Thanks to technology, keeping a saltwater aquarium in your home is much easier than it was a few decades ago. However, it is still a challenge for many novice hobbyists.
The consequences of a mistake can lead to a crash and jeopardize the well-being of your entire system. Fortunately, many common mistakes can be avoided.
Below are the top 5 most common mistakes that we hear about with saltwater aquariums:
Patience is practically a ‘requirement’ for just about anything you do with a saltwater aquarium. While it’s perfectly human to desire immediate results, progress and success truly require a long-term commitment. This is especially the case with saltwater aquariums.
Additionally, new and inexperienced reef keepers often have a tendency to seek immediate results by crowding, cramming or overdosing. Sometimes out of frustration, they even give up on the hobby altogether.
The motto ‘patience is a virtue’ definitely applies here. Whether you’re a novice or master of this craft, results will always take time and patience.
2. Crowding & Cramming.
Crowding and cramming go hand-in-hand. Simply put, you don’t want to move too fast within your aquarium. Even in a well-established system, accommodating too many additions – such as livestock or live rock – can lead to new aquarium syndrome.
Instead of crowding your tank within a short period of time, the best thing to do is add new fish and coral to the aquarium slowly over time. This gives your aquarium time to adjust to the new additions before your next purchase. Additionally, it will allow you to measure your results better.
3. Inadequate Filtration
There are plenty of filtration methods to choose from, but making the wrong decision could cause you a wide variety of problems. It is certainly better to have a little more filtration than necessary in an aquarium, rather than too little.
This same idea applies to the circulation of the water within the aquarium. A lack of good water flow throughout the system can lead to problems with low dissolved oxygen, build-up of nuisance algae, prevention of sedentary animals receiving food, and more.
To help with filtration, we ultimately recommend using a protein skimmer. For more information about the benefits of protein skimmers, click here. If you’re already intending to purchase one, we’ve compiled a list of recommendations here to help you determine the best protein skimmer for your aquarium’s needs.
4. Insufficient Research.
Sooner or later, a lack of research, as well as poor planning, can lead to many issues for new hobbyists.
Researching livestock prior to purchasing will save you both money and heartache. Quite frequently, novice hobbyists will purchase fish with a notoriously poor track record or add coral (such as green start polyps or xenia) that quickly overrun their tank. Therefore, it is essential to do your due diligence on what you plan to include inside your aquarium before proceeding.
Additionally, many who have prior experience with freshwater tanks often assume that saltwater involves a similar approach to maintenance. This is definitely not the case. Saltwater aquariums are more complicated when it comes to both the setup and overall maintenance of the tank. The comparison is apples to oranges.
Regardless of experience, it is best to start off with a firm, knowledgeable foundation about the equipment you intend to use beforehand. If you are looking to learn more about how to manage a saltwater aquarium, we highly recommend that you check out our blog. We have many articles and guides for both beginners and experts.
5. Wrong Tank Size.
Many hobbyists assume that smaller tanks are going to be easier to maintain than larger tanks. However, typically the opposite is true. Larger tanks are less prone to sudden and significant fluctuations in things like water temperature and water chemistry.
If you are a new hobbyist, do not underestimate the amount of time and maintenance that will be required because you have a smaller tank. If you’re considering a new tank, you may want to start with a fairly sizable one that you can afford to equip and maintain over time.
While these are not the only issues we hear about, these are typically the most common. If you are already a saltwater aquarium hobbyist, we’d love to hear about your experiences. What would you recommend to beginners? Please feel free to drop us a line here. We’d love to share your experience on our blog and social media.
Simplicity Aquatics: Simple, Effective, Affordable
Simplicity Aquatics aims to bring the aquarist equipment that is S.E.A-worthy: Simple, Effective, and Affordable. If you have any questions about this article or any of our products, we can be reached at (424) 757-6150 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time or through our Contact Page. If you would like more information about becoming a dealer, please visit our dealer page. If you are looking for a store that carries our products, please visit our store locator page.