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Old 03-04-2013, 05:00 AM   #1
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Converting 36 gallon freshwater tank to saltwater

I have been reading back on a few threads and trying to do my homework but I still have some questions. I have a 36 gallon bow front tank, 200 watt heater, fluval c3 clip on filter and the light says it is a full spectrum t8. I am wanting to put live sand and rock in with a few fish and shrimp. I would also like some coral frags and anemone. First question:

- other than buying a protein skimmer and power head does the rest of my equipment sound suitable including my light?

-How do I need to prep my tank as far as cleaning it before I set it back up?

-after it's running for about 24 hours then do I just add the live sand and rock?

-how long before it is safe to add shrimp or fish?
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:52 AM   #2
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I would say that with a protein skimmer and powerheads you don't need a filter at all, just my opinion. Use plenty of live rock for filtration (suggested 1-2 pounds per gallon) as for cleaning I have used vinegar because I am too afraid to use bleach or chemicals!
One it's clean you can add rocks, then sand, then water. I buy my saltwater pre made but I have heard that for the initial fill you can add salt straight into the tank. For future PWC you will need to do it in a separate container with a heater and a powerhead to mix. Make sure you are using quality water, not tap!
I would invest in a saltwater test kit so you can measure ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and ph through your cycle. Do a bit of research on the cycle process, can take up to 6 weeks to fully cycle before adding fish/corals/inverts. You will need to upgrade your lighting if you wish to keep corals or anemones. Anemones need intense lighting and a mature, stable tank. Most suggest 8 months or more, which is good because it will give you time to get the hang of all things salt! A refractometer is also a handy to ok for measuring salinity. Before you purchase anything ask loads of questions and get advise from here, it's a great site with loads of people that have been there, done that
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:03 AM   #3
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So do you think I need a power head and skimmer?
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:05 AM   #4
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If you ditch the filter you will need one, perhaps 2 powerheads. The skimmer is optional, helpful but not necessary if you keep up with PWC...
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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That light isnt going to be any good. Spend a couple hundo on a good led pendant or 6 bulb t5 if u plan on a nem. Btw. Dont use tap water
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #6
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I would suggest 2 powerheads for that size tank, even with the hob filter. I have 2 PHs and 2 hob filters in my 30g. A T8 light will be ok for a FOWLR tank, but won't be enough light to support corals.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beengirl View Post
I would suggest 2 powerheads for that size tank, even with the hob filter. I have 2 PHs and 2 hob filters in my 30g. A T8 light will be ok for a FOWLR tank, but won't be enough light to support corals.
+1 i have about 1200 gph turnover in my 39 gallon
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #8
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So if I keep my filter I have now and just add a protein skimmer and 1 to 2 power heads I shouldn't have any problems? I am just hoping to not have to upgrade to a can filter or sump.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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I wouldnt worry about a sump. Honestly a protein skimmer is an OPTION on a tank that size. Your gonna have to do w/c's anyways, i have. 39 skimmerless and sumpless, religious water changes and its all good ive had great success with distilled water as well just made the switch to my own ro/di unit
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #10
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My 30g only has hob filters and 2 PHs and I've never had cyano, hair algae or any other algae issues. As said, just do weekly PWCs and don't overfeed and you should be fine.
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