Highly Recommended Saltwater Parameters for Your Fish Tank
The secret to keeping a saltwater fish tank successfully is by maintaining proper water quality. Strictly observing saltwater aquarium parameters in its range is vital to the overall well-being of your fish, invertebrates, and corals.
Most saltwater dwellers can’t tolerate even the slightest fluctuations in the tank’s water parameters. Given this reason, you should make a routine test on the aquarium’s settings on a regular basis.
Here’s a simple guide to help you with keeping your fish tank in excellent condition.
Range: 8-12 dkh
Alkalinity is usually a complicated concept to comprehend. Just know that higher alkalinity helps control the amount of bicarbonate in the water. This is important because bicarbonate is essential for coral and invertebrate health, and is one of the main ingredients in building coral skeletons. When measuring alkalinity, you might find the unit of “dkh”, which comes from the German standard alkalinity. But you might also find it as parts per million (ppm) or milliequivalents per liter (meg/L), so keep that in mind when looking for test kits.
Range: 380-450 ppm
Calcium is another fundamental element for the health of corals and invertebrates. According to the standard chart, natural coral reefs usually have calcium levels in the range of 380 to 450 parts per million (ppm).
Range: 0 ppm
Ammonia is toxic to your tank’s inhabitants and should only be there when you first cycle your aquarium. It becomes present in your fish tank when your fish pee and when other stuff and food rot. Having a fully-functioning biological filter can remove ammonia from the water. In case you detect levels of ammonia in your aquarium, it can either be that your tank has not been fully cycled yet or something’s wrong with your filter.
Although absolute pH is important, it’s essential that you make sure that the pH in your fish tank remains stable. Large fluctuations and dramatic swings can cause health problems for your fish.
Range: 0 ppm
Nitrite is an intermediate by-product supplied by your tank’s beneficial bacteria consuming ammonia. It is toxic to your aquarium’s dwellers and should only be present when you’re in the cycle stage of your fish tank.
Range: <10 ppm
In a correctly cycled fish tank, the presence of nitrate is the proof that your biological filter is healthy and working. It’s a sign that your aquarium is fully cycled. On an ongoing basis, you would want to go for the lowest possible nitrate levels. Although take note that most saltwater aquarium fish can tolerate 30 to 40 ppm of nitrate and a lot of soft corals come from nutrient-rich waters.
Range: 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit
Make sure the temperature range you provide to your saltwater fish tank is between 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit, because maintaining it consistently and avoiding fluctuations becomes more vital than the specific value itself. If you experience problems with your corals and fish, make sure to check the water temperature first.
Range: <0.3 ppm
Phosphate acts as a fertilizer for both cyanobacteria and algae outbreaks. On natural reefs, it’s present at an amount of 0.13 ppm. Higher levels of phosphate can initiate coral growth, so it’s essential that you keep it within range.
Range: 1.023-1.025 sg
The standard salinity of the ocean is 35 g/L, but for your saltwater tank, it’s more typical to measure the specific gravity (sg) of the water as an alternative to salinity because it’s easier to account. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit, 35 g/L is equal to 1.023 sg. In case your zoanthids close up, check your salinity levels.
While testing your saltwater fish tank parameters, the essential thing you can do with the data you gather is to use it. This guide is for you to understand what your aquarium is telling you and what it needs less or more of. Whatever case it may be, make sure you regularly check your tank and make adjustments if necessary.