Top 10 Saltwater Aquarium Tips For Newbies


Top Ten Most Important Thing a Newbie needs to know:

If You Are A beginner please read the following.

10. Determine Setup Type - (FO=Fish Only, FOWLR= Fish Only With Live Rock, REEF=Corals & Fish)

9. Tank Cycling (Nitrogen Cycle)- Find out what goes on under the surface of the water.

8. Water Quality (Water Testing)-Learn What RO/DI means and What Normal Tank Parameters are. Also Natural Sea Water Parameters too.

7. Live Rock, Deep Sand Beds, And Bare Bottom - The pros and cons.

6. Equipment (Research before you buy) - Find Out the Basics About Protein Skimmers, Calcium Reactors, Water Pumps And Power Heads, Sumps and refugiums.

5. Supplements& Additives - How To Use Additives.

4. Water Movement - Such as Powerheads, GPH, Bulkheads, Closed Loops, Wave makers.

3. Lighting ($$$) - The commonly used phrase, "watts per gallon".

2. Make This Fun - While taking it serious. Always be ready to learn something new !

1. Be patient !! (research) - Nothing good happen fast in a saltwater tank. (old saying)

Each one of these is a whole topic in itself !


Thanks. Why don't you sticky it?


Good I to you What about in one putting depending on what you choose determines the lighting?


Good I to you What about in one putting depending on what you choose determines the lighting?
Yeap ... Normal Output (NO) all the way to Solaris LED lights ! You don't need LED lights for a Fish Only tank.
Lighting is such a huge topic ... Guys use PAR meters to test their MH bulbs intensity ...


Very nice post agsansoo! I'd also throw in the research of refugiums but that'd make it more than 10.

Nice top ten list,

never mind - just reread it and you have it in there - doh!


Thanks, I'm a newbie and really looking forward to starting my aquarium. I've done quite a bit of reading since I first got interested a few weeks ago and this forum has helped me go in the right direction for more knowledge. Although it may be hard I'm planning on taking it slow. Letting my tank cycle properly and being very picky with the fish I buy, the compatability and the maintenance required. I plan on researching every fish before I buy to make-sure I know their preferences of diet, tank size, and fish mates. I think the greatest pleasure will stem from the feeling of successful creation and a healthy environment which the fish thrive. Its almost like playing God. I wonder what God had to pay for his protein skimmer?


Wow! Thanks for the list. I like lists. Lists are my friends... that I later crumble up and throw away lol

(Sorry feeling silly)

Still, the list helps organize my endeavours.


Good One.
I added..

10 Basic Rules For a Successful Saltwater Aquarium:

1. Provide regular, varied, feeding for fish. Feed two to three times per day, the amount consumed in approximately two minutes (for most fish).
2. Keep fish populations within reasonable limits.
3. Follow the daily, weekly, and monthly checklist in this guide.
4. Select fish that enjoy similar temperatures, water chemistry, are compatible with respect to behavior, and occupy different levels of the aquarium.
5. When choosing filtration, consider contact time, filter media volume, and factors which affect filter output.
6. Incorporate live plants whenever possible.
7. Choose the largest aquarium possible. Volume equals stability and greater flexibility in choices.
8. Stable conditions are important. Following the provided checklist will help achieve this.
9. Try to plan your aquarium set-up. Select plants, rocks, wood, gravel, and other décor which are complementary.
10. Enjoy the hobby! Use it as an experience to learn about a fascinating underwater world.


Sound like a freshwater guide to me !
I guess some of those rules work for saltwater too !


Gday from W.A. ( Western Australia )
Am new to saltwater tanks.
Think that the first one should be: to seek advice if you have problems or are unsure.



I think I have fallen for the Nano tank... I am currently 11 tanks deep into freshwater but I have become increasingly interested with saltwater nanos. Which size is best for stability without going into a much larger size? I think I would prefer a tank no larger than a 12 gallon. Is that an acceptable level, or shoudnt I waste my time? I was looking into the Marineland Instant Ocean 12G Acrylic Tank kit. Advisable?


I also like the 12 gallon nano's. I've seen beautiful 12-20 nano tanks. If I were to get a nano, I would have a large plastic rubbermaid sump . This would make it more stable. 12 gallon display with a 20 something gallon cheap sump.

nemo addict

1. Be patient !! (research) - Nothing good happen fast in a saltwater tank. (old saying)

Each one of these is a whole topic in itself !

but everything bad happens if you rush your fish if you do

is the way to go salty


Great thread guys!


I am fresh water planted tank, and planted nano addict salt looks interesting after my next 5 fws lol


Thanks I'm a newbie who just set up a 60 gal tank for reef only setup 12 days and am learning everyday. Got 25 kg live rock and had a green algae bloom now got the brown rusty one my only livestock is one giant sea hare to help with algae but not worried been on here reading for days now and have a good relationship with lfs. My last readings were excellent except for phosphate 0.02 but adding stuff to help cheers for site I really need this

doing it slowly

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