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Aquariums take a lot of dedication, and fish should not be thought of as disposable pets.
Please don't rely solely on my information or replicating my methods or setup.
If you're considering starting an aquarium, please consult a professional at an aquatic store,
and consider joining online aquatics forums
where you can ask questions and receive help from experienced hobbyists.
Hey, what's up, Creatures? It's Em.
I have decided to start a saltwater aquarium.
A saltwater aquarium.
Now, I might sound a little bit more enthusiastic if I wasn't absolutely terrified!
I hope you enjoy this Part 1 to my aquarium setup video.
Stay until the end where I'll be talking to an aquatic specialist
from London's premier aquatic shop, The Aquatic Design Centre.
Be sure to hit that subscribe button and that notification bell
so you don't miss next week's video, which will be a tank update
featuring a very special guest, who you might already know.
Em: Do you know when people do close-up videos of squeezing the pores around their nostrils?
Oh my God! [laughing]
I can never look at them the same way again.
Em: Enjoy the video and be sure to get involved by leaving your top tips or recommendations for my setup in the comment section below.
Opinions and debates are most welcome, but any foul language will be deleted.
Today's video is sponsored by Runaway.
Runaway develop these really immersive apps, and they're all nature based. I've been playing Splash.
Splash.
Splash!
Splash.
Splash is a stunning ocean adventure game
where your mission is to care for an underwater sanctuary and repopulate the reef.
The app features real species of fish, and by raising fish and feeding them the correct foods,
you can establish various species and unlock new, rarer, marine creatures to learn facts about,
hatch, raise, care for, and release.
Collect and position coral to help you collect coins and food
and unlock new parts of the reef to increase how many fish you can raise at once.
I want to see your reef.
If you're also playing, take a snap of your reef and send it to me on Twitter.
You can also show off your reef by tagging the official Splash Twitter, @PlaySplashGame.
You might even get a retweet.
If you want to join in, you can download Splash for free.
Search for Splash in your app store to unlock a free underwater paradise.
Check out my description box below for more details.
I might sound a little bit more enthusiastic if I wasn't absolutely terrified.
Literally terrified because I am by no means an aquatic specialist.
Just for my own interest, I want to have a go at keeping saltwater.
There are no species that I'm interested in enough to want to keep at home
in a 150 to 200, 250-gallon, so I decided to go completely the opposite way. I decided to go nano!
Now, I know that sounds really cute like, "Oh! A nano aquarium! That must be really easy to look after!"
No, no. No, with nano aquariums, yes you save on space,
but they take a lot of upkeep. And by a lot of upkeep, I mean a lot of upkeep.
There are definitely pros and cons to keeping nano aquariums.
Some of the pros are the setup costs. So large aquariums,
such as 250-gallon aquariums, can start at around $700 for just the tank.
Not including the water testing kits, the live rock, the coral, the anemones, the reverse osmosis,
water salts, filtration pumps, and not to mention, the fish themselves.
Nanos will cost you less in space and the initial setup,
and they'll also be likely to take less time to do water changes for.
But there's also the cons, and it's really important to consider the cons.
Changes in a nano tank will always be very fast. So if your water quality isn't right,
you'll see the negative effects of this very, very quickly.
Ultimately, the decision is yours as to whether to go for a nano or a large aquarium,
but take into consideration more than just the setup and running costs.
So I'm trying to take things slow. I haven't got my aquarium yet,
but tomorrow I'm going to be going to a place in New Jersey called Absolutely Fish.
And they usually have display tanks, which are set up and actually for sale.
So my plan—my cunning plan—which may or may not work out in my favor,
is actually to go and buy an established aquarium.
The thought of moving a saltwater aquarium from one place to another
just makes me cringe down to my bones 'cuz there's so much that can go wrong.
You know, the coral can get cold, the fish can get cold, eurgh!
So I will see you tomorrow, when I go and pick up a tank. Aah!
It's cold.
If only I could actually keep coral that beautiful with those eggs.
Oh let me go see, that I can go and find it in the store.
Look, it's my turtle!
Okay, so I just arrived at Absolutely Fish over there, and Danny's out here pacing
because he thought that I was gonna get straight out the car.
[laugh] Okay, I'm coming.
What?! So many colors!
Who's your friend, Danny?
Danny: Um, I don't know. He's really feathery and cool.
Em: Oh, you like that one?
Danny: Yes.
Em: That's cool. I like it.
Em: Wow, so hypnotic! Oh my goodness! Wow...
I'm really sorry, but I don't have any footage of me actually driving home from the fish store
because I was holding onto everything in the back of the car
just trying to make sure that everything and everyone was happy.
