A saltwater aquarium is one of the best pieces of artwork you can add to your home. From the active and colorful fish to the tranquil sounds of running water, they provide a beautiful centerpiece for the eyes and an interactive experience for all. However, if any one part of these environments stands out above the rest, it’s the unique and awe-inspiring corals. Available in several colors and shapes, they’re sure to captivate you whenever you walk by. But if you want these specimens to look their best, you should know what to do before adding coral to your aquarium.
Wait for Your Tank To Cycle
When you first set up your tank, your aquarium’s water will need to cycle for several weeks. Also known as the nitrogen cycle, this process involves the constant fluctuation of nitrite and nitrate within the water’s chemical compound. Eventually, both will cycle out of the environment, but since many corals and fish find them poisonous, you’ll need to wait until this happens to do anything else. In the meantime, test your tank’s water for toxins and pour in stabilizers when necessary.
Add Fish and Invertebrates
Once most of the nitrogen molecules have worked their way out of the water, you can start adding your fish. Hold off on adding your corals because many tanks experience increased algae growth during this period. But these conditions won’t bother hardier fish and invertebrate species. Nitrite levels will spike again after adding these organisms. Expect to wait at least another few weeks.
Allow Your Water Parameters To Stabilize
The main purpose of a slow setup is to allow the chemicals in the water to stabilize. In addition to the nitrogen cycle, this also has to do with getting the levels of calcium and oxygen to the correct amounts. Ensuring your water is at the correct salinity and pH will also be key to keeping your corals healthy.
Acclimate Your Coral Properly
The most important thing to do before adding coral to your aquarium is to take the time to acclimate them to the environmental conditions. Some species of coral can be very sensitive to slight changes in the water around them. Even small fluctuations in temperature can make them seriously ill. Because of this, you should expose them to a little bit of water at a time before placing them in your tank.