Aquariums are a great option for anyone who loves the beauty of the ocean and wants to enjoy it every day. Coral reef aquariums can be created in relatively small tanks, which means you can even enjoy this saltwater aquarium in a studio or apartment. Coral reef tanks are easy to keep, but there are some things you need to know before building your first aquarium. Here are three steps you can take to maintain your coral reef aquarium.

1. Test your water frequently.

Reef tanks are saltwater tanks that need to have the correct balance of minerals and additives. Coral is nourished by these minerals, and without them the coral can get sick and die. That's why it's crucial that you test your aquarium's water frequently. Your water must contain calcium, strontium, iodine, and magnesium. It must also have the right concentration of sea salt. You'll need filters to remove nitrate and ammonia from the water; these come in both mechanical and electrical varieties, and you can choose the one that works best for your specific tank.

2. Provide adequate light.

Coral is an animal, but it still needs sunlight to thrive. According to the NOAA Ocean Service Education, that's because coral has a symbiotic relationship with the algae that lives on it, and the algae needs sunlight to photosynthesize. This algae benefits coral by providing oxygen that the coral needs to survive. In order to take care of your coral, you'll need to use a UV lamp to provide adequate light throughout the day. The exact amount of light your reef tank needs will depend on the coral and fish you decide to fill it with, but as a rule of thumb, you should provide at least 8 hours of light per day.

3. Choose complementary corals.

Filling your reef tank with different types of coral is the fun part of developing a saltwater aquarium. However, you should remember that coral is a living thing, and not all corals get along with each other. Ricordea is a popular type of coral that's easy for beginners to keep. It's very colorful, and there are different varieties to choose from. Ricordea is a soft coral, which means it doesn't contain a skeleton. When making a reef tank, it's best to stick to one type of coral. If you purchase soft coral like ricordea, you should stick to soft corals, since mixing soft and hard coral can be bad for their longevity. 

Visit a pet store to get ricordea for reef tanks.