How To Start A Salt Water Aquarium

#2 Tank Selection & Placement


You saw a reef tank at a friends house, maybe you went to a public aquarium or went snorkeling on vacation. You saw a youtube video or maybe saw a large aquarium inside a restaurant. Maybe you have been in freshwater for years and have been scared to get into salt water aquarium keeping. Maybe you have always had a natural curiosity for the ocean. For whatever reason you know find your self here, researching how to start you very own salt water aquarium.

In this article we are going to explain how to set up your very own reef casa all in one salt water tank.

Before you decide to set up your aquarium the first thing to consider is where the tank will be placed.  The floor should be reasonably level and ideally be able to withstand the occasional bit of spilled salt water, which will happen no matter how careful you are with water changes etc.  Tile and vinyl are great choices, while hardwood is ok as long as special care is taken to keep it dry.  Tanks should also be placed in an area where they will not get a significant amount of direct sunlight and away from radiators and other heat sources.  Since you will be performing regular water changes, having a sink close by is very helpful, but not required.

The size of the aquarium is also an important consideration. For new hobbyists we recommend 10-25 gallons. This size of marine aquarium allows entrance into the hobby without spending the thousands of dollars you would typically spend on a much larger set up. You can enjoy and learn about the hobby. More than half reef aquarium owners today keep tanks within this range. They are easy to set up, cost effective, don’t take up a lot of room and are very easy to move. They are far more practical for new hobbyists than 50-150 gallons aquariums.

It is true that larger aquarium can be easier to keep in some regards. The larger volume of water can be more forgiving than smaller tanks as it takes longer for key value likes temperature, salinity or ph to move drastically. If you are able to maintain a nano all in one reef tank though you can keep literally any tank size. We always recommend learning on a small scale as well and compare it almost to buying your first car. Typically you don’t go out and get the top of the line brand new mercedes as your first car. You get something smaller, maybe a little beat up, something to learn and practice and ding up. Setting up your first nano reef tank is just like that.

We learn by making mistakes. We have so many articles to help you learn and avoid mistakes but they are inevitable.  Because of that we encourage you to make mistakes on small scale instead of an enormous one ! Our studio 12 aquarium is by far our most popular for this reason.

Next it’s time to build the stand. Reefcasa offers the most beautiful and thoughtfully designed stands on the market today. With lots of color options to match your home décor, we understand that an aquarium is not just a pet, but become part of your home.   Our stands are super easy to assemble, lightweight and made of marine grade plywood. Once you have assembled your stand

place the tank and stand in the desired location.  Its important to note, do not place the tank directly against the wall.  Make sure to leave enough room to mount the light and run wires and give yourself a little room incase you ever drop something behind. There is nothing worse than filling a tank with water and then realizing there isn’t enough room behind it to add the equipment, and since a full tank generally can’t be moved, this means emptying it and starting over.  Before adding water make sure the tank is level.  This is very important both for aesthetic reasons but also to ensure that there is no undue pressure placed on the tank seams.

Setting up a saltwater aquarium is an exciting time and with planning and patience you can start your reefing adventure off on the right foot!