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Old 09-01-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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FOWLR to REEF transition

i am not sure exactly how to do this but i have FOWLR and i want to transition into reef set up. how hard is this or what is the process i need to take to do this.. my levels look good nitrate is at zero, nitrite is at zero, ammonia is zero, ph is 8.2-8.4, alk according to my color card is in the low range from 0-1.6 is this bad thing and whats steps do i need to take to start reef?
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:06 PM   #2
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I'm no expert, but I'd suggest looking at what you want to add and researching their requirements.

The biggest difference off the top is lighting. The organisms in a reef tank will have greater light requirements then fish only. How much light depends on what kind of corals and such you want to keep.

Another difference is water quality. You want stable water for a reef. Corals can't withstand fluctuations in PH, and salinity as well as fish can. (Not that fish like the fluctuations, but they can survive them better)

Corals will often have nutrient requirements like calcium and such and need the water supplemented with said nutrients.

If you don't have a sump, you might want to start with that. It will give you the space to add the equipment you need, and add extra water volume to help keep water quality stable.

Edit: also you want to look at the fish you have and any fish you want to add and make sure they're "reef safe". Some fish will damage and kill your expensive corals or other reef inhabitants. If you have any of these consider trading them or moving them to a different tank before adding corals.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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Deep seven has you pretty much covered. If you give us a complete run down of the tank you are wanting to switch we can give you suggestions. (lights, filtration, size, fish, ect.)
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:44 PM   #4
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Well I have a 60 gallon tank with fluval 405, a back pack protein skimmer, power head rated at 640gph, 130 watt light half daylight and other half blue, not alot live rock yet maybe like 35 pounds, live sand. I would like to use the light I have now
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Forgot to add.. Right now I only have a clown fish, scooter blenny, damsel, 3 turbo snails, and 2 hermit crabs
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:08 PM   #6
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The only major upgrade i would suggest for right now would be your lights. You will be very limited on what you can keep under your current fixture. Mushrooms and some soft corals will be able all. You can certinly start there though and upgrade when you want to try other corals. Just be sure you only buy coral that can tolerate low light. The fluval is not the optimal filtration for a reef tank in my opinion but it will certinly be fine unless you really get involved and want to start keeping more difficult coral. All your fish are reef safe. You may want to get a bit more rock since this will help with filtration as well as provide a bit more area to place your coral.
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:05 PM   #7
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thanks alot...now how about the alk in my tank..according to my chart its on low side ranging from 0-1.6. but i been reading that it should be between 8-12. my color card doenst even range that high
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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I too agree that your lighting needs to be upgraded. I really thought Deep seven gave you a pretty good post on what you needed. As far as the lighting I would suggest T5HO light system.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:42 PM   #9
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Thanks..any suggestions on my Alk reading..
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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Once you are getting close to being ready to add your corals you will want to check your calcium levels and PH... get your PH up to 8.1-8.3 by using a calcium additive that increases PH once your PH is where you want it you can start to add a calcium supplement till it is at the right level. I would sudggest that you bring your PH up VERY SLOWLY... a quick change in PH can cause stress and sometimes death to most fish.

*Edit: I didn't see that your PH was at 8.2-8.4... so with the second part of what I said... add a non PH calcium you can find them at most fish stores... even freshwater only stores.
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