Creating a beautiful and lively reef aquarium is certainly not a one and done experience. And while there may be a few extra steps needed, those steps are not difficult.
The main factor in creating a reef aquarium is time. Establishing an active eco-system does not happen overnight and patience will be a virtue. However, once established you’ll find that care and maintenance of your reef aquarium is minimal and the rewards are a wonderful, active, thriving tank.
Initially creating the reef aquarium calls for setting up the saltwater and getting the pH levels correct before you introduce any fish. This will take 3-4 weeks while you set up and rinse live rocks and do a 50% water change weekly to cure your live rocks. During this time, test the ammonia and nitrate levels.
After 4 weeks, introduce your first inhabitants of various snails and crabs as well as setting your lighting to go on and off in 12 hour increments.
After two more weeks you can add your first corals and do a 25% water change.
After another two weeks, add aquaculture corals.
It’s now been about 10 weeks since you started and you can begin to introduce fish and invertebrates along with doing a 25% water change. In another two weeks do another 25% water change and test pH levels while introducing a couple more fish. Talk to Blue Planet Aquarium for recommendations.
While it takes time, you’ll see that there isn’t much involved after the initial setup of a reef aquarium. Continue to perform a 25% water change at least once a month and check the filter. Feed fish according to instructions.