12-13-2010, 12:02 AM
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Hi and welcome to the hobby! There is a lot to learn, but the most important lesson in fish keeping is patience. The 2nd most important lesson is that the bigger the tank the easier it will be to keep stable and healthy.
30 gallons is not an impossible tank to start with, but especially for saltwater, you should be forewarned that there is a very limited number of fish species that can be kept in a 30 gallon tank, and even more limited on how many of those can mix together.
The easiest way to start an aquarium, either salt or fresh water, is to first decide what fish/animals you desire to keep and then go about setting up what those fish need. If space is limited, then work with the largest tank you can... but again, before deciding how to set things up, you need to know what type of fish you are going to provide for. Will this be a reef tank? Corals are not a requirement in keeping a reef tank, but whether the fish you keep are reef fish or not will make a huge difference in the environment they require.
Another consideration is whether once you get your feet wet, do you intend to later add to your population in any way? This makes a big difference when choosing a tank size and when you begin stocking the tank with your first fish.
Filtration, lighting, tank size, maintenance schedule, decor, chemical additives... all these things will be determined based on what animals are in your tank.
If you'd like to post about what animals you wish to keep, it would be much easier for someone to offer you actual and accurate help.