Follow these tips to saltwater aquarium success and you will not regret starting your new hobby.

  1. Some information online and even from people at saltwater aquarium stores can make you feel stupid and overcomplicate this rewarding and fun hobby. They can even scare people off by exaggerating the cost. Do not be discouraged. Anyone can do this, and it can be done on a budget.
  2. Spend a few hours doing a little research online, but do not get bogged down with this spending too much time.
  3. Find ONE person to emulate, not all of them. This may be an experienced hobbyist but will most likely be a professional. Take the time to visit a few shops within a reasonable distance from your home or work. Once you have zeroed in on a person and shop you are comfortable with be loyal and do not spend your time and money elsewhere at least in the beginning of this journey. Build a relationship with the employees at your chosen shop and they will become cherished resources. Just try getting help or advice from Amazon. How should a shop feel when you buy livestock or products elsewhere, but then come to them for help with problems?
  4. Discuss your goals for the tank with your chosen mentor. Will this be a reef tank, or a fish only live rock tank? What type of livestock do you want to keep? Consider your budget in all these decisions because some tanks are more expensive to setup and/or maintain than others.
  5. Think carefully about the location for your new saltwater aquarium. Pick a spot where you, your family and visitors will be most likely to observe the aquarium.
  6. Choose a tank size and shape that fits your goals, budget, and the physical location you have selected.
  7. Discuss all tank options available including All-In-One tanks, tanks using hang on or other external filtration and drilled tanks with sump systems, closed loop systems or both. Consider both new and used options or a combination of both if available.
  8. Success can be had by sticking to the fundamentals but choosing the right equipment for your goals is important. Go with proven quality equipment and it will save you time and money in the long run
  9. Do not skimp on Live rock and startup bacteria products. These will allow you to establish a stable ecosystem and save you time and money.
  10. Discuss all your livestock choices with your mentor to make sure they are compatible with your goals and system. Timing of additions is important so be patient and heed the advice of your mentor. Do not skimp on cleanup crew because these creatures will do allot of the work that goes into keeping a beautiful and healthy saltwater aquarium.