Starting Your Saltwater Tank is Easier Than You Think

New hobbyists coming to the saltwater tank world is a great thing. So long as they are educated on setting up a saltwater tank correctly.

Today I’m rolling out my “No-Nonsense Guide To Setting Up A Saltwater Tank“. In the 110 + page guide and exclusive videos where I build an actual saltwater tank step-by-step I teach new hobbyists how to setup their tanks for maximum success.

Links in this show:


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Comments for this article (54)

  • Mike says:

    I thought about asking you to make a “get started” video yesterday! This is scary!

  • zims says:

    what happened to your right elbow??

  • Tony says:

    I was happy to see you put out this video Mark. After watching your interview with the guy from tanked, I was a bit disappointed. We watched a couple of episodes of Tanked, while entertaining, it wasn’t our cup of tea. Keep the awesome videos coming!

  • great video and it looks like it’ll be a great book as well.

    Thanks for all the great tips

  • Chris P says:

    Hey Mark…you must have biffed it good on a bike ride. Hope you didn’t break anything.

  • paco says:

    Im really looking forward to it lots of questions will be answer soon!!!! And as far as his elbow I think he got in a fight with a damsel!!!!!

  • Mark H. says:

    Mark, thanks for your hard work with the book and this site.

    What happend to the elbow, was MANCA that rough?

  • Angel L says:

    Hey Mark, great video. My comment is on the addition of fish. I personally love tangs, so my experience has been that with tangs, one every week or 2 weeks won’t fly. It has to be done at the same time, otherwise territories will be established and your new tangs down the line will have a much more dificult time surviving. Especially if you want to keep similar types, purple tang & yellow tang as an example… Hopefully your book goes into this a little and talks about methods to help aleviate this. Just my 2 cents…

  • Jonathan says:

    When are you going to put back up your tank Cruz control guide? Really want it!

  • Doug says:

    great idea with a start-up piece…. I wish tanked put up a website to inform folks that you can’t fill a tank with hose water and dump in as many of the coolest looking fish you want in it…. keep fighting the good fight !

  • Marko says:

    youre not gonna try and sell people something they don’t need?

    So no more “every tank personality needs a tank controller”?

  • pat says:

    keep up the great videos

  • Chris says:

    i bought this becuase everyone you ask about setting up a saltwater tank tell you something different and think if your tank does not look like there tank it is wrong.i know from all the Videos Mark has put out.he will be up front with you and not have you running in circle.there is a lot of people that will try to make you feel bad for asking for they don’t ask or you don’t know anyone that has a saltwater tank and most of the time the Guy or Girl at the Fish store don’t know what to tell you to help you out.this is a great deal there is a lot of Videos to see that will help you out then you have this Guide that help you understand why you need or don’t need something.Thank Mark you can tell a lot of work when in to this one.

  • Sarah says:

    $47!? I was going to purchase a copy, but I think $47 is kind of steep for a PDF that I will download. I know there’s got to be a ton of great advice on there, but I just think the online downloadable copy should be less expensive because it you don’t actually have to print and ship material to me. Just my two cents.

  • khurram says:

    i know this is not the place to ask, but i am looking into buying a 300 gallon tank, i love the marineland 300 DD tank, but i wanna go rimless and mount my aqua illumination led’s from the ceiling, any suggestions on where to buy it from, i have heard bad things about, worst come to worst i would have to dish out money for the marineland 300 dd, and maybe just take off the canopy and modify the tank. by the way i like the dimensions on the marineland dd, so if i get it custom made, it will be the exact same dimensions. thanks …

  • Devin says:

    build ur own!

  • Chris…thanks! Many sleepless night and it is a labor of love.

  • Thanks Doug…please pass on my site and the link to your guide to any newbies you come across. My goal is to have many successful saltwater tanks so that if we ever need to re-populate the oceans, we can.

  • Angel…one chapter of the guide is picking your first fish and I specifically steer people away from Tangs. I know they will be tempted but I tell them to leave them behind.

  • Mark…I laid down my pedal bike @ 10mph and got some nasty road rash! You should see the bruise on my hip!

  • gobstarr420 says:

    Yes finally some one did it thanx mark

  • bill mitchell says:

    good video
    what is the mailing price to Australia 4558

  • Bill…I’ll get with my shipper and email you an estimate.

  • Spike says:

    khurram hey check out saw them at macna and there tanks looked top notch.

  • I saw those guys too @ MACNA and I wanted to mention them to khurram but I couldn’t remember their name. Thanks for posting it!

  • James Butler says:

    Glad to see you finally finished your book. Now that it’s available, I guess I’m officially out of excuses as to why my system isn’t running. Thanks Mark.

  • Khurram says:

    thanks spike 🙂

  • Khurram says:

    Mark Thanks as well

  • Spike says:

    No problem. I was sure if it is ok to post that but I am glad I could help. Post pics of th build somewere.

  • Khurram says:

    I will, thinking of doing a whole YouTube series on the build

  • Eric says:

    Hey mark thank you for all the helpful tips and videos. i love your site man keep up the good work. im sorry to hear you ate it on your peddle bike. but dont feel alone bro i crashed my dirt bike on a jump and fractured my right wrist. 3 months in a cast is not fun since im right handed. anyways im really looking forward to these how to build a s/w tank videos!

