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Advice from expert

Phase 1 - Prepare your aquarium water

Set up the aquarium and install all filtration equipment. Fill the aquarium with freshwater that has ideally been treated by reverse osmosis.

If you must use untreated city water, add a quality liquid de-chlorinator to remove chlorine from the water.

Next, add salt by carefully following the instructions on the salt mix. Use a hydrometer to monitor and raise salinity to the desired level.

Install the aquarium heater and set to the desired temperature.

Allow the system to run for a few days to ensure a constant water temperature and proper operation of all equipment.

Phase 2 - Building your aquarium foundation

After your aquarium has run successfully for a few days, start building your "oundation of aragonite-based substrate and live rock.

You should also consider adding 2-3 inches of live sand, which seeds the sand bed with beneficial bacteria and micro-organisms.

Phase 3 - Add lighting and an Algae Attack Pack

Once your live rock has fully cured, and the biological filtration is mature, you can add your aquaria. As a final precaution before adding aquaria, test your ammonia and nitrite levels.

At this time, you should also set up your lighting system with a common appliance timer set to illuminate the aquarium 10-12 hours per day.

Phase 4 - Begin adding fish and invertebrates

After you've cured your live rock, illuminated your aquarium, and taken care of any subsequent algae blooms, your aquarium is ready for fish and invertebrates. Before adding any fish be sure you're familiar with any compatibility issues that may exist among your desired species.

Phase 5 - Add a Detritus Attack Pac

Now that you've established your aquarium and added fish and invertebrates, you should add a Detritus Attack Pack to help maintain healthy water parameters. The invertebrates in these attack packs feed on leftover food and waste from fish and other invertebrates. If insufficient detritus-eating invertebrates are present, the unconsumed food and waste will ultimately serve as nutrients for unwanted algae. Simply choose the Detritus Attack Pack that fits the size of your aquarium.

In Conclusion

It is our hope that the above steps helped to simplify and demystify the process of successfully setting up and stocking your marine aquarium. With the proper setup, diligence, patience, and care, your saltwater aquarium and its inhabitants will thrive while you enjoy a beautiful, fascinating ocean setting.

If you need assistance with your aquarium, please feel free to contact us.