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When you are purchasing the equipment for a new saltwater system, it appears on the surface that the size, shape, type of aquarium and what beautiful fish you will fill it with are the most important considerations. What many people don’t realize is that the proper filtration system and appropriate lighting are critical to your success. Let us stress again that it is the filtration and not the water flow in combination with the right lighting which will determine how well your aquarium will survive. These two items make the difference between success and failure.

Sunlight plays a very important part in a saltwater aquarium and when the proper lighting is used in the system the health and growth of invertebrates and fish is truly improved. You should take great care in selecting the appropriate lighting fixtures and accessories necessary to provide the right environment for your fish. The following are suggestions for success in lighting: Use super actinic bulbs for growth and chroma bulbs for colour. Use twice as many colour bulbs as actinics and limit actinic on times to 5 hours a day. (Available at all Big Al1s Supercentres)

Filtration can become a nightmare of confusion with all of the many choices in front of you on the store shelves. When considering proper filtration forget about the "water flow rate" and consider "filtered water flow rate". The difference is flow through a filter media verses water flowing unrestricted. Most filtration devises are measured according to water flow only. When equipment is set-up and filter media is placed in the filter, the rate drops considerably due to the material the water is being forced through.

Eye clarity in an aquarium is achieved by water filtered to approximately 50 microns and is what most aquarium filters achieve. This is not what is needed to keep a healthy saltwater system and further water filtration to at least 20 micron is highly advised. To achieve this you need to choose equipment that is honestly rated to filter to this level of impurity removal.

Other water chemistry must also be considered, but this issue will be discussed in another article. What we are stressing here is; If you do not provide the best in lighting and filtration at the very beginning for your saltwater aquarium, the chances of having a thriving, healthy aquarium are diminished considerably.(Consult your local Big Al’s Supercentres)

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