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  • Aquariums take a lot of dedication, and fish should not be thought of as disposable pets.

  • Please don't rely solely on my information or replicating my methods or setup.

  • If you're considering starting an aquarium, please consult a professional at an aquatic store,

  • and consider joining online aquatics forums

  • where you can ask questions and receive help from experienced hobbyists.

  • Hey, what's up, Creatures? It's Em.

  • I have decided to start a saltwater aquarium.

  • A saltwater aquarium.

  • Now, I might sound a little bit more enthusiastic if I wasn't absolutely terrified!

  • I hope you enjoy this Part 1 to my aquarium setup video.

  • Stay until the end where I'll be talking to an aquatic specialist

  • from London's premier aquatic shop, The Aquatic Design Centre.

  • Be sure to hit that subscribe button and that notification bell

  • so you don't miss next week's video, which will be a tank update

  • featuring a very special guest, who you might already know.

  • Em: Do you know when people do close-up videos of squeezing the pores around their nostrils?

  • Oh my God! [laughing]

  • I can never look at them the same way again.

  • Em: Enjoy the video and be sure to get involved by leaving your top tips or recommendations for my setup in the comment section below.

  • Opinions and debates are most welcome, but any foul language will be deleted.

  • Today's video is sponsored by Runaway.

  • Runaway develop these really immersive apps, and they're all nature based. I've been playing Splash.

  • Splash.

  • Splash!

  • Splash.

  • Splash is a stunning ocean adventure game

  • where your mission is to care for an underwater sanctuary and repopulate the reef.

  • The app features real species of fish, and by raising fish and feeding them the correct foods,

  • you can establish various species and unlock new, rarer, marine creatures to learn facts about,

  • hatch, raise, care for, and release.

  • Collect and position coral to help you collect coins and food

  • and unlock new parts of the reef to increase how many fish you can raise at once.

  • I want to see your reef.

  • If you're also playing, take a snap of your reef and send it to me on Twitter.

  • You can also show off your reef by tagging the official Splash Twitter, @PlaySplashGame.

  • You might even get a retweet.

  • If you want to join in, you can download Splash for free.

  • Search for Splash in your app store to unlock a free underwater paradise.

  • Check out my description box below for more details.

  • I might sound a little bit more enthusiastic if I wasn't absolutely terrified.

  • Literally terrified because I am by no means an aquatic specialist.

  • Just for my own interest, I want to have a go at keeping saltwater.

  • There are no species that I'm interested in enough to want to keep at home

  • in a 150 to 200, 250-gallon, so I decided to go completely the opposite way. I decided to go nano!

  • Now, I know that sounds really cute like, "Oh! A nano aquarium! That must be really easy to look after!"

  • No, no. No, with nano aquariums, yes you save on space,

  • but they take a lot of upkeep. And by a lot of upkeep, I mean a lot of upkeep.

  • There are definitely pros and cons to keeping nano aquariums.

  • Some of the pros are the setup costs. So large aquariums,

  • such as 250-gallon aquariums, can start at around $700 for just the tank.

  • Not including the water testing kits, the live rock, the coral, the anemones, the reverse osmosis,

  • water salts, filtration pumps, and not to mention, the fish themselves.

  • Nanos will cost you less in space and the initial setup,

  • and they'll also be likely to take less time to do water changes for.

  • But there's also the cons, and it's really important to consider the cons.

  • Changes in a nano tank will always be very fast. So if your water quality isn't right,

  • you'll see the negative effects of this very, very quickly.

  • Ultimately, the decision is yours as to whether to go for a nano or a large aquarium,

  • but take into consideration more than just the setup and running costs.

  • So I'm trying to take things slow. I haven't got my aquarium yet,

  • but tomorrow I'm going to be going to a place in New Jersey called Absolutely Fish.

  • And they usually have display tanks, which are set up and actually for sale.

  • So my planmy cunning planwhich may or may not work out in my favor,

  • is actually to go and buy an established aquarium.

  • The thought of moving a saltwater aquarium from one place to another

  • just makes me cringe down to my bones 'cuz there's so much that can go wrong.

  • You know, the coral can get cold, the fish can get cold, eurgh!

  • So I will see you tomorrow, when I go and pick up a tank. Aah!

  • It's cold.

  • If only I could actually keep coral that beautiful with those eggs.

  • Oh let me go see, that I can go and find it in the store.

  • Look, it's my turtle!

  • Okay, so I just arrived at Absolutely Fish over there, and Danny's out here pacing

  • because he thought that I was gonna get straight out the car.

  • [laugh] Okay, I'm coming.

  • What?! So many colors!

  • Who's your friend, Danny?

  • Danny: Um, I don't know. He's really feathery and cool.

