- Make sure the person you are buying an aquarium for is interested in having one.
- If you are not sure what you need to buy, print out our checklist of items for starting an aquarium, and then use it as a reference when shopping.
- For anyone that is completely new to the saltwater hobby, it is recommended to start with a simple fish-only system.
- Typically the smaller the aquarium, the more attention it requires, therefore a 20 gallon tank or larger is best to begin with.
- Combining technology with ingenuity on part of product manufacturers, the high-tech designed compact plug 'n play aquarium systems are very popular these days.
These types of space saving units come fully integrated with advanced built-in filtration systems, higher output lighting systems, which makes them reef ready for adding corals later, and many other unique features which makes starting a saltwater aquarium a whole lot easier. If you want to keep the cost down, there are all kinds of basic aquarium kits and combos to choose from as well.
- Want to give something a little bigger? No problem. With such a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles of aquariums to pick from (shop & compare prices), you shouldn't have trouble finding something the person you are buying for likes.
- It is best to deal with a fish store that specializes in saltwater livestock, because stores that primarily deal in freshwater may not give the best advice.
- It is best to purchase quality equipment. Cheaper is not always better, as this can lead to problems with equipment, resulting in additional cost to the aquarium owner in the long run. There are always bargains out there, of course, so shop around and keep an eye out for sales on the equipment you have decided to buy.
- For a number of reasons, it is best not to buy livestock when you purchase an aquarium. Primarily, the aquarium should be set up and allowed to run for a day or two before adding livestock and, the new aquarium owner probably has an idea of what fish and invertebrates they want. Giving a gift certificate from a reputable saltwater livestock supplier in lieu of live fish id a great alternative.
- A very special way to give an aquarium as a gift is to have one custom built. This is the same as you buying and giving it, but you do so by letting a professional aquarium company do it for you. Their are lots of companies that will design, install, and even maintain the systems they build. Just check with local saltwater fish stores in your area or online stores that specialize in this type of service.
- Not sure what to do? Give a gift certificate.
- If you find the cost of the aquarium set up you want to give doesn't fit into your budget, just get together with friends and family members of the giftee and pool your funds.
~ Debbie & Stan Hauter