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Old 03-06-2013, 01:21 AM   #1
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36G Bowfront Conversion w/ Sump

Hi All

Just wanted to document my saltwater conversion from freshwater.

I've had freshwater fish as a hobby for almost a decade and have always wondered what it would be like to have saltwater fish. I started contemplating ser iously about half a year ago, when I took my newborn to the aquarium and saw him light up. And thanks to Bavass and the recent groupbuy, I'm finally going to ready to go forward.

Here's the picture of the tank as it is right now. It's a 36G Aqueon Bowfront Tank. I have the stock hood, about 25lbs of blue gravel, some plants that aren't doing too well (but the fish still like it), a spongebob theme, and the other pieces of equipment are a coralife timer, coralife UV sterilizer and an Eheim 2213 canister filter.

You'll also see a Hydor Powerhead (425). I put that in there just to see what it would do. It's funny, I always thought my fish were lazy cause they would just sit there and not 'swim'. With the extra flow now, they're active most of the day; and quite fun to watch. Oh well....

My local store, from where I'm getting some of the rest of my gear is willing to buy (store credit) my fish... I have a couple mollies, red zebras, blood fin tetras, harlequin rasporas, and pretty fish I can't remember the name to...
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:42 AM   #2
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So what I intend on doing is to start a FOLWR tank. I've been trolling for the last 6 months and have been researching kinda extensively. I know that with a kid I will not always be able to change water and be as diligent as I should be. So I plan on getting a 10G sump, a protein skimmer and I'll probably dump some carbon into a filter sock to do some extra 'cleaning'.

So here's the list of things I'm planning on buying. I figure this would be a good help for people who want to switch over.

BRS Group Buy
25lbs of Fuji Dry Rock 67.25
Rea Sea Salt Mix 64.99
DI Canister 37.99
DI to RO fittings 20.00

Other Purchase
2x Hydor Koralia 425 29.99 each
7 Gallon Water Reservoir 16.99
Glass Holes 700gph Overflow Kit 79.00
Glass Holes Return Kit (1/2") 25.00
1.5" & .5" Flex Hosing 40.00
Mag Drive 5 Sump Pump 49.99
Filter Sock and Holder 18.00
Dual T5 fixture w/ lights. 42.00

To Buy
Sand, Live Sand
Protein Skimmer (Bubble Magus 3.5)
Fish
10G Aquarium for Sump (~15)
Glass baffles from the neighborhood glass shop
Aquarium Sealant
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:57 AM   #3
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Yay, stuff's arrived

It's always nice to see boxes in front of your door. I got the Bulk Reef items as well as the Glass Holes kits.

The glass holes kits are nice, on the left is the return 1/2" kit and the right side is the 700gph kit. The 1.5" overflow elbow is a bit larger than I thought, it tends about 2.5" beyond the back of the aquarium. I was hoping it was under 2" so I can still keep my stand near the wall... It looks like they make lower profile slip-fit elbows, so I guess I'll see if I can get some of them. Oh well, more stuff to order.
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Old 03-08-2013, 02:03 AM   #4
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I tried arranging the rocks into Fiji rocks I got into a shape that looks good... not too bad for 5 minutes of work.

So I was planning on getting live rock and sand at my LFS to help seed some bacteria. After I'm done drilling and painting the back of my tank, I was wondering if it's ok to just put the rocks dry and live into the tank to begin cycling it. Or do I have to cycle the dry rocks separately?
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Old 03-10-2013, 02:57 PM   #5
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How long does DI resin last?

Finally got around to installing a DI resin tank for my RO system. The finance committee wasn't too happy with the idea of getting a dedicated RO/DI system, so I had to just retrofit our current Home Depot RO system. It didn't take too long, just installed a tee, check valve and on/off thingy...

Results are good so far...
city water = 300+ TDS
RO water = 21 TDS
RO with DI = 1TDS

I'm hoping there's some settling time and it does get down to zero. RO/DI water doesn't taste too good...

By the way, does anyone know how long the resin lasts (either time or by gallon)? My LFS charges $0.79 per gallon and without knowing how long the resin lasts, it's hard determine if getting water from them is a good idea... (i was thinking using the LFS water initially while everything is getting setup up)

Thanks in advance for any info...

This week to do... get 10G tank for sump... and next week, say goodbye to my FW fishes (getting them a new home)
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:13 AM   #6
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bump... can anyone tell me how long resin lasts?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #7
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anyone?
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
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6 ish months?? It really depends on how many gallons you are making, how much pressure you
getting (this will help determine your waste water to clean water ratio), and how bad your tap water is. When your product water is around 10, time to replace filters...
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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couple of updates

So after a long break, I finally was able to drop of my fish at my LFS. Kinda sad to see them go, but hopefully they find nice new homes. I was happily surprised to get 15g of saltwater for free.

So I prepped the tank for the glass-holes overflow and return lines. Here are a few pictures of before and after drilling. Sorry I don't have drilling pictures, since I was doing this by myself.

For anyone doing this, it's really easy to drill through the tank. It took maybe 2 minutes to do. A couple tips though, make sure your drill is fully charged, if cordless, be careful about the holes (they're still sharp), and clean out the tank really well to get rid of any glass shards.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #10
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Finally finished painting and setting up the tank yesterday. I decided to use normal paint and a roller brush. It took about three coats, not too bad. I do wonder if using spray paint would be easier.

As you can see, still got the protective tape on the front, everything's installed and finally got it setup so I can put rock, sand and water in.

Will try to position the rocks and sand today after work.
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