This is a question asked quite alot on here, and I think you'll find many different answers with a very similar theme. SW
is MUCH more expensive to do right. My thoughts are, if you intend to be successful at it, there is no "easy saltwater setup."
You will always find people doing things that are unconventional when keeping any type of animal/s. Is it right? probably not.
I will say that 20G SW
can be done, but bigger tanks will offer much more forgiveness. You will have to monitor your parameters a little more than you would with a larger tank.
If budget is very tight, I would not recommend SW
personally. If budget is moderate....I say go for it. There are a few new threads in the beginning forum that will give you a good idea about costs and supplies needed.
I wouldn't say you need complicated things, but there is more to it than throwing fish in a flower vase.
Also, are you wanting a reef setup or just SW
fish. Reefs are awesome, but that's where the money starts to get sucked outta your wallet. Fish only tanks are do-able, cheaper, but I still would recommend LR
for biologic filtration (MUCH, MUCH more effective) over the cannister filters that a LFS
would try to sell you. If you eventually expand to a reef at a later date, the cannister filter is a ticking time bomb, whereas the live rock is a must.
With all that said, I would research the following:
- Nitrogen cycle
- Stocking guidelines
- Coral lighting requirements
- Circulation needed
That should get you started and give you enough info to decide if spending your hard earned money on this hobby is right for you. If it excites you.....which I'm sure it will, dive on in and keep reading everything you can get your mitts on. Oh, and ask LOTS of questions before you buy ANYTHING!!!
nothing worse then learning that you bought something that isn't up to snuff, or not recommended.
Cheers, welcome to AA!!!