Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jdiaz 01-01-2012 08:51 AM

Can I start a saltwater?
I have a 29 right now in the making of a freshwater and I have been thinking of making it into a saltwater in the future.
But till then I want to know if what I have now is good to just keep the fish with sand as substrate, no decorations or rocks ect. Currently I have a Penguin Bio Wheel 150, makes a good current, with a 200watt heater and 2 normal florecent lights. With what I have now, will it be enough to just keep two clown fish in the tank alone with nothing else. As time passes, if I decide to turn it to salt, I will add live rocks and anemonies.

What do you guys think? What would I have to do to turn the filter to a saltwater filter and will it work? Do I need any of the stuff like a protine skimmer? And will someone tell me what is needed to run this tank without any problems?

I have wanted a salt water tank for like ever but only want to make it if I can support the fish with what I have now. And bare with me cause yes I am a newbie.

Fishguy2727 01-01-2012 09:33 AM

I would never run a marine system without live rock, it is at least 80% of your filtration. Almost all the fish you would put in a saltwater tank, especially in that size tank, are from a reef and would have a ton of live rock as their habitat.

If you are going to do saltwater you have to do it right or it won't turn out well for you or the fish, so you you won't enjoy it.

SeaHorse 01-01-2012 09:44 AM

(With what I have now, will it be enough to just keep two clown fish in the tank alone with nothing else. As time passes, if I decide to turn it to salt, I will add live rocks and anemonies.)
I agree with Fishguy2727 .....I've never done salt either but based on this sentence above.... You need to go salt before you do the clown fish, they are marine fish, and don't they need a host anemonie? that means going live rock and sand first, and to my belief none of the equipment on a freshwater is used for salt. Which is why I also have not tried it. And death is much more expensive in a salt water tank IMO.

jdiaz 01-01-2012 09:44 AM

OK, so lets say I start it of with the live rocks and all. Do I need a protien skimmer and a powerhead?

Ohh and I am not running the Penguin filter, it is in storage, because I am using a diffrent filter for the freshwater. The Penguing was bought at a local saltwater store.

SeaHorse 01-01-2012 09:50 AM

My understanding is that the whole system is different, completely different and you would need all new equipment. even your lighting bulbs may not be right. You will need to research and read a lot and speak to lots of "salty" peoplle. I'm sure there must be write ups in here like Byron's Bacteria and Ammonia cycling articles for Freshwater.
Gonna watch this thread to see what the experts say.... Biggest piece of advice I can give you?
Take Your Time! Go Slow! If it is 6-8 to cycle freshwater?, it's way longer to get thru the blooms that happen in salt to my understanding and I'm very interested to see what they have to say. Good luck on your decision!!

Fishguy2727 01-01-2012 10:33 AM

Reefing Madness 01-01-2012 11:17 AM

Yes you need a skimmer. You need powerheads to move your water also, at least 10x your water volume, so you will need 300gph powerhead, or 2 150gph powerheads. At least 1lb per gallon of Live Rco, 1.5 is actually ideal but you can get away with 1lb. dithc the BioWheel as this thing will cause you Nitrate issues. Its only need would be fore using GFO, (Granular Feric Oxide) or running carbon. SKimmer should be rated at twice your water volume also.

Dry Rock, there are a few hitchhickers onLive Rock that people want to stay away from, so they opt for using Dry Rock, or Dead Rock. Macro Rock is a good place to start looking for that. Either way oyu go you will need a minimum of 1lb per gallon
.Replacement filter media like filter floss and activated carbon (if you get a filter)
Multiple Powerheads (2 or 3) 10x your water volume for just a Fish Only With Live Rock, and at least 20x your water volume for a Reef Tank. So lets say your going reef, and you have a 100g tank, you would need flow in that tank at minimum of 2000gph, or 2 1000gph powerheads
.Protein Skimmer, rated at 2 times your water volumeSaltwater
Test Kits. Reef Test Kit. Tets for Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates, PH, Phosphates, Calcium, ALK and Magnesium.
Saltwater fish food. Mysis Shrimp, Squid, Cyclopease, Algae Sheets, Romaine . Flake food is not really a good food to feed your marine fish.
Aquarium vacuum. This one is iffy. Most don't use one, if you have enough flow in the tank you won’t need one
Rubber kitchen gloves
Fish net
Two, clean, never used before, 5-gallon bucketsAquarium thermometer, digital being the best.
Brush with plastic bristles (old tooth brush) - needed for cleaning the live rock if you don't get Fully Cured Live Rock.
Power Strip, possibly GFCI outlets by the tank.
Optional but definitely recommend getting a Reverse Osmosis or RO/Deionization filter for the make-up water, and a barrel for storing the water.
Possibly a Quarantine Tank for your new fish. They sit in here for a few weeks to kill off parasites and bacteria, to keep it from getting in your main tank
Heater rated for your size tank.Saltwater Mix.
Marine SaltSaltwater Hydrometer or even better a Refractometer, which is more accurate
Aquarium filter (not absolutely necessary if running with adequate amounts of live rock, but nice to have if you need to use a mechanical filter or activated carbon, etc.)
Aquarium substrate such as live sand or crushed cora. Some go bare Bottom, others choose the 2-3" bottom, others, more advanced will try the Deep Sand Bed, which is over 6" deep.

jdiaz 01-01-2012 11:46 AM

Thanks so much, I did not know that there was that much to saltwater. I will probably try to make it saltwater some day, but for now I am going to take it slow.

SeaHorse 01-01-2012 12:39 PM

OMG and WOW! See jdiaz.... I rest my case!
He didn't even mention that the fish start at $75 bucks a piece AND UP.... what if one dies...? What if the whole tank dies? I've heard of that too.
And yet some of the salt people in here make it all seem so easy. Suffice it to say, spending the money on decent equipment is half the battle.
(I'm trying my first planted tank instead). You've made a wise decision.

Fishguy2727 01-01-2012 01:15 PM

No. You don't need a skimmer for a 29. Any skimmer is better than no skimmer, but on that size tank a good water change schedule will allow the tank to thrive.

No, fish don't start at $75. Damsels and chromis start at $5 and less. Clowns start at $20. Most of the fish we sell at the shop are under $40. Few people are willing so spend $50 or more on saltwater fish.

I would recommend 1.5-2 pounds per gallon of live rock (I had 3lbs/gal in my tank). You cannot replace live rock with dry rock, but you can use dry rock to supplement high quality live rock. I would say up to about 80% of your rock can start as dry, but you still need high quality live rock to introduce all the fauna so that the dry rock can become live.

DSBs are not usually suggested in displays, and not for 29 gallon systems.

Getting in to saltwater can be very overwhelming. There is a lot of information to sort through, and a lot of opposing opinions to deal with. It is easy IF you set it up right. If you do it right from the beginning the tank will run well. If you cut corners or rush things you will have problems.

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