Saltwater (sea) aquarium II: THE TECHNIQUE

THE TECHNIQUE IN THE MARINE AQUARIUM There are several main elements, without which no marine system can function properly. On first place,It is:

SKIMER – "lung, heart, liver and kidneys" of the aquarium. Regardless of which type of aquarium you have chosen - coral or pure fish, that's the technique, with which no compromise should be made. The skimmer plays an important role in the filtration of the system as well, for the removal of organic pollutants in water, as well as in its continuous supply with a sufficient amount of oxygen, so important to marine life, as much as for us, the people. Unlike fresh water, in the salty, oxygen is dissolved in times less and accordingly, saturation is more difficult and slow in the absence of stable and secure equipment. With a correctly sized and well-functioning skimmer for the given system, it is very easy to keep the water parameters stable, upon proper settlement, and all its inhabitants, they feel good,in excellent health. The main requirements for him are:1. to be correctly sized for the needs and volume of the system;2. to be economical;3. not to heat the water further;4. to be easy to service and adjust;5. to be silent;6. the given technical characteristics correspond to the actual ones in operation (replicas and copies of some of the best American and European brands are increasingly entering the market. If you still, choose a similar option,keep in mind, that their described characteristics are up to half of the real ones. Also, get into the habit of servicing and checking it at least once every two or three days).

LIGHTING– For reef aquariums, his role is equally important, as much as this one, on the skimmer. Not by chance, the world's leading manufacturers of marine aquarium equipment, they have entire scientific departments, who have been studying the spectrum of light for years, penetrating the ocean (on 2 up to 5 m. depth), striving to recreate the most optimal conditions for coral growth and coloration in artificial conditions. If you want colorful hard corals, with open polyps and stable growth, then you should focus on high-end lighting from one of the proven companies on the market. Its price is really quite high, compared to mass production, but also guarantees its quality, that you will not lose corals, due to an incorrectly selected lamp. In recent years, diodes have made a "revolution" in marine aquaristics, thanks to an American company, whose specialists, with its long-term studies in natural environments, as well as communications with successful hobbyists from around the world, created technologies, allowing not only to extract the best of the light spectrum for the healthy and beautiful appearance of a reef aquarium, by constantly looking for new and new options, but also spoil their customers with new technologies in lighting management, with the ability to control via smartphone, in synchronization between pumps and lights, long life and warranty, modern design and economy. Until a few years ago, T5 cigar lamps were considered the best, which man made, to get closer to natural light, which the corals draw in the ocean. The spectral choice is extremely rich and implies possibilities for many combinations, depending on that, which color would you like to dominate in the aquarium and what should its saturation be. The disadvantages of this type of lamps is, that they are not economical enough, cigars have life 6-8 months and need to be replaced regularly, these lamps also increase the temperature of the aquarium water, which is somewhat offset by their powerful body fans. An indisputable fact, however it is, that SPS corals still feel best with this type of lighting. There are still manufacturers, which combine the best of both possibilities- T5 and diodes, purely visually, the results are excellent. The only drawback of this type of lighting is its extremely high cost, what a few hobbyists, especially in Bulgaria, they can afford.

FLOW PUMPS An important part of any marine aquarium is good flow, which prevents the formation of "dead zones", accumulation of detritus (organic waste on the stones and sand) and prevents the appearance of unwanted algae and bacteria (dinoflagellates, diatoms, cyanobacteria) . Here the choice is much bigger, compared to skimmers and lighting, but it should still be kept in mind, that not good replicas of recognized brands except, that they do not own their functionality and actual technical characteristics, they often create a potential danger of current flowing in the aquarium, as a result of poor workmanship.

REACTORS- Activated carbon reactor- The role of activated carbon in the marine aquarium is to adsorb toxins and pollutants from the water . Lots of coral, colored polyps, fish or invertebrates are chemically active and guarding their territory, secrete small or large amounts of toxins. In an infinite system, such as the window one, their concentration tends to 0, but that is not how things are in the closed system of 100, 200, even 2000 liters. The lack of activated carbon in it or its irregular replacement, could even lead to the collapse of the entire aquarium. His regular shift (at least once a month for not very busy systems) keeps the water clean, odorless and colorless. Reactor with phosphate remover - phosphates are one of the strongest natural poisons, which naturally enter the aquarium (through food), for marine invertebrates and above all, for the corals. Even in small amounts they cause death. The natural ways of controlling them are very uncertain and on busy systems, feeding the inhabitants abundantly, phosphates rise quite quickly and imperceptibly. In general, their levels should be this low, that commercially available tests should not be able to detect them. Then we can be calm about the health of ours “reef”. Unfortunately, if their levels rise to values, which can be accounted for, therefore, losses of SSS corals are inevitable. That is why their regular measurement is very important, so that even the smallest changes can be reacted quickly and adequately. The barrier to this kind of poison is the phosphate remover reactor. Usually this is the so-called GFO (granular ferrous oxide), but the latest innovations on the market show much better results. These are specially designed granular polymers, with up to four times more effective phosphate removal than iron-based removers.