Marine reef aquariums, or saltwater aquariums, host beautiful coral, fish, and other colorful creatures, and they're a great addition to many homes and offices. It can take several months to properly set up your aquarium, but with a little patience and research, you can create a thriving habitat that you'll enjoy for years and years.Pick out a tank and tank stand that fits your space and budget. As a beginner, you may be tempted to get a small tank, but it's actually hard on your fish to transition from a small tank to a large one over time. For the best results, pick the largest one you can that fits into your budget and allocated space (choose a location that's away from doors, windows, and heating units). A 48 in (120 cm), 120 US gal (450 L) tank is a great choice for beginners. Buy a tank stand rather than relying on a piece of furniture you already have. A 10 US gal (38 L) tank could easily weigh over 1,000 pounds (450 kg) once it's full of water, creatures, and rocks. Aquarium stands are specifically built to hold that volume, whereas your normal table or TV stand isn't meant to withhold that much weight.Most tank stands are designed to also house the tank's equipment, so it provides storage as well as a base for the tank.Wipe down the tank with a clean, damp cloth. Take a clean, damp washcloth or rag and thoroughly wipe out the interior of the tank, the top rim, and the outside of the tank. Rinse the tank out with lukewarm water and let it air dry. Never use bleach, detergent, soaps, or any other kind of abrasive cleaner on the tank.Rinse off any gravel or substrate before adding it to the tank. You don't have to use gravel, but if you choose to, rinse it out in a colander before putting it in the tank. Use 1 pound (0.45 kg) of gravel or substrate for each gallon in your aquarium to create a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick bed of gravel. After the gravel is rinsed, spread it out evenly over the bottom of the tank.