Thinking about a future Saltwater, totally clueless...
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Thinking about a future Saltwater, totally clueless...

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Thinking about a future Saltwater, totally clueless...
Old 02-23-2011, 11:35 PM   #1
 
LasColinasCichlids's Avatar
 
Question Thinking about a future Saltwater, totally clueless...

Okay, I am great and know a lot regarding my freshwater tanks and freshwater in general. And I was thinking that a couple of years down the road, when all my fish in my 29 gallon are all gone, that I might consider turning my 29 gal from fresh to saltwater. But first, I wanted more info on it before I even imagine it as a possibility. And the more I read about it online, the more it sounds pretty similar to a freshwater setup, but I cant find clear answers. So here are some of my many questions...

1- Can you use the same power filters/bio wheels and heaters from a freshwater on saltwater?

2- Is a protein skimmer a NEED? And do you need those power head things?

3- I think I get the idea of a "nano reef tank", is it just a miniture version of a reef tank? (not saying i want one, just clearification on if the only difference is size.)

4- Silly, but I have always wondered...how in the world do you get those beautiful corals/anonimities (spelling) to sit on the rocks (live rock I believe is what it is called?)???

5- What kind of price, minus fish and food, would I be looking at to transfer my current 29 gallon freshwater to saltwater? And what equipment would I need to buy in addition to or instead of the equipment you use on a freshwater?

6- I know if I ever did a saltwater, I want your standard clown fish, both in the orange and the black colorings...what other saltwater fish can fit in a 29 gallon and get along with clowns (other than damsels)?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can answer those for my curious mind. I understand the basics of the saltwater that relate to the freshwater as far as water parameters, salinity, live rock, cycling, and all that...just looking for the other differences other than those and the major jump in price on fish and corals.

Thanks again :)
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
 
the filters can be used but are not really sufficient you would really need another tank to create a sump and the heaters are the same but depeanding on where you live you may need a chiller because the lights for a saltwater aquarium are much more intense and are a lot more heat
protien skimmer is a need for a tank this size unless you want to do 10 to 15 percent water change every week or two
the powerheads are just to move the water around more then the filter in a saltwater tank you cant have an airstone so you need something else to break the surface tension of the water
clownfish must be kept with the same species so yo uhave to pick which you like more
price..... you can spend a fortune or in my case hit up craigslist and i set up aa 20 gallon nano for around 100 dollars and that was quite the deal
other good fish are gobys and wrasses idk what else really
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LasColinasCichlids (05-18-2011)
Old 05-19-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
 
Cool saltwater.

I might consider turning my 29 gal from fresh to saltwater. But first, I wanted more info on it before I even imagine it as a possibility. And the more I read about it online


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Old 05-19-2011, 07:02 AM   #4
 
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1- Can you use the same power filters/bio wheels and heaters from a freshwater on saltwater?
do not use the same filter as a freshwater tank, esp one with bio wheels. a canister filter can be used either empty for flow ( but they make powerheads for that ) or with carbon (but they make media reactors for that ) but i suggest going without the "freshwater filtration"
the proper sand depth, pounds of rock, flow, feeding habbits, stocking, and small water changes with pre-mixed saltwater will consist of your filtration at the basics. things like a skimmer ( IMO required on larger tanks, say 40-50+ gallons, but can still work for smaller tanks of your size, sump/refuge, carbon/phosban reactors, UV sterilizer would be additional equipment that would work on a saltwater system.

