Originally Posted by kaedeb
How difficult is it to have a saltwater tank? i have always wanted to have one, currently i have a freshwater 10 gal.
It is almost better to get into saltwater without FW experience, as some common practices for Fresh do not transcribe to salt.
10 gallons would be way to small for a saltwater beginner, and would really limit fish selection to one goby. Your best bet is to start with at least a 29 gallon, better yet a 55. The bigger the better with saltwater, as evaporation will not cause such large salinity swings in bigger volume. Also, marine fish have a tendency to be a bit more territorial than FW fish, so larger tanks help diminish that behavior.
Marine tanks are far more expensive to start than freshwater, at least in my experience. I have never done a heavily planted freshwater tank, but I keep both fresh and salt tanks. Live Rock is expensive (up to $10 a pound) and fish and corals leave you with a feeling of sticker shock. I have spent $60 on a fish to have it die the next morning. My fish store was good and would give me credit and replacements, but never the full purchase price worth...
Saltwater, once it is established, is far easier in my opinion to maintain. I do a 5% water change every other week, whereas in my freshwater it is weekly 25% changes. No changing filter pads, just empty the skimmer regularly (weekly) and dose my chemicals.
I guess it is a question of what kind of difficulty you are referring to...