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Old 06-08-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
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dilema here

ok here is the deal i have a 20 gallon freshwater sitting empty ( no fish anyways) water is cycled and done. i have a 55 gallon coming soon. My girlfriend loves the colours of the salties and loves the look of the salties. I am new at tanks and fish, should i try to do a saltwater tank??? if so what ddo i need to transfer this 20 gallon into one as i think that i don't want to do the 55 gall incase i fail or can't maintain it and don't want to loose the costs of the switch. what all would i bee looking at to change the 20 to a salty tank ... if at all i should...
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #2
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A larger system would provide a bigger cushion form error that would wipe out your system... That is a decision you will have to make. You are going to need some salt (sold a LFS), a heater,lights, hydrometer (measures salinity), thermometer, Filter, sand and live rock. Eventually you might need a sump, powerheads, and a protein skimmer. If you get enough live rock and live sand it will cycle your tank for you (this is how I cycled mine). Then it turns into a waiting game (3-4 weeks for a full cycle). This is truly the hardest part. Your fish store might tell you to cycle with a fish but many people here are adamant against this, including myself. It is cruel to your fish, they likely WILL die and it is a waste of money.

There are a few different ways to cycle a tank though. Some people will use a piece of shrimp or pure ammonia from the hardware store to get the nitrites and nitrates where they need to be. I've never cycled like this though.

Do you want to keep a FOWRL (fish only with live rock) or a Reef tank which includes soft and hard coral? If you eventually want to keep a reef tank you might want to get a higher quality light as the coral need them to flourish. A lot of people use metal hallides or t5's. I personally just ordered AquaticLife T5 HO 4-Lamp Light Fixtures w/ Lunar LEDs for my 29 G setup.

That is all I can think of for now.

Welcome to the salt side. If you have any questions don't feel shy.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:01 PM   #3
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If money is an issue a 20 gallon is cheaper. Tougher to get going, but if you're just going for fish and live rock you could get some neat clownfish, firefish neon goby or whatnot and really just have to buy 15 dollars worth of sand, 15 dollars of rocks, and a bit more on saltwater.

Corals will complicate things considerably, because then you'd need some 10k+ 40+ watt lighting.
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Old 06-08-2011, 04:01 PM   #4
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well as for now i have the 55 gallon coming with heater, thermo, and filter all the stuff you listed but the sand. also i think i would go all out and do a reef tank if i do go the salty route. do i need a diff style of filter for a salty tank???
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Old 06-08-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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In a saltwater tank your Live rock is your filter. an external would only be good for carbon. The pumps would only be for circulation. You need good lights, either T-5 Ho lights or the newer LED lights.
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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only? How bout added flow? a place for macro? purigen, gfo? slap some floss in there for targeted removal of 'floaters' to name a few. I'm also not thinking the dude needs T5's or LED's for a 20 gallon reef. I'm guessing (and it's just a guess) that he's not running out and buying $200 coral. Even if, T5's and LED's on a 20? Save your money, grab some CFl fixture and see how it goes, use the equipment you have. No reason to not use what you have. Upgrades come later after you commit or are committed.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for reading all my posts.LOL
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnanthony74 View Post
ok here is the deal i have a 20 gallon freshwater sitting empty ( no fish anyways) water is cycled and done. i have a 55 gallon coming soon. My girlfriend loves the colours of the salties and loves the look of the salties. I am new at tanks and fish, should i try to do a saltwater tank??? if so what ddo i need to transfer this 20 gallon into one as i think that i don't want to do the 55 gall incase i fail or can't maintain it and don't want to loose the costs of the switch. what all would i bee looking at to change the 20 to a salty tank ... if at all i should...
No such thing. In my experience, new tank owners are best served by setting up a nice FW tank or a large (and forgiving) FOWLR first. Research will be the number one thing to invest in regardless of your choice. Start out with the stickies and articles here. The studying time will save you an incredible amount of frustration and money over the long term.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by thincat View Post
Thanks for reading all my posts.LOL
It's not that hard really..if you get my drift
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:43 PM   #10
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You both need to take it to PM and try to post something helpful to the OP. You at least owe an honest response to the 1st post now. Just sayin'.
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