How to Make Saltwater for Fish Tanks

Having an aquarium in the home is a great way to add color and an element of nature to your property. Many people love having an aquarium and caring for the fish. Some have freshwater fish but others want to enjoy the stunning beauty of marine fish and corals. If you are looking to create a marine or reef-style aquarium you need to ensure that you use saltwater.

Unfortunately, making saltwater for your fish tank isn’t quite as simple as throwing some salt in a bucket of tap water. However, it is not a difficult process either, so you should be able to create the saltwater you need with ease.

There are a number of steps involved in ensuring you create saltwater that is going to be safe for your fish. Simply adding salt to tap water and then pouring it into the tank could prove harmful, so you do need to exercise caution. By making sure that you create the saltwater properly, you can continue to enjoy the beauty of your aquarium safe in the knowledge that your fish will not be harmed as a result of the water.

There are a number of products you will need to have to hand when making saltwater for your fish tank. This includes:

  • High-quality salt water mix
  • Clean container or bucket
  • Clean stirring tool
  • Submersible aquarium heater
  • Battery/floating thermometer
  • Hydrometer
  • Submersible powerhead/pump to circulate

Steps to take when creating saltwater for your fish tank:

When it comes to creating saltwater for your fish tank, there are a number of steps that you need to take.

The first thing you need to do is purchase sea salt mix for your aquarium. You can purchase pre-made saltwater but buying the mix and blending it with water yourself is probably going to be the easier and more cost-effective option over the long terms. Make sure you purchase a dry, synthetic water mix. You should make sure that the mix you buy is a high-quality one from a reputable manufacturer. If you have any doubts, check for reviews of the product online or speak to a sales expert.

You also need to determine the source of the water you will use. If you have a fish-only tank, you can use tap water providing the quality is very high. It must not contain chemicals or organic compounds. It also has to be de-chlorinated prior to mixing. Reverse osmosis or de-ionized water is ideal for reef and fish-only tanks, so it is worth looking at investing in this. Here is a video summary of water quality:

Your next step is to create the mix for the fish tank. You need to ensure you use a clean bucket that has not been contaminated with chemicals. You then need to add the tap or RO/DI water to the bucket based on the amount that you will need for the size of your tank. Make sure you don’t fill the bucket or container all the way to the top because you still have to add the salt mix. Once your water is in the bucket or container, you can start slowly adding and blending the salt mix. It is important that you read the instructions on the mix that you have purchased with regards to the amount of salt mix per gallon of water. You will need to stir and blend the water and mix using the clean stirring tool that you purchased. You also need to use the hydrometer to check on the gravity as you blend the mixture.

The next thing you need to do is put the powerhead into the bucket or container. Once you plug this in, it will start to provide circulation. You can then put the submersible heater in. This should be set to the same temperature as that of your aquarium. The water should then be left overnight with the powerhead and heater in operation. By leaving it overnight, you will allow for the salt to dissolve and for the water to reach the right temperature before adding it to the tank.

After leaving the salt mixture overnight, you should test the gravity again. If it is not at the desired levels, make adjustments by adding more water or salt mix. You should also check the temperature of the water at this stage. If the temperature, gravity levels, and all other qualities are at the right levels, you are ready to add the salt water to your aquarium.

The process is pretty simple once you get used to it. When you initially make your saltwater mix, make a note of the amount of mix and water you use to get the blend just right. This will help to make life easier the next time you have to do it.