Saltwater Aquarium Supplies

What are Saltwater Aquarium Supplies?

Saltwater aquarium supplies are all tools, parts and equipment necessary to actively participate in the mysterious underwater adventure of marine aquarium study. When thinking initially about what kind of supplies that need to be bought, found or recycled to get started with that summer camp oceanography merit badge, the main word to keep in mind is balance. Three different areas need to be balanced, organic, mechanical and chemical. Supplying the proper organic balance means choosing before hand the fish, plants, invertebrates, live rock, live sand and biological filters to be used. Mechanical balance supply can range from hood or canopy, lighting, tank, stand, pumps to mechanical filters. Chemical balance can be achieved by supplying the correct amounts of oxygen, CO2, nitrite, nitrate and ammonia, levels at the proper temperature.

Supplying organic balance to the microcosm of an artificial aquatic sea realm means supplying life. Fish and plants are the main reasons aquarists study saltwater biology, but pure coral and sand can be just as exciting. Marine life can be easily found in the sea, but more importantly that they pertain to areas that are of the same climatic conditions. If the sea is not so close, it would be far more economical to import them from exotic named ports and beach front countries from around the world. Economical does not mean cheap, so choose wisely in accordance to the capacity of the hobbyists pocketbook. Everything else will depend on this choice of balance.

Supplying mechanical balance for any given saltwater aquarium is a relatively simple question of understanding the mechanical reproduction of the living organism’s natural habitat. Lighting gives the affect of night and day (light can ultimately mean the difference between life and death to coral reef and invertebrate aquariums) pumps do the work of waves, filters the work of moving sand, tides and beach foam. CO2 injectors can provide the work of fish gills without all the pollutants. Tank style, size and shape, as well as stands and hoods can all cater to the philosophical nature of the saltwater aquarium. Oceanic study supplies the intellect with deeper meaning, while aquarium aesthetics supply the soul with passionate understanding of the deep human mysteries hidden below the titanic depths of the everlasting sea.

Chemical balance is supplied through careful observation of environmental ecological factors to support life, such as oxygen and CO2 levels, nitrite and nitrate content, as well as dangerous amounts of ammonia. Plants tend to supply the most amounts of oxygen, but if oxygen levels are down, then more air needs to be running through the saltwater solution (usually by using a pump or waterfall). CO2 levels are normally kept up or down by the amount of fish and other oxygen consuming inhabitants (however CO2 injectors are available at local saltwater aquarium shops). Nitrite, nitrate and ammonia levels are all directly influenced by organisms that give off decomposable organic material, such as dead plants, and fish wastes. Chemical filters such as activated carbon or specific resins can be used, but normally pumps, biological and mechanical filters such as protein skimmers can keep water clean enough for the most sensitive of inhabitants, unless there is an imbalance already in natural ecology. Chemical balance can become a very important issue in reef only, fish only, plant only, or any other isolated saltwater environment, because one organisms waste is another’s food. Take away one organism and the other must be supplied artificially with sustenance.

The locked mystery that clenches our dry land human existence to the confines of atmospheric pressure and oxygen is the secret enigma which drives marine biologists to delve into the fascination of saltwater aquascapes. The delicate and fragile balance between recreating the fantastic wonder of the oceans habitat and complete disaster, is weighed between organic, mechanical and chemical equilibrium. Organic balance is obtained through the correct supply of living organisms, those that complement one another in a friendly way. Mechanical balance ascertains evolved philosophical and intellectual meaning when properly studying external and internal artificial functions of saltwater equipment in a closed environment. Chemical balance is supplied through the dynamic internal study and maintenance of isolated decomposing organic compounds such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, oxygen and CO2. All of these components are supplied by authorized saltwater aquarium outlets, as they can also be found in nature and adapted to supply hours of fun and intellectual discovery.

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Posted in Articles on August 23, 2005.

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