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Old 07-23-2005, 01:55 AM   #1
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Fresh to salt water tank

I have a 20 gallon long and I want to change it to a saltwater. If I keep the fresh water gravel will I be able to maintain the PH at a high enough level without adding some sort of buffer? Will the salt mix keep the PH up by itself?

Also I would like to keep a pair of Percs hopefully get them to pair off. How long would it take for a pair of juvies to reach maturity? Would I be able to keep any other fish with the Percs? Would a clean up crew have any trouble with the gravel? I would guess not since it's not much different from crushed coral.

Last question do saltwater fish change color like fresh water with their surroundings? Basicaly I had a JD with natural gravel and his colors lightened, when I put him with black gravel his colors changed and was much brighter. Just wondering if saltwater fish would work in the same fashion?
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Old 07-23-2005, 03:41 AM   #2
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The gravel doesn't have the buffering capabilities that cc has. Most people prefer a DSB. I have cc but want to change to a DSB, I just have to find a whole day that I have free to do the change.

I'm not sure of the maturity age of percs. If you want to get other fish you would have to stay small because of the tank size. Gobies, firefish, etc.

I don't know if the gravel causes a color change in the fish, but fishes colors do change. It usually depends on the stress level, their mood, or the time of day. If fish are stressed it is night time, the colors usually fade.

HTH.
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55 gal cycling. Will be FOWLR.
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Old 07-23-2005, 10:37 AM   #3
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Unfortunantly, you will need new substrate. I suggest sand. It is easy to take care of and looks very nice. Skip the UGF if you have one and use about 40lbs of LR as your primary filtration. If you currently have a HOB filter for your FW tank, you can clean it out and replace the media. They are good too add flow to smaller tanks and provide you with a nice place to run chemical/mechanical filtration. Couple of clowns will be