How to Maintain Your Saltwater Aquarium

Extreme Corals News and Updates


How to Maintain Your Saltwater Aquarium

by Scott Shiles • November 12, 2022

Coral Care


As with any hobby, there is a little work involved with having corals and building a spectacular reef tank. Here at Extreme Corals we believe maintaining your saltwater aquarium is fundamentally one of the most important things you can do to guarantee the health of your corals. The last thing we want is for your animals to fail due to improper maintenance. Planning ahead and keeping a regular maintenance schedule can help avoid headaches in the future and ensure that conditions do not get out of hand. That being said, let's go over some basics that will keep your reef tank clean, and more importantly, keep your corals healthy.

Regular Tank Cleaning

We recommend cleaning your saltwater tank at least once a week. The accumulation of debris from algae, food particles, fish waste, etc. can severely lower the appearance of your tank. Unfortunately, coral’s need for strong light often compounds the growth of algae, so it is paramount that this does not get out of hand. A simple scrubbing of the acrylic or glass is all that is required to fix this issue. Setting a specific day once a week to do this chore is one of the easiest ways to keep your reef tank looking spotless.

Take Your Tanks Temperature 

Keeping your marine life in a consistent temperature range is crucial to their success. It is generally accepted that anywhere from 78-84 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for most corals. Should your saltwater tank fall outside this range, much damage can be done to both corals and other aquatic life. Checking your tank's temperature at least once a day is important to the success of your specimens. 

Check Your Chemicals

It is important to understand which chemicals are harmful/beneficial to your marine life and in what concentrations are each one acceptable. Catching imbalances quickly is crucial, because some chemicals can do serious harm in the wrong concentrations. Once concentrations are initially set, checking once a week is usually fine, adjusting as needed. Smaller tanks tend to fluctuate more, so we recommend checking more often just to be on the safe side.

Changing Your Tanks Water

Performing regular water changes is crucial to keeping your tank environment healthy. Doing so removes contaminants from the system, and in turn keeps your marine life healthier. We recommend replacing 20% of your saltwater tank’s water each week. Note: new saltwater that is introduced into the tank should be at or near the temperature of the water already inside the tank. Test your chemical concentrations and add more when necessary. Keeping everything inside of its appropriate range will make this process much easier, and your marine life will thank you for it.

Check Your Salinity

Evaporation raises salinity in saltwater environments, causing the need for heated freshwater to be added to the environment. Even in the most sealed environments, saltwater tanks will lose at least some water due to this factor. It is important to check your salinity regularly so that the concentration of salt in your tank does not become too great. As with the chemical concentrations, salinity has an acceptable range. 

We at Extreme Corals want only the best experience for you and your livestock. Coral hobbyists will agree that although tedious at times, maintaining your saltwater environment is worth keeping your corals healthy. For more tips on how to maintain your saltwater aquarium check out our Coral Care page. If you have any questions regarding your particular set up do not hesitate to give us a call, we are always happy to help!


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