I've been into freshwater for most of my my life, so I've alway had tanks around the house. But, the saltwater thing didn't come about 'till I was eight or nine.:WARNING: Long, boring story about my first saltwater fish tank.
I had been breeding guppies and mollies for a few years and selling them to the LFS and saved up enough money to get another tank, but didn't really know what I wanted to keep in it. Then I had a stroke of genius. I was going to fill it with mud and put fiddler crabs in it.
Later in the week I went to an undisclosed location with my brothers and some friends to collect the crabs and anything else that looked cool and lived in mud. And apparently such activities are prohibited by law in said undisclosed location, according to the guy that made us let them all go. He was nice enough to "let us off with a warning," so I was going to repay the favor and wait till I couldn't see him anymore to put them back in my bucket, but he seemed to think we should go with him to the boat dock and ask people if we could "play with thier left over bait."
At the boat dock I had another genius idea. Silversides and rocks would be cool as 'ell. We did manage to snatch a bucket full of rocks and some snails and such after the wildlife protection guy left. So I did get a crab. I kept the bait only with live rocks theme for a few years. It is still one of the coolest tanks I've had. Definately better than the pimped out 50g goldfish tank. Even though I did get more than twice as much for the goldfish tank when I had to get rid of them.:End of boring story:
Anyway, my fist reef tank was just an extention of the silverside tank. I came up with that checking out a new LFS store to get some salt mix.
I didn't really have any problems when I went to reefing. I had always been one too keep up on water quality. Even in my goldfish tank I kept perfect water. I did have a small problem with PH at first, but that was caused by poor quality salts that mixed differently from batch to batch. After I started using better salt, I didn't have to worry about it much.
Really it was just a natural progression. Since the time I won that goldfish (Charlie) at the carnival, I've been on a path that can only lead to a 10,000+ gallon reef tank. So far I haven't been able to break the 50g mark on any tank, but that may be coming this summer when I can finally get another reef tank going. I will also be working on a smaller, probably 10 gallon at the same time, so when I start that I'll be actually posting in the forums more often instead of just hiding in the shadows and watching everyone elses tanks grow up.