Congratulations! You have a new saltwater aquarium! You're wondering now how to take care of your new baby. Well, it's about time that you came and read this article! This article will teach you everything you need to know about basic saltwater aquarium husbandry skills. Husbandry is the term used for the care and maintenance of your livestock. This is intended to be a basic guideline for new hobbyists to follow, or for amateur hobbyists to brush up on. [*] Use only pure freshwater for your water source. Distilled water is perfect, but for those on a budget, Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is a great source of water. You can get RO water from your local Wal-Mart or water store. You can also purchase your own RO water unit online and make it at home! [*] Use high quality salts! Not all salts are the same, and put some time into researching what the best salts are to use for your aquarium. [*] When mixing saltwater, always add your salt to your water. If you do it opposite, it prevents some elements from mixing properly and precipitates out of the water column. The easiest method for mixing saltwater is with a powerhead. [*] When your saltwater aquarium evaporates water, it only evaporates freshwater. Salt is left behind. Therefore, we must top off our aquariums with only pure freshwater. Pure water does not contain any nutrients or chemicals, and therefore it's the only water we should use for our saltwater aquariums. [*] Buy high quality foods. Saltwater fish are not suited to continuously eat flake food. Someone put it one time that frozen foods are like “Gourmet” food, pellet food is like “fast food burgers” and flake food is like “potato chips.” No one can survive on potato chips alone, so we should feed our fish a variety of high quality foods. Do not feed any more food than your fish can eat within 2 minutes. This keeps your aquarium from being polluted with excess food. Rinse all of your frozen foods in a fish net before serving. This washes away all the juices that only contribute to a rise in nitrate and phosphate. Use all the tools you have available to you, and those that you can afford to keep your livestock happy and healthy. Research all of your equipment and livestock purchases first before you buy. Buy the best equipment you can from the start. This will actually save you money from realizing you bought bad equipment and having to re-invest in good equipment. Purchase a medium quality test kit (API) for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH. Other water parameters such as calcium, alkalinity, magnesium and phosphate need higher quality test kits. Your tanks internal flow rate does not include flow from filters, skimmers, scrubbers or return pumps. It's solely the turnover rate from your powerheads. The minimum turnover rate in a fish only with live rock tank is 10x your tanks volume. Reef tanks should start at 20x the tanks volume and perhaps go up to 40x the tanks volume in turnover. This means a 75g fish only tank should have a minimum of a 750gph powerhead. A 75g reef tank should have a minimum of 1500gph of flow coming from multiple powerheads. [*] When problems arise (and they will) deal with it immediately. Do not put off treating a sick fish, coral, or other invert. Do not put off treating cyanobacteria, hair algae, or bubble algae. The sooner you can detect a problem, the easier it will be to fix. [*] Know your limits. Don't add more fish or coral than your tank can handle, or you can take care of. Purchase as big of an aquarium as you want. But, realize that the smaller the tank, the less you can do with it. If you would like to read more of my articles and threads, please visit this link: Snake's Methods.