It is a common practice to set up aquariums as a piece of decoration at our home. This will enhance the beauty of our interior and also add some life. Marine aquarium is a type of container filled with marine animals and plants. The tank could be filled with fishes only or fishes along with reef. Marine fish keeping is something that requires more study and knowledge to learn. We should know about the chemical properties and water. These factors will determine the adaptability of the living organisms inside the aquarium.
Marine aquarium is available in many sizes, from small ones that hold only 80 liters of sea water to the largest one with more than 1200 liters capacity. The tank itself could be made from acrylic or glass. There could also be proper lighting, filtration equipment, heater and hood. Glass tank is typically inexpensive, reasonably transparent and strong. On the other hand, acrylic tank is lighter and can be shaped easily. It is slightly more expensive, but more resistant to scratches.
Marin aquariums have more complex filtration system than typical freshwater aquarium. Other than filters, there could also be protein skimmers. They are devices that can remove excess organic compounds from the sea water before they decompose into nitrogenous components. Protein skimming is a part of the filtration system and needed to make the tank more habitable for the marine plants and animals. The tank could also be connected with a refugium, which is placed under that aquarium and operated with a pump. Refugium has multiple chambers with specific filtration material.
In any marine aquarium, light may play a significant role, so it is important to have proper lighting. It is advisable to set up an automatic cyclical lighting arrangement to better simulate day and night cycle. In a fish-only tank, light arrangement may not be required, but intense light can be required if the tank contains a number of invertebrates. There are a number of factors we should consider such as the color of the lamp and the wattage. Lamps with >5000K color temperature should work well for plant growth. 10,000LK lamps emit white-bluish light that can positively affect corals and fishes. Deep blue light produced by 20,000K lamps should simulate deeper sea.
In general, marine aquarium should be kept between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius in temperature, which is similar to that environment of common marine inhabitants. In this case, a heater could be used to adjust the aquarium temperature to specific level. For fishes that typically live in cooler sea, we could us chillers to lower the temperature down to the desired level.
In general, it takes longer to set up a marine aquarium. It could take up to two months before we could actually put marine life inside the tank. Major factors in the decision process, include the location and size of the aquarium. We also need to choose proper aquarium components and set them up appropriately. We need to obtain proper saltwater and cure the live rock.