  • BobbyReef says:


  • Matt Allen says:

    If anyone is umming and arring about spending the cash then my advice is go for it… Best guide ever and written by someone who doesn’t feel the need to talk down to you… The vids are full of advice and practical knowledge… 🙂

    I know this guide has just saved me a lot of time and money and I feel confident enough to get going instead of constantly researching every little detail!

    Top work Mark… Really impressed with how its all been put together in such an easy to understand manner… I look forward to your future guides! 😀

  • Dez says:

    I too watched an episode of Tanked, thinking it would be educational. It was a freakin reality show!! I hate those things with a passion. But this site is the BEST!! Keep up the good work, Mark

  • Mike says:

    Hm, this was not what I was hoping for.
    Since I already know how to start up a tank successfully, I am not willing to pay $47 just to hear about your ideas, even-though I’m positive your way will be one of the best.

  • omar says:

    mark the price is way too much for a non officially edited “guide” book. if the price was less i would consider buying it.
    so please consider lower prices to include wider audience.

    thanks a lot.

  • Rigo says:

    Nice vid,
    this should be the intro on all the tanked show.
    its time to contact animal planet : )

  • stel1os72 says:

    …just wondering if ANYONE, other than myself who has purchased BOTH guides recently, is having trouble viewing either the “No Nonsense” or the “Cruise Control” vids? It seems that there is some kind of glitch to watching the NN vids if you’ve also purchased the CC guide as well. This may just be a problem with my account …I HAVE tried diff’t computers though. I know Mark is on top of the situation trying to get it resolved ASAP. I was just curious if anyone has had the same type of trouble. Thanks.

  • Matt Allen says:

    Yes mate… its a niggle in the software that I’m sure Mark will flog into shape asap… 😉

  • If anyone else is experiencing the same bug where they can’t see the No-Nonsense videos and the Cruise Control videos, please let me know.

    Of course, this only applies to people who purchased both guides.

  • stel1os72 says:

    Thanks for the response Matt. And, thank YOU Mark for addressing my software niggle…LMAO!

  • ed johnson says:

    i have been out of the hobby for about 15 years, and now have decided to start again. in the past i had a 300 gal. tank with just marine fish in it. i had a side overflow over a filter pad and then over bio bio balls into a sump. in the sump i had a protein skimmer, then the water flow went through a section that had cemi-pure in it and then finally, the water would go through a uv sterilizer and back to the tank. i never over stocked the tank, i just had about 6 large species and a couple of small ones. i always had a problem with desise like ick. the fish would eventual dart around and scrape themselves on the corals, also heavy breathing, all of which i am aware of as being infected. i added copper to the tank to try and help but even though i watched my fish always and caught it early i lost many large fish that cost plenty. so before i get started with another 300 gallon tank what do you think might be my problem. i would appreciate your advice, and has there been emprovements in this field to help prevent fish from getting sick other than what i use to have. i really want to get started but unless i find out my problem i will not start. ty ed

  • stel1os72 says:

    Hey Matt…ANY luck viewing your “No Nonsense” vids yet?

  • Mark says:

    Hi Mark, just to say a BIG THANK YOU for all of your excellent advice. I’m 7 weeks into setting up my 3ft, 110lt tank + 30lt sump, & have found your asdvice invaluable.

  • ed says:

    can you give me some info on silent pumps if there are any or just the quietest one, either internal or external. i have a 300 gallon saltwater fish only set up that i will be building but am confused with all the positive and negative feed back about the same pumps. i think that it would probably to get two [2] pumps just in case one goes bad one still will run. how many times should the pump turn over the water in the tank per hour [gph]. also i will be connecting a protein skimmer, gfo reactor and carbon reactor and also uv, so do i get one pump with enough [gph] to just filter the water, and a second one to run the water needs of all the other pieces of the system. i know it is alot to swallow but how do you know how fast the water should past through all the filter systems and how do you check that you have the right flow. hope to get a e-mail from you soon. love your weekly updates. ty ed

  • jose says:

    Hi! How do I can set up my reff aquarium? It’s my first time setting up a salt aquarium and I mount the 55g tank in a wall that I can see from the kitchen and the living room. How can I set up the live rock that looks great in the middle? My tank isn’t drill I have the sump proflex model 2, Skimmer, and overflow the tank no have water yet. thank you

  • jack says:

    when will the guide come back out i rlly want it

  • Jack…I’m working on somethings now, so to answer your question…soon. In the meantime, add your name to the list to be notified when they are available again right here

  • Arnie says:

    Mark, I want to set up a 155 gallon 1/4 cylinder salt water tank in my office. I need to buy your guide to set up the tank NOW. Please email me to let me know how I get buy a copy!!

  • Lisa says:

    Question…I don’t think I’ll be able to afford a sump anytime soon with everything else that has to be purchased, but you mentioned that there wouldn’t be detritus buildup in your sump’s biomedia because it’s going through a filter sock. Do you think that if I placed a filter sock over the intake, I could use a canister filter? I realize I’d have to use an external skimmer.

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