There is little in life as pleasing as the beauty of a fully outfitted, custom made saltwater aquarium and the aquatic residents that make it their home.
The process of purchasing an aquarium is an easy one for many-after all, there are so many choice for the decorating of such a thing that they seem to be almost endless-but the process for establishing maximum utility and making the aquarium livable for its new residents is a bit more complicated.
The first thing that needs to be done after the purchase of a new aquarium is to cleanse the tank itself and all of its accessory parts with freshwater, sans soap, and a soft cloth. This will remove any dust and chemicals which it may have accumulated while in the factory and prevent them from harming the fish. Once all of the parts have been cleaned the tank should be set upon a level stand which has been placed an appropriate distance from the wall to enable the electrical cords to reach an outlet plug with a minimal risk of minor amounts of sloshing from the tank causing an electrical fire. A soft cloth should be placed beneath the tank to keep the condensation from the saltwater aquarium from causing damage to the surface of the stand beneath it.
Once the aquarium has been properly installed it should be filled with saltwater. You can either purchase an already made saltwater solution or make your own. Once you have filled the tank you should let all of the equipment run for 24 to 48 on a test cycle to ensure that everything is working properly. Take this opportunity to test the temperature, salinity and pH of the water to ensure that the conditions are optimal for the breed of saltwater fish which are going to be inhabiting your aquarium (it is best to research this ahead of time-not all saltwater fish thrive in the same conditions).
At this point you can now do your landscaping. Remove approximately one half of the water and decorate your aquarium with whatever landscaping tools you choose (rocks, plants, etc.). It is important to first remove the water in order to make the landscaping easier and to prevent spillage. Once you are finished, replace the water up to the fill line (if the tank does not come with a fill line you can use a permanent marker to make your own on the side facing the wall).
It is important that the tank go through an initial 30 day cycling process, either with or without live fish, during which you are going to want to keep a very close eye on the ammonia levels of the water. During this time do not use an ammonia reducer, as this will simply force the process to start all over again. Once all of these steps have been completed you are ready to add your fish, sit back and enjoy your new, custom made saltwater aquarium!