So, here we go. This is when we got home, and we started to set up the aquarium.
Em: Alright, so we literally just got home.
What we're doing right now is they're going to put together some of this living rock.
Living or live rock is not actually alive itself,
but it's made from the skeletons of dead coral.
Many microscopic organisms can be found living on the rock, giving it its name.
Live rock has many benefits in a reef aquarium,
not only as a platform from which to build your reef on,
but also because it can have a stabilizing effect on the water's pH.
This water is from the same system that the aquarium that we had here at home
was being supported by in the store, so this water has already been pre-tested.
It's got perfect salinity, perfect pH levels, everything was tested.
We're just gonna slowly add it and bring it up to temperature.
Here, I am slowly adding the water into the tank.
I'm angling the current to the back of the tank so as not to kick up all the sand and cloud the water too much,
as this could upset the coral and the anemone.
[♪ ambient music ♪]
Here's the tank one hour after I built up the rock and positioned the coral and anemone.
I had to work quite quickly,
But I decided to try and replicate where each of the coral frags was when it was in the store on display.
As you can see, the water is still cloudy and the coral are not yet completely relaxed.
[♪ ambient music ♪]
These clownfish were captive bred by Absolutely Fish and were living in a nursery reef tank
with lots of other clownfish of a similar size.
Initially I wanted a maroon because of the color,
but I didn't realize how large maroons could grow.
The store totally advised me against the maroon because not only would they be too big for this tank,
but apparently, they can also be pretty aggressive to their tank mates, such as the cleanup crew invertebrates.
Not all clownfish will grow to be the same size,
so do double-check with your aquarist to make sure that the species you like is suitable for your tank.
Alright, Creatures.
So it's been about... I wanna say about four hours now since we set up the tank. Maybe three hours.
And as you can see, all of the coral and the anemones have started to unfurl a bit more.
They're settled in just that little bit more. I'm really surprised by this one down here.
Let me see if I can just focus. Look at that beautiful aquamarine color!
And I didn't even notice it when we put it in, but there it is.
It's absolutely beautiful, almost looks bioluminescent.
And then we go up here, and I'm not sure about this coral fragment right here.
I think I might actually move that one.
Of course there was a little bit of upset, you know,
putting everything around and jostling and reassembling.
So there is some mucus and some slime left over from where everything was stinging everything,
but hopefully everything's gonna settle down.
And of course you guys will have seen these beautiful fish over here, my clownfish!
Now with these clownfish, I just wanted to make it absolutely positive
and say that these two are actually captive bred.
I don't know if you are aware, but when it comes to a lot of marine life, especially fish,
corals as well, come to think of it... a lot are actually collected from the wild, but recently, in recent years,
captive breeding efforts of clownfish have been just incredible
and there have been some beautiful morphs created.
I personally I'm a massive fan of just the traditional, classic clownfish,
as we can see over here.
But these ones are captive bred.
And they are captive bred by a place that we actually got the tank from,
which is a place in New Jersey called Absolutely Fish.
And honestly, just I'm so impressed with their standards in there. I had zero guilt bringing these two home.
I thought they were absolutely wonderful.
Along with getting the clownfish and obviously the aquarium setup,
I got a couple of other things to help out with this tank.
And number one—probably one of the most important things—
a really important thing to have is a good hydrometer
because this is what's going to measure the salinity of the water.
On hydrometer gauges, you'll see this little darker area to the side here.
This is where you want the salinity gauge to point to when you measure your tank salinity
because the average ocean salinity is 35 parts per thousand.
So very, very important. We've got that over here on hand.
with a saltwater aquarium, your water is constantly evaporating.
Just, poof! Gone. Into thin air. Waah! [laugh]
So you're going to want to measure your salinity levels every single day,
especially if you have a nano tank because nano tanks are gonna have
really horrible side effects if you allow too much water to evaporate and you're left with a very high salinity level.
So I'm using the hydrometer here just to measure the salinity level. It is bang-on 35.
It's maybe slightly more towards 36 parts per thousand,
so we're around about where we need to be given that it should be at around 35 parts per thousand
Obviously, this is the next day, so some water has evaporated.
So with a tank which has salt water, you're going to want to set up external buckets
where you can actually mix saltwater.
We actually use reverse osmosis water at home, which we get from Absolutely Fish.
So that's a lot of fun right there.
But just remember to keep on top on looking at your hydrometer
because you would be astounded how quickly your water is going to evaporate
and leave lots of salt behind.
The other thing that I brought home with me is this two-step—[clears throat] Excuse me—calcium buffer system.