2- Is a protein skimmer a NEED? And do you need those power head things?
on this size tank your right at the mark of needing one vs not needing one. this is also considering a properly stocked tank, with careful feedings. it is very important to read reviews on skimmers as some are very valuable as others tend to be garbage. powerheads = flow, which is needed in saltwater. no flow=dead tank.
3- I think I get the idea of a "nano reef tank", is it just a miniture version of a reef tank? (not saying i want one, just clearification on if the only difference is size.)
smaller isnt always better in terms of maintnance, and ease of care with a saltwater tank. infact, the smaller you get the harder it gets while the larger you get the more expensive it gets. things change faster in a smaller tank, which could very well lead to unwanted deaths. i dont want those to be words of discouragement, as a 29 gallon tank is very do-able, but plenty research and prior planning is a must for any success. to answer your question, a nano is a small version of a larger reef tank. a pico would be an even smaller version of that.
4- Silly, but I have always wondered...how in the world do you get those beautiful corals/anonimities (spelling) to sit on the rocks (live rock I believe is what it is called?)???
hard coral will encrust and grow onto rockwork, soft coral will multiply and spread onto the rocks as well. frags of coral usually come on a "plug" that can be placed into the tank. you can also use aquarium putty to secure things and 100% super glue. anemones are not corals but rather inverts. not something for the new aquarist. esp. if you want it just because you wish to keep a clownfish. having a nem + clown doesnt mean the two will hold any symbiotic relationship. the clownfish will host ANYTHING it feels comfort in, which can include but not be limited to rocks,powerheads,corals, and so on. anems can be pretty sensitive, they also have a "foot" which they will walk around the tank until they find their spot, this alone can be troublesome as they sting ( and possibly kill ) corals along the way, or end up getting shredded into a powerhead and you come home to a dead tank. please avoid anemones for atleast a good year of having the tank running. even so after that, i dont suggest one and IMO theyre something best left in the wild.
5- What kind of price, minus fish and food, would I be looking at to transfer my current 29 gallon freshwater to saltwater? And what equipment would I need to buy in addition to or instead of the equipment you use on a freshwater?
powerheads, a spare 10-20 gallon tank ( for a QT ) a bucket, container, tank for pre-mixing saltwater, a RO/DI unit for making your own saltwater, another spare 10-20 gallon tank if your going to make your own DIY sump ( i suggest this ) a return pump for the sump, a skimmer for the sump, test kits for amm,nitrite,nitrate,cal,alk,mag,ph at the minimum, a refractometer ( i highly prefer over a hydrometer, CHECK ebay for a refracto ) and this list can go on. for an idea im slowly working on a 40 breeder now with a budget of $1000-1500 up until the point of having it ready for fish and coral. to some this may seem like alot but i see people pay this much for a dog, and ive seen people with clowns 10+ years. this hobby is for the long term, not the lets set up a tank and keep it a month. i have to re-buy alot of things that i already had, but thats a different story. my tanks also going to include some good features, so yours can be done cheaper. ( look in your area for a local reefing club ) to me, this is a small price to pay as i will do it right so my tank will last years and years from now. they say if money is an issue, your better off going with a top of the line freshwater tank.
6- I know if I ever did a saltwater, I want your standard clown fish, both in the orange and the black colorings...what other saltwater fish can fit in a 29 gallon and get along with clowns (other than damsels)?
you can have 2 different colored clowns. infact i still have 2 different clowns from like 3 years ago paired ( but not breeding ) just be sure they are of the same species otherwise they will fight and possibly kill one another. for fish in a 29 gallon tank i wouldnt put more then a pair of clowns and one other small sized fish, like a goby. you can still have a shrimp or two, a variety of snails as your clean up crew, and corals if your doing a reef and have the proper lighting for it. you have to keep in mind territory plays a role, the amount of space you loose due to all the live rock, the oxygen levels are lower then freshwater ( a good reason alone why flow is important ) and so on. im also a fan of having an understocked tank as opose to one full to the teeth, things run smoother. a good idea would be to search the fish that appeal to you and post the stocking list before buying, infact always research before buying anything.

