When thinking about getting into the reef keeping hobby, we can be bombarded with a mountain of intimidating information. Whether it’ll be the first time we set up a saltwater aquarium, an addition to our existing aquariums, or maybe we’ve been out of the hobby for a while and would like to get back in.Where do we start? Taking the leap into aquarium keeping will pose hundreds if not thousands of questions. And what do we do? We turn to the world of information in our pocket that is but a touch away. The internet. This can turn into a limitless rabbit hole to leave us confused and asking more questions than we began with. Online we find anything from slight variations to conflicting information. Where do we sit in all of this? And again, where do we start?
The first thing to strongly note when digesting any and all information that may wield a double-edged sword is to consider that neither party is wrong nor right. It is all in the application and execution of certain techniques that may specifically apply to one situation and not to another or vice versa. Take for example lighting. One person may grow beautiful Acropora with T5 bulbs and another may accomplish the same results with LED lighting. Neither tank is wrong; they are both two completely different approaches that work. This, in my opinion, is what is so attractive about keeping reefs. With a bit of a baseline we can create (with our own personal touch) a slice of the ocean to enjoy in our home or place of business.
Some of the topics discussed in this text may be widely agreed on and others may be debated till the end of time. This is not intended to be a platform for debate. I simply want to take the little bit of knowledge I have and share how to begin a saltwater aquarium. Discussed will be basics, fundamentals and tons of preparation. The essential plan here is to go from an idea to about the six-month mark of a reef aquarium.