Maintaining a saltwater aquarium can be very intimidating. What to do, how to do it, how often. I was sure I would forget something. Here's a checklist I put together from reading a compilation of books and websites. Of course, there are huge amounts of variation depending on personal preference so feel free to edit to your liking!
1. Turn lights on/off (or on timer).
2. Check fish and inverts for health.
3. Make sure all systems functioning (skimmer, pumps, powerheads, heater, etc.)
4. Check water temp and specific gravity (pH, if you want).
5. Feed fish accordingly.
6. Empty protein skimmer cup.
7. Top off water as needed (use RO freshwater).
These chores, done 1-2x/day, only take 5-10 minutes.
1. Remove algae from glass with magnet (I actually do this 3x/week).
2. Remove salt creep from outside of aquarium and light fixtures.
3. Slightly more thorough cleaning than daily chores.
1. Perform 10-15% water change.
2. Conduct water tests (before and after change).
3. Clean off algae from inside tank before changing water.
4. Clean out skimmer more thoroughly.
5. Clean filters (change out filter sock).
1. Replace activated carbon from media reactor.
2. More thorough cleaning of filters and skimmer and outside of aquarium.
1. Thorough examination of aquarium and all systems.
2. Replace/clean as needed (inside-and-out).
3. Clean powerheads and all pumps.
1. Take apart skimmer and clean every 6 months.
2. Replace light bulbs every 6-9 months.
3. Check aquarium for cracks and leaks once a year.