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Saltwater Aquariums

Saltwater aquariums are any tank or confined artificial saltwater container environment. The hobby of saltwater aquarium cultivation; which has been responsible for the largest scientific advancements in marine biology in the last 55 years, consists of three main concepts in order to be well understood.

  1. First a marine aquarium (saltwater aquarium), must have an idealized “combination” of living organisms for its ecological balance and survival.
  2. Second, a good saltwater aquarium is very different from those of the traditional freshwater aquarium hobby, in that a certain level of research must be done in order to fully comprehend the concept of “chemical” balance, which is the breath of life for every form of marine life.
  3. Thirdly, without the proper equipment, no aquarium can sustain the natural conditions found in 75 percent of the earths surface; the sea.

A place of enchantment, legend and myth, the sea is home to a diverse and still as of yet not completely understood plethora of living creatures. In this fragile balance of mother-nature’s womb, to which Darwinists acclaim is the origin of all life on the planet earth, we as humans learn about ourselves and the world around us. A saltwater aquarium is a way to harness scientific knowledge about one’s own self, and the vast and infinite world around themselves, through the dedicated study and cultivation of marine life.

Choosing the combination of a saltwater aquarium’s marine inhabitants is for this reason, a very personal one. Be a saltwater aquarium, based on local sea life, this can be as easy as privately taking the weekend to go scuba diving near a coral reef and/or just going out in the early morning during low tide, and collecting in a bucket of sea water, hundreds of tiny crustacean and invertebrates caught in the tide pools; or as complicated as a 500 liter transparent tank, filled with delicate and carefully made artificial sea water and exotic tropical fish hiding between living colorful coral and sand that reminisce of Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias, and the great war between Athens and Atlantis, thousands of years ago, before the deluge.

Marine life is so infinitely diverse and complex, that keeping any given selection in captivity, gets more and more complicated the smaller the tank. The chemical saltwater balance in the aquarium must not only make sure that living creatures get the proper amounts of oxygen, as they do the correct proportion of microminerals (trace elements) such as molybdenum, zinc, manganese, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium and chromium. How the water is balanced chemically will be determined by what goes into the tank, as certain combinations, prefer certain combinations. If saltwater is directly collected from the ocean, this balance can be very unstable, as it usually contains unhealthy organisms and balances that can only be used with local sea life. Artificially made seawater will be far more controllable, but far more demanding of certain understandings in basic chemistry. This search for understanding is one of the main reasons why enthusiasts enjoy saltwater aquariums so much more than freshwater aquariums, as each and every new saltwater project is an adventure of discovery in and of itself.

As the relative size of the sea is so astronomical compared to land mass, the ability to reconstruct the same conditions as found in any given region, vary accordingly. Thus a tropical water angel fish would not survive the ice cold waters of northern Greenland nor would a bottom dwelling cold water crustacean enjoy the tropical florescent lights of an equatorial 5 gallon living rock aquarium. For this reason, certain kinds of equipment such as filters, pumps, air compressors, heaters, lamps and water testing kits are all used in recreating the natural conditions best suited for those given creatures. Without these precautions, and regular maintenance and upkeep, a saltwater aquarium would not be possible, as it is a recreation of what mother-nature already does perfectly. A recreation we do not merely do for the joy involved in playing with exotic fish, but also in the quest for quenching the everlasting human thirst for understanding.

Saltwater aquariums are different from freshwater aquariums in that they consist in a far larger and more intensely diverse organization of ecology. The smaller they get, the more complex and intellectual their composition of combining biodiversity. Without careful respect for the elements found in sea water by paying close attention to chemical balance, no saltwater aquarium projects are even possible. With such immense possibilities of ecosystems, artificial conditions must recreate exactly and with precision the roles of temperature, oxygenation, ph, lighting… etc. by having the proper choices in equipment. Once well planed and carefully constructed, a saltwater aquarium can bring answers to some of even the deepest philosophical Darwinian questions.

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Posted in Articles on August 15, 2005.

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