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Old 02-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #1
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HELP! I Added Salt to an already established fresh water tank

Hello everyone I recently decided to sell my African cichlids and make the change to Saltwater. The guy at the fish store told me to just add salt to the freshwater and let it go through a quick cycle. So thats what I did. After I added it I thought I would look online to see how long it would take to cycle and found all kinds of posts saying you should start fresh and take the tank down completely and clean it before you start a saltwater tank. Too Late... I understand the process of cycling a tank and I've kept healthy fish for over 5 years in 55 gallons and now my new tank which is a 125.

My tank is a 125 with aragonite sand
I have 2 AC110 HOB filters and 1 Rena XP3 canister filter
2 Large pieces of lava rock very porous
2 powerheads

Here is my question:
Now that I've already added the salt, even though people say to break it down and clean everything first. Will my tank be ok? I'm not worried so much about waiting for the cycling to complete because I read that the salt will basically kill everything that was in my tank before anyway because they are different types of bacteria, But I was wondering if the dying bacteria and algae from the fresh water(that died from the salt) would kick start the cycle for the salt water? What would be some of the causes for concern? I would hate to throw away the money I just spent on all this salt If the tank would be ok. Please let me know from experience if this is ok even though some say not to do it, as I've already added the salt. The day before I added the salt I cleaned all filters with tap but just rinsed the sponges and filtermedia in tank water in a bucket and did about an 80%water change. I do not have any fish currently in the tank.

Thanks a lot for any and all input.

Brian
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:31 PM   #2
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If you were not using ro/di water for the fresh water tank, I would drain and start from scratch. The tap water will cause all kinds of algae to grow in salt water. You will also need alot more rock, since that is the basis for your filtration and will house your beneficial bacteria.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, I'm not sure if I want to travel back and forth to the LFS everytime I want to do a water change and being that its a 125 that would be alot of water that I would have to haul right? I know there is so much reading to do and I have been looking online for the last week and I appreciate your knowledge. but based on my previous post If I decided to use tap what do you think about my situation with the freshwater that I added salt too?
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Freshwater beneficial bacteria and saltwater beneficial bacteria are different. When you added the salt, you probably killed the freshwater bacteria. You need to start from scratch and start a new cycle.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
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Freshwater beneficial bacteria and saltwater beneficial bacteria are different. When you added the salt, you probably killed the freshwater bacteria. You need to start from scratch and start a new cycle.
Thanks I understand that. But what I'm guessing is that I'm essentially starting from scratch anyway by having a die off of the old bacteria which will produce amonia and then be converted and so on. Do you see where I'm trying to go with this?
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:06 AM   #6
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I understand "where you are going with this". But, if you set up a tank without using ro/di water, the tank will probably cycle, but you will have a ton of issues with algae....etc. So, I guess the answer you want to hear is "yep, that should be fine". The need for ro/di water is why many of us in the saltwater hobby have our own ro/di systems. They can be bought relatively cheap and solve alot of problems that will inevitably creep up.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonman
I understand "where you are going with this". But, if you set up a tank without using ro/di water, the tank will probably cycle, but you will have a ton of issues with algae....etc. So, I guess the answer you want to hear is "yep, that should be fine". The need for ro/di water is why many of us in the saltwater hobby have our own ro/di systems. They can be bought relatively cheap and solve alot of problems that will inevitably creep up.
Yes he will have algae issues but as long as he adds a detoxifier to rid his tap water of chlorine ect. he will be fine IMO. He is just trying to save on the pail of salt he just poured into his 120. It may take a while to cycle, but from there on in if he does pwc and topoff with rodi he may avoid alot of the algae issues with tapwater .

On the otherhand i agree he may want to look into getting some liverock to seed his sandbed and to add to his rock. 1 pound per gallon is a healthy amount
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:27 AM   #8
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I set my tank up with tap water. No conditioners. It took about 3 weeks to get nitrates down. My LFS suggested to use Brightwells Bacteria and carbon to get phosphates down. I had some nasty hair algae but all died off after 2 weeks of Brightwells. I'd love to use RO/DI water but I can't at work. I do use a drinking water filter now for top offs and water changes. I think it goes through 4 or 5 filters. I wish I knew if it did RO filtering. My water seems fairly clean. It's a gamble by most aquarists view. With RO water you have a safer bet and I would use it if I could. If you've got a Walmart near its dirt cheap. I'm in Korea and would have to add it to a community bathroom which is why I don't use RO water. So far the drinking water + water conditioner is working okay. I'm nearly three months in with inverts and coralline algae growing. My hermit has molted once too. I'd just recommend that you use better water from here on out if you can't or don't want to restart with RO water.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:45 AM   #9
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Honestly I started my tank with tap water that was conditioned it was fine, I had algae but my cuc and algae scraper with WC helped. It's more work with tap but not a big deal IMO. And to answer your question the way you set it up will be fine with enough water movement. I would still add some type of ammonia source to ensure you get a good cycle. Throwing some frozen shrimp in will cycle the tank if you're not planning on more lr.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:52 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. I am looking into an RO/DI setup and the LFS sells saltwater already so I guess I could do the big water change with RO/DI water after the tanks cycled. and yes I am trying to save some money, Bein and single dad taking care of my 3 year old son is hard work and preschool aint cheap...

Brian
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