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Old 02-11-2018, 11:06 AM   #1
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55 Gallon Fresh to Salt Conversion - Have Canister - Protein Skimmer Still Required?

I am looking to convert a 55 gallon freshwater tank to a saltwater tank and never did due to perceived cost of equipment and fish.

I have one of the cheap ebay Sunsun canister filters that is meant for a much larger tank. (https://www.ebay.com/p/Aquarium-Cani...d=291683792600). It has been great for me for years after my eheim kicked the bucket. I know i would need to replace all of my decorations / plants and substrate.

So, with that said, do i need a protein skimmer in addition to the canister filter? I do not plan to ever have a reef, but i would like your opinion on whether i need it if i do and another if i dont add a reef in the future.

I am reading and clearly i could get rid of the canister filter if i add a sump. Just seems like a headache and more money in the end than i wanted to invest at this time. Definitely open to suggestions though.

My freshwater tank is currently quite under stocked and i am loving how little the maintenance is. Hoping this can be similar
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:29 PM   #2
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I thought one was required but the SW guys will know more.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:37 PM   #3
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It helps a lot but if you stay understocked and keep up on wcs youíll probably be ok.
Sumps are great and give you a space to put ugly equipment like heaters and skimmers.
All this said having a skimmer makes life a lot easier imo as it will pull out nasties before they turn into nitrates and such.
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Old 02-14-2018, 10:12 PM   #4
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I had an idea canister filters should be avoided as well?
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Old 02-15-2018, 05:53 AM   #5
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You can run any saltwater tank without a skimmer.
It is not recommended over 30g due to the amount of water changes you will need to do.
As for canister filters are you willing to clean it weekly?
Marine filters need to kept cleaner then FW.. The waste build up will cause trouble with water quality eventually.
IMO the cost of 50% water changes will add up to good skimmer in short order...
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Old 02-15-2018, 07:23 PM   #6
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thanks for the responses. I am building my parts list now to see if i will move forward. This hobby gets expensive quickly and i havent even begun to look at fish yet LOL.

So far i need to drill my tank(outlet and emergency outlet in an overflow / return pipe) , overflow, plumb it, sump (likely use an aquarium - cant justify hundreds of dollars for a non-reef sump), return pump, good protein skimmer, live rock, sand, lighting, salt / water, fish.

Do you guys prefer the return go over the tank lip with piping or do you prefer it be drilled? Any benefits either way other than aesthetics?

What else am i missing? Should i strongly consider stages in the sump? Refugium (know nothing about it)?

Am i missing anything?
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:12 PM   #7
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Drill.
HOB overflows can loose syphon and then overflow entire sump volume..
Look into the eshopps eclipse for your overflow. Comes with drill bit...
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:33 PM   #8
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Drill.
HOB overflows can loose syphon and then overflow entire sump volume..
Look into the eshopps eclipse for your overflow. Comes with drill bit...
Thats the exact kit i was looking at. Its pricey but i like how small it is. I have a 46 so i can use their small.
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Old 02-15-2018, 08:53 PM   #9
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It is best made I have seen in years..
I have the medium on my supply shelf if I never need another drilled tank..
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:16 PM   #10
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If you have to choose between the two, I'd get a HOB skimmer and skip the sump. You can get a reef octopus classic 1000 HOB that works reasonably well for around $100 give or take $25.

If you do go the sump route, drilled is preferable but you can get an overflow and build your own sump for relatively cheap. I have a CPR CS100 overflow box on my 92. The power has gone out several times and the sump hasn't overflowed once.
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