A beauty like no other, it requires more than will.

It is undeniable, we all have felt captivated by the beauty that exhibit certain marine aquariums. Either by the color of their corals, because of the selection and behavior of the fishes or any other reasons there are many examples of awesome aquariums.

I know many people that has not been able to resist the impulse to try to keep a beautiful reef aquarium and have failed. It is not an easy task and you should remember the following maxim:

In the marine aquarium everything good happens slowly, but you only need one minute for disaster to strike.

Who doesn't know examples that prove this? I myself admit having made mistakes that have ruined many weeks of progress; sometimes by introducing an incompatible fish, other times for not respecting a quarantine, or because I poured one of many “snake oil products” that pile up on the shelves of the shops we visit.

Someone could think: It's all invented and information exists largely, so why don't we simply copy the installation and maintenance routine of the aquariums we like most?. The answer is categorical: because it wouldn't work. Every aquarium behaves like an ecosystem with its own course and there are differences impossible to control, the difference between a beautiful reef aquarium and another not so much can be as simple as the origin and matureness of the rock inside, or “hand” of its owner when performing certain maintenance tasks.

The ingredients for success.

Not many, but all have to be present if we want to have a healthy and beautiful aquarium:

– PATIENCE. If you think that you can have an aquarium as the Krzysztof Tryc, Andrew Graham or David Saxby in less than a year, start considering changing hobby. I insist: good things happen very slowly! Do not believe in the miracle products or revolutionary techniques, a healthy and beautiful aquarium is like a great tree that takes years to yield good shade.

– DEDICATION. This is not a hobby to be enjoyed from the couch, I certainly spend many more hours cleaning, feeding, doing water changes and repairing failures than watching it relaxed (which does not preclude I also enjoy these maintenance tasks). Nor it is it the kings of procrastination, if we decided to do a water change every week, You cannot say I'll do it within a few days because today I don't have the time; the reality is that we just end up relaxing all the routine tasks until it is too late to realize the error that entails.

– TALENT. Recognize it, not everyone is able to grow orchids and not everyone has “hand” to maintain a healthy and beautiful aquarium. This is a hobby that requires certain skills and great capacity for observation and analysis.

– MONEY. And if you think that you can have a beautiful reef tank without a strong initial disbursement (and periodical) you're wrong. This is not a hobby for the one that cannot make ends meet, with the particularity that as we're evolving and learning we will create new “necessities” that generally tend to be expensive. We will need a strong and adequate lighting, an efficient skimmer adapted to the needs of the aquarium, controllable circulation pumps (and if possible with wave-maker and random mode), a calcium reactor, pH controllers, level and temperature, reverse osmosis equipment, activated carbon, salt for water changes, additives…not to mention prices that have fish and invertebrates, and that when they die, which happens more often than we want, you have to replace them.

And you, can you come up with any other one?