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Nano Saltwater Tank Setup, Part 3

Online Aquarium Fish Magazine | Nano Saltwater Tank Setup, Part 3


Nano Tank Setup Now that you know what you wish to keep in your tank and have possibly bought all your equipment, we can discuss setting up the tank and getting it ready. I do not believe I mentioned it before, but in a saltwater tank it is best to use as pure water as possible, especially to avoid algae. Many people buy their own RO units which makes the water pure, but for a nano tank buying RO water or distilled water is feasible. RO water is preferred, but distilled water will do.

Setting up the Tank:

Setting up a saltwater tank is not very different than a freshwater tank setup. You will need to pick a location in your home, preferably away from lots of sunlight. Once you have a location for your tank you may begin putting the equipment in it the way you wish. You can put in your heater, filter, power heads, etc. Since you will be putting a sizeable investment into this tank it would not be a bad idea to use a battery back-up or surge protector.

Once the equipment has been put in the tank, you can fill the tank up about halfway, turn your heater on, and bring the temperature of the water up to the desired level (this step is for those using liverock or fake rock, if you are not using liverock or fake rock in your tank and only having fish you can fill the tank up almost all the way, make sure to leave room for water displacement if using any decorations). Make sure the heater is covered with enough water according to the directions on the heater. Once the water is at the correct temperature you may add enough salt mix according to the directions. Make sure the power heads are submerged completely then turn them on to mix up the salt. You may also turn your filter on if you are using one and if it will work with the tank half full.

You should let the water mix for at least 24 hours or more before adding live rock to the tank. Along with preparing the water in your tank you should prepare more saltwater in your five gallon bucket. You can use this water to finish filling your tank up after adding live rock into the tank. Once you have saltwater mixing in your tank and bucket, you can clean up and get ready for when you will add stuff to your tank.

After 24hours

After the first day you can now add your live rock, fake rock, or anything else you may wish to add. Before you do, you will want to make sure you have your salt balanced correctly according to what you plan on keeping, 1.024 is a good place to start. If it is around there you are ok to add your rock, if it isn't add some water or salt before adding your rock. Have an idea once you have bought your rock and can see what you have to work with how you would like to add it to your tank. After you have added your rock to your tank you may put your substrate in your tank carefully around the rock if you are adding substrate. After you have added your substrate and rock it may take a few days for every thing to settle.

Time to wait again:

Once rock and substrate has been added you have to wait about 2 weeks if the rock is fully cured, 4 or more weeks if it is partially or not cured. During this time you can test your water and wait until the nitrite and ammonia are at zero, nitrates 10 or below, and pH about 8.2. In the next issue I will discuss about what to do once your tank is cycled.

About the Author:

My name is Austin or atmachine on the forum. I run cross country and track for my school and also enjoy reading, paintball, and of course keeping fish. I have a 29 US gallon freshwater tank along with a 5.5 US gallon saltwater tank. My fish and inverts that I keep include guppies, angels, bettas, otos, plecos, rasboras, gobie, shrimp, snails, crabs, mushrooms, polyps, and feather dusters.

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