To keep the fish and other marine life in your saltwater aquarium happy and healthy, you have to do some basic maintenance. Some tasks you need to do every day without fail; other jobs you do weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. You need to conduct a thorough examination of all aquarium systems, including lighting, heating, filtration, aeration pumps, and tubing monthly. Replace or clean parts as needed. No schedule should be “set in stone” every aquarium is different and will have different requirements. The schedule below is simply meant to be a genral guideline.
Marine Aquarium Maintenance Every Day
- Turn the Aquarium lights on and off. Most aquarists prefer to use an automatic timer. If you choose not to, turn the lights on and off in a consistent pattern.
- Check for fish and invertebrates for signs of stress, diseased, or death. Be prepared to remove or treat fish that aren’t well.
- Feed the fishes and invertebrates twice a day, removing any uneaten food promptly.
- Check the water temperature and specific gravity or salinity. Adjust the heater as needed.
- Empty the protein skimmer collection cup as needed.
- Check the water level and top off as needed.
- Check all aquarium systems: heater, filters, air pumps, protein skimmer. Make sure they’re running properly and smoothly and pay special attention to intakes and siphon tubes. Make sure nothing is leaking.
Marine Aquarium Maintenance Once a Week
- Remove excess algae
- Clean the glass
- Conduct water tests weekly after the water matures and the nitrogen cycle is established. Record all test results and add trace elements and buffers.
- Remove excess algae.
Marine Aquarium Maintenance Every Two Weeks
- Clean filters as needed. Partially change or rinse the filter media on some filters, if the bioload is high, the media is dirty, or the flow is restricted.
- Change twenty percent of the tank water while vacuuming the gravel.
Marine Aquarium Maintenance Every Month
- Conduct thorough filter checks. Replace the filter carbon and rinse the filter media and components, as needed and depending on bioload.
- Clean the protein skimmer.
- Replace air stones as needed.
- Clean the outside of the aquarium, removing salt and calcium deposits, dust, and dirt.
- Rinse any tape decorations that suffer from excess algae.
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