or saltwater • Fish • Turtle • Newt • Frog Number of organisms 1inch fish/gallon
Pacu and Oscars Guppies
Step 2 - Equipment • Determine what equipment is needed • Size and shape of tank • Heater or Heat Lamp • Lighting • Filtration System • Stand • Substrate (gravel, crushed coral, sand, dolomite) • Plants, Rocks, Shells etc.
Step 3 – Cleaning the Tank • WASH THE TANK WITH FRESHWATER AND SALT • Note: NEVER USE DETERGENT, SOAP OR CHLORINE BLEACH – THEY ARE DEADLY
Non Iodized Salt or Kosher Salt Paper Towel and Cold Water Cleaning Supplies
Step 4 – Tank Placement • Select a location away from windows, radiators, and air conditioners. • It should be placed in a manner that all equipment should be available for maintenance, cleaning and care of fish
Step 5 – Tank Placement • Place tank on a steady surface that can support the weight. Fresh water ways approximately 8 lbs a gallon, saltwater ways more. FOR EXAMPLE A 10 GALLON WEIGHS OVER 80 LBS. • The stand or support surface should be water resistant
Step 6 – Check for Leaks • Place cardboard underneath tank to cushion it and make it easy to slide • Half fill tank with water, wait 24 hours and observe for leaks
Step 7 – Check for Leaks • Fill to within 1 inch of top, wait 24 hours and observe for leaks
Step 8 - Salt • In a marine tank add marine salt to the water until a density between • 1.017g/ml to 1.020g/ml is reached • Use a hydrometer to measure density In a fresh water tank add one tablespoon of non iodized salt to prevent fungal infections
Step 9- Substrate • Add substrate to a depth of 1 inch Freshwater tanks gravel sand Marine crushed coral dolomite marine sand or living sand
Step 10 - Filtration • Install a filtration system. • To maintain optimal fish health, 3 types of filtration are necessary. • Physical • Biological • Chemical
Step 10 – Physical Filtration • Pads, sponges, floss, sand or other media that remove solid particles from the water. • Removes • Excess food • Wastes • Pieces of fin, scale • Plant matter
Step 10 – Biological Filtration • A biowheel, prefilter media, biosponge, gravel, or sand for beneficial bacteria to grow on. These bacteria break down deadly nitrogenous wastes from living organisms and decaying food. • Bacteria break down • Ammonia (deadly) to Nitrite to Nitrate
Step 10Filtration In a Reef Tank • Living rock provides excellent biological filtration and should always be used in a reef tank.
Step 10 – Chemical Filtration • Activated Carbon removes harmful gases dissolved in water.
Step 11 - Heating • Most fish can only survive within an environment with narrow range of temperature change, usually between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. • To maintain optimal temperature, install a submersible heater
Step 11 - Heating • You need 5 watts per gallon • 10 gallon – 50 watts • 12 gallon – 75 watts • 20 gallon – 100 watts • 25 gallon – 150 watts • 30 gallon – 150 watts • 55 gallon – 300 watts
Step 11 • To install heater safely: • Place unplugged in heater at bottom of tank horizontally for 15 minutes • Then set temperature and plug in heater • Wait 24 hours then measure temperature and adjust heater
Step 12 - Decorations • Organisms need to be in an environment as similar to their natural environment as possible. To accomplish this we put rocks, live plants, caves, shells plastic plants, plastic pipes etc.
Step 12 - Decorations • Adding live plants provides food, 0xygen, a place to hide and lay eggs • Plastic plants provide a place to hide and lay eggs • Rocks, caves, coral, and tubes provide a place to hide • Note: shells, coral and calcareous rocks can only be used in High pH aquariums, mostly marine
Step 13 Cover and lighting • A cover is needed to: • Prevent fish from jumping out of the tank • Slow evaporation • Keep dust out of the tank
Step 13 - Lighting • Only reef tanks and tanks with live plants need daily lighting • Reef tanks need actinic (bluish light) for live coral and anemones and full spectrum white light for plants and algae • Tanks with live plants need 12 hours a day of full spectrum white light.
Step 14 - Selecting Fish • Fish should: • Be active • Have regular breathing pattern • Have clear eyes • Have no torn fins or sores • No fuzzy stuff on body or fins
Step 15 – Catching Fish • Fish should preferably be caught slowly using a container • A net removes the protective slime coat and irritates skin • Try not to stress fish, it suppresses immune system
Step 16 – Acclimating fish • To minimize stress and protect fish • Float bag in new tank for 15 minutes adding small amounts of water to the bag to make the temperatures similar • After fifteen minutes turn open bag sideways and let fish swim out of bag • Observe behavior • May have to rearrange tank so all fish establish new territories
Step 18 - Care of FishFeeding • Determine best diet for organism • Feed small amount – only as much food as fish can eat in 3 minutes then remove excess
Step 18 – Care of Fish Observe and record behavior • Need to establish baseline for comparison • Observe fish for 20 minutes or more for several days • Determine its favorite spot in the tank • Draw a diagram of its body and fins noting markings and coloration • Observe its behavior toward tank mates and their behavior towards it and record
Step 18 – Care of FishObserve and Record Behavior • Observe its gill movements – count and record for 1 minute • Observe its eating pattern and how it eats record in log
Step 19 Care of FishWater Chemistry • Test and Record • pH • Ammonia level • Nitrite level • Maintain ideal levels for optimal health