Just as you need to take a dog for a walk, feed a cat, and make sure the gerbil cage is clean, [B]you are caring for a living animal.[/B]
[B]The decision to start a marine aquarium should not be taken lightly and a great deal of thought and planning will save you tons of money and time in the future.[/B]
All aquariums consume your free time. There is no such thing as a maintenance-free aquarium, so be prepared to invest yboth time and passion as you explore the most rewarding hobby on the planet.
These online pages are designed to assist with owning and operating a saltwater aquarium. There are several types of saltwater aquariums, and their individual configurations and options are somewhat intimidating and staggering in size.
The most important thing to know and practice when keeping an aquarium is [SIZE=3][B]PATIENCE[/B][/SIZE]. You need to take your time when planning changes, adjusting levels, adding livestock, and most importantly to YOU as a new hobbyist, designing an aquarium from scratch.
If you think you can just walk into a pet store and buy a working aquarium, you could probably save yourself a lot of time by just handing them your wallet and walking out of the store. Each item you buy should be considered and reviewed in some way to determine if is compatible with your plans for the aquarium. There is a wealth of information on public forums such as Reefs.com where other hobbyists will tell you about their experiences with equipment and livestock. Reading through these posts is a great way to get up to speed when you are making decisions for what to purchase.
You should immediately be thinking about the following questions:
[*] How big of an aquarium do you want? Every additional gallon translates into additional cost down the line. Find something that fits your intended location as well as your budget
[*]What shape aquarium do you want? Shape determines what livestock you can keep and the aesthetic configuration of the tank.
[*]Do you want glass or acrylic?
[*]What livestock are you planning on keeping? This is probably one of the most important questions to ask yourself. Go into a local fish store and find things that appeal to you and then read up on their care. Do you want an aggressive fish tank or a small tranquil reefscape? All fish have compatibility issues with other fish and their surroundings. In addition, the livestock you wish to keep will determine what equipment you will need.