What is involved in looking after a reef aquarium?

by Yorkshire Reefs
Published: Updated:

by Sapphire Littler, Yorkshire Reefs

Looking after a reef aquarium is easier than it’s ever been. If you have a spare couple of hours a week and are ready to learn, you’ll have a great tank! Here’s a run through of what general maintenance looks like for someone with a reef aquarium.

Water tests

We like to do water tests at least once per week, and it only takes about half an hour! Here’s a look at what we’re checking:
KH, calcium, and magnesium – these are things which corals use to grow, and we like to keep these numbers stable. If they’ve dropped from the previous week, we increase the amount of these we are putting into the tank with liquid supplements. If the numbers have increased, we lower the amount of liquid supplements. You don’t have to test these or put these in yourself – nifty gadget can do it for you at hourly intervals!

Nitrate and phosphate, which come from fish waste, coral food, and fish food. If the numbers are too high, we do larger water changes, perhaps 20% a week, or look at adding a media or liquid into the tank to lower them. If they’re too low, we feed the fish and corals more heavily, and we might even add some more fish into the tank!

Water changes

We generally recommend a 10% water change once per week, so if you have a 250L tank, you’ll change out 25L of water. You can make the salt water yourself, but most people prefer to buy it ready mixed from us. At the same time as this, we’ll clean some of the equipment – but as we don’t use filters in marine tanks, it’s all pretty easy!

And that’s all there is! Sometimes tanks can have problems with algae or other elements which are out of balance, but that is very normal. When this happens, we’re always on-hand to chat you through sorting it out, and we’ve never had a tank problem we can’t fix!

Yorkshire Reefs, Unit 3 (Red Zone), 9 Cherry Farm Close, Malton Enterprise Park, Malton, YO17 6AH
Tel: 01653 531166 | Facebook/Instagram @YorkshireReefs
Opening Times: Tuesday – Friday 9.30 – 5, Saturday 10 – 5, Sunday 10.30 – 4

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