After seeing the same posts over and over again with people asking things like, how do I set up a saltwater aquarium, or how much does it cost, or what equipment do I need, etc. I have decided to sticky a topic regarding such broad questions.
First of all, there are many different types of saltwater aquariums. Secondly there are many different ways to go about setting up each type. Once you do the math, you quickly discover that the possibilities are quite overwhelming. It also makes very general questions difficult to answer, especially if you really don't have a clue of exactly what type of livestock you want to keep. What you need, how you do it, and how much it costs is totally dependent on exactly what you want. Saying that you want a saltwater aquarium is not specific enough.
So, how do you get started if you don't even know where to begin?
It is very simple buy a few good saltwater aquarium books. That is right. Good old fashioned page turners. There are several good ones out there; however one of the best books to get you started is The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner. It will break down the different types of marine aquariums and serve as a guide to set them up. It will also give you ideas on how to stock your tank and with what. If you can only buy one book, buy this one. You should be able to get it from any major book outlet in either a hardcover or paperback.
While you are waiting for your new bible to arrive, do some reading online. These are great articles for those just getting started.
Want to do a really small tank? Check these articles out!
Once you have educated yourself about the marine aquarium hobby, you will be able to form more specific questions regarding it. Please help us help you. Don't ask for a step-by-step. If you are too lazy to do the necessary reading or can't afford the book, this area of the aquarium hobby is probably not for you. However if you have specific questions or need clarification on an already discussed topic, please feel free ask.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine