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1. The Big Picture

How do we get from here, freshwater goldfish in a bowl …

to here, saltwater fish and corals and invertebrates in a bigger box?


Start with a container and some saltwater

Simply put, you need a container and some saltwater.  Then what?  Your first or next obvious question is, “what do I do next?”. The reef keeping industry will often answer with another not so helpful question “what livestock do you want to keep”.  But, for most beginners and many intermediate reef keepers, they don’t know yet.

ReefTank123 will help guide you through a system setup and attempt to maximize your options for the wide variety of fish and corals available.  By the way, the next time someone asks you, “what do you want to keep”, tell them “I want to keep them alive”!

Your options will largely be constrained by, no surprise, time and money.  How big and complex of a system can you afford? How much do you want to learn, how much time do you have? DIY or outsource some or all to a service provider?

Your first step is to review and research the saltwater reef animal and plant kingdom.  Decide on the variety and number of species you might want to keep.  That will determine the size and complexity of the system you will need.

In general, consider over-sizing everything initially with room to grow into.