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Old 09-05-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
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converting to saltwater

i have had a 20 gallon fresh water tank for over 4 years now, and every year i keep saying i want a saltwater tank,well i am finally going to do it! but i am just so overwhelmed with all this information ive read here and on other sites and i just dont know where to start. i have about 2 inches of sand on the bottom that has been there for abou 2 years now. i have a biowheel filter and a heater.

I am just lost on how to go about dumping the salt in, what brand salt, if i need to change my filter.

the tank is just going to be for fish, no coral, but i want the tank to look realistic. i dont like all the cheesy plastic toys and crap in there.
so would i use this live rock that i keep reading about. and would that start my cycle?... ahhh help please..lol
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Switzer View Post
i have had a 20 gallon fresh water tank for over 4 years now, and every year i keep saying i want a saltwater tank,well i am finally going to do it! but i am just so overwhelmed with all this information ive read here and on other sites and i just dont know where to start. i have about 2 inches of sand on the bottom that has been there for abou 2 years now. i have a biowheel filter and a heater.

I am just lost on how to go about dumping the salt in, what brand salt, if i need to change my filter.

the tank is just going to be for fish, no coral, but i want the tank to look realistic. i dont like all the cheesy plastic toys and crap in there.
so would i use this live rock that i keep reading about. and would that start my cycle?... ahhh help please..lol
I can answer a few of your questions. Your make you salt in a seperate container, like a rubbermaid bucket. You can buy a bag of aquarium salt (I use Instant Ocean, but there are other types) and put the directed amount of salt in the bucket, which will depend on how many gallons you are making. It is optional to put powerheads in there to mix up the salt. Also, so people suggest letting it sit and aerate, but you can also use it right away.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:45 AM   #3
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so i should drain all the freshwater thats inthe tank already and start with new?.. then mix the salt with the water in a bucket. what is a power head?
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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You'll need to start with new sand as well, can't use the freshwater stuff you have.

You woudl clean the tank really well and mix your saltwater or buy it from you local fish store and then fill your tank up.

You will also need some live rock and base rock.

Do you intend on keeping any corals?

A powerhead is one of these, it is necessary to circulate the water around the rock and to keep things from settling in the sand causing issues.

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Old 09-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Switzer
so i should drain all the freshwater thats inthe tank already and start with new?.. then mix the salt with the water in a bucket. what is a power head?
One step at a time... Lol... Clear every thing out ur tank. Put the sand in a bucket, you'll use that later. Dump all the water out and wipe out the tank with water and a NEW sponge, never used. Rinse out ur sand. When I say rinse it, I mean rinse it... Get all the gunk out of it.

Power head- a power head helps u make a flow in the water... Like a current.

2nd- put the sand back in and use RO water to fill it. This should already have ur salt mixed in it before u put it in the tank. U will need a good filter. No, do not use ur FW one without changing the media inside it. That will get u started. Any other questions, please ask. We are all here to help.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey
You'll need to start with new sand as well, can't use the freshwater stuff you have.

You woudl clean the tank really well and mix your saltwater or buy it from you local fish store and then fill your tank up.

You will also need some live rock and base rock.

Do you intend on keeping any corals?

A powerhead is one of these, it is necessary to circulate the water around the rock and to keep things from settling in the sand causing issues.

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Dang Carey! Give us a chance to answer too... Lol... So quick! Btw, I used my freshwater coral, just rinsed it out. Had no issues.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #7
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you guys are awsome.. thank you for all the quick replies. i will just dump the sand and get new, it seems easier then trying to clean it all.

i understand that i need to get a new filter, but can i get the same carbon style that i use now?

And by baserock, would the sand be considered baserock? or do i need something else to mix with the sand?

do i need a aerator[sorry for my spelling]?
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #8
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No air bubbler in sw.

And you can use the same hang on back filter you have, just clean it really really well and get new media for it.

Baserock would be this

ReefCleaners.org | Clean Up Crews and Macro Algae - Rock

I would add mostly that cheap rock and thenbuy some live rock from a LFS to seed the baserock and make it live.

As far as sand, no need to buy "Live" sand in the bag, much cheaper to get what ever sand you like. Aragonite, pool filter sand etc... thats up to you and your preference.
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #9
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so are live rock and base rock different? i'm confused. sorry i'm being such a pain i just dont want to kill any inocent fish because mylack of knowledge
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Switzer
so are live rock and base rock different? i'm confused. sorry i'm being such a pain i just dont want to kill any inocent fish because mylack of knowledge
Yes. They are. LR has organisms living on and in it. Good for the tank. Base rook is dead rock... But can become LR with seeding from LR.. Ur not a pain...
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