If this is your first aquarium it's definatly better to start with freshwater so you can learn all the basics such as cycling.
I mean, you could
set up a saltwater aquarium but you might find it overwhelming at first. You'd also have to do a TON of research.
I can't answer the poll as I love both my saltwater and freshwater tanks
. Though I will vote freshwater only because I think that would be a better choice for someone new to fish
Some things to consider if you want a saltwater tank:
1. Everything is way more expensive...the lighting (unless you do a fish only set-up), the filteration, the livestock, etc. Things like liverock and salt mix can really start to add up. You also need more equipment then a freshwater aquarium.
2. The fish/inverts are much more sensitive. Saltwater fish aren't very forgiving and the slightest newbie mistake could kill them or at least make them very sick. Some fish are hardier but they still will not do well in the wrong kind of enviroment. Remember that most saltwater fish are wild-caught. They are used to living in the ocean where the temperature, salinity, and other water parameters are stable. And in an aquarium you are trying to duplicate this which isn't always easy. Freshwater fish are often captive-bred and even if they aren't most live in streams or lakes where things are still not as stable as the ocean.
3. You need a larger tank then freshwater. Since I highly suggest not trying a nano-reef yet you'll need a good-size aquarium. It's recommended you start with at least a 55-gallon. The larger the tank the better for all fish. For a freshwater tank you can easily start with a 20-gallon or a 29-gallon. So keep that in mind.
4. Saltwater tanks do indeed require a bit more maintenance. They aren't as time-consuming as people think (unless you have a very small tank) but you'll still need to carry out regular water changes (usually more often then in a freshwater tank to keep nitrates down), scrape off the algae on the glass, test the water (you need to test more things in a saltwater tank...especially if you have inverts), add any reef supplements you need, top off the tank with freshwater daily, clean out the protein skimmer and any filters...Even feeding takes longer since marine fish need a wide variety of food.
5. You'll need to get a second job because everything is so expensive
That being said, I'm not trying to scare you out of doing a saltwater tank. I love mine
. But you need to understand that it's a big undertaking.
The absolute best website for starting any kind of aquarium is Wetwebmedia, Aquarium, Pond, Marine and Freshwater Fish, reef tanks, and Aquatics Information
. And of course if you have any specific questions on anything aquarium-related just ask