Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium

Introducing The 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge

31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge

Do you want to have more success in keeping some of the most beautiful saltwater aquarium fish and corals?

It’s no secret that outstanding water quality is one of the most important ingredients to having a successful saltwater aquarium, but sometimes, the work it takes can seem like a chore. I’ve been intrigued by this hobby for years now, and one thing I’ve noticed is that my passion, and energy, runs in stages. Sometimes, I’m obsessive about maintenance, other times I’m lazy. But regardless of what phase I’m in, it’s still important to keep striving to make my aquarium better. That’s the reason for this challenge.

What is The 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge?

Starting on Wednesday, March 1st, and every day after that, for 31 days, I’m going to walk you through a task, chore or purchase that will help you build a better saltwater aquarium.

Where did the idea come from?

One of the my own sources for blogging inspiration is an author named Darren Rowse. He isn’t a saltwater aquarium hobbyist, at least that I am aware of, but he is one of the pioneering bloggers and blogger thought leader. Several years ago, he wrote an article series titled: 31 Days to Building a Better Blog. I originally read that series with the intent to apply something from one of the 31 days to improve my writing on Saltwater Aquarium Blog, when it dawned on me that the entire premise of improving our aquariums applied in a very similar way. Thank you, Darren, for the inspiration.

What do you need to do?

Each day, I’ll post a new challenge. Come back to Saltwater Aquarium Blog each day to read it and take the challenge. Follow along and build a better saltwater aquarium. To make sure you don’t miss out on a day, sign up for the Saltwater Aquarium Blog Newsletter. You can totally complete the challenge without signing up for the newsletter, but here are two reasons you will want to sign up:

  1. I will email you a daily reminder, so you won’t forget to take the daily challenge
  2. As an added bonus, you will also get instant access to several downloadable PDFs to help you with the challenges.

Sign up for the newsletter, the free bonus content and the daily reminders here.

31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge

Are you ready to take the challenge? If so, you can get started and check out Day 1.

If you prefer to jump around a bit, here is a listing of all the challenge dates:

Day 1

This is the first day of the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge. To get things started, we have to establish the baseline by analyzing our tank. To join in on the challenge, check out:

Day 1

Day 2

What do you want to achieve during this 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge? Today is all about goal setting. Check out:

Day 2

Day 3

It took a lot of restraint to save this challenge for day three, but it is probably one of the most important things you can do to keep diseases or parasites from affecting your saltwater aquarium. Check out today’s challenge:

Day 3 

Day 4

Creating a thriving saltwater aquarium is more than just adding the right mix of fish and invertebrates. The order in which you add the livestock to your tank can have a significant impact to how those animals will act towards each other. That’s what today’s saltwater aquarium challenge is all about. Check it out here:

Day 4

Day 5

It would be boring if this challenge was all chores. Today should be fun. Get out there, spend a little money and put the list you created on Day 4 to work.

Day 5

Day 6

Today’s challenge involves a little cleaning. Improve your water flow with today’s challenge:

Day 6

Day 7

Today we enter one full week into the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium. It’s time for some weekly maintenance. Check out today’s challenge:

Day 7

Day 8

Here is a way to improve your water quality without performing a partial water change. Check out today’s aquarium challenge:

Day 8

Day 9

Let’s make your tank a little bit safer by installing this device. It is inexpensive and easy to do.

Day 9

Day 10

Back to the grind a little bit, in terms of engaging with the cleaning chores. This chore is one thing that I tend to do right before I have guests over my house. Not today. In keeping with the challenge, it is time to get back ahead of the game here by performing this saltwater aquarium challenge:

Day 10

Day 11

My non-medical opinion is that the “I love my reef tank” gene sits very close on our chromosomes to the, “I have a hoarding problem” gene. Today’s task is meant to be an easy, uplifting de-cluttering type of day. You can make someone else’s tank better, in the process.

Day 11

Day 12

There are a few dangers associated with keeping a saltwater aquarium in your home. Today is a day to take stock of all that and get prepared.

Day 12

Day 13

So much of what we do, in this hobby, are steps taken to keep water quality high. Today’s task is a simple way to give your water quality a boost.

Day 13

Day 14

Today marks the end of week two and with it comes the weekly water change–however this week–I want you to do something a little bit differently:

Day 14

Day 15

You want your tank to look its best. Today is a day to make some tweaks to the aquascape to get the look you want.

