The Startup Phase

1. Siting

First and foremost site the aquarium where you know you are not going to want or need to move it in 6 months' time!
Moving any aquarium means emptying it of water, moving a large aquarium will mean a complete strip- down.

2. Rockwork and Sand

Now add any base rockwork, if used, preferably on top of a perspex/ plexiglass layer covering the glass aquarium base. A thin layer of washed aragonite or coral sand should be added now, if used. Rocks should be lying on the base for stability and not on top of the sand

3. Pumps

Fix the flow pump(s) in position. If you have a sump, connect the piping to the return pump. Open all valves fully in the tank/ sump recirculation system. Water pumps should never be run dry for more than a few moments, so don't plug them in before you have added the-

4. Water

If you already have seawater matured and ready, now is the time to add this, you can allow the water to go over into the sump and switch on the flow and return pumps.
If you are adding fresh water, preferably reverse osmosis water, add this to a level where the flow pumps just function and no higher. Then add the marine salt, maybe a little less than you will finally need. Switch on the flow and watch the salt dissolve