I remember the very first time I laid eyes on a saltwater aquarium.
It must have been around 1972, and I had wandered into a shop selling freshwater aquaria. As I made my way past the tanks of goldfish, neon tetras, guppies, and freshwater terrapins, a large tank at the very end of the store drew my attention.
Against a background of white, bleached coral skeletons, various fish in radiant hues of yellow, blue and purple flitted about the tank.
It was unlike anything I had ever seen.
But a quick chat with the owner revealed that everything was not as well as it seemed.
He told me he was losing one fish every couple of days and dismissed the saltwater aquarium hobby as ‘just too difficult’.
And looking back at those early years, I can sympathize with his frustration. There was just no literature available on saltwater aquarium keeping in the early 70’s.
While Dutch and German researchers were pioneering the wet/dry and Berlin-style systems of marine aquarium filtration, their findings were not widely publicized. The use of live rock as a natural filter, or even the nitrogen cycle as we know it, was still not fully understood.
For the keen saltwater aquarium hobbyist, it was down to filling a glass box with natural seawater and hoping for the best. Those poor fish!
But times have indeed changed for the saltwater aquarium hobby.
The early 90’s saw a renaissance in saltwater aquarium keeping. By that time, keeping saltwater fish alive in captivity for many years, well beyond their lifespans in the wild due to natural predators, had become the norm. Even growing thriving colonies of small-polyped stony corals (SPS) had become a challenge, but not an impossibility.
Use this Saltwater Aquarium Hobby guide as a means to getting a headstart in this wonderful hobby. Each chapter covers an essential component of knowledge the aspiring marine aquarium enthusiast will need to get started.
Above all else, please remember that the marine creatures we take into our charge are precious lives taken out of their natural habitat. Our duty is to provide a healthy and comfortable living environment for them, void of stress, disease and predation.
In turn, they will reward us with a captivating and ever-evolving slice of the ocean which we can enjoy everyday for many years to come.
I wish you and your marine pets All the Very Best!