Aquarium Maintenance in a Nutshell.
When it comes to aquarium maintenance its hard to generalize information so that is useful for everyone because no two aquariums are the same. If you were to set up two aquariums with the same materials at the same time and both of them could have completely different results as well as maintenance needs. The Information you will find here is a generalization of maintenance for the common saltwater aquarium.
Free Download Aquarium Maintenance Checklist (PDF file)
Daily Aquarium Maintenance:
- Cleaning The Glass or Acrylic: Cleaning the sides of the aquarium should be apart of everyday aquarium maintenance. This will force the cleaning crew to focus on cleaning the rock and sand bed.
- Equipment Inspection: A daily Inspection of your aquarium equipment can be the difference success and disaster. There is no telling when a heater will burnout or when a powerhead will die. A daily inspection will help you find little problems before they become a larger one.
Weekly Aquarium Maintenance:
- Testing Parameters: Testing your aquarium water will help you make informed decisions about what kind your maintenance your reef aquarium needs. Testing your water should be done before any other weekly maintenance to see how your aquarium is running. If you find some water parameter levels off re-test them after you have made adjustments.
- Water Changes: A 10% (of the total volume of the aquarium) water change should be done weekly for the first year of the aquariums life. This does two thing for the saltwater aquarium. It removes nitrate and phosphate form the aquarium as well as replenishes beneficial nutrients back into the aquarium. After the first year of the aquarium’s life you can start to rely on water parameter testing to indicate when you need to make a water change (keeping nitrate levels below 10 ppm).
- Aquarium Dosing: Dosing an aquarium is for advance hobbyist. after testing the water parameters of the aquarium and you found the some levels are lower than the desired target range, aquarium dosing can be used to correct the level of the parameters . In most cases a water change can do the same thing as dosing.
- Changing Filter Socks: In saltwater aquariums that use filter socks, They should be changed and cleaned every week. This will help remove detritus from the aquarium. If you are not using filter socks in your aquarium I strongly recommend them.
- Empty Protein Skimmer: Every week you should remove the waste from the collection cup of the protein skimmer. This may need to be done more often than once a week depending on the bio-load of your aquarium.
Bi-Weekly Aquarium Maintenance:
- Change GFO: (Granular Ferric Oxide) GFO removes phosphate from the aquarium. GFO looks similar to carbon and they are often used together. It is recommended to change GFO every couple of weeks to keep it effective.
- Change Carbon: Carbon helps the water look crystal clear as well as removes dissolved organic compounds from the water. Carbon is often used with GFO in saltwater aquariums. It’s recommended to change every couple of weeks to make it effective.
Monthly Aquarium Maintenance:
- Clean Equipment: Cleaning equipment once a month will help extend the life of the equipment. This can also be a great time to get an idea of what condition the equipment is in and be aware of any future replace that may be needed. All that is need to clean the equipment if a new toothbrush and RO/DI water. Remove all calcium carbonate and salt creep to get the most out of your equipment.
- Clean out Overflow: The overflow is a place where detritus can collect and is often a place that is not thought of often when it comes to cleaning. Once a month clean out the overflow using airline tubing and this will help cut down dissolved organics in the aquarium.
Yearly Aquarium Maintenance:
- Lighting Maintenance: Replacing Light Bulbs in your saltwater aquarium lighting, once a year will help your coral stay healthy and growing. Light bulbs lose their strength over time and some hobbyist change the Light bulbs every six months to keep their corals happy and growing fast. Lighting is very important part to keeping a saltwater aquarium happy.
I hope this was helpful in gathering ideas for your own aquarium maintenance routine. There are many things that can assist you with staying on top of your saltwater aquarium maintenance, check out out article on aquarium app for more info on this subject. If you think that I have missed anything feel free to leave a comment below.
-Save a Reef …Grow your own.