Tropical Fish Keeping banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am an experienced freshwater owner and am ready to tackle a reef aquarium (eventualy). I have a 75 gallon with a bio whell filter, and a 29 gallon with a canister filter. What I am interested in is reaching the ultimate goal of a 125 gallon with corals, a sump, MH lamps... All of that stuff hits the wallet pretty dang hard, and I'd rather start making headway with some kind of fish-only setup in one of my current tanks and slowly add things as I go allong.
I have an undergravel filter, lift tubes, air pump, and powerhead aswell but they are not in use. I also do NOT have RO water in either tank in case copper leaching is an issue with use of live rock now, and corals in the future.
I'm eventially willing to spend a bunch of money in the long run to set up a really nice reef tank, but have to chip away at pieces one at a time right now because I'm a poor college student.
The question is: With my current equipment, what is the minimum that I need to buy in order to get a saltwater tank going, and do I need to worry about the copper-laiden water wrecking anything for future reef use (the main concern would be live rock in a FOWLR-type setup)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,246 Posts
ok, well you would need some light to keep your live rocks alive, like a 50,50 bulb or if your have a double strip one of each. then maybe a skimmer, some sand and a filter for saltwater, like a canister. thats all i can think of for now, if i think of more i will add it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,591 Posts
hamdogg08 said:
I am an experienced freshwater owner and am ready to tackle a reef aquarium (eventualy). I have a 75 gallon with a bio whell filter, and a 29 gallon with a canister filter. What I am interested in is reaching the ultimate goal of a 125 gallon with corals, a sump, MH lamps... All of that stuff hits the wallet pretty dang hard, and I'd rather start making headway with some kind of fish-only setup in one of my current tanks and slowly add things as I go allong.
I have an undergravel filter, lift tubes, air pump, and powerhead aswell but they are not in use. I also do NOT have RO water in either tank in case copper leaching is an issue with use of live rock now, and corals in the future.
I'm eventially willing to spend a bunch of money in the long run to set up a really nice reef tank, but have to chip away at pieces one at a time right now because I'm a poor college student.
The question is: With my current equipment, what is the minimum that I need to buy in order to get a saltwater tank going, and do I need to worry about the copper-laiden water wrecking anything for future reef use (the main concern would be live rock in a FOWLR-type setup)?
Lets see what you listed as equipment that isnt being used. The only thing you can use is the powerhead, everything else forget about it. As for the canister filter which one is it. They are nitrate factors so it wouldnt be good to run one on a reef but fish only it really doesnt matter.Now if you have cooper pipes dont use that water for the saltwater tank. copper is the enemy of corals. If yoiu are going to turn one of the freshwater tanks into salty with fish only for now. Then you will need some rock (Live or base rock) sand, salt, and bulbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
Just do like I did. I bought my tank and stand, put it in the living room and let it sit for over 6 months while I bought everythign I needed. Patience will get you farther in this hobby than any piece of equipment. Set your goal, make your lists and chip away at it. One day you'll have everything. Constantly changing your route will only make it cost triple in the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
USMC: The filter that I have is a Fluval 205, and it's in the 29 gallon tank. My main concern with using my current equipment is getting copper stuck to the hardware, then killing my corals in the future. Is this an issue at all or am I worried about nothing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
hamdogg08 said:
Has anyone here used their old freshwater tank as a reef tank without killing off a bunch of corals?
I did and it works fine. I think it´s always easier to go from freshwater to saltwater with your old stuff. Especially with the tank itself. If it is cleaned there won´t be any problems.
The other way around takes some more work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Awesome!! That was the testimony that I was waiting for. I was super worried about having to get a brand new tank filter, RO unit, and skimmer all before having a single fish in the tank. Knowing that my stuff's not wrecked is great news! Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
How do you know there copper in your water? But if you want to try and use your tap water, maybe you could test it out on a cheap peice of coral for a few months and see if there is any ill effects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The pipes in my house are copper. I'm not 100% sure, but I think that it's building code...where I live at least. That's a really good idea to test out an inexpensive coral though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,645 Posts
Hamdogg I will attest that most freshwater bits have no purpose in a reef tank. Trust me you'll end up spending three times the amount necessary to warp a fish only into a reef. Not to mention your substrate and possibly your rock will be "spoiled" due to the excessive nutrient waste from a typical FO system. You'll end up replacing the sand as it'll be packed with algae causign nutrients left over from the fish themselves.