hope that helps some, heres also alittle read to start you on your saltwater research. this is merely an introduction and not a conclusion, so reading should not stop here. search multiple sources (not everyone has the right answer), ask questions, take notes, whatever helps you along the way with learning.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/w...t-water-19051/
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LasColinasCichlids (05-19-2011)
Old 05-19-2011, 02:35 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
1- Can you use the same power filters/bio wheels and heaters from a freshwater on saltwater?
do not use the same filter as a freshwater tank, esp one with bio wheels. a canister filter can be used either empty for flow ( but they make powerheads for that ) or with carbon (but they make media reactors for that ) but i suggest going without the "freshwater filtration"
the proper sand depth, pounds of rock, flow, feeding habbits, stocking, and small water changes with pre-mixed saltwater will consist of your filtration at the basics. things like a skimmer ( IMO required on larger tanks, say 40-50+ gallons, but can still work for smaller tanks of your size, sump/refuge, carbon/phosban reactors, UV sterilizer would be additional equipment that would work on a saltwater system.
2- Is a protein skimmer a NEED? And do you need those power head things?
on this size tank your right at the mark of needing one vs not needing one. this is also considering a properly stocked tank, with careful feedings. it is very important to read reviews on skimmers as some are very valuable as others tend to be garbage. powerheads = flow, which is needed in saltwater. no flow=dead tank.
3- I think I get the idea of a "nano reef tank", is it just a miniture version of a reef tank? (not saying i want one, just clearification on if the only difference is size.)
smaller isnt always better in terms of maintnance, and ease of care with a saltwater tank. infact, the smaller you get the harder it gets while the larger you get the more expensive it gets. things change faster in a smaller tank, which could very well lead to unwanted deaths. i dont want those to be words of discouragement, as a 29 gallon tank is very do-able, but plenty research and prior planning is a must for any success. to answer your question, a nano is a small version of a larger reef tank. a pico would be an even smaller version of that.
4- Silly, but I have always wondered...how in the world do you get those beautiful corals/anonimities (spelling) to sit on the rocks (live rock I believe is what it is called?)???
hard coral will encrust and grow onto rockwork, soft coral will multiply and spread onto the rocks as well. frags of coral usually come on a "plug" that can be placed into the tank. you can also use aquarium putty to secure things and 100% super glue. anemones are not corals but rather inverts. not something for the new aquarist. esp. if you want it just because you wish to keep a clownfish. having a nem + clown doesnt mean the two will hold any symbiotic relationship. the clownfish will host ANYTHING it feels comfort in, which can include but not be limited to rocks,powerheads,corals, and so on. anems can be pretty sensitive, they also have a "foot" which they will walk around the tank until they find their spot, this alone can be troublesome as they sting ( and possibly kill ) corals along the way, or end up getting shredded into a powerhead and you come home to a dead tank. please avoid anemones for atleast a good year of having the tank running. even so after that, i dont suggest one and IMO theyre something best left in the wild.
5- What kind of price, minus fish and food, would I be looking at to transfer my current 29 gallon freshwater to saltwater? And what equipment would I need to buy in addition to or instead of the equipment you use on a freshwater?
powerheads, a spare 10-20 gallon tank ( for a QT ) a bucket, container, tank for pre-mixing saltwater, a RO/DI unit for making your own saltwater, another spare 10-20 gallon tank if your going to make your own DIY sump ( i suggest this ) a return pump for the sump, a skimmer for the sump, test kits for amm,nitrite,nitrate,cal,alk,mag,ph at the minimum, a refractometer ( i highly prefer over a hydrometer, CHECK ebay for a refracto ) and this list can go on. for an idea im slowly working on a 40 breeder now with a budget of $1000-1500 up until the point of having it ready for fish and coral. to some this may seem like alot but i see people pay this much for a dog, and ive seen people with clowns 10+ years. this hobby is for the long term, not the lets set up a tank and keep it a month. i have to re-buy alot of things that i already had, but thats a different story. my tanks also going to include some good features, so yours can be done cheaper. ( look in your area for a local reefing club ) to me, this is a small price to pay as i will do it right so my tank will last years and years from now. they say if money is an issue, your better off going with a top of the line freshwater tank.
6- I know if I ever did a saltwater, I want your standard clown fish, both in the orange and the black colorings...what other saltwater fish can fit in a 29 gallon and get along with clowns (other than damsels)?
you can have 2 different colored clowns. infact i still have 2 different clowns from like 3 years ago paired ( but not breeding ) just be sure they are of the same species otherwise they will fight and possibly kill one another. for fish in a 29 gallon tank i wouldnt put more then a pair of clowns and one other small sized fish, like a goby. you can still have a shrimp or two, a variety of snails as your clean up crew, and corals if your doing a reef and have the proper lighting for it. you have to keep in mind territory plays a role, the amount of space you loose due to all the live rock, the oxygen levels are lower then freshwater ( a good reason alone why flow is important ) and so on. im also a fan of having an understocked tank as opose to one full to the teeth, things run smoother. a good idea would be to search the fish that appeal to you and post the stocking list before buying, infact always research before buying anything.

hope that helps some, heres also alittle read to start you on your saltwater research. this is merely an introduction and not a conclusion, so reading should not stop here. search multiple sources (not everyone has the right answer), ask questions, take notes, whatever helps you along the way with learning.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/w...t-water-19051/

Beyond THANK YOU for all that detailed information!!! HIGHLY appreciated!!!
Sounds like a lot to buy, do, and learn...but that is the same thing my friends said when I got them into freshwater fish keeping, lol.

As far as the money in the last 6 months I have invested over $2500 into my 29g and about $300 into my 15g (of course I have only had my 15g for about a month now). Fishkeeping is a very expensive hobby. I think my largest concern would be dealing with the corals if I was to eventually do saltwater (my father does saltwater). I will for sure do my research and come back to the link you provided when the time gets close to consider the switch. Chances are I might stick with freshwater, but I know the hubby would prefer salt, so I need to learn salt info to be prepared!

Thanks again!
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