150 gl Saltwater to Freshwater conversion: Need Help
I think I have decided to convert from Saltwater to Fresh. I know I know. The maintenance needed for Salt is just too much for me at the moment and I need to figure out a way to cut costs while not giving up the hobby (tough times these days are).
Can someone provide guidance for the conversion? Im really looking for suggestions on equipment setup and changes. I would like to keep freshwater plants and fish (possibly a turtle?).
So far Im assuming the following:
-Live rock will need to go
-Skimmer will need to go
-Sand will be replaced with gravel
-Tank emptied, scrubed, and cycled for fresh
-I have a friend that is going to inherit the remaining stock
Does it make sense to use the sump as a refugium? The return is built into the tank. So it is naturally set up for sump use.
What would be the most ideal and cost effective set up? I realize this is a hefty set of questions, any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
My current set up is as follows.
-48" T5 Strip (x1 28watt 10k daylight T5 and x1 28watt TA Blue T5)
Tank (fish only):
-150 Gallon tank with return from sump (no hood)
-Koriala 4 pumps x2
-tons of live rock
-Cant recall what model pump
-Bio Ball filtration
-Protein Skimmer (I know that has to go)
-Turbo Twist UV Filter
-Jager 200 watt Heaters x2
Sounds like you've already got most of what you need.
I would use the sump as a refugium. You've already got the bio-balls which will provide a lot of biological filtration. You could use the refugium portion of the sump for quick-growing plants (especially floating plants) which would keep nitrate levels down. You could also use it for breeding snails or something like that, if you have fish in the display with particular dietary needs. With a nice sump setup going on you might not need any extra filtration (especially if you're going to heavily plant the tank).
The power heads may or may not be needed. Generally flow isn't as much of an issue in freshwater tanks, and depending on what sort of plants and fish you want, you may not need them at all. For example, fish from calmer waters wouldn't like tons of water flow but if you wanted to keep a mountain stream biotope or something, you could use the powerheads to do that.
I would sell the live rock and sand. The rock and sand will completely die off in freshwater. The rock (and possibly the sand, if it's crushed coral or aragonite or something) will raise the pH and hardness of the water substantially, which is really only something you'd want to do if you want to keep a tank full of livebearers or African rift lake cichlids. Most "community" fish come from softer, more acidic water so these types of things would be a big no-no.
The heaters should work fine, and you can keep running the UV as that can help with ich and certain types of algae.
If you want to go planted, you should change out the bulbs in your light. Something in the 6500-8000K range would be much better (maybe one of each).
Turtles generally don't mix well with fish, as they try to eat them. Fish that are too big to be eaten would likely outcompete the turtle for food. Plus, turtles need special conditions (lower water level with basking areas and UV lighting). You've got the size to set up a nice turtle tank if you wish, but I don't think doing a turtle/community tank would work out.
What are your tap water parameters (pH and hardness)? That'll really dictate your options as far as fish go. There are all sorts of things you could do with a tank that size. Amazonian biotope, SE Asia, Congo River Basin, rift lake cichlids, big American cichlids, etc.
Thank you... that was really helpful! ill take a look at the ph of my tap. I live in Los Angeles so im going to guess that it isnt very good. I need to start researching plants and fish combos now.
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