Beginning

If you mean to set a marine aquarium I recommend that, if you don not have any experience with fish, you read as much as possible about marine aquariums, and try to understand every one of the different process that take place , such as maturation of the aquarium , quality of the water, types of filtration, diseases, maintenance. Only then you will be able to begin successfully one of the, to my understanding, most rewarding experiences in pet’s world.
You must also keep in mind that a marine aquarium is a relatively expensive hobby and that it takes a lot of your time.  I am not saying this to discourage you, but to make sure you know all of the difficulties that it implies. If you dedicate enough time, your fish will obviously look spectacular and will live longer.
Remember that everything that will be inside the marine aquarium is alive, the fish like the plants and many other organisms we can not see at plain sight, therefore, you will have a small portion of nature in a crystal globe inside you house. This means that an aquarium must never be treated like a picture or any other object of decoration, always remember that it is ALIVE.
A marine aquarium needs more cares than a sweet water one, given that the parameters you need to take into account  for the control and filtration of the water are more, and sometimes makes people give up to the aquarium. Be patient, and if you take care of all of the necessary cares from day one, we have insured success. The fish that are correctly taking care of, will have better colors and will even recognized the person that takes care of them.

LOCATION OF THE AQUARIUM

The aquarium must be placed in a place of the house that is convenience for its correct maintenance. If it is possible, in order to make the water changes easier, it should be near a water outlet. Sun rays must not hit directly into the aquarium. An aquarium is a water tank that recycles its water through filters; this means that we will need more space than the one that a sweet water fish globe usually occupies. In general, modern furniture has enough room below the fish globe to fit all the filters.

SIZE OF THE AQUARIUM

My advice is that you install the biggest aquarium you can, considering the available room and money you are willing to spend. People that are just beginning usually buy themselves a small aquarium and after a while if everything has gone well, they get a bigger one. That is good thinking but do not begging with one too small, the ideal will be a fish globe of about 60 to 80 liters; it might seem big at first but after a few days you will change your mind. You have to keep in mind that the smaller the fish globe the more problems you can have; having so few liters of water, any drastic change in the characteristics of it will happen much faster y dangerously than if the same thing happens on a bigger fish globe.

In order to calculate the amount of liters of our future aquarium, we must keep in mind the following measures: Height, Wide and Depth. Multiplying these three measures, we will have the total volume in cubic centimeters.

For example:

Height: 50 centimeters
Wide: 70 centimeters
Depth: 40 centimeters

Multiplying this numbers we get 140.000 cubic centimeters. This represents a 140 liter aquarium of total capacity. After placing the chorale sand and decoration, the amount of liters of water will be a lot less (this is a very important thing to know, the actual amount of liters of water we have inside the aquarium, for when, for instance, we must medicate our fish).

To my understanding, the two most important measures when it comes to the decision of which fish globe to buy are height and depth.  The first one must be about 50 centimeters approximately, because one of more than 70 centimeters, will require a much thicker glass, which will increase the value of the fish globe.   The second one, the depth, is an aesthetic matter, but from my experience the ideal measure is of about 40 centimeters, given that on marine aquariums the decoration is very important and with this measure you can appreciate it in all of its dimensions.

The recommended measures are:

Beginners: 100 cm x 50 cm x 40 cm =200 liters
Intermediate: 120 cm x 60 cm x 50 cm = 360 liters
Advanced: 150 cm x 70 cm x 50 cm = 525 liters

WATER AND ITS CHARACTERISTICS

First we must have something very clear: the fact that the water in our aquarium is transparent and clear does not mean that it is the ideal for our fish, this is a common mistake, it can be hiding the same dangers than not transparent water.

We all know that the water from our faucet has Chlorine, which is bad for our fish. If you let the water to rest for a few days, the Chlorine will evaporate, or you can eliminate it with products you can buy. There are other characteristics of the water we must know well. Such are:

The pH:

pH is neutral if it has a value of 7, if it is higher than that, it is called alkaline and if it is lower than 7, it is called acid. The optimal value for our sea water is around 8.0 to 8.4. You have to be very careful with pH changes, if it changes rapidly on about one point, this may cause serious disturbances on our fish. To measure it we can use several tests we can buy. The most prestigious ones are from Tetra, some of them even include products that lower or raise it according to your necessity, but remember, those changes must always be done slowly.

The hardness:

It is the amount of salt that is dissolved into the water. This is usually measured in German degrees (°dH). Water between 0 and 10 degrees will be soft, more than 30 degrees will be hard y it will be normal between 11 and 29. Our fish will be fine with hardness between 10 and 19 degrees. In order to lower the hardness of the water we can do the following:

Distilled Water: we will mix distilled water with the one in our aquarium until we have reached the value we want.
Ions Interchanger Resin: it is one of the most used methods. We will pass the water through a filter filled with resin. When the resin is saturated we activate it by submerging it with salt for about 24 hours. (Thick salt, nor the one we use to cook)

Temperature:

The ideal temperature is 25 °c, but it can be around 22 °c to 28°c. We must be very careful with the temperature when we bring new fish to the aquarium, and also in extreme seasons, such as winter and summer. To avoid extreme temperatures in our marine aquarium, we must keep the water warm in winter trough heating engineer and must keep the illumination device aired during the summer, because that device is the one that contributes the most to heat up our fish globe.

Density:

The density in our marine aquarium is the relation that exists between the amount of water and the salt that this has. The right level for our aquarium is of about 1.022. However, normal rates are between 1.021 and 1.026, this will not affect the quality of our fish.

Ammonia and Nitrite:

In new aquariums nitrite bacterium does not exist, they are the ones that transform gases that appear in the aquarium because of the nitrogen cycle.  A few days after we had set up an aquarium, the ammonia rates are very high, and a few more days later, it becomes nitrite and after some more time, it changes into nitrate. The two first phases, which can lasts from 10 to 12 days, are deadly for fish, especially ammonia.  This is why it is recommended not to have fish in the aquarium during the first week. After that you can have one or two fish and that way, little by little you populate the fish globe until you have reached the optimal level.

GENERAL ADVICES

Cleaning up the aquarium does not mean you have to empty it, boiled the water, clean the glasses with soap and fill it back. Cleaning up the aquarium means you clean up the filters once a month (always leave some old dirty parts behind), change the water; take a look at the pH, hardness, etc. Never use any product to clean up the glasses, only water, even on the outside.

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