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Old 02-22-2013, 11:08 PM   #1
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Differance between fresh and salt water?

Hi guys, I'm looking to build a new salt water tank, I'm a fresh water guy, I've looked on google but I can't really get a straight answer of there.

When making a salt water tank what are the differences in getting them started? I know that you need to A) mix salt solution in to the water.
And B) a protein skimmer.

Does a protein skimmer replace a conventional water filter?

What else goes into it?
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:48 AM   #2
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Ah that's because there is no straight answers! There are some rules but different people will suggest different set ups. How bigs the tank? Smaller tanks (under 50g) can do without a filter altogether and use live rock as the main source of filtration. Skimmers are also optional for smaller tanks. What sort of set up were ou thinking? Reef or fish only? That can determine how much gear you need. I would say to start, you would need to start from scratch. Empty the tank, clean it. You can't use tap water to make your salt water so would be beneficial to purchase a RO DI system. You will need power heads for water movement and salt water test kits and a refractometer for measuring salinity. (Hydrometers work but not as accurate) the type of lighting you will need will be decided if you choose reef over fish only. My advice is to ask plenty of questions! Do loads of research and take it slow...
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:52 AM   #3
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I went through the same frustration recently. Maybe my 29g SW tank build will help you out. Taking the plunge...

My experience so far (other than a few minor disasters) is that it is more expensive but you do NOT need all of the extra equipment.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bectan01 View Post
Ah that's because there is no straight answers! There are some rules but different people will suggest different set ups. How bigs the tank? Smaller tanks (under 50g) can do without a filter altogether and use live rock as the main source of filtration. Skimmers are also optional for smaller tanks. What sort of set up were ou thinking? Reef or fish only? That can determine how much gear you need. I would say to start, you would need to start from scratch. Empty the tank, clean it. You can't use tap water to make your salt water so would be beneficial to purchase a RO DI system. You will need power heads for water movement and salt water test kits and a refractometer for measuring salinity. (Hydrometers work but not as accurate) the type of lighting you will need will be decided if you choose reef over fish only. My advice is to ask plenty of questions! Do loads of research and take it slow...
I was thinking reef, I have a 45 gallon with 4 t5 HO

So basically you answers most of my questions.

I need an Ro unit salinity test. And filters aren't really needed, I was thinking maybe starting a nano build to test it out cause taking apart my fresh water would break my heart lol.

If I ware to do a nano build could i use distilled water from the market?

Walk me through a nano build
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:10 AM   #5
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Nano tanks are even more difficult to start with! Especially if its your first salt water. The 45g will be a great size to start but beware - you will be addicted and want to upgrade the smaller the tank the harder it is to keep stable, temp, salinity etc and if you make a mistake can wipe out the tank. Larger tanks give you room for error. I can talk you through what I have done (55g been running a year and a half) but as I say, everyone has a different set up and can offer different advice.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:13 AM   #6
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Oh and you can use distilled water, it's not recommended but you can. Once you get test kits you can test the water to see whats in it. I believe it needs to be 0 TDS (total dissolved solids) i am not a water expert, I buy my salt water and ro di water from my LFS ready to go...
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:57 AM   #7
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Ahh I don't have room for another large tank. And i can't justify getting rid of my fresh water.

I'm about 6 months into my fresh water, I'm kind of a pro at it, I think I could take on a smaller tank as long as I learn what parameters I need to look out for.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:46 AM   #8
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How small is small? Check out the nano build threads here. There are plenty of them!
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:47 AM   #9
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You just may be a bit disappointed with the fish choice for a nano. But if you got the time and patience go for it!
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:49 AM   #10
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Aslong as I get a nemo I'm happy :p and I'm thinking like 10-25 gallon. Fairly small
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