Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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tbecker 02-07-2010 07:11 AM

Looking to convert to saltwater
Hey :-)
I currently own a 90 freshwater aquarium but I'm looking to convert it to a saltwater one. I have had a freshwater aquarium for about 7 years now and I want to get something a little more complex. I was wondering what other equipment would I need to start up a saltwater aquarium. So far I have a marineland bio-wheel power filter that does 90 gallons / a 300 watt heater / carton of api aquarium salt / what else should I buy? I know I will need a skimmer and probability another heater since the aquarium is so big. But what about the filter? Which one would you suggest I get? p.s. I'm going to be putting a cow fish and dog faced puffer in there and it will not be a reef aqaurium.

Thanks for the help!!!

Pasfur 02-07-2010 10:41 AM

The first thing to realize is that everything is different. You don't need "another" filter. You need a completely different filter. The filtration you have on your freshwater tank will not be used at all on a marine aquarium.

The goal in a marine aquarium is to directly remove organic waste, without allowing the waste the opportunity to be broken down by a biofilter. This is accomplished with the use of a protein skimmer, live rock, and aragonite sand bed. It doesn't matter if you are doing a reef or fish only tank, the setups are identical.

For example, I have a 54 reef and a 180 FOWLR. Both use this same concept. The only thing that is different is the lighting, because reef systems require more intense lighting. In your case you will save a ton of money on light, but the "filtration" will be identical. For a 90 gallon tank, you could get away without using a sumjp. This will save you a ton of money. To do so, you would purchase a hang on protein skimmer. Keep in miind, the protein skimmer is the single most important purchase you will make for yiour tank, so this should be a relatively expensive purchase. For a 90 galloni tank I would suggest this:
AquaC Remora Pro Protein Skimmer with Rio 1400 Pump
You will need to buy the surface skimmer attachment:
AquaC Surface Prefilter Box

This will be all of your filtration. You will not use any biowheels or other biological filter media. Doing so will actually hurt the environment by removing carbonates and increasing nitrates.

For rock and sand, I would suggest ordering a 75 pounds dry rock shipment and 160 pounds of sand from here:
75 Pounds Key Largo Rock, <br>160 Pounds Bahamas Aragonite Sand<BR>pay $35 shipping only - KL75-160
You will then need to add 15 to 20 pounds of live rock from your LFS to seed the dry rock.

If you follow this method of setting up a marine tank, you will be successful and find the hobby to be very rewarding. For more details on this concept, here is a link to another thread:

NC Frank 02-09-2010 06:07 AM

Also keep in mind that API Aquarium salt is not marine salt and can't be used to create a marine tank.

Pasfur 02-09-2010 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by NC Frank (Post 322250)
Also keep in mind that API Aquarium salt is not marine salt and can't be used to create a marine tank.

Wow. Thank you. I totally missed this. Marine salt has an exact ratio of major and minor salt ions that are needed to duplicate natural seawater. Using a marine salt mix is a requirement.

fishesfriend 02-14-2010 08:49 PM

I'm new hear but I don't think a cowfish would be good to start with as it can sucrete toxins and kill every thing in the tank including it self. Correct me if i'm wrong, please.

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