Common Questions: Marine Aquariums - Pisces Pet Emporium

What is the Best Tank Size? 

Compared to freshwater, marine tanks typically will accumulate plenty more waste build-up. It is best to have as large of a tank that you can afford, or have room for. A larger tank will be able top sustain more stable water, and house your marine life more comfortably. Anything under 30 gallons will be challenging and not recommended. 

What is Live Rock Exactly? 

All marine aquariums require something called "live rock", a product that may be foreign to a freshwater tank owner or a beginner. Live rock is a collection of rock chunks that are collecting from the ocean. These rock pieces are covered in living organisms, essential for filtering the water in your marine aquarium. A good measurement of live rock is to have approximately 1 pound of live rock per tank gallon. Make sure that your live rock is cured before placing in your tank. Live sand is a complimentary edition to live rock.

What is the Best Filtration System?

 It is widely agreed upon that the most effective filtration system for a saltwater aquarium is a sump filter. Sump filters consist of a large container that fits underneath the aquarium, that uses a combination of mechanical and biological filtration. Sump filtration is ideal for medium-large sized aquariums. For smaller tanks, a canister filter is probably more ideal. Look below to view the different stages of sump filtration. Ask your local marine expert on what you will need and how to build your own sump filtration.

 How Salty Should My Water Be? 

The saltwater in your marine tank or the "salinity" is measured by what we call the specific gravity. For fish only aquarium, an ideal range is between 1.024 - 1.026. anything high or low of this range to the +/- 0.003 can be very stressful or potentially fatal to your fish. Pisces recommends: Portable Refractometer & AccuraSea Seawater Reference to ensure an accurate and correct salinity. Pro Tip: Pisces sells perfect pre-mixed 1.024 saltwater in-store, by the gallon! 

What Are Some Good Starter Fish?

  • Wrasses: A brightly colored species that enjoy hiding among the live rock, these fish get along well with everyone and shouldn't cause any trouble!
  • Blennys: Blennys are a large family, who are known for their serene, peaceful trait that make them an excellent starting choice. Only 1 per tank!
  • Ocellaris Clownfish: A household favorite! They are a very hardy, colorful and easy to care for. 
  • Firefish: Another very bright and vibrant fish, Firefish are very easy going and relaxed. With a slender body they can usually easy escape a chase from others. 
  • Watchman Goby: This species comes in a variety of colors, and is readily available at most shops. They will live happily with other species, but only keep one per tank!

 Invertebrates are typically more sensitive to changes in water quality. If you are adding some inverts, make sure to keep a close eye on your calcium and alkaline levels! Blue legged hermit crabs, turbo snails, peppermint shrimp and flame scallops make good starter inverts. 

Interested in starting up your first marine tank? Come visit us in-store! Our marine experts are more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have about saltwater aquariums! 

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