Material Requirements and Cost Considerations

Oxygen, Salinity and Water Temperature go hand-in-hand. According to Robert Toonen, oxygen saturated water is important for the reef animals. It has been proven that during the day more oxygen is necessary for the animals than at night-time. Ideal oxygen saturation must be at least 6. 5mg/L. Appendix F shows the salinity and temperature required to attain a particular oxygen saturation. For heating, aquatticcritter. com recommends the use of submersible heaters mounted horizontally above the substrate. For an aquarium of 55 gallons and up it is recommended that two heaters are used for even distribution of heat.

Two thermometers must be used to measure the temperature in the environment. (Aquatticcritter. com) Filtration system is another consideration for a reef aquarium. Filtration system could be composed of live rock, activated carbon and a protein skimmer with UV sterilizer. The activated carbon such as charcoal, can put behind a live rock for filtering. However, one must not use a wet or dry filter, a canister filter or any other aquarium filter for reef aquariums because necessary nutrients for the invertebrates and coral reefs could get into it (seatechaquariums. com, 2007).

Live Rocks and Coral or Argonite Sand Substrate is another important consideration in a reef system aquarium. Live Rocks can be used as filters and hiding places for the fishes and invertebrates. It also serves as an additional aeration system for the environment so adding up live rocks can help give the aquarium the natural environment and at the same time is beneficial for the fishes. The sand substrate can be used as a hiding place for the anaerobic bacteria that produces the Nitrogen. However, one must not use silica sand because this could prove harmful for the environment (aquaticcritter. com, 2007)

A 100 gallon aquarium can be considered as a big aquarium. The author had decided to use a fibreglass aquarium because its characteristics are ideal for a big aquarium (pet-yard. com. , 2007). A picture of the fibreglass aquarium is illustrated in Appendix A. Basically, the best stand to use for a big aquarium is reinforced concrete but for the purpose of illustration and price costing, the author decided on a Pine Cabinet stand for convenience and aesthetic reasons. Other equipment of the Aquarium include the following: Lighting using Metal Hallide Lights, Airpumps suitable for the 100 gallons.

Power Filters, Chiller, Heater, Protein Skimmer+Pump, Calcium Reactor, Sump Pump, Circulation Pump, Auto Top Off, Controller, Dosing System, RO Unit, Plumbing and Fittings and lastly the electrical wiring are all necessary materials in setting up the aquarium. The cost breakdown and functions of each are shown in Appendix I. Necessary substrates are the live rock and sand. Estimated amount of live rock to be used is 160 lbs and 100 lbs for the sand substrate.

The cost is also shown in Appendix I. Live Stock According to liveaquaria.com, it is necessary to know the habitants that the hobbyist is planning to put inside the aquarium. The compatibility, appearance, and size are necessary in order to have a balance system inside. Fish The Fishes that the author had considered are all compatible in terms of temperament. The sources that the author had used is from liveaquaria. com. The compatibility chart used for the selection is illustrated in Appendix G. Selected species are the Blue Tang, Yellow Priolepis Goby, Bimaculatus Anthias and Gold Assessor Basslets. Cost and Illustrations are shown in Appendix H. Invertebrates

The invertebrates chosen were also based on compatibility, temperament and its function in the aquarium. The invertebrates considered are Tiger Pistol Shrimp, Paper Bubble Shell, Serpent Sea Star, Super Tonggan Notarius Snail, Linckia Sea Star, and Maxima Clam Gold. Tiger Pistol Shrimp has a good relationship with a Goby that is why the author had considered this invertebrate. The Bubble shell eats algae and diatomes in the system and is peaceful in nature. The serpent sea star eats detritus and small organisms in the environment. The Notarius shell consume detritus, uneaten food, decaying organics, and fish waste.

The Linckia Sea Star eats small floating microbes. The Maxima Clam Gold is a filter feeder. All invertebrates have contrasting colors so this would be a good collection for the reef. Cost and Illustrations are shown in Appendix H. Conclusion Hard work and effort is necessary in maintaining ecosystems like the aquarium. It is important for the hobbyist to consider all the conditions in the aquarium to ensure survival of all its inhabitants. Balance of all systems must be achieved for better results for the aquarium. The hobbyist must not only consider the quality of the materials for the aquarium.

The type of animals and the different life forms that he plans to put in it must also be well-coordinated. Maintenance of the aquarium is also necessary. Having an aquarium is not just buying anything that the hobbyist wants. It requires planning and critical thinking to establish a well-balanced system.

REFERENCES

Pet-Yard (2007), Aquariums, Retrieved last September 16, 2007 from petyard. com W
Seaworld, Aquariums as a Hobby (2007). Retrieved last September 16, 2007 from Seaworld Organization.
Drs. Foster and Smith Inc. (2007), Nitrogen Cycle the Key to Biological Filtration, Retrieved last September 16, 2007 from Pet Education,
Andrews, M. (2007), Calcium for Dummmies, Retrieved last September 16, 2007 from Aquaria Central.
Henderson, N. (1997). Head and Literal Line Erosion. Retrieved last September 16, 2007 from Aquarium Design.
Live Aquaria (2007). Fish Price and Cost, Compatibility Chart, Retrieved last September 16, 2007 from Live Aquaria.