Yes, even as a first-time tank owner you can build a saltwater aquarium and have great success.

So why do saltwater aquariums catch this bad rap of being difficult or hard to maintain? 

The answer probably has to do with the evolution and advancement of our hobby over the last 30-40 years. If you were to ask someone this very same question just 20-30 years back, the answer would probably sound a little different. In days of old, there was very little published information, proven techniques, and specialized equipment for saltwater aquariums. Combine that with the relatively hefty initial investment and it would make anyone think twice about diving into a saltwater tank before learning the ropes. Freshwater tanks on the other hand were a little easier pill to swallow for new tank owners having already been a well-developed hobby for many years.  

Hobbyists these days have free access to quality information on the internet that helps eliminate a bulk of the trial and error associated with saltwater tanks in the days of old. The equipment has evolved and become more specialized and therefore, more effective. We have learned from the mistakes of those who came before us and perfected the successful techniques that are backed by science. Saltwater aquariums have just come a long way in a relatively short amount of time and are no longer something for an aspiring aquarist to fear, rather embrace. It's also one of the coolest hobbies out there and joining the "elite" club of saltwater tank owners is becoming easier with each and every passing year. 

Small tanks are a springboard!

Another sort of persuasion that would deter folks from building saltwater aquariums in days past was the fact that most experts at the time would recommend larger aquariums. This is rooted in the fact that smaller volumes of water will change faster so a larger volume of water would stay more stable. When the hobby was young, we were just learning how to maintain that stability which is critical for saltwater fish and corals to survive but these days, we have a thorough understanding of what makes a saltwater tank remain stable.

Combine that knowledge with a far greater selection of quality nano-sized aquariums, high-tech filtration equipment, and easy-to-use testing equipment and you can easily achieve success in smaller tanks. We now also have a much wider variety of captive-bred fish available which are hardier and far better suited for life in an aquarium compared to their wild-caught counterparts. So long as you are conservative and responsible with your tank stocking and stick to a routine maintenance schedule, you can get your feet wet in the saltwater hobby without the cost and commitment required to maintain a larger aquarium. 

A 20-gallon aquarium with a pair of clownfish is the perfect entryway into our beloved hobby. Maintenance and care are minimal with roughly only 30 minutes required each and every week! 

Learn More With BRStv Answers: