Marine water-the water
Salt and water = marine water?
Strictly speaking freshwater only differs from marine water by the sea salt content. Normally you can use your tap water and add a good sea salt. Check the salt content with a hydrometer ( JBL hydrometer ) and add water or salt until the density has settled between 1.022 and 1.025. ALWAYS first add tap or osmosis water and then the salt – never the other way around!
Nitrate, Silicate, phosphate
If your tap water contains measurable amounts of phosphate, nitrate or silicate you need to use a reverse osmosis system.
Your tap water must NOT indicate any measurable content of copper! ( JBL Cu Copper Test )
As soon as your aquarium has the right salt content, the running-in phase will start. Inoculate your filter 24 h after the start with filter bacteria ( JBL Denitrol ). Now let the aquarium run with the substrate, saltwater, heater and filter for at least two weeks WITHOUT lighting. After this, turn on the lighting and increase the lighting time one hour every two weeks, until a maximum burn time of 10 hours has been reached.
After one week you can start to gradually add living reef stone (still without light!) There are several ways to create constructions in the marine aquarium. Firstly you can build a „foundation“ with e.g. porous rocks and place “living stones” on it. Or you can invest a little more money and build the complete reef with “living reef rocks”. We recommend the latter method because living stones promote the aquarium biology better than “dead” porous rocks.
The total running-in time is approx. 12 weeks! But during this time you can already admire a lot of beautiful and interesting creatures in your marine aquarium thanks to the living reef rocks you have added.
Unfortunately the water conditioner JBL Biotopol is only partially suitable for marine water. It contains chelators which neutralise unwanted heavy metals, but unfortunately can cause your protein skimmer to overflow. As long as you do NOT run a skimmer you can use the water conditioner.
In marine water the same water values are relevant as those you check in freshwater. See Water values and Water tests . Unlike in freshwater the measuring of the general hardness in marine water is not useful because the value is too high and your test vessel is more likely to overflow than indicate a value. The constituents of the general hardness (calcium & magnesium) are measured separately in marine water.
Along with calcium and magnesium many other trace elements in marine water are crucial for the care of corals! Your aquarium receives its first correct dosage of trace elements with the sea salt. It is therefore important to use a good sea salt. Ask your specialist dealer what sea salt they use and recommend. After a short time, depending on your invertebrates’ consumption, the trace elements will be used up. Not all uniformly and not all at the same time. After about one month it is time to re-dose your trace elements. Since not all trace elements can be mixed in one product (they would react with each other and not remain soluble), JBL can offer you several components under Habitat marine water which need to be added in short intervals. With them you provide for all the invertebrates and fish in your marine aquarium comprehensively and completely.
Calcium, magnesium, carbonate hardness: these 3 water values, together with the pH value, form the basis for healthy coral growth. You can find further information about these parameters here: Water values .