Saltwater Tank Setup for Beginners | Help Guides

Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by David

Observing the underwater animal world is a real pleasure for every lover of beautiful sea creatures. If you like a calm and relaxing atmosphere in your home, a saltwater aquarium is the right choice for you. The interaction and diversity of the wonderful marine world can decorate your living space. Establishing marine life inside an aquarium can give you real pleasure and satisfaction. For this entire process, it is necessary to pay more attention but also to have certain knowledge, as a result, you get the calmness and psychophysical balance that this hobby provides, which we can conclude is well worth the effort. We present to you the most important items, which will help you as beginners in aquaculture.

Saltwater Tank Setup for Beginners


Setting up a saltwater tank can be a challenging but rewarding task for beginners. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Start by choosing a tank size that will fit in your space and meet your needs. A larger tank is generally easier to maintain, but it will also require more equipment and cost more to set up.
  2. Once you have your tank, you will need to choose a good location for it. The tank should be placed in a room with a stable temperature and out of direct sunlight. Avoid areas with high traffic or vibration, as these can stress the fish and other inhabitants of the tank.
  3. Before you add any water to the tank, make sure it is properly cleaned and rinsed. Use a mild aquarium-safe cleanser to remove any dust or debris from the tank, and be sure to rinse it thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue.
  4. Once the tank is clean and set up, you will need to add saltwater. You can either mix your own saltwater using a salt mix and dechlorinator, or you can purchase pre-made saltwater from a pet store. Be sure to follow the instructions on the salt mix and dechlorinator to ensure that the water has the correct salinity.
  5. After the saltwater is added, you will need to add live rock to the tank. Live rock is a type of porous rock that is teeming with beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms. These microorganisms help to keep the water clean and healthy for your fish and other inhabitants.
  6. Once the live rock is in place, you can add your fish and other inhabitants to the tank. Start with a few hardy fish and give them a few weeks to acclimate to their new environment before adding more fish or other inhabitants.
  7. Finally, be sure to monitor the water quality and temperature regularly, and perform regular water changes to keep the tank clean and healthy for your fish. With proper care and maintenance, your saltwater tank can be a beautiful and fascinating addition to your home.

Saltwater tank setup checklist


The attractive appearance of a saltwater aquarium is made up of its inhabitants, various marine fish, corals, plants and many other interesting invertebrates. The most important item for their functioning and achieving biological balance for life in the aquarium is water. Of course, salt water is necessary for marine life. In addition to salt water, there are also many other elements. Establishing a real small marine world in an aquarium is in itself a very exciting but also complex process. Marine fish are far more sensitive than freshwater fish, therefore, for their life in the aquarium, it is necessary to provide perfect conditions. As we said, let’s start with water first. vode.


Preparation of water for a marine aquarium

Marine aquarium water is obtained by mixing fresh water, which should be distilled, or reverse osmosis water (RO water), with specially produced salt that is used exclusively for marine aquariums. There is already an industrially prepared mixture of salt and other elements and microelements, which is mixed with water in a certain ratio (4 kg of salt per 120 l of water). The salt mixture contains the complete composition of all the elements that are necessary for the life of marine organisms. A water filter is indispensable for aquarium maintenance. It must be compatible with the amount of water in your aquarium and must contain good filtration materials such as activated carbon and volcanic stones. In this way, the water is purified and all impurities are removed from it.

If the aquarium is open, the water naturally evaporates from it, and all other elements remain in the aquarium water. The water level is maintained by adding plain RO water without salt to the aquarium as the salt remains in the aquarium. Therefore, for the daily maintenance of the aquarium, it is necessary to check the water level. It is also necessary to remove impurities from the water, and food residues, as well as check the filters. Various organic or inorganic impurities can get trapped in the substrate of the aquarium. their deposition and decomposition can reduce the quality of the water in the aquarium. That is why it is very important to clean the water. This can be done with a “siphoning bell”. In this way, dirt is removed from the substrate and the pebbles remain at the bottom. Changing the water in the aquarium is recommended once a month.

To avoid confusion, when changing the water, salt water is introduced into the aquarium, and when adding water to the aquarium, ordinary fresh water is introduced. The temperature of the water is also extremely important for the life of the marine inhabitants of the aquarium. It is determined using a thermometer. The water temperature in the saltwater aquarium should not exceed 25 degrees Celsius. After you have prepared the water, you can move on to the most interesting part of this hobby. Choosing marine inhabitants that will decorate your aquarium and make its appearance attractive. The best indicator when you can add fish is when all the bubbles disappear from the walls of the aquarium.


Saltwater aquarium equipment list

We must mention that every beginning is seemingly difficult, but the effort invested pays off many times over and later on, aquarists in itself as a hobby does not require too much work. Observing the fascinating underwater marine world leaves no one indifferent. To begin with, we will list the basic equipment you need to make aquarium maintenance possible.


  • Aquarium

It is best to place the aquarium in a quiet part of your living space, in a place that is not exposed to direct sunlight. The sun’s rays can cause excessive algae growth, but also affect the temperature of the water in the aquarium, which can create unfavourable conditions for your aquarium inhabitants. Then select the volume. We advise you to avoid buying small aquariums. That’s the first startup mistake you can make. Many beginners are under the misconception that a smaller aquarium requires less work, but this is actually not true. A smaller aquarium has less space for marine life, therefore, due to metabolic processes and feeding, pollution occurs faster. The optimal litre capacity that we recommend is 50l.


