Research Your New Saltwater Aquarium. Don’t Gamble with Success!

Grab an old school research tool

Grab an old school research tool

You’ve, no doubt, heard the old saying, “Nothing succeeds like success.” Nowhere is this adage more true than in the saltwater aquarium hobby. Trust us when we say that learning the fundamentals of saltwater aquarium keeping before heading to your local fish store with cash in hand will pay huge dividends down the road.

Don’t be that person who rushes headlong and half cocked into this challenging hobby and ultimately ends up abandoning it out of frustration when nothing goes as expected! Do your homework first, and we promise you won’t be disappointed!

Hop on the Internet

The Internet is a great research starting point for the saltwater aquarium hobbyist. A world of information that can help you plan your system and livestock list is right at your fingertips and available day or night. Of course, we hope you’ll be a regular visitor to Saltwater Smarts for information and guidance, but don’t just take our word for it! There are many excellent online blogs and forums out there that will provide additional insights and perspectives.

One note of caution, however: While the Internet is a valuable research tool, not all information presented online is created equal. You have to take some of it with—excuse the pun—a grain of salt. It’s not uncommon for the same misinformation to get picked up and repeated across multiple websites in an aggravating echo chamber of inaccuracy. Always consider the source!

Go old school: Read books and magazines

There are several saltwater aquarium reference books that we feel deserve a prominent place in every saltwater aquarium hobbyist’s reference library. Here’s just a partial list:

Also, subscribing to a variety of good aquarium periodicals, whether in hard copy or electronic form, is a great way to stay abreast of current trends in the saltwater aquarium hobby and to get a good sense of what aspects of saltwater aquarium keeping interest you most.

Connect with fellow hobbyists

What better source for information on what to do—and what not to do—when setting up your new saltwater aquarium than fellow hobbyists who have already “been there and done that”? If you don’t already belong to a local saltwater aquarium club or society, consider joining one so you can connect with like-minded individuals who will be happy to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences with you. Take a look at the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America (MASNA) website to see if there are any clubs in your area.

Photo Credit: Wiertz Sébastien


If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to get our new posts in your email.
About Jeff Kurtz

Jeff Kurtz is the Co-founder/Editor of Saltwater Smarts, former Senior Consulting Editor for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine, and the aquarist formerly known as “The Salt Creep.” He has been an aquarium hobbyist for over 30 years and is an avid scuba diver.


  1. Matt Bowers (Muttley000) says

    Another great resource can be found at the web site the author of the first book on the list runs. has thousands of pages of searchable information on a wide range of topics. There are tons of question and answer pages by different people so you can get an array of perspectives.

    • Chris Aldrich says

      Thanks for joining the conversation here on SWS, Matt. We appreciate your input!

      WWM is a resource with lots of great information. Thank you for passing along the site to everyone. 🙂

Speak Your Mind