Simple setup

Early tank setup.

My Saltwater Aquarium : Simple Setup

By Reef Ace

My first saltwater tank set up was an amazing experience. One of the first things that I realized was that a saltwater setup wasn’t as expensive or difficult to set up as I thought it would be. Yes, it is true that I could have spent a lot of money if I didn’t plan it out and stay within a budget because stuff can begin to add up very quickly.

The tank

I selected a Fluval Evo 13.5 gallon tank this is considered a nano setup, because the tank is under 20 gallons. I chose this tank setup because I have a limited amount of space and a small budget. This tank setup has a build in filter, comes with bio media,  a power head and stock LED lighting to grow corals. Although this setup is great for me it does limit me with choices of fish and coral.

Another way to selected a tank was by first considering the fish or corals that I wanted to keep then getting the right size tank. This is a great setup but I didn’t have the space or budget.

Furthermore others will suggest going with the biggest tank I could afford because  it will be easier to keep water parameters stable with less water changes, this wasn’t an option for me.


Basics list for any tank setup.

1) Aquarium tank

2) Filter and filter media

3) Lighting

4) Heater

5) Thermometer

6) Water test kits

7) Timer for lights

Special must haves for saltwater setup

1) Sea salt mix

2) RODI system ( Reverse Osmosis De-Ionized water ) or box store water.

3) Refractometer – a tool that accurately measures the salinity of  your aquarium.

Great to have but not necessary

1) Live sand – natural reef coral sand populated with millions of beneficial bacteria and organisms which aid in the dissolving of organic wastes like ammonia, nitrites and nitrates produced by larger organisms in saltwater aquariums.

2) Live rock – rock from the ocean that has been introduced into a saltwater aquarium.

Note: Live sand and rock is sold at the aquarium store.

As you can see I kept things simple to stay on a budget. I felt this was the greatest approach for me because if things went well I could enjoy this tank and maybe go bigger one day but if things went terribly wrong I won’t have a great loss and I will walk away with the experience, knowledge and try again.

Now that I have selected my tank and equipment the next step is putting it all together and completing the Nitrogen cycle. What is the Nitrogen cycle? Follow me as I answer this question in my next article.

My Saltwater Aquarium : The Nitrogen Cycle.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide my personal experiences as I setup my saltwater aquarium tank for entertainment purposes only. I am not a professional in this field. I have gained my knowledge and methods as explained in this article by my own personal experiences and research. Before setting up an aquarium tank or following any of my methods please research, seek professional advice and decide for yourself if it is right for you.

Please follow me, your support is needed and greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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