  • Filter

Every aquarium must have an adequate filter, it is a key item for water maintenance. Filters can be internal or external. There are different combinations of filter materials, but for a start, it is enough to know that they are divided into biological, chemical and mechanical materials, and they are combined depending on your requirements and needs as well as the type and amount of fish and other organisms in the aquarium.


  • Heater

The heater serves to ensure a constant temperature in the aquarium, which should be around 25 degrees Celsius. The water temperature is controlled by an aquarium thermometer, it is preferable to have one. The goal is to adjust the water temperature to the temperature of the natural habitat of the marine organisms you own. When changing the water, it is advisable to turn off the heater, so that it does not burn out.


  • Lighting

Aquarium light is critical to the life cycle of your aquarium inhabitants, as well as plant growth and the visual appearance of the aquarium. It is necessary to pay attention to the light to avoid problems with algae, which are generally undesirable. Light is directly related to their development. The duration and intensity of light should simulate natural habitat conditions. Every aquarium needs lighting that will mimic the light of the sun. Most often, neon or LED lighting is used for the aquarium. Necessary equipment to get started.


  • Air pump

This is the basic part of the aquarium. Wondering what it’s for? In addition to water, fish also need oxygen to live. Oxygen is in the water, but it is also consumed and a small percentage comes out of the water itself. This means that the more fish you have, the more oxygen you need. The air pump is located outside the aquarium and is connected with a hose to the sprayer located in the aquarium. This system ensures that the air bubbles that flow through the water break its surface and enable the binding of oxygen in the water by making waves.


  • Substrate

The substrate, i.e. sand or gravel, is also important for the quality of life of marine organisms. The substrate must be several centimeters high, with the fact that it must be slightly lower on the front side of the aquarium than on the backside. In this way, you can achieve a better visual effect of the “depth” of the aquarium. The substrate must first be thoroughly washed with hot water and rinsed as long as there is dirt in it. The optimal thickness of the substrate should be about 5 cm, to achieve nice growth and development of the plants. We advise you to buy the substrate for the aquarium in a special store intended for this purpose. Before buying the substrate, ask about the natural environment of the organisms you want to keep because the substrate is used for rooting the plants as well as for the reception of fish fasces, which also serve as fertilizer for the plants.


  • Decoration

The decoration itself is not necessary for the functioning of the aquarium, but it is of great importance for the visual effect that true aquarium lovers enjoy. The decoration can also serve as a hiding place for fish and other invertebrates. The decor includes stumps, stones, artificial rocks, wallpaper, ceramic or glass ornaments, etc. For the background of the aquarium, you can use plain wallpaper (black or brown) or wallpaper with the motif of nature, stone, etc.

Let your main goal be to provide an environment and conditions for your fish and other marine organisms that you own, most similar to their natural habitat.


The best saltwater aquarium fish for beginners

In specialized stores, you can find a large selection of fish for the aquarium. Before the purchase itself, be well informed about which species can live together in the aquarium, so that there are no unwanted consequences for your fish. The first thing you need to know is that the aquarium is a closed system. That is why it is extremely sensitive to sudden changes.

If you immediately put several fish in the aquarium at once, there will be a sudden change. The whole system will be disturbed and the parameters of the water will change. The filter you have in the aquarium should contain certain bacteria that would start processing the water. That is why it is important to leave the aquarium with its inhabitants for a few weeks to create good bacteria. The first inhabitants of your aquarium should not be demanding species. The wide range of colours, sizes, and shapes of marine fish, as well as different behavioural models, allow us a large selection of marine creatures that we can choose for the aquarium.

When choosing, it is important that the fish get along with each other and that they can live in the same space. Also, it’s important to choose healthy, vibrant fish. which are of the correct color, and body shape and swim normally. As beginners, we recommend you the most popular type of fish, Clownfish, the famous Nemo from the cartoon of the same name. Caring for fish is very easy if you follow simple instructions. Feed the fish once or twice a day, and choose high-quality food for them. To make your aquarium a real small marine ecosystem, keep in mind that in addition to fish, you can also add several types of invertebrates and corals that will complete the look of the aquarium.

The best saltwater aquarium fish for beginners


Advantages and disadvantages of a marine aquarium


Marine aquaculture is not simple, but it is not too complicated either. With a little necessary knowledge, you can provide your fish with excellent conditions for staying in the aquarium and thus enjoy the great pleasure that this hobby provides. For the successful practice of marine aquariums, it is necessary to allocate certain funds very often to purchase various consumables. As the number of aquarium inhabitants grows, so does the need for new accessories that need to be provided. We can present it as a drawback of this hobby. On sale, you can find various types of decorative equipment at different prices.

To protect your financial investments, the advice we can give you is to further research which decorative equipment you do not need for the aquarium, in this way you can prevent unnecessary additional costs. A great advantage of marine aquariums is that you can always enjoy a beautiful part of nature in your living environment. Sea aquariums with their attractive appearance do not leave anyone indifferent, especially those that contain corals and many other sea creatures that we do not have the opportunity to see often. The beauty of observing the interaction of the underwater world is the greatest advantage of aquaculture and it is the main reason why every true aquarist falls in love with this hobby. If you love water and marine life, this is the right hobby for you. Fish do not require a lot of attention, so this can also be singled out as a positive characteristic of aquaculture.

This fascinating hobby is attracting a lot of attention and interest in it is growing. To maintain this attractive ecosystem that radiates its beauty and diversity of sea creatures, it is necessary to follow certain rules and you can very easily fulfill your most beautiful marine wish and have a part of the marine world in your home. We hope you have learned a lot of useful information about marine aquaculture. Now all you have to do is embark on a sea adventure and have fun with your aquatic friends.