How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium


The process of setting up and maintaining a saltwater aquarium can seem overwhelming when taken in its entirety. There are just so many new concepts and techniques to wrap your head around. Besides, you’ve no doubt heard from numerous sources how difficult the hobby can be. One slip and you’ve got a tank full of dead fish and corals, right?

Well, we’re here to let you in on a little secret: While the marine aquarium hobby is certainly not without its challenges, anyone who is willing to learn, take things one step at a time, and invest a little “elbow grease” can succeed in creating a thriving, healthy saltwater system in their own home.

Though still a work in progress, this section of Saltwater Smarts will provide all the guidance, answers, and insights you need to succeed—whether you’re completely new to the aquarium hobby or an experienced freshwater fishkeeper considering making the switch to a saltwater system.

Ask Yourself These Questions Before Starting Your First Saltwater Aquarium

Planning & Research

Initial Set Up

Equipment & Filtration


Aquarium Cycling, Water Quality, and Chemistry

Livestock Selection

Livestock Husbandry

Aquarium Maintenance

Photo Credit: Pe Tor

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