There is a lot to buy to get a salt water aquarium started. Here is a list of the equipment that was suggested to us to get us started with our salt water tank. There is the obvious tank and stand (we bought a 75 gal tank to get us started.) Other things we needed were the heater(250 W stealth heater), filter, hood, light, substrate(crushed coral), salt, hydrometer(used to measure the salt content of the water), thermometer, live rock, filling hose, prime, and stability. Many people suggest using a protein skimmer but we have not bought one yet. We are going to wait until we know how many fish we are going to keep in the tank. All in all we spent around $1300 to get everything started.
For those in the Billings area that are interested in starting a salt water aquarium a good place to start is at The Coral Connection in the heights. For more information visit their website at http://thecoralconnection.com/
They had a very helpful staff and were very flexible in working out payment plans. They are very knowledgeable and take extra steps to make sure you are getting started in the right direction.
Well that is it for tonight. I will let you know more when I get started creating my mini ocean!!