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squishylittlefishies 02-16-2013 08:25 AM

converting fw to sw
I have a freshwater tank that I want to convert to a reef tank. I allready have the fw fish moved to their new tank, so this one is just running with a little shrimp for cleanup right now.
Obviously I will need to add equiptment, live sand, and live rock, but I'm wondering about the converting process of the actuall tank.
I have only 1/2 an inch of sand in there, and am going to have live sand. Can I just add salt to the tank, stir in the live sand, and let it start cycling? I know the ben. bacteria is not the same, but I figure doing it that way would still help it cycle faster because when those bacteria die, It will create ammonia ans start the cycle. That way I wouldn't have to feed it.
Could I do that, or should I do a complete cleanout and scrubout and start 100% new?
Also, I know with fw, you are not supposed to put the tank near the window, but I've seen lots of people say to put your reef by a window for extra light. Is that a good thing to do with a reef?
Thanks in advance, and sorry for any potentially dumb questions!

Reefing Madness 02-16-2013 09:52 AM

It will not help you cycle faster unless you use Fully Cured Live Rock, or try to throw in the ammonia jump start concoction, which I don't advise.
I would not use FW sand, as it has to many silicates in it for a SW tank, and you will battle cyano bacteria forever.
Don't put a Reef Tank near a window, you'll never be able to see into it. The algae that will grow would be incredible.

funkman262 02-16-2013 10:33 AM

All of what RM said is right. Also, while it's possible to use sunlight for reefs, you need to really know what you're doing because it's not nearly as simple as just tossing a tank by a window, so it's best to just not do it.

squishylittlefishies 02-16-2013 12:45 PM

Ok! Thanks. I will not use the sand then. I decided I want some white sand anyway, so mixing it with the brown would be no good. I'm going to empty it completely. Could I use water from my planted tank and add salt to start it, or just use normal water. Just curious, do blue leg hermits eat algae? I'm pretty sure they do. Any other tips for startup?

Reefing Madness 02-16-2013 01:50 PM

squishylittlefishies 02-16-2013 08:35 PM

Oh yeah! that's my thread also. Really good list btw. I updated at the end of that one about what I'm putting in there. Check it out and let me know what you think! I've got it started now! I added 1 1/2 inches of live argonite sand today, I'll try to post some pictures soon with the diff lightbulb colour settings. The sand claims to cycle instantly- no wait to add fish! I'm not falling for that though. I'll let it cycle for a while, then I'll add a heap of live rock and a dwarf blue leg hermit!
I'm excited to get started! ( i'll have patience though)
Thanks for any more info!

Reefing Madness 02-16-2013 09:21 PM

But why are you waitin to add the Live Rock? I don't get that.part.

RSully 02-16-2013 10:31 PM

I'm struggling to understand that too.


Originally Posted by Reefing Madness (Post 1433272)
But why are you waitin to add the Live Rock? I don't get that.part.

squishylittlefishies 02-16-2013 10:46 PM

I'm alway trying to get free stuff. I was hoping to hunt down some LR with some nice polyps hiding on them, and I don't want them to die. THat's the main reason. Also, the high quality store whare I want to buy it was waay out of my way today so I couldn't go. LR goes in on monday (I hope!). Is $5 a pound a reasonable price?
Also, DBL hermit crabs are pretty hardy right? could one survive a cycle with the help of LR and sand?
Thank you so much guys!

RSully 02-17-2013 12:21 AM

You can't put anything in until you're sure the tank is cycled.

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