Maintaining water quality in a saltwater aquarium is of the utmost importance for a healthy tank. Aside from the normal day to day upkeep (checking water temperature, feeding animals, overall observations and water top off), saltwater aquariums and all of their components require periodic maintenance and cleaning in order to function properly.
How often should you perform major cleaning chores depends on your system type. While true Berlin Live Rock and Jaubert/Plenum filter systems need little maintenance, Wet/Dry Trickle and canister filters require more frequent attention. There are a number of factors which affect how often your tank will require maintenance:
- Filtration type.
- Biological load on the filtration system.
- Quantity & types of foods fed.
- Inclusion of Tank Janitors.
- Use of toxin (nitrate & phosphate) reducing products.
Once your tank is cycled, monitoring weekly water quality tests will let you know when a thorough cleaning is a good idea. Over time, you will start to see trends in your test readings as well as observable changes in your tank livestock. Taking a couple of minutes every day to really look at your tank will pay big dividends.
Take a minute to record your observations of anything unusual in your tank log book.