Saltwater Aquarium Equipment: A Saltwater or Marine aquarium should be all glass or plastic, no smaller than 20 gallons for the beginner. Remember, larger aquariums are generally easier to take care of, but harder to set up initially. You must have a sturdy stand or base that will support the aquarium, water, and habitat weight. For a 30 gallon aquarium, the weight will be a minimum of 250 pounds. You should also cut a 1/2" thick piece of Styrofoam the same size as your aquarium base to be used as a cushion.
Additional basic equipment required are an air pump, check valve, gang valve, air line tubing, saltwater under gravel filter, glass cover, and fluorescent light. Optional equipment includes an outside power filter with Dacron floss and activated carbon or an ion-exchange resin, heater, an under gravel power pump, and an ultraviolet purifier (preferably with the bulbs above the water for easier maintenance and better efficiency).
Combination glass, metal, and slate aquariums are still safe for freshwater fish but should not be used for a marine aquarium, as seawater reacts with the metal and slate causing rust and toxins that can kill marine fish and invertebrates. The check valve is used to prevent back syphoning in the event of a power failure. The under gravel filter is used to support the bottom media above a water column to assure good water circulation thus enabling nitrifying bacteria to carry out their biological role of breaking down waste and organic matter. Purchase an undergravel filter designed for saltwater. The stems are larger and the platform base higher than freshwater filters.
The undergravel power filter is a fairly new product and some data indicate it improves the efficiency of the under gravel filter and sets up a current in the aquarium. The outside power filter removes larger particulate matter in suspension in the water. It is also used to pump the water through the ultraviolet filter. This filter helps to break down organics, as well as serving its two primary functions: control of disease caused by microorganisms and maintenance of good water quality. I believe the potential of the ultraviolet purifier has not yet been fully realized.
I feel my system lets me do more with a saltwater aquarium than just regular filtration. It lets me put in more fish in one tank than published formulas recommend. You cannot "overdose" a tank with ultraviolet. All research data have shown that it does not change the water chemistry.
Saltwater Aquarium Equipment.