So, you want to start a Reef Tank
You have looked at them in the Fish Shop and seen them in the Fish Magazines,
now you are ready to build your own glorious Coral Reef Tank. What is the
first step ?
The first step is to THINK about it !
There are many different approaches to Coral Reef Tanks as there are
opinions. This article and the ones following it are intended as simple
suggestions based on past experience. Let me first state that no matter
what approach or piece of equipment you select, the main item for success
is YOU, and YOUR understanding of YOUR system, YOUR inhabitants, and the
amount of attention that YOU devote to it.
Lets run through the basic components of a Coral Reef Tank. The tank,
stand and canopy, the filtration system, protein skimmer, water pumps and
lights. Once we have discussed those components its then time to look into
the inhabitants of the tank which include Saltwater, Live Rock, possibly
Live Sand, and the choice of Corals and Fish. Once we get past those goodies,
we then need to think about Chemical additions, Feeding and Maintenance
practices, as well as, Temperature control.
If you have already been to the Fish Shop pricing these items you will
already know, and if you havenít, then let me tell you that a Coral Reef
Tank is not an inexpensive hobby to get involved in, but what hobby is
? A properly set up and maintained Coral Reef Tank can run into the thousands
of dollars not including the need for the monthly operating costs. This
is not to say that one can not have a small, inexpensive, successful Coral
Reef Tank, but for most if you are not willing to invest the money required
to do it properly, then its best that you leave those beautiful little
aquatic items in someone elseís hands as our Oceans Life is too precious
to needlessly cause its demise.
Now, if I have not scared you away from a Coral Reef Tank with what
is involved, then you just might be ready to take a step forward into an
exciting, educational and rewarding hobby.