I became interested in salt water reef tanks when I saw one at a friend's house, near Philadelphia, in 1993. I moved to Vermont a few months later, and had no idea how to get started up here, so I set the idea aside. I stumbled across a local salt water aquarium store (Green Mountain Aquariums) in 1998 and the adventure started.
The first few months with my new tank were magical. Even some of the simplest of creatures, the anemone, was fascinating, especially when it was virtually alone in an almost empty tank. Look at the Atlantic Anemone page to see the graceful shapes that these simple creatures can make.
Some of the specimens only lasted a few hours; some a few months; and some have been with me for over eight years. The daily changes that take place in a reef tank would surprise a casual diver, who only sees these animals during the daylight; and the changes that take over a period of months, or years, can also be surprising. Checkout the toadstool mushroom coral, for example, which has been in my tank for over six years, and has slowly walked about a foot or so during that time, leaving pieces of itself in its wake, each of which is slowly becoming a new coral. Some of these things can only be appreciated with pictures taken over years and years.
I started out as an experienced photographer, but had to refine my techniques in order to obtain good pictures. If you're looking to buy a digital camera, check out the discussion about important digital camera features . If you are having problems taking pictures of your own tanks, read my article about digital tank photography.
You also might enjoy looking through the talk I was asked to give about my reef tank back in 2000.