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Old 01-14-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
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Changing a fresh tank into salt

I am going to set up a 10g tank for one clown fish. The tank had a betta in it until a few days ago. I have it running with no fish in it at the moment. No salt water added at this time. Is the beneficial bacteria that was in the fresh tank the same bacteria that will be in the salt tank?

I ask because I am not going to be setting up the salt tank until after vacation in a couple of months. I was thinking of just adding small amounts of food to the tank to keep ammonia in there and keep the bb alive until I am ready, but wondered if the bacteria in a salt tank is the same as a fresh. If not, then I might as well break the tank down and start from scratch later.

I may be going about this wrong, but when I was ready I was just going to start doing water changes with salt water until I got it where I wanted. If the bb was already in there from the fresh set up then I wouldn't need to do a full cycle, just make sure things were stable before adding the fish.

Silly question, but I need to know, do salt fish eat the same foods as fresh (same flakes, pellets, and frozen?).

I have wanted a clown fish for 3 years and I can see it on the horizon, I am so excited!
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:53 PM   #2
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No, the bacteria is not the same.
I wouldn't feed a saltwater fish freshwater fish food for an extended amount of time, but it may be OK in a pinch or for an occasional feeding.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:56 PM   #3
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You will build up bacteria but once you add salt I don't think it will survive. I would just buy 10 gallons worth of salt for 10 bucks and set it up running like that. Then add some little peices of love rock over time if you want to do it that slow.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #4
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Another dumb question...do salt water tanks even have the bb that fresh tanks do? If not, how does the ammonia get changed to nitrate? Or, doesn't it? It has been a while since I read up on salt tanks, that is one reason it is not getting done right away. Need to figure it out again.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:46 PM   #5
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It's the same.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:51 PM   #6
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same concept. different bacteria species. empty your tank. clean it with vinegar and rodi water. add live rock and sand and add an ammonia source to get a new cycle started.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:57 PM   #7
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Sounds like that is what I need to do. I will break it down and start from scratch in a couple months. Thanks!
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:58 PM   #8
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If you don't have the money just get some salt mix water and just get some live sand that will start the cycle. Throw some food in. Do water changes. Very small ones will do. 10 gallons worth of salt you will have enough for some water changes.
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