I was slow to start up a marine tank (try 4 years!), and have become quickly addicted to the "hobby"
It all started 5 years ago when I was searching for really cool birthday present for my husband, when I happened upon the 29 gallon fully equipped Eclipse 2 system by Marineland. It had everything included. Hood, lights, thermometer, hydrometer, salt, buffers and such, filter and pump, even flake food. So I brought it home, wrapped it up, bought a marine tank book, and wrapped that too, along with a 25 lb bag of this new stuff called Live Sand. I thought I'd hit it big, since he had mentioned he'd like to have fish again. (20 years ago, we'd had a FW
Tank with mollies & guppies which I had thought was boring.) Well, he opened it and was like "Hmmm. Cool." Then it all sat in the box for 4 years. He never even cracked open the book.
Finally, I had had enough of relocating this giant box from one place to another in my living room, so I read the book, and quickly realized there was way more to setting up a marine tank than "floating the bag". This scientific methodology is right up MY alley! So I purchased 2 more books, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, and The New Marine Aquarium. What a huge and great resource for me! I did more planning for another year and here we finally are! I fired it up in May, fooled with decor, arrangement, practiced techniques, then after a month, I bought my hermits. Cheap, but figured, hey, if they don't die, I'll be ready to add a fish! Well, I'm happy to say that nothing has died, i've got the acclimation process down pat, and everything is doing pretty well. I've already nade some huge mistakes, but fortunately, nothing tragic. I'll document those in another post. For the rest of you newbies, Welcome!