Day 15

Day 16

How often do you take this piece of equipment and deep clean it? While it needs some biofilm to operate well, performance can deteriorate over time if you don’t keep up with the cleaning. Time to get your hands dirty and wet and clean up your skimmer

Day 16

Day 17

Yikes. Take a look under your tank. If it looks anything like mine, take some time today to get things organized.

Day 17

Day 18

What will you do if there is a brief power outage in your neighborhood? Assuming family, friends and neighbors are all safe–and you have time to worry about your reef tank, what will you do? Take the time now to get your emergency kit ready:

Day 18

Day 19

If your tank has been running for at least 6 months, you may find that some of your corals are overgrowing their intended ‘homes’. Now is a great time to tidy up by trimming back those overgrown corals–and turn those trimmings into cash

Day 19

Day 20

Give the biodiversity in your tank a boost.

Day 20

Day 21

Day 21 is here. Time for a weekly partial water change, yeah!

Day 21

Day 22

Time to learn something new from someone local–or share something you’ve learned with someone else. A great way to do that is to join a reef club:

Day 22

Day 23

I try to break up the drudgery of all the cleaning things up chores with a  few easier tasks, like this one, today. One of the reasons I don’t get my chores done is that I forget about them, when life gets busy. Here’s a way to never forget a chore again:

Day 23

Day 24

You’ve done a great job so far. Only 7 more days left. Time to invest in yourself and your reef education:

Day 24

Day 25

Give your tank a boost by feeding the bottom of the food chain. Check out today’s task here:

Day 25

Day 26

Ok, you’ve been great. Very focused, very dedicated. You’ve done a lot over these past 25 days. Time to indulge a bit. For today’s challenge, head out and pick out a nice coral frag. You’ve earned it.

Day 26

Day 27

Nothing gets the energy level up in your saltwater aquarium like feeding live foods to your tank. Here’s a great way to have a nearly endless supply of live food for your tank:

Day 27

Day 28

Not sure if you caught on to the cadence yet, but every 7 days (7, 14, 21, 28), it has been time for a partial water change. Well, today is day 28:

Day 28

Day 29

Freshness counts, when it comes to testing your saltwater aquarium water. What do the freshness dates on your test kits say? It might be time to replace them:

Day 29

Day 30

You paid a lot of money for those lights. You continue to spend a lot of money running them all the time, but are you getting the most out of them that you can? Salt creep and a dirty cover can significantly reduce the amount of light that gets to your corals. Time to get cleaning:

Day 30

Day 31

Congratulations. Today is 31. You made it through the 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge!! Check out today’s post. There is a free gift there for you. Thanks for sticking with it.

Day 31

Bonus Day

I know that this was listed as a 31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge. So you may be wondering…bonus day? What’s that? It doesn’t make any sense. Well, on Day 33, it should make sense, because it’s a 28 day follow up to something we did on day 5. And it’s totally worth it. Check it out:

Day 33

31 Days to Build a Better Saltwater Aquarium Challenge

Comments

  1. Please choose purchases that are reasonable, this hobby can be quite expensive.

  2. My tank is 11months old now but I would still like to follow along with this challenge.

  3. Author

    TJ,

    Congrats on the nearly 1 year old aquarium. Glad to have you along. I think you’ll find that there will be parts of the challenge you can apply now and others you may want to apply later.

    Thanks for your support.

    Regards,
    Al

  4. I cannot find the free resources. I need to reprint the parameters
    sheet.

  5. Found it.
    Temp. 77.3
    SG. 1.024
    ph. 8.1
    Alk. 9 dkh
    Cal. 480
    Nitrate. 5
    Phos. 2
    Mg. 1150

  6. Author

    Loretta, sorry for my delay in replying to you, I don’t know how I missed your note. The recommendations on purchases will be just recommendations, no pressure to spend money you don’t want to spend from this guy. I will try to keep things moderate. Let’s keep this challenge appropriate for anyone on any budget.

  7. Sorry to start this 31-Day plan a little late but here are my parameters:

    Temp: 77
    Salinity: 1.025
    ph: 7.8
    Alkalinity: 161.1 ppm
    Calcium: 389 ppm
    Nitrate: 0 ppm
    Ammonia: 0 ppm
    Nitrite: 0 ppm
    Phosphate: 0 ppm
    Copper: 0 ppm
    Silicate: 0 ppm

    I am having brown algae problems and started to do the water changes hopefully will have an impact. I look forward for the following lessons.

  8. Author

    Hector, thanks for joining the challenge–glad to have you here–it’s perfect timing! welcome sir. let’s get your algae under control!

Leave a Comment