switching from fresh to salt - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-23-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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switching from fresh to salt

i think im gonna switch over my chiclid tank to a salt tank. ive kept freshwater for 15 years and was very successful at it but this is a new venture for me.

its a 46g bowfront tank. i went to the lfs today and talked to them a while about it. he recomended i get 20lbs of live sand and 20 lbs of dead sand. also some live rock to start out. he said it depends what i can spend but even one small rock is a good idea to get. he suggested i cycle the tank with 2 damsels.

he also said i could reuse all the stuff i have currently if i clean it out real well, as well as totally removing all my current gravel bed.

i have a cascade 1000 canister filter that im glad i can reuse.

what light bulbs should i use? i currently have a 36" t-5 setup with 2 39watt 6500k bulbs in it. i know that will grow algea like crazy in a salt tank?

sorry for being all over the place here. i just wanted your thoughts or recomendations as this is my first venture into it.

46g bowfront freshwater
10g freshwater
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-24-2013, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by skelator View Post
i think im gonna switch over my chiclid tank to a salt tank. ive kept freshwater for 15 years and was very successful at it but this is a new venture for me.

its a 46g bowfront tank. i went to the lfs today and talked to them a while about it. he recomended i get 20lbs of live sand and 20 lbs of dead sand. also some live rock to start out. he said it depends what i can spend but even one small rock is a good idea to get. he suggested i cycle the tank with 2 damsels.
I am against the fish-in cycle. I will personally not add fish until my readings are: 0 ppm Ammonia, 0 ppm NitrIte and 0 ppm NitrAte. I also shoot to have Alkalinity at 8-12 dKH and Calcium at 400-450 pm before adding my first fish.

Damsel fish-in cycle are not only stressful for the fish, but why buy a fish you are interested in keeping? You have to go through the stress of catching the fish, bagging it and bringing it to the LFS without killing it.

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he also said i could reuse all the stuff i have currently if i clean it out real well, as well as totally removing all my current gravel bed.

i have a cascade 1000 canister filter that im glad i can reuse.
I would personally ditch the canister and buy a skimmer. Filters such as canisters are detritus traps and nitrate factories, by design. In marine aquaria, we are trying to eliminate sources of nitrates, not create them. My setup is a 20 gallon with a 4" sand bed and about 25 lbs of Live Rock. These two natural components of the system are the filtration. They both utilize aerobic and anaerobic bacteria to convert Ammonia to Nitrites, Nitrites to Nitrates and Nitrates to Nitrogen Gas (which leaves the system naturally). I do use a Hang On Back filter, but just to run activated carbon (no filter floss) to neutralize Dissolved Organic Compounds before they breakdown into Nitrates. On systems larger than 29 gallons, the filters become detrimental and skimmers and sumps should be utilized.

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Originally Posted by skelator View Post
what light bulbs should i use? i currently have a 36" t-5 setup with 2 39watt 6500k bulbs in it. i know that will grow algea like crazy in a salt tank?
6500k will create algae blooms. I would switch the bulbs to either 10000k or 14000k depending on how 'blue' you want it. 14000k tend to be more blue. For a really blue look, you can also try 20000k.

Welcome to Saltwater. You already have the cheapest part of this venture: the tank.



Nothing good happens fast in an Aquarium

My 30 Gallon Long Marine Tank
My son's 20 gallon FW Community
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-24-2013, 11:56 AM
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Well I did the opposite way. I kept salt as a kid now keeping cichlids( and other freshwater stuff) lol. Now first I'll say I don't remember everything as I was a kid when I did salt but I did a fish in cycle with 1 yellow tail blue damsel and the damsel may have been stressed(don't recall exactly) but seemed ok to me and added another later and clowns later on. I would go for more then one small live rock.. well thats what I did. I remember thinking as I put it in it looked like an absurd amount and I didn't want to do it(but my parents insisted). So thats all I remember but and everyone was very healthy and active for the ~3yrs I kept them when I sold it to a neighbor because it was a pain to keep up properly.
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