How To Mix Salt for a Salt-Water Aquarium

Salt-water aquariums are so delightful to behold. Unfortunately, prepping them for your much-loved sea species isn’t that simple. You need to be informed on how to properly mix salt and water. Your mixing skills should consider the water’s “specific gravity” and the suitable salt-water for the type of marine life you wish to own.

Although there are a lot of methods in mixing salt for salt-water aquariums, here are some fairly practical steps to follow:

  1. Work on a timeline. Starting up a salt-water aquarium requires ample time. Experts estimate between four and eight weeks before your aquarium can become ready for marine life. So, don’t rush. Invest your money, time, and effort, wisely.
  2. Check your aquarium set up. Do you have everything you need? Missing a gadget is a no-no. For a comprehensive set up checklist, visit
  3. Educate yourself. Knowing more about salt-water aquariums is always advantageous. So, get handy tips online. Buy books. Understanding the basic ideas related to salt water aquariums would definitely afford you convenience. Research on what kind of salt-water that fish you intend to have. You choice would greatly help in determining the actual size of your aquarium. You may also want to learn about the differences between freshwater and salt-water aquariums.
  4. Be particular about the brand of salt you need for your salt-water aquarium. Some salt brands might be harmful to your salt-water fish. Choose the ones that don’t contain nitrates and/or phosphates. Aquarium specialists recommend Coralife, Instant Ocean, and IO Reef Crystals as high-quality salt brands.
  5. Water your tank properly. Don’t use tap water, even though it is clean, less expensive, and readily available. You should also not use cold or hot water. Have a sufficient supply of distilled dechlorinated water. A commercial dechlorinator is definitely going to simplify things for you. Invest on it. When your tank is already filled up, prepare your hydrometer. It should be calibrated to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, put the regulated hydrometer into the tank. Allow it to float liberally. The water temperature should also be kept at 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Add the salt slowly. Don’t just dispense it in. Gradually ease it into the water, and then, check the hydrometer. When the specific gravity is at 1.015 level, remove the hydrometer and clean it. About 36 hours is needed for the salt water to mix. Experts note that one cup of salt is equivalent to two gallons of sea-water. After the window period, bring back the hydrometer into the tank. You may then proceed adding salt to the water. You should stop when the specific gravity hits the required level. For your reference, experts suggest the following ranges: for fish, 1.019 to 1.022; for reefs, 1.023 to 1.025; and for corals and clams, 1.025 to 1.028.

When everything is ready, return one salt water fish at a time. That would allow the filtration system of your aquarium set up to conveniently adjust to the biological weight that the new fish would bring in.

So, that’s it. A little effort for your much-loved marine life isn’t that really fussy, right?


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