One of the biggest advantages of starting a reef tank is the abundance of options that such a tank provides. In fact, a reef tank should include a great deal of diversity so that a thriving ecosystem can develop. This diversity should include everything from corals, crabs and a variety of saltwater fish.
According to Adam Kutner, an aquarium expert who keeps both saltwater and freshwater tanks, cultivating diversity in a saltwater tank is simply good for all of the inhabitants of the contained ecosystem. Each member plays a different and important role in helping the ecosystem thrive, and of course, diversity among the inhabitants makes for a more interesting and entertaining aquarium.
The beauty of a reef tank, as Kutner has pointed out on several occasions, is that the presence of corals, fish, crabs and the like function in a variety of ways that help the tank sustain itself. While some of the larger aquariums will use artificial coral, it is always preferable to utilize living coral. This will help the tank become a living ecosystem whose diverse inhabitants work together and benefit each other simply through a continued presence.
While saltwater tanks are more difficult to maintain, the fact that a reef tank can include such a great deal of diversity is well worth the effort. Most saltwater tank enthusiasts agree that they do not even notice the extra time they spend on their tanks, as they so thoroughly enjoy working on their tank so that it continues to thrive.