A good calcium buffer system is essential to balance your calcium and your alkalinity levels.
Coral are constantly extracting calcium from the water to build their exoskeletons.
So maintaining the correct level of calcium and alkalinity is key.
There are lots of calcium buffer systems on the market,
so make sure to always read the instructions for the correct dosages
because they will definitely differ from product to product.
This salt came highly recommended—Danny, please don't.
Danny: [laughing] Sorry.
Em: I can't show that kind of stuff on my channel, baby.
And then I actually got some of this pro-reef sea salt.
Now not all salts are the same when you go to a pet store or to an aquatic store.
Here at home, we actually do have a mudskipper who uses a different kind of salt
because he's in brackish water
But this sea salt has lots of trace elements of, you know,
calcium and lots of other things that you'd find actually in the sea.
And that's really important because obviously in here
we have lots of coral and anemones.
And with coral, they do require calcium to grow
because otherwise, they're literally just in water with nothing else.
But remember, coral does grow, and they need to have their own nutrients, their own food.
And that's something that you can actually find in this, the Tropic Marin,
and this is what came highly recommended by the actual guys in the aquatic store.
As far as food for the clownfish go, I am happy to feed them a pellet food,
as well as giving them some live food every now, and then.
Oh look at them! What's that?
Did you just fight over there? That was a lot of fun.
And I actually picked up some food at the aquatic store,
which I thought, you know, it has a clownfish on the front, obviously it's great for the clownfish.
And then the guy at the checkout here is like, "Excuse me. Listen."
"You don't wanna feed that to your clownfish 'cuz although there's clownfish on the front, it sucks."
So he basically pointed out this to me
Which is—let me see where it is—it is the Saki-Hikari Marine Carnivore Diet!
[reading off package] "A uniquely blended, probiotics enhanced formulation."
"A superior taste readily accepted by most marine species."
"A rapidly assimilated nutrient mix."
And it's a sinking type!
Now, I'm not gonna pretend to know anything about this
because I have never heard about it in my life.
But the guys in the store, I do absolutely trust them
and they did say that this was absolutely wonderful.
They actually get it shipped over from Japan.
I'm gonna see how they go with this. It looks like very promising.
I mean, hey, just from a packaging point of view, it's gorgeous and I approve of it!
Hopefully the fish will approve of it and they'll be nice and healthy because of it.
Have you guys ever used this brand before? Let me know in the comment section down below if you have
and your thoughts about it, or if you feed your clownfish any other food that really works,
please let me know. I would love to know and try them on as many different foods as possible
to see what they really like and what they can flourish on.
Along with the coral anemone, live rock, and fish, this tank also came with its own cleanup crew.
This is a Nassarius snail. They're docile and spend most of their time burrowed in the sand.
As soon as they smell food, they rise up out of the reef bed like zombies
and zoom around at quite a fast pace around the tank to find the food source.
As per my usual crazy life,
I've pre-filmed my tank in America, but I'm currently in London.
Whilst I'm here, I thought I'd ask one of the experts at The Aquatic Design Centre some questions
which could be useful for you if you're considering keeping fish.
I'm Tony and I work at The Aquatic Design Centre.
I'm fresh water livestock manager, so I'm here running the shop.
General fish keeping, basically. 25 years-ish. Maybe more.
Em: I've got a couple of questions to ask you. Are you happy for me to ask you those questions?
When I find out what they are, yeah. [laughs]
[♪ horror movie music ♪]
Em: What are some of the first considerations when deciding whether or not to dive into the world of fishkeeping?
First considerations are whether or not you're really that interested
and just be aware of the costs and what have you looking after an animal.
Doesn't have to be a full-time job, but it's gonna take up a fair amount of your time actually.
You've gotta have time to do that, really.
Em: What are some of the most common pitfalls you see new aquarists falling into?
Rushing. Rushing. Rushing. Rushing. Being too quick. Fishkeeping is a very slow hobby.
Put it that way. [unclear] busy lives these days, and everything's [snapping] go, go go.
Fishkeeping is one thing you can just sit back and relax.
Okay? The slower you go when fishkeeping, the better you'll be.
Generally speaking, anything good in fishkeeping takes time. Anything bad is going to happen over time.
So just take the time to enjoy it. Don't rush it because people who rush it always end up doing it wrong, or doing something....
For example, buying a tank, within a week putting fish in it, and that's always a no-no.
Most aquariums will generally take four to five weeks to fully settle down.
before the fish are actually able to be introduced to it.
And you'll spend the next few weeks then stopping the aquarium.
