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Old 11-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #1
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dumb question

I have a friend and their last fish just died in a freshwater aquarium that has been cycled for a few years. Can you add saltwater mix to an already established freshwater aquarium to convert it? (I don't think you can) Can you use the freshwater's filter (that already has BB) and use it on an aquarium that has been setup for saltwater and speed up the cycling process?
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #2
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I have a friend and their last fish just died in a freshwater aquarium that has been cycled for a few years. Can you add saltwater mix to an already established freshwater aquarium to convert it? (I don't think you can) Can you use the freshwater's filter (that already has BB) and use it on an aquarium that has been setup for saltwater and speed up the cycling process?
There's no such thing as a dumb question you can't just add salt mix and make it a salt tank. Plus the bacteria for salt are different than fresh. Really you would want to drain the tank, clean the filter and replace all media and start over with sand, rock and saltwater. I'm sure you would have massive algae blooms if you just got rid of the gravel and filter media but used the same water just mixed with salt.
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:22 PM   #3
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So what do I need?

I'm going to get the aquarium from my friend in a day or two....what should I buy? I have a 55 gallon freshwater setup and I would like a nano saltwater tank that I can have some clownfish and damsels...So what do I need?
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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Well what size tank but basics would be a filter, live rock, sand, powerheads, hydrometer, salt mix and is use ro/di water to save you headaches. Oh and a light depending on whether you want coral or not
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:51 PM   #5
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He said he wasn't sure but thought it was a 10-20 gallon...I would say that from what he said it is a 20 gallon. Do you think I can set up a 20g saltwater for under $100? (Not including the fish) I just spent a good bit on the 55g and not sure my wife would be happy if I spent alot on the saltwater one
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #6
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He said he wasn't sure but thought it was a 10-20 gallon...I would say that from what he said it is a 20 gallon. Do you think I can set up a 20g saltwater for under $100? (Not including the fish) I just spent a good bit on the 55g and not sure my wife would be happy if I spent alot on the saltwater one
It's almost impossible for that to happen.. If its a 20gal you'll need at least 1lb per gallon of rock which is about $5 a pound.. So you'd have your $100 in just rock.. Plus lighting which isn't cheap if your getting coral. Saltwater unfortunately isn't too cheap of a hobby , but it's well worth the time and money!!
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:23 PM   #7
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What if I wanted to do FO and not FOWLR or Coral?
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Live rock is expensive, base rock is pretty cheap though. You could get 20 lbs base rock for $40 and seed with a couple pieces of small live rock. It would be very tough setting up a tank on that budget but it could be doable. So: rock-$40, sand-$20, powerhead-$20, salt-$20, hydrometer-$10 you would probably go over that budget though by a little. You'd need the heater, filter and light still.
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Old 11-01-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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You can buy dry rock from here to save money. You are looking at $3/lb

Bulk Dry Live Rock - Bulk Dry Live Rock & Live Sand - Bulk Reef Supply

You can get away with 10 lbs for a tank that size bringing it to $30 not counting shipping.

Assuming the heater and filter are still functional and in good shape you will need to invest in a few other things.

Hydrometer - $15
5g bucket of salt - $50
Aragonite substrate - $20


After that I would point out that you are limited to maybe 3 fish in a tank that size without running a refugium or skimmer. For a beginner I would suggest that you do 2 ocellaris clowns and a firefish goby. Those are popular choices for beginner fish. I also wouldn't add any other damsels to the tank because they really are aggressive bastards.
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Old 11-01-2013, 04:40 PM   #10
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I'm just beginning my research for a marine tank but why so few fish in a 20g? And do you have any alternatives to the goby? I don't like them really
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