I love my reef tank. I am glad I have it. However it takes a significant chunk of my paycheck for its upkeep..and its only 14 gallons. Time is important with a saltwater. You can't just stock it after a short period of time. I learned a lot of lessons in saltwater aquarium keeping the hard and difficult way. As much as I love my saltwater tank, it is very frustrating at times.
The best advice I give you is read, read, read! Read everything.
-Never use tap water, even if your only using it once in the initial tank fill up. Only RODI or distilled water. It will save you many future problems.
-Get a test kit and never dose without testing for it.
-Research all fish and corals before adding them to your tank, no matter how tempted you are by what you see at the store. You do not know the proper tank size, what it eats, how big it gets, lighting, experience level. I would not always trust what employees tell you.
- Do not use biofiltration (bio-wheel. bio-balls, etc) for saltwater tanks, they are nitrate factories.
- Keep up on your water changes for good water quality and to avoid horrible algae problems.
- AVOID stocking too soon or too quickly. You may be anxious to see your new tank full of fish and corals all at once, but be very slow about it. It takes months-years to complete a successful tank. Make sure your tank is cycled properly before adding critters.
Hope this helps.