Freshwater to Saltwater conversion
So I came across this rock pool on the coastline next to a reef in Durban, South Africa. I initially went fishing for Shad just for sport but soon found a pool just standing there full of 1-2 inch reef fish. I did see some sort of fancy eel (1) kind of thing with a very fancy swim and lots of scooters in shallow puddles on the rocks. There were some sort of wrasse (2) and a vertically striped fish (3 of them yellow with gray/black stripes) that looks similar to a tang except with a more angled head(almost triangle). Then there was a purple fish with a yellow triangle on it's body and finally an orange 1/2 inch rust colored,coin shaped long nose fish with a white spot on its body.
I hooked a palm sized fish which was red in color with white spots along its body and tail. I put it in the pool and in just sat at the bottom. My dad also hooked a tiger looking fish. Orange with black stripes.
I was so excited and just wanted a marine tank so badly!
I returned a few hours later in hopes of netting them but no success. They were just too fast for a net and bolted under rocks where my net could not go.
I returned the next day to find smaller pools around full of similar fish. I decided not to net or make any attempt to catch these fish. I was happy that I now knew where this reef was.
I researched fish traps and found stuff that worked which were made from 2L bottles and nothing more. If I only knew 3 days ago......
I currently have a 2ft glass tank, with a 14W cool white CFL light, aquarium sand, Resun cs-400 internal power filter (with carbon) and a 100w glass heater, 2 piece shipwreck, pillars and slate ornament.
What do I need to convert this current freshwater setup to a saltwater setup to house at least 6 of the above mentioned fish I found?
I know nothing about marine tanks or fish for that matter. I am intimidated by equipment I know nothing about like protein skimmers???
If I add aquarium salt to my currently cycled tank, can I add 6 marine fish to it?
The only thing I know would change is the food. I already have a supplier for krill and sardine and probably will get pellets too.
I really want to learn about saltwater aquariums. I think I'm growing out of the freshwater scene.
Can somebody please help?
for starters, leave the fish where they are. adding "aquarium salt" is different then marine salt. even when you add marine salt to a freshwater tank, it needs to re-cycle itself all over again and take time to mature.
second, you have no idea what these fish are, there size of tank needs, and diet demands. just because they were found in a tide pool doesnt mean they can live long term in such ammount of water. the tides will rise again, and these fish will be back out in the ocean.
ontop of all of this, in alot of places it is illegal to take wildlife from the wild. large fines and or jail time may come just from taking a fish home.
i dont want to steer you away or give you the wrong impression. people def. do keep biotopes of their surrounding areas. a good place to start is to read about saltwater setups and have one set up, MATURE, and ready to go. you will also want to QT any of these fish first but before this learn about local species, their diets, habbitats and so forth. again check your local laws and research saltwater setups and there care. it may also be a wise idea to look for a local reefing club in your area. even though you dont have a tank yet, you can learn about them prior to jumping into things.
For starters how big is this tank in liters or gallons? A 2 foot long tank sounds like a 10 gal or something. We need to know how big this tank is. To be honest for saltwater tanks, the bigger the better because of the water parameters. The smaller it is the harder it is to keep it stable. Also youll need quite a bit of equipment to get started. Heres a short list of what youll need.
-GOOD water test kit. (DO NOT buy test strips)
-Marine salt (as onefish stated aquarium salt is not the same)
-Protein skimmer or some kind of filtration device.
-powerhead (keeps the water moving constantly.)
Thats a jist of the basics that you absolutely need.
Next are you wanting to set up coral aswell or just fish. Coral require a different kind of light which can cost upwards of 200 bucks or so.
Also setting up the tank will require it to cycle aswell just like a freshwater tank. And as onefish stated you need to check your local laws about removing fish from their natural habitat. You also need to research what kind of fish you are finding in these pools. Their diets vary depending on what they are and a lot of the fish you listed names of grow to be very large (the tang and wrasses). Keeping these types of fish is not suitable in a small tank. If you post some pics of these fish I might be able to help you out in identifying them. Im not trying to stray you away from having a marine tank, I just want to make sure you know what your getting into before you get into this. Once you get into this you better be committed.
From what I saw the fish in this pool look similar to what follows:
http://www.glaucus.org.uk/CommonGoby-1.jpg those assumed 'scooters' might have been Gobies
http://www.fishdb.co.uk/img/Fish1385.jpg Similar to this except it was orange and had the spot on the tail. Some sort of butterfly fish.
Cant find any more
1st: Wrasse 75 gals minimum
2nd: Some kind of Watchman Goby 10 gal min depending on species
3rd: Not sure
4th: Racoon Butterfly fish 70 gal minimum
5th: Damselfish 30 gal minimum
6th: Scooter Blenny
Really the only fish you can keep in a tank as small as the one you describe is the goby and Blenny. Possibly the Damselfish, he jsut wont be very happy. The rest are pretty much out of the question.
i wouldnt even keep the scooter in such a small tank because they love eating pods esp. one straight from the wild.
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