Stage One
Choose a suitable location for the aquarium. It should be out of the line of direct sunlight which would magnify the temperature in the tank above ambient.

Stage Two
Check support is sufficient to hold the large weight of water in the aquarium (1 gallon weighs approximately 10 lb).
Polystyrene tiles should be placed under the aquarium.

Stage Three
Purchase the remaining equipment in the checklist.

Stage Four
Place the undergravel filtration tray in the aquarium (if this system is to be used). Cover the tray to a depth of 4 cm with washed coral sand, shell sand, or beach shingle. Rocks should be collected and placed in the aquarium.
A 'Gravel Tidy' with two substrates is eschewed in this type of aquaria, because the crabs will dig it up.

Stage Five
Add real seawater from an unpolluted source, or mix up the artificial salts according to the instructions on the packet. The specific gravity at 15ºC should be 1.025.
Place the Powerheads or Capsule Filtration System in place and connect to the electricity supply.
Electrical sockets are best located above the aquarium in case of the rare event of the tank leaking.

Stage Six
If artificial sea water is used place a piece of mussel (alternatively, 'nitrifying' bacteria cultures can be purchased) in the filled aquarium.
A population of filter bed bacteria needs to be established to introduce the 'Nitrogen Cycle' into the confines of the aquarium.
This cycle renders the waste products of the fish, invertebrates and micro-organisms harmless.
Wait a week before introducing hardy animals like Beadlet Anemones and Shore Crabs. Stocking should be gradual to full levels after one month.

Stage Seven
Connect 'cooler' and thermostat and test that it is working order. The cooler should be put into operational use the day before the fish and other life is introduced. The filter bed bacteria multiply quicker in warmer temperatures.

NB. The first life of interest to the aquarist appears on the shore for most of the length of the British coast in February and March. The cooler may not be necessary until June.

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