Starting your first saltwater reef aquarium with live rock or live sand will help to shorten the time needed for your tank to re-cycle properly. This is because the life rocks and live sand will create a perfect environment for the nitrifying bacteria to grow and thrive. Life rocks are basically calcium carbonate remains of dead corals and other calcareous sea creatures. Before choosing your live rocks, it is important that you have already decided on your saltwater reef aquarium theme first. This is because live rock from different oceans will have a different kind of coralline algae that grows on it and each coralline algae will have their own unique color. For more information about live rock and live sand, click on the link.
Seawater or saltwater is the most critical component of the aquarium as it is the medium where your fishes and invertebrates live in. Although choosing to use natural sea water from the ocean or sea is the best choice, this is often not convenient for most hobbyists. As such, most hobbyists today use a commercial dry salt mix added with clean fresh water to the required salinity. Careful selection of the salt mix is important as not all salt mix is of the same quality and mineral content. The best salt mix is the one which gives you the best approximation of the natural sea water mineral content. Whatever salt mix that you choose, please do not uses the ordinary kitchen salt as these have normally been added with additional chemical which makes them unsuitable for use in your saltwater reef aquarium and will harm your saltwater creatures. Visit this page for more information and guide on how to choose and prepare saltwater for your tank.