For your tank, you will need a location, filter, heater, thermometer, and of course salt!
Before you get started, you want to make sure you have the proper location for your tank. This means it is placed away from windows, outside doors, vents, and air conditioners-rapid changes in water temperature are stressful for all fish so keeping them away from the above will help prevent that. Also check to make sure it is out of direct sunlight, that where you are placing it will hold the weight (approx. 550 lbs) and an outlet as most need a plug-in. Last, make sure there is distance between the wall and the tank to allow easy access for maintenance.
After you pick the location, it is time to set it up. First, make sure the tank is clean by rinsing it out. Then put your tank in the desired location. Make sure it is level as an unbalanced tank can be dangerous. You want to make sure it is on an even surface so avoid a crack or leak.
There are different filters you may use-undergravel and non-undergravel. There are different requirements for each but neither is better than the other. For undergravel, you’ll want to want to rinse and place the bottom plates into the tank attaching all necessary parts. For non-undergravel you should set it up according to manufacturer directions that come with it. Even when assembled, do not plug in your tank just yet.
Lastly, go ahead and fill your tank. Once you add the appropriate amount of water start adding commercial marine salt, but a little at a time until you get a specific gravity reading of around 1.020 with your hydrometer. Place your heater into your tank-the best place depends on the type of heater. Make sure to install it appropriately to avoid overheating. The install your thermometer according to the directions. Wait about a half hour than go ahead and plug your tank in!
Your tank is now up and running! But, before you go buy your fish, you need to make sure your tank is stable. Wait about two days to make sure your tank is working correctly.