Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles 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.