How to start with corals reef aquarium

The coral reef in the aquarium is not only a beautiful decoration but also a living microsystem requiring care. It all needs time, this post is about how to start. And what from You can start with corals which are easy to learn.

Week 1: Assemble the Aquarium and Cure the Live Rock

  1. Pour the sand into the aquarium.
  2. Prepare saltwater in a mixing container so that the specific gravity measures 1.025.
  3. Carefully fill aquarium with the prepared saltwater.
  4. Gently rinse live rock in a small bucket of prepared saltwater. Remove loose organic debris and examine carefully for unwanted hitch-hikers. Arrange the live rock in your aquarium as desired.
  5. Install aquarium equipment per manufacturer’s instructions. Run the protein skimmer and main filtration system to make sure there is constant water movement. However, keep the lighting system off during the cycling period in order to reduce the likelihood of undesirable algae growth.
  6. For the next 4 weeks, perform a 50% water change each week to properly cure your live rock. During your water change, siphon out any loose organic matter. Test for ammonia and nitrite and make sure these levels are zero. Also, test the pH and adjust as needed to achieve the desired level of 8.1-8.4.

Week 4: Add your First Inhabitants
You will need 30 gallon of various snails and crabs.

  1. Acclimate and release your new inhabitants into the aquarium per acclimation guide.
    1. Use the timer to set the lights to go on and off in 12-hour increments.
    1. Wait 2 weeks.

Week 6: Add your First Corals
You can add: Button Polyp, Yellow Colony Polyp, Montipora Sunset, Hairy Mushroom Coral, and Bullseye Mushroom Coral)

  1. Perform a 25% water change.
    • Acclimate the corals per acclimation guide. Place the corals onto the live rock.
    • Wait 2 weeks.

Week 8: Add Aquacultured Corals

You can add:

  • Silver Branch Pumping Xenia
  • Regular Pumping Xenia
  • Starburst Polyps
  • Colony Polyps
  • Cauliflower Colt Coral
  • Taro Tree Coral
  • Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral
  • Spaghetti Finger Leather Coral
    • Acclimate the corals per acclimation guide. Place them onto the live rock.
    • Wait 2 weeks.

Weeks 10 and 12: Add Fish & Invertebrates
Add 2 Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp, 3 Hawaiian Feather Dusters, and a total of 6 fish. Choose from:

  • Ocellaris Clownfish (Multiples ok)
  • Fridmani Pseudochromis (Only 1)
  • Six-line Wrasse (Only 1)
  • Green Chromis (Multiples ok)
  • Kaudern’s Cardinal fish (Multiples ok)
  1. Perform a 25% water change.
    1. Acclimate the fish per acclimation guide and add them to your aquarium.
    1. Wait 2 weeks.
    1. Perform a 25% water change. Select 2 of the following fish and acclimate per acclimation guide and add them to your aquarium.
  • Carpenter’s Wrasse (Only 1)
  • Coral Beauty Angelfish (Only 1 – Small)
  • Sailfin Algae Blenny (Only 1 – Small)

Maintaining Your Reef Ecosystem

  1. Monitor and test water parameters regularly to provide a healthy marine environment.
  2. Perform 25% water changes at least once a month and perform regular filter maintenance.
  3. Feed thawed small amounts of frozen food, twice daily. The fish should be able to finish the given portion of frozen food within a few minutes. For a nutritionally balanced diet, feed a variety of foods to your fish such as: Mysis shrimp, Ocean Plankton, Mega-Marine Algae, TetraMarine Granules, and Sea Veggies. Provide Phytoplankton every other week for feather dusters and other filter feeding invertebrates.

For healthy corals, add the reef supplements per recommended instructions. You will need Iodine, Calcium, Buffer, Strontium.

After following these steps, you’ll have successful reef aquarium. Just sit back and watch your aquarium comes alive. Each day there will be new things to discover and an unending diversity of changes to witness. Keep in mind, reef aquariums need considerable time to establish themselves. Within a year, you’ll have a beautiful, thriving ecosystem.

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