In Part 1 of this series we looked at the first 9 of the 19 essential items you need to set up a marine fish tank. This post covers the rest . . .
9. Buckets, Towels, Rubber Gloves – It can get wet and messy maintaining a marine fish tank so having buckets and towels on hand is a must for water changes, cleaning, new arrivals, etc. The gloves protect both you and the inhabitants of your tank.
10. Substrate – Not technically a have to have, but you’re probably going to want either live sand or crushed coral on the bottom of your tank.
11. Live Rock / Decorative rocks or coral – You’re fish will need some rocks or other decorative materials in the tank to give them a place to hide and feel safe.
12. Heater – Since you’re probably going be keeping tropical species of fish, you’ll need a heater to make sure the water is warm enough for them.
13. Thermometer – Because you’ll need to know if that heater is doing its job or not.
14. Lights – There are a number of lighting options to choose from. Your choice will depend on what you’ll be putting in the tank (ie. a fish only tank will not require the lighting intensity as a reef tank with live rock and coral).
15. Powerhead – A good powerhead will create strong movement in the aquarium water. This is important because it mixes the aquarium water, eliminates dead or stagnant areas and helps keep your fish healthy. You may also want an extra powerhead to use when mixing salt for water changes.
16. Protein Skimmer – Skimmers remove organic waste from your aquarium before they can break down and turn into nitrates which are bad for salt water aquarium fish.
17. Fish – You can’t have a marine fish tank without the fish! Be sure to choose carefully and make sure you don’t overcrowd your tank or get species that aren’t compatible.