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Questions on a salt water set up.
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Q: I have four questions. I am about to get saltwater fish, and through my research have come across a couple of questions. First of all, is the substrate important in a tank? For example, I used to own freshwater fish and have not changed the substrate since. I do not know what kind of substrate it is either. Second, is coral a must have, and how long should you keep it in the tank before adding fish (50 gallon tank) Third, do you need protein skimmers? And finally, Do you need to give the fish a freshwater bath before placing them in the tank?

A: Substrate in a Salt water tank is very important, it acts as a pH buffer and helps maintain the higher levels needed for the fish. You should use a Carbonate substrate designed for salt water use which should be clearly marked on the bag, one brand is "Florida Crushed Coral." The use of Coral in a fish only tank is purely for decoration and there are many plastic resin copies out there that look great. A protein skimmer is an option in a Fish only tank and a must have in one of the mini reef tanks where you keep "live" Corals and other animals. A fresh water bath is a tricky procedure that does remove many parasites, but should be taken carefully for a novice, a quarantine tank is a much better idea. Please read theIntroduction to Saltwater: Your First Marine Tank article for more in depth answers.





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