And in that time it's a good time if you're stuck to pick up a book, or go online, and try and do a little bit of research.
You know. Once the tank's maturing, what's the second half.
Em: Which freshwater fish would you recommend for a first-time fishkeeper?
So neon tetras, guppies, and platies, that sort of thing.
Various small barbs and gouramies, and the rasboras. There's so many to choose from.
Em: There is quite a trend for small or nano saltwater tanks right now.
What are some of the difficulties in keeping a nano saltwater tank?
It's a diminutive environment. It's the biggest thing with a small fish tank. The oceans are huge, they're vast,
and they're very clean. The tropical oceans are extremely clean.
The animals and organisms have come from there,
quite used to these very, very clean, stable environments.
A small aquarium, in terms of its water quality, is very unstable.
You get a lot of fluctuations. Evaporation of course will increase your salinity.
So your salinity is always bouncing up and down.
Your organic levels will build up almost straightaway in a smaller body of water.
In a larger tank, you've got more dilution, so things change slower.
The organisms can adapt quicker or adapt at a relational pace.
And of course you've got time to compensate for these little changes.
Em: Goldfish and bettas seem to be some of the most popular choices of fish.
How long can a well-cared-for goldfish live, and how long can a well cared betta fish live for?
It's debatable.
Goldfish, as far as I know, the obvious one on record was 43.
I would expect anywhere between 15 and 25 years to be pretty decent.
Sad truth is, most goldfish don't live over 10 years in captivity.
And the very unlucky ones, those are still living in bowls or stuff like that.
[unclear] You know, just a few short months, which is really sad considering it could be a pet for life if you do it right.
Siamese fighting fish, on the other hands, are a relatively short-lived animal.
Somewhere between a year and a half, maybe three or four years if you get a very good one.
Don't forget there are some in the wild so fighting fish,
sick or dying animals, they can be picked off pretty quickly once they get to a certain age.
They can't fend for themselves, they're eaten, they're taken care of. And somehow,
this sort of wild life is all so ingrained in some captive animals,
and they get to some point, it's their time to go and they just die.
It is kind of bizarre how that happens.
Em: As someone who works in a specialist aquatic shop,
what message would you like to send to people who may be considering an aquarium?
Think. Right? Just whatever animal you keep, whether fish or rabbits, guinea pigs,
think about the animal. Do the research about it, okay? It doesn't take long. It's not hard work
just to pick up a book or even go online or chat with some people.
Just try and figure out what it is you're trying to do.
So I've been playing this app called Splash.
Alright.
I wanna get your opinion, who is someone professional—
Okay.
—in the world of fishkeeping as to what you think of my aquarium
and how how it's looking. It's actually a reef.
Right.
Very nice, yeah. Looks nice.
I wouldn't trust a cuttlefish.
Em: No?
Tony: No, no, no.
Em: Don't trust the cuttlefish?
Tony: Don't trust the cuttlefish—Well, in real life, they're a predatory creature, they'll chew anything.
[Em laughs]
It's all looking very pretty.
Em: They're all hungry, you see. They're all hanging out by the food.
I have the barber pole goby, and I also have the watchman goby.
They're nice fish, yeah.
And who else do I have in here? I've had—
Tony: Butterfly fish or something.
Em: Yes.
Tony: I mean if you're completely nerdy about fish, and you can't get away from them, then this is ideal.
Em: What do you rate my reef out of 10? I'll be calling you
I'll be kind, I'll give it a 14.
Em: Awww, thank you. I'm sure Splash is gonna be happy to hear that too.
Tony: Right. Very pretty aquarium.
Thank you so much to Tony and the whole team at The Aquatic Design Centre in London
for answering my questions about fishkeeping.
You can find out more about The Aquatic Design Centre and how to visit in my description box,
and see more of their incredible collection in my upcoming vlog,
so subscribe to my vlogging channel!
So far, so good with my tank in this week's video,
but next week things get a little challenging.
I'll be conducting a routine water test in my aquarium update video
to show you how I test for the pH and ammonia.
And I'll be talking about some of the difficulties I've encountered so far.
I'll also be talking to the amazing Jenny from Solid Gold Aquatics about fishkeeping,
so be sure to subscribe and hit that notification bell
so as not to miss that upload.
Thanks again to Splash for sponsoring this video.
Go and check out their beautiful app down below in my description box,
show them some love over on Twitter over here, and I will see you guys in another video soon. Bye!
Psst! Don't forget to subscribe!
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NEW NANO Saltwater Aquarium | Setting Up My Reef Tank

780 Folder Collection
Evangeline published on June 7, 2018    translated    Evangeline reviewed
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