Retract a saltwater aquarium - patience sample

For impatient aquarists it is probably the biggest torture, the break-in phase of a saltwater aquarium. During this time you can do nothing and just wait for the biological developments in the pool. This start-up phase is already a small patience test with a freshwater pool, but with a saltwater aquarium this time tugs at the aquarist's nerves.

Start-up phase can begin

When the floor construction has been completed and the decoration and the stone structure and the back wall have found their place in the aquarium, you have installed the complete technique and stirred the salt water mixture properly and filled. As with all aquariums, the retraction phase must then be observed even in a marine aquarium.

The living stones or the reef rock must first settle in the basin and the necessary bacteria must first be formed again. This takes a while and this process can not be accelerated, you do not want to later rework with chemicals.

Quality shopping

Although in the living reef rock, almost all bacteria die from the resettlement, this is quite normal. It is not normal for the living rock to smell unpleasant. Buy living rock only when it exudes a fresh sea odor. The salty smell, which one has already met as a child on the beach, must be present at the reef rock.

In addition to the bacteria, the small sponges and algae that live on the reef rock also die first. Visible dead elements should be removed carefully before insertion.

What happens in the pool during the break-in period?
  • Bacteria in the living rock mostly die off
  • Diatoms start to grow
  • Green algae growth starts
  • various other algae begin to grow

Measure water values

Even the longest warm-up phase will eventually come to an end. After about four weeks you can begin to measure the water levels. You will also need to check some values ​​later in the week so we have split the different water values ​​here a bit. Only when nitrite and ammonia are no longer detectable, you can begin to settle the first animals in the basin.

These values ​​are only checked in the start-up phase or in case of later problems:

  • ammonia
  • nitrite
  • PH value
  • silicate

These values ​​must also be measured regularly later:

  • Nitrate - weekly
  • Salt density - weekly
  • Phosphate - weekly
  • Calcium - weekly
  • Magnesium - monthly

Clean up and improve

As you have seen above, the first few weeks are characterized by strong algae growth. It is therefore highly recommended to first feed snails and hermits. They clean up the unrestrained growth of algae and improve the water further. Let those workers do their jobs for a while in peace before using fish. Then the pelvis runs much more trouble later.

Tips & Tricks

There is a method to facilitate and shorten the run-in time of a marine aquarium, which is the so-called vaccination. For this, however, some reef rock or living stone from a well-functioning pool is needed. So if you have a good friend with the same hobby, you can take some live rock and some groundwater out of his pool to stimulate your own culture in the pool.

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