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Old 11-18-2008, 11:07 AM   #1
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Question Converting 29 Gallon Eclips from FW to SW

Hi there,
I recently decided to convert my 29 Gallon Eclipse to Saltwater. I started out with about 25 very small cichlids. They used to play friendly games of tag and hide-and-seek; But over the past 6 months they've grown to be quite unloving to each other . . . resulting in weekly casualties. So I figured rather than coming down to an appropriate FW fish count, I would convert to Saltwater and get my kids the loving Nemo and Dori; and maintain an accurate inch per gallon fish count. I have swapped my cichlids and emptied my tank. It is currently holding water only and I have not started cycling the water or added salt yet. And I have a bunch of questions.
1. How many SW fish can I keep in the 29 gallon eclipse?
2. What other equipment do i REALLY need to spend on: Protein Skimmer, Circulation Pump; Air Pump; new lighting?
3. What temperature is BEST?
4. Will Clownfish, Blue Tang, Seahorse and Starfish, cleaner shrimp live together.
5. Will any coral grow under the two (T8 18W lights)?
6. When can I add fish and what is a good scout fish?
7. Other than salinity what am I watching for before adding fish: the usual Nitrates, Nitrites, Hardness, PH? Is there anything else?
8. What is the correct salinity?
9. Did I really need to buy a new bio-wheel for the Eclipse? or is "good bacteria" from FW just as good for SW?
10. What is the best substrate and how many inches should I use - the whole big bag?
That's it for now
Any other advice?

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Old 11-18-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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a 29gallon is a tough tank to start as a saltwater tank not much room for error you would need to do daily top-offs or the Specific Gravity would clime too high. I have a 46g tank and I can barely find time to keep up with top-offs I top off about a gallon of RO/DI water per day. Fish wise you wont be able to have the Blue Tang or Starfish and Seahorses are very tough to keep and usually should be left to a seasoned Saltwater Aquarist. A pair of clownfish would be good.
You would have to upgrade your lighting if you wanted corals.
Definately start over with new substrate a fine reef sand is ideal.
You need a decent amount of live rock and a good amount of water flow via powerheads, Hydor Koralia's are the preffered powerhead of most people.
Make sure you mix up your saltwater ahead of time in a seperate container and let it settle for about 24hours before using it. Test the SG preferably with a Refractometer.

Are you familiar with the fishless cycle??


120G Oscar tank in progress
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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1. Depends on size of fish in the tank.
2. I personally dont think you need a skimmer in that size tank. !0% weekly PWC`s will accomplish the same thing in a smaller tank that size.
3. The key to temp. is keeping it stable. Get it around 78-80 but keep it there. Dont let it bounce around.
4.Clownfish will be OK. You definitely can not have a tang in a 29 gallon tank. IME and IMO seahorses should be in a species only tank. IMO also they are for experienced SW aquarist only. The star might not make it in a 29. I would imagine a bigger tank would be needed so they could find the necessary nutrition.
5. You might get away with some low light corals like mushrooms.
6. Dont know what a scout fish is but as soon as you cycle your tank and do a good size PWC you should be good to go.
7. Fishless article in our article section.
8.For a fish only tank it could be around 1.022-1.025. But the key here is also stability. Dont have it bouncing all around.
9. They are not the same. Is your tank going to have LR in it. If you cycle your tank with LR in it then you`ll have the beneficial on the rock and sand.
10. IMO sand is best for a SW tank. I just have 2 inches in mine but some folks have a deep sand bed. Read this

How Sandbeds REALLY Work by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:22 AM   #4
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thanks for all your advice.
I had mixed the Saltwater and let it settle for a day. I put about an inch or two of live sand and just yesterday bought about 22 pounds of live Rock. the sand has finally settled, and I feel it's a waiting game now.
FYI on the term "scout fish" . . . I got it from Tetra's site; and it refers to the introduction of a first live (and low cost) fish to bring about the necessary bacteria . .. a little cruel according to the article you suggested I read. Thanks. I would not have thought to put an uncooked shrimp into the aquarium prior to live fish. I can't imagine how it would disappear in as little as a couple of days.
Also surprised that I can't get a Blue Tang my 29G. LFS had them the size of a quarter. guess they grow fast
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Tangs need plenty of space for swimming. I always like to suggest a 6 ft tank but I guess 4 ft would be OK for a small tang. That`s just my opinion. I am positive that because of tank size and tang growth that a 29 would definitely not work. As far as the cycle dont use a "scout fish" as it is cruel for them. Go with the fishless cycle. Your LFS will gladly sell you a fish for the cycle because he wants to make a sale.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:44 PM   #6
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Thanks. I have the water cycling right now and have arranged my LR. Just wondering if I need to use an Air Pump for any reason at all. Just thinking as I piled my rock without considering air line placement.

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