  • Em: Oh, you like that one?

  • Danny: Yes.

  • Em: That's cool. I like it.

  • Em: Wow, so hypnotic! Oh my goodness! Wow...

  • I'm really sorry, but I don't have any footage of me actually driving home from the fish store

  • because I was holding onto everything in the back of the car

  • just trying to make sure that everything and everyone was happy.

  • So, here we go. This is when we got home, and we started to set up the aquarium.

  • Em: Alright, so we literally just got home.

  • What we're doing right now is they're going to put together some of this living rock.

  • Living or live rock is not actually alive itself,

  • but it's made from the skeletons of dead coral.

  • Many microscopic organisms can be found living on the rock, giving it its name.

  • Live rock has many benefits in a reef aquarium,

  • not only as a platform from which to build your reef on,

  • but also because it can have a stabilizing effect on the water's pH.

  • This water is from the same system that the aquarium that we had here at home

  • was being supported by in the store, so this water has already been pre-tested.

  • It's got perfect salinity, perfect pH levels, everything was tested.

  • We're just gonna slowly add it and bring it up to temperature.

  • Here, I am slowly adding the water into the tank.

  • I'm angling the current to the back of the tank so as not to kick up all the sand and cloud the water too much,

  • as this could upset the coral and the anemone.

  • [♪ ambient music ♪]

  • Here's the tank one hour after I built up the rock and positioned the coral and anemone.

  • I had to work quite quickly,

  • But I decided to try and replicate where each of the coral frags was when it was in the store on display.

  • As you can see, the water is still cloudy and the coral are not yet completely relaxed.

  • [♪ ambient music ♪]

  • These clownfish were captive bred by Absolutely Fish and were living in a nursery reef tank

  • with lots of other clownfish of a similar size.

  • Initially I wanted a maroon because of the color,

  • but I didn't realize how large maroons could grow.

  • The store totally advised me against the maroon because not only would they be too big for this tank,

  • but apparently, they can also be pretty aggressive to their tank mates, such as the cleanup crew invertebrates.

  • Not all clownfish will grow to be the same size,

  • so do double-check with your aquarist to make sure that the species you like is suitable for your tank.

  • Alright, Creatures.

  • So it's been about... I wanna say about four hours now since we set up the tank. Maybe three hours.

  • And as you can see, all of the coral and the anemones have started to unfurl a bit more.

  • They're settled in just that little bit more. I'm really surprised by this one down here.

  • Let me see if I can just focus. Look at that beautiful aquamarine color!

  • And I didn't even notice it when we put it in, but there it is.

  • It's absolutely beautiful, almost looks bioluminescent.

  • And then we go up here, and I'm not sure about this coral fragment right here.

  • I think I might actually move that one.

  • Of course there was a little bit of upset, you know,

  • putting everything around and jostling and reassembling.

  • So there is some mucus and some slime left over from where everything was stinging everything,

  • but hopefully everything's gonna settle down.

  • And of course you guys will have seen these beautiful fish over here, my clownfish!

  • Now with these clownfish, I just wanted to make it absolutely positive

  • and say that these two are actually captive bred.

  • I don't know if you are aware, but when it comes to a lot of marine life, especially fish,

  • corals as well, come to think of it... a lot are actually collected from the wild, but recently, in recent years,

  • captive breeding efforts of clownfish have been just incredible

  • and there have been some beautiful morphs created.

  • I personally I'm a massive fan of just the traditional, classic clownfish,

  • as we can see over here.

  • But these ones are captive bred.

  • And they are captive bred by a place that we actually got the tank from,

  • which is a place in New Jersey called Absolutely Fish.

  • And honestly, just I'm so impressed with their standards in there. I had zero guilt bringing these two home.

  • I thought they were absolutely wonderful.

  • Along with getting the clownfish and obviously the aquarium setup,

  • I got a couple of other things to help out with this tank.

  • And number oneprobably one of the most important things

  • a really important thing to have is a good hydrometer

  • because this is what's going to measure the salinity of the water.

  • On hydrometer gauges, you'll see this little darker area to the side here.

  • This is where you want the salinity gauge to point to when you measure your tank salinity

  • because the average ocean salinity is 35 parts per thousand.

  • So very, very important. We've got that over here on hand.

  • with a saltwater aquarium, your water is constantly evaporating.

  • Just, poof! Gone. Into thin air. Waah! [laugh]

  • So you're going to want to measure your salinity levels every single day,

  • especially if you have a nano tank because nano tanks are gonna have

  • really horrible side effects if you allow too much water to evaporate and you're left with a very high salinity level.

  • So I'm using the hydrometer here just to measure the salinity level. It is bang-on 35.