It is your choice, and by swaying away from all advice given to justify the switch by the one answer that says do it, but it will be much better to pick one goal and follow it through. That being said, I don't think you like that answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I have a feeling that I am coming across as less of a naive newcomer and more of an impatient college kid.

My thought process was that I could use the tank that I have right now (a 75 gallon glass tank that is currently set up for freshwater with a bio-wheel filter), and buy a protein skimmer, crushed coral, and live rock. From what I've looked up, you can run a fish only tank on that equipment. A local fish store uses the hang on back bio-wheel filters on their tanks so I thought that it would be ok.

The following purchases would go in an order like this:
-New filter (I'm still a little confused about the whole sump thing...)
-Powerheads
-Chiller (I don't have AC and it got pretty hot this summer)
-Metal Halide lamps
-Corals

I was under the impression that you'd need a certain number of pieces of equipment for a reef tank, and only a portion of that SAME equipment for a FOWLR. The reason for seeking out the minimum equipment is because I would like to at least start out with a saltwater tank of any type, and be able to slowly add equipment and the livestock each piece supports.

How does substrate get spoiled in a fish only tank but not in a reef tank? I was planning on stocking the FO tank with the same fish as the reef tank. I'm not trying to argue, I am just confused. I'm also completely open to any more explanations as to why this plan is not cost effective or smart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
675 Posts
Ok mike about the whole spoiling your substrate thing, iv heard you say it yourself that sand is sand, can be washed.


''My thought process was that I could use the tank that I have right now (a 75 gallon glass tank that is currently set up for freshwater with a bio-wheel filter), and buy a protein skimmer, crushed coral, and live rock. From what I've looked up, you can run a fish only tank on that equipment. A local fish store uses the hang on back bio-wheel filters on their tanks so I thought that it would be ok. ''

Mike is just triing to say that your gunna spend some more money if you do a fish only then transfer to a reef. But Your using most of your freshwater gear anyway..... and you can use the skimmer. You might want a sump setup if your gunna be into corals. Im not sure why you would want a sump on such a big tank thought, thats something mike will explain. But you could prolly do a reef with no sump, i see then all the time. With mh lighting and a good protein skimmer(assuming you clean all your filter media every day!!) i dont see why you couldent keep most corals you would want. By the way ditch the crushed coral, clouds water get a argonite instead.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
trreherd said:
Ok mike about the whole spoiling your substrate thing, iv heard you say it yourself that sand is sand, can be washed.


''My thought process was that I could use the tank that I have right now (a 75 gallon glass tank that is currently set up for freshwater with a bio-wheel filter), and buy a protein skimmer, crushed coral, and live rock. From what I've looked up, you can run a fish only tank on that equipment. A local fish store uses the hang on back bio-wheel filters on their tanks so I thought that it would be ok. ''

Mike is just triing to say that your gunna spend some more money if you do a fish only then transfer to a reef. But Your using most of your freshwater gear anyway..... and you can use the skimmer. You might want a sump setup if your gunna be into corals. Im not sure why you would want a sump on such a big tank thought, thats something mike will explain. But you could prolly do a reef with no sump, i see then all the time. With mh lighting and a good protein skimmer(assuming you clean all your filter media every day!!) i dont see why you couldent keep most corals you would want. By the way ditch the crushed coral, clouds water get a argonite instead.
a sump is not a filter, it is just a place to put a filter in and install a refugium. A reef tank does not need a sump although will benefiet from one
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
What is the difference and similarities between the hardware of a FOWLR and reef tank?
FILTRATION-
SUBSTRATE-
LIGHTING-
WATER (RO NEEDED ON REEF, BUT NOT FOWLR, RIGHT?)-
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,012 Posts
Reef filtration is to try and get rid of nitrates, berlin method most popular with NNR another alternative

Substrate is pretty much the same, aragonite sand, cc, or ls

lighting needs to be much much stronger

water, RO water needed on both to prevent unwanted algae growth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
162 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
If I were to purchase a filter for a reef tank, but had a FOWLR at the time of purchase, what would be the best choice? I was thinking canister...
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top