Snake's Methods for Basic Husbandry

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by snakeblitz33, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. snakeblitz33

    snakeblitz33 Well-Known Member

    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.
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    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!
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
     
  2. snakeblitz33

    snakeblitz33 Well-Known Member

    I will add on and modify this article as my methods change or if I feel like something needs to be added or replaced. Most husbandry basics stay the same, but over time new methods can arise.
     
  3. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Thank you, thank you thank you!!!
     
  4. snakeblitz33

    snakeblitz33 Well-Known Member

    Hah, I forgot I ever wrote this. lol Thanks.
    I think I can add a lot to this article, actually. I mean, I have learned a lot more since typing this up, especially for those interested in SPS corals.
     
  5. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    My info. don't know if you still want it! But here it is.
    Tank size: g, (LxWxH)75 gal. glass
    Sump size: g, (LxWxH) 40 gal.
    # Live Rock: 75.00
    # Live Sand:120.00
    How old is the tank?: 6-7 mo's to me. (set up) glass
    Lighting System: waiting for reply
    Lighting Schedule: Blues 12 hours, whites 8 hrs.
    Internal flow rate / powerheads: 900 X's 2
    Description of filtration system: Custom sump with Refugium. Return pump-max height 12'. Max flow 1350. Skimmer-up to 150 gal.
    Water changes and other maintenance: Once a week, 5 gal.
    Top off water source and saltwater source: RO
    Other Equipment:
    Water Parameters:
    Salinity/SG: 1.028 (according to mine, supplier has good one, says mines on at this)
    Temperature: 97.4
    Ammonia:0 ppm
    Nitrite:0 ppm
    Nitrate:5.0
    Phosphate:
    pH:8.0
    Calcium:
    Alkalinity:
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    Clean Up Crew: yep, had one, coral banded seems to be decreasing the population
    Fish:Dwarf zebra lion, dotty back, blue tang, 2 percale clowns, green goby, fire fish.
    Corals:giant Bali Xenia. starburst colony polyp. nepthia.
    Other inverts: Lg. coral banded, trying to get it out. Did no research, trusted supplier. Last minute, "hey, want one of these?" "Sure! how cool" Stupid!
    Bubble anemone. Hiding, thats a first. (right after water change)
    What's the problem? I did almost no research first, just depended on the guy who set me up. (I got everything from) does it for a business. Sets up tanks in offices and such. Big mistake. So I'm up and running and NOW reading and researching. Just want to do as much right as is possible. Wanted to create nice, healthy, living environment for them.
     
  6. snakeblitz33

    snakeblitz33 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    97.4*F temp?
    Trusting someone else completely with a few thousand dollars of my money is just something I don't want to do. I've always tried to do things myself, when I can. All the way down to any DIY projects that I can complete myself.
     
  7. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    No, thank you.
    Yes, a lesson well learned.
    Yes, 97.4. Too high?
    DIY? Sorry
    Thank you
     
  8. 2quills

    2quills Administrator Staff Member

    That temp is extemely high if those numbers are accurate.
     
  9. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Thanks. Where do you like yours?
     
  10. wen tom

    wen tom Member

    Going back. Found this article I was looking for. YES!!! Very embarrasing! No wonder you didn't reply. Probably thought I cooked my fish! Meant 76. Still, from what I read here (SWF forum) most thermometers are not accurate. Try to keep temps stable. According to mine I'm 76ish. (I have many, they all vary).
     
  11. williama918

    williama918 New Member

    Thank you for posting this will be reading all you have in the link. New to this and still doing research. 240 gallon tank still looking for the right sump.
     

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