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1. 29-55 Gallon Marine Fish Tank
The following guidelines and product selections will help you successfully create a "fish only" or fish and non-light-sensitive invertebrate aquarium. The guidelines and product selections are applicable to tanks from 20 gallons up to 55 gallon. When considering a saltwater aquarium, always remember the price of added filtration will easily pay for itself in fewer fish losses and less labor to keep the aquarium clean. In some cases, the recommendations include a second option. Since every aquarium is placed somewhere different and physical space limitations may be a factor, other viable choices appear for specific purposes where applicable.

Choose one from a local dealer where you'll buy fish. Since this is the vessel that keeps your your fish alive and your spouse from killing you for damaging the floors, be willing to pay a little more for a quality name brand such as All Glass Aquarium Inc., or Oceanic.

Hood/Lighted Hood
Only purchase an aquarium with a glass top. Plastic hoods are not acceptable for saltwater setups. Plastic hoods limit the ability to add extra lighting and do not prevent "saltwater creep" from causing a mess. Standard lighting fixtures are acceptable but opt for higher quality lamps such as the Marquis fixtures by Aquatic Life . These great fixtures are available in configurations bright enough to keep corals and they look great.

Stand or Cabinet
Make sure the cabinet is properly constructed for handling up to 10lbs per gallon of water. If something other than an aquarium stand is used, it should be able to support the weight and hold the entire rim of the aquarium bottom level with no spaces between the rim and the support.


Whale 3 Canister Filter
The Whale 3 Canister Filter is ideal for any aquarium and features an easy start up system. With a large filtration volume this range guarantees crystal clear water with silent operation.

• NEW! Unique and practical concept of self priming system
• Ready to use and easy to set-up: complete with accessories and high performance filter media
• 2 year warranty
• For fresh and salt water aquariums
• Spacious removable media baskets for biological, mechanical, and chemical filter media
• No wet hands with floating media baskets
• SICCE ENERGY EFFICIENT - lowest energy consumption

Whale 3:
Flow rate: 264gph
Tank capacity: 50-90 gal
Power absorption: 16w
Head max: 5.25ft
Canister volume: 1.8 gal
Baskets: 3
Tube length: 6ft
Tube diameter: 5/8-15/16
Includes: Bioker, Akuapure, Akuaclear, Fine sponge block, and coarse sponge block

Because of space limitations often associated with smaller saltwater aquariums, a good alternative to a canister filter is a hanging box filter like the
Sea Chem Tidal 55 or Tidal 75 combined with a small protein skimmer. The CoralLife BioCube Protein Skimmer is a good choice.

Aeration is critical in saltwater, especially when using a canister filter. With an airstone, the
Danner Aqua Supreme Air Pump AP-3 is an excellent choice.

• Hydrometer
This important instrument is used to measure the salt concentration (salinity or specific gravity) of the aquarium water. A good economical and accurate choice is the Fluval Sea Hydrometer.

  • Synthetic Sea Salt
Vibrant Sea Salt Mix, 60# box - Vibrant Sea is a highly concentrated blend of salts formulated for marine and reef aquariums that contains all essential major, minor, and trace components found in natural seawaters, plus the added advantage of enhanced potassium levels. Its formulation is ideal for the reef environment and will provide accurate seawater concentrations of magnesium, calcium, and strontium with proper alkalinity and pH for closed reef aquarium systems. Vibrant Sea is an anhydrous salt, which allows for unparalleled uniformity from batch to batch as well as the ability to produce more saltwater from less salt.

For saltwater enthusiasts with an interest in a more precise and sophisticated instrument to measure salinity, the AquaLife Refractometer with automatic temperature compensation is a consideration.

• Substrate
20lbs Choose a CaribSea product. Natural, calcium based substrates are best for saltwater aquariums. A good rule of thumb is 1lb of substrate per gallon of water.

• Heater
Fluval E 200watt Electronic Heater
• Always add a high quality dechlorinator anytime tap water is added to the tank. AquaLife Complete is an excellent product that not only dechlorinates but adds important elements to maintain slime coat integrity and reduce stress. AquaLife Complete also detoxifies chloramines if they are present.

• Algae Scrubber
AquaBlade Scraper for glass
MagFloat 30 for glass

MagFloat also makes cleaners for acrylic tanks.
• Starting Bacteria Culture
Use Activate Saltwater. Seeded biological media is sometimes available to speed up the cycling process. Super Porous Filter Media is an excellent media for this purpose.

• Fish Net
Hagen 8" Net with 12" handle
• Thermometer
Hagen Thermometer, Floating


• Never underestimate the importance of water testing. Fish trapped in water with even small amounts of ammonia and nitrite can die within hours. Water test on a regular basis and be prepared to act quickly is something goes wrong. A
Saltwater Master Test Kit contains accurate testing supplies for pH, ammonia and nitrite.
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• Fish Food
Nutrition is second only to filtration in importance. Saltwater fish should be fed 80% frozen foods since these foods most closely match their natural diet.

• Do not overfeed the fish. Feed fish only what they will eat in two to three minutes 1-2 times per day. Vary the diet. Different types of frozen foods from
Ocean Nutrition and San Francisco Bay with VitaChem dripped on them combined with occasional feedings of SERA foods will ensure the health, longevity and color of your fish. It is important to try and duplicate the foods eaten in the wild.

AquaLife CSPro Flake and Stick Foods
Formulated from the best ingredients, and fortified with vitamins and probiotics, CS PRO foods offer a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)] together with astaxanthin, for healthy growth and maximum coloration. Plus, every batch is packed with a triple dose of immune-boosting vitamins.
• All-in-one formulation: complete nutrition, omega-3s, and vitamins
• Great for all fish, both freshwater and saltwater
• Rich in color-enhancing astaxanthin
• Scientifically formulated in line with the latest research
• Highly digestible, all-natural ingredients with NO preservatives
• Will not cloud water

• Do a 25% water change monthly or a 10% water change twice a month. Remember to dechlorinate the water and adjust it to the same temperature as the aquarium water.

• The pH should be 8.2 High quality salt such as
Fritz RPM has added buffers and with proper water changes, pH should be stable. Aquavitro Salinity is sold only at local authorized dealers, like our local store. For other high quality salts available online, see Vibrant Sea Salt Mix . However, if water changes are being done and pH is a problem, use Marine Buffer by SeaChem. Further information is available on water parameters in the Log Sheet section.

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Further Reading:
9. Mixing Saltwater
11. Supplements & Additives
12. Understanding the Nitrogen Cycle

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