Updated: Jan 18
So you see an aquarium at a friends house or perhaps on TV or maybe its been a long time "want" that you thought "Im never gonna know how to start or what to even do to begin?"
Well read on my friend. This is merely a drop in the knowledge you will gain in the life of your aquarium husbandry skills.
Lets begin with some basic knowledge. Aquariums are weird. A rule of thumb is to start off with the largest aquarium you can afford. Yeah. Biggest. The reason is in a large aquarium the evaporation that happens will have a minimal affect on your aquarium. Now lets focus on a freshwater aquarium first. Typically this evaporation wont have a drastic change to your aquarium other than leaving hard water stains on your glass if you don't top it off every few days. Also the more water the better. This is a buffer to how quickly your aquarium reacts to changes within it. Suppose a dead fish that happened to bury itself under a rock in the back of your aquarium. Yeah. Stupid fish. So in a 100 gallon aquarium the results that come from that wont show as quickly as if your aquarium was 30 gallons. If it happens in a 30 gallon aquarium...good luck.
Now lets talk about a saltwater aquarium. Let the beads of sweat gather on your forehead....
You have MANY elements that exist in a saltwater aquarium. Obviously salt is the main one. So what happens when water evaporates in a saltwater aquarium? Well, the water evaporates but it leaves the salt BEHIND. So your salinity rises. All of your fish and coral can live in a specific window of salinity. It can rise and fall a few points but too much change and they will react badly.
So you will need to monitor it daily depending on the season. Sometimes every few days. Believe it or not in the winter when most people have their heater on it evaporates alot. So much that you might think there is a leak.
Don't let this scare you. Its very controllable. It just depends how much attention you give it. So when you first think of an aquarium most people will start with a freshwater aquarium and see how it goes. Some of the maintenance procedures are similar to a saltwater aquarium but others are very different. So dipping your toes is always best when it comes to aquarium keeping. Just start small but also start big. Weird...i know.