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Old 06-26-2013, 06:11 PM   #1
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Converting from saltwater to freshwater

HI, newbie here. Quick question.

I currently have a 50 gallon saltwater tank. Unfortunatley all the fish have died. I believe this was due to the protein skimmer not working properly. Anyway, saltwater is expensive, so have decided to switch to freshwater. Had one many years ago, so got some experience.
My question is: Can I use the old saltwater filter on the new freshwater tank? I would obviously give it a jolly good cleaning and replace the old filtration pads. What would be the best method for cleaning, I have heard not to use bleach, so was thinking of giving it a right good scrub. Would that surfice?

Also would it be better to use real plants or plastic?

Has anybody got any suggestions as to the brand of test kits one should buy, ones available in Germany.

Just thought of another question, sorry. Can I use the old saltwater bulbs, lighting, in the new freshwater tank. Or are they too powerfull?
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:33 PM   #2
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Hello,
Sad to hear what happened to your fish, and I'm happy you came back to freshwater, as it truly is wonderful and has it's pro's and con's(That you will certainly enjoy!). If it's just a normal filter, then it work's aswell!
From what I know, if this filter you are talking about is indeed a protein skimmer, it should work fine as long as the water is not too "soft". As you should know, skimmer's work better in harder water's due to the density. If it is hard enough, it should be much much more effective(usually).
For the plant's, if you have the time and mind to take care of real one's, it would be a good idea because they help control the toxins in the water, give it a nice natural look and give's some hiding spots for some smaller species of fish.
As for the brand of test kit, most of us here personally use and recommend API test kit's, and we suggest you get the Master Test Kit because it end's up being cheaper and contain's all the requirement's you need to test the tank for anything harmful to your fish.
As for your shipping inquiry/purchase, I wouldn't know, I live in canada and I haven't personally dealt with any online fish resource website's.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum! I've never converted a salt tank to fresh, But I've gone from mid brackish to fresh, and a good cleaning of the tank and filters worked for me. Vinegar works well for removing any salt or mineral deposits.

As for test kits, I have no idea what might be available in Germany. But generally as long as it is a kit with liquid reagents and not strips you dip into the water you should be ok. API is a good brand but I don't know if you can find it over there. What part of Germany are you in? I've had the chance to visit there once - went to Berlin, Munich, and spent a little time in Nuremberg. Really enjoyed the trip.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:10 PM   #4
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I've never converted but I'm sure a good scrub would work, just make sure there isn't any salt in there. As for testing kits I agree with Fishanatic, I use the API master test kit! Not sure if you can but it in Germany but sure you could find it online somewhere!
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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In actual fact I live in the east of Belgium. But, Belgium is so expensive, we do our shopping in Aachen, just over the border.

Thanks for the answers, really helpfull.
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Steptoe View Post
In actual fact I live in the east of Belgium. But, Belgium is so expensive, we do our shopping in Aachen, just over the border.

Thanks for the answers, really helpfull.
Ohh, I've been to Belgium, didnt find it that expensive, especially the cigarettes, they're dirt cheap!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:46 PM   #7
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That may be true, but everything else is double the German price. Theres not enough competion.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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No experience with saltwater, but I'd rather buy a fluval canister filter since they're good and live plays are ALWAYS better than the plastic ones...if you can care for them properly. What type of lights do you have and I might be able to help you.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:25 PM   #9
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Just your typical saltwater ones, ones white and one is light blue.
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