So to save you the wonder we’ll answer the question succinctly: ‘no.’ It’s really not that hard to maintain a saltwater aquarium but it does take more time and a little more care than their freshwater counterparts entail. Today, there’s lots of quality equipment and support products that you can use that will help make maintaining your saltwater aquarium much easier that simply didn’t exist 15, 20 years ago, so you don’t really have too much to worry about.
That being said – there are a few things you should probably know before you dive in. Let’s get to those:
Take a little more time up front to make a plan
Like we said above – saltwater tanks involve a little more thinking on your end, particularly up-front so you know and are prepared for what’s coming next. Understanding a couple of things about water chemistry will be more important than it would be for a freshwater tank, but the basic principles of keeping these tanks going is the same.
We think the major key to success is just taking your time and moving slowly -and whatever the costs – stay within your budget. We definitely recommend speaking with someone who’s owned a saltwater tank and try to stick with one or two main sources of advice. Saltwater tanks CAN get complicated at points – but perhaps more precisely you can achieve unexpected and maybe unwanted results if you piece info together from different sources so keep the information flow on your end simple.
Make sure you do your homework on saltwater fish. They’ll require a slightly more intensive ‘onboarding’ process – as you’ll have to quarantine them before introducing them to your tank and you’ll also want to make sure everyone gets along and is compatible. Not all fish are and even when some are, you can accidentally introduce diseases to your tank from other fish that can have major consequences. We’re not trying to scare you – it’s really not THAT much more intensive with saltwater fish – but just make sure you’re doing your homework.
With freshwater tanks we usually recommend starting small and building up – with saltwater tanks we recommend you start bigger. Saltwater beginners are more prone to making small mistakes early on, and the bigger your aquarium the more stable and forgiving the environment will be. And definitely don’t skimp on gear. Especially with saltwater devices that take more wear and tear over time – we definitely recommend going big. It’s definitely one of those ‘you get what you pay for’ propositions.
Do I need experience?
While experience always helps, the answer is definitely ‘no.’ But it’ll require a little more of everything. They’re a little more expensive. They take a little more preparation. They take a little more homework. They require a little more maintenance. As long as you have the time and money you can have a wonderful experience.