The short answer is NO! In the past, saltwater aquariums were thought of as being mysterious and difficult to maintain. At the time that may have been true, but that's no longer the case today. The saltwater aquarium hobby continues to grow in popularity thanks to the development of quality equipment and support products, along with a better understanding of the needs of marine organisms and how to provide for them. This has led many freshwater hobbyists and complete novices to try their hand at keeping saltwater aquariums.
Do fish grow to their tank size?
Some aquarists fall into the trap of "it will only grow to the size of my aquarium." This is false – tank size does not govern how large a fish will get. This myth is the cause of many unwanted, stunted fish in poor health, as well as a fair number of stressed out fish owners. Another consideration is that most Tank Buster species live well over 20 years, making them a long-term commitment for anyone who purchases them.
Getting started with a saltwater aquarium:
While it is true that the marine aquarium hobby is more expensive than freshwater, you can start out with a basic fish-only setup and progress into invertebrates and live corals as your budget and expertise allow. Is saltwater more complicated? A little. Understanding a few extra things about water chemistry is important to keeping a saltwater aquarium, but the basic principles of aquarium keeping are essentially the same for fresh and saltwater.
The key to success is to go slowly, read as much as you can and stay within your means. There are many different techniques and methods for success, but they don't all work for everyone all the time. Furthermore, mixing different bits and pieces of information can lead to unexpected results. Seek out someone who has had success with saltwater aquariums and stick with that person for advice until you gain enough experience to venture off on your own.
Buying livestock for saltwater aquariums:
When it comes to buying fish and other critters, do your homework! Make sure you understand the needs and compatibility of all livestock before purchasing. Quarantine all new livestock purchases before introducing them to your display tank to avoid introducing disease organisms.
Equipment for saltwater aquariums
Start out with the largest aquarium and the best equipment you can afford. Nano tanks don't cost as much and they take up less space, but bigger aquariums are more stable and more forgiving of beginner mistakes. Don't skimp on your gear! Good quality equipment will perform as advertised and hold up over time, something your animals will certainly appreciate. Make sure you understand the capabilities and limitations of all equipment before you make a purchase.
How much experience do I need?
Contrary to what some folks believe, it isn't necessary to have experience with freshwater aquariums before attempting saltwater. Marine aquarium keeping requires a little more patience and a little more money than freshwater, but with proper planning and research, it's something that anyone can do successfully, regardless of previous experience.
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