How to Keep a Reef Aquarium Maintenance Schedule

Tank CleanerHaving a reef aquarium can seem like a daunting task, especially when considering all of the maintenance required to keep your reef happy and healthy. Setting a schedule for reef tank maintenance is a great way to help keep these tasks completed and prevent them from getting out of control. Here's a list of recommended reef tank maintenance tasks, and a guideline to help schedule these maintenance chores.

pH Checker
  • Feed the fish 2-3 times per day depending on the dietary needs of the fish.
  • Top off evaporated water with RO/DI fresh water.
  • Dose daily supplements and/or additives.
  • Check the pH (easy to do with a pH monitor or controller).
  • Check the water temperature.
  • Perform a visual inspection of your fish, corals and inverts to identify health concerns.
  • Perform a visual inspection of your equipment to spot any potential problems.

Dirty Protein Skimmer
  • Test and record water parameters (salinity, calcium, alkalinity, phosphate, nitrate, etc).
  • Empty and clean the protein skimmer collection cup.
  • Perform a small water change (weekly or monthly depending on tank size and bio-load).
  • Clean algae off the glass or acrylic.
  • Clean filter socks and / or filter pads.
  • Wipe any salt creep from exterior of tank.
  • Make sure ATO reservoir is full.
  • Dust off LED lights with compressed air.

Dirty Impeller
replace aquarium light bulbs
  • Change light bulbs if using T5, Compact Fluorescent, or Metal Halide bulbs.
  • Replace calcium reactor media and refill CO2 tank.
  • Replace RO/DI filter media as needed.
  • Replace worn out probes as needed.