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Old 08-07-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
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Converting 55g Freshwater System to FOWLR Saltwater

I'm currently in the process of converting my 55 gallon Freshwater setup to FOWLR Saltwater. I wanted to do this but I always thought the cost was ridiculous. Turns out, the start up was only about $55 without the Live Rock which I heard was the most expensive part about SW. This was actually my wife's idea (believe it or not) while we were at the LFS. She talked to the owner/employee and asked specifically what was needed to start the conversion. I was told once I get the salt/water mixed up and the crushed coral washed and cleaned that I should run the system for about 2-3 days, bring them a water sample and then they will tell me if I'm ready to get fish.
This is what I was told...
Substrate (Crushed Coral)
Salt mixture
Hydrometer and lastely Live Rock

Below is what I already have...
200W Heater
Here's my lighting
It has 8 or 9 of these LED's (I think they are Moon lights) but only 1 of them is working. I need to figure out how to fix that issue
Marineland Powerhead (Unknown model or gph)

Here's the tank w/ the Substrate, filter, heater and powerhead set up ready for water/salt mixture
Here's the tank w/ the salt/water mixture. My hydrometer says I'm right at the green level.
Now, this is only a few hours after mixing the salt and water together so its obviously a little cloudy. I'm looking into adding another filter to help out and also working on building a DIY HOB Overflow and using my 10 gallon for a sump.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:29 AM   #2
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Converting to fowlr is very simple for the most part but there are a few things to point out. You should always use a refractometer over a hydrometer for accuracy of salinity and water movement is pretty major too. For a 55 I would run either 3 small circulation pumps or 2 larger ones (and use circulation pumps not powerheads which will create major salt creep issues). Also buy your own saltwater test kit so you can check levels yourself because most lps will seek you fish regardless of the results of the test.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:47 AM   #3
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Don't buy fish in 2-3 days.

That would be a fish in cycle which is wrong for 2 reasons. Firstly it is harmful and mean to the fish. The ammonia spike burns the Gills. But more importantly they'll likely sell you damsels which are hardy. AND EVIL !
Do a fish less cycle and keep the evil damsels out of your tank forever. Once they get in you can never get them out. Stupid damsels 😖
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingy
Don't buy fish in 2-3 days.

That would be a fish in cycle which is wrong for 2 reasons. Firstly it is harmful and mean to the fish. The ammonia spike burns the Gills. But more importantly they'll likely sell you damsels which are hardy. AND EVIL !
Do a fish less cycle and keep the evil damsels out of your tank forever. Once they get in you can never get them out. Stupid damsels ?de16
Well and its expensive seeing how you have to have the mixed water to do pwcs. There are a lot of pwcs with a fish in cycle.
BTW its not mean if you do it correctly. (i.e. keep the levels low enough)
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:37 AM   #5
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Do some research on how to cycle a tank. This is the most important phase of starting a saltwater tank and ya don't want to mess it up. You want to put the live rock in the tank for the cycle that way when it is done you don't start another cycle by adding live rock. It will be about a month before you can start to add fish. Patience is key in this hobby.
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Old 08-07-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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I've got a SW Test kit and I tested it and everything was at the correct amounts except the pH which was about 8.4. The tank is still a little cloudy and doesnt seem to be getting any clearer.I also thought about using a DIY Moving bed filter for biological/mechanical filtration. What are yall's thoughts on that?
Below is the video of what I'm talking about How To: Simple Aquarium Filter
Attached is the following equipment I have.
1st Picture - Tank ready with washed substrate and no water
2nd Picture - The hydrometer that I bought (I know its cheap but it will do for now)
3rd Picture - The substrate I used
4th Picture - The tank after I mixed up all the Salt and Water together.

Currently its a lot better that what you see but yet its not crystal clear.
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