  • It's maybe slightly more towards 36 parts per thousand,

  • so we're around about where we need to be given that it should be at around 35 parts per thousand

  • Obviously, this is the next day, so some water has evaporated.

  • So with a tank which has salt water, you're going to want to set up external buckets

  • where you can actually mix saltwater.

  • We actually use reverse osmosis water at home, which we get from Absolutely Fish.

  • So that's a lot of fun right there.

  • But just remember to keep on top on looking at your hydrometer

  • because you would be astounded how quickly your water is going to evaporate

  • and leave lots of salt behind.

  • The other thing that I brought home with me is this two-step—[clears throat] Excuse mecalcium buffer system.

  • A good calcium buffer system is essential to balance your calcium and your alkalinity levels.

  • Coral are constantly extracting calcium from the water to build their exoskeletons.

  • So maintaining the correct level of calcium and alkalinity is key.

  • There are lots of calcium buffer systems on the market,

  • so make sure to always read the instructions for the correct dosages

  • because they will definitely differ from product to product.

  • This salt came highly recommendedDanny, please don't.

  • Danny: [laughing] Sorry.

  • Em: I can't show that kind of stuff on my channel, baby.

  • And then I actually got some of this pro-reef sea salt.

  • Now not all salts are the same when you go to a pet store or to an aquatic store.

  • Here at home, we actually do have a mudskipper who uses a different kind of salt

  • because he's in brackish water

  • But this sea salt has lots of trace elements of, you know,

  • calcium and lots of other things that you'd find actually in the sea.

  • And that's really important because obviously in here

  • we have lots of coral and anemones.

  • And with coral, they do require calcium to grow

  • because otherwise, they're literally just in water with nothing else.

  • But remember, coral does grow, and they need to have their own nutrients, their own food.

  • And that's something that you can actually find in this, the Tropic Marin,

  • and this is what came highly recommended by the actual guys in the aquatic store.

  • As far as food for the clownfish go, I am happy to feed them a pellet food,

  • as well as giving them some live food every now, and then.

  • Oh look at them! What's that?

  • Did you just fight over there? That was a lot of fun.

  • And I actually picked up some food at the aquatic store,

  • which I thought, you know, it has a clownfish on the front, obviously it's great for the clownfish.

  • And then the guy at the checkout here is like, "Excuse me. Listen."

  • "You don't wanna feed that to your clownfish 'cuz although there's clownfish on the front, it sucks."

  • So he basically pointed out this to me

  • Which islet me see where it isit is the Saki-Hikari Marine Carnivore Diet!

  • [reading off package] "A uniquely blended, probiotics enhanced formulation."

  • "A superior taste readily accepted by most marine species."

  • "A rapidly assimilated nutrient mix."

  • And it's a sinking type!

  • Now, I'm not gonna pretend to know anything about this

  • because I have never heard about it in my life.

  • But the guys in the store, I do absolutely trust them

  • and they did say that this was absolutely wonderful.

  • They actually get it shipped over from Japan.

  • I'm gonna see how they go with this. It looks like very promising.

  • I mean, hey, just from a packaging point of view, it's gorgeous and I approve of it!

  • Hopefully the fish will approve of it and they'll be nice and healthy because of it.

  • Have you guys ever used this brand before? Let me know in the comment section down below if you have

  • and your thoughts about it, or if you feed your clownfish any other food that really works,

  • please let me know. I would love to know and try them on as many different foods as possible

  • to see what they really like and what they can flourish on.

  • Along with the coral anemone, live rock, and fish, this tank also came with its own cleanup crew.

  • This is a Nassarius snail. They're docile and spend most of their time burrowed in the sand.

  • As soon as they smell food, they rise up out of the reef bed like zombies

  • and zoom around at quite a fast pace around the tank to find the food source.

  • As per my usual crazy life,

  • I've pre-filmed my tank in America, but I'm currently in London.

  • Whilst I'm here, I thought I'd ask one of the experts at The Aquatic Design Centre some questions

  • which could be useful for you if you're considering keeping fish.

  • I'm Tony and I work at The Aquatic Design Centre.

  • I'm fresh water livestock manager, so I'm here running the shop.

  • General fish keeping, basically. 25 years-ish. Maybe more.

  • Em: I've got a couple of questions to ask you. Are you happy for me to ask you those questions?

  • When I find out what they are, yeah. [laughs]

  • [♪ horror movie music ♪]

  • Em: What are some of the first considerations when deciding whether or not to dive into the world of fishkeeping?

  • First considerations are whether or not you're really that interested

  • and just be aware of the costs and what have you looking after an animal.

  • Doesn't have to be a full-time job, but it's gonna take up a fair amount of your time actually.

  • You've gotta have time to do that, really.

  • Em: What are some of the most common pitfalls you see new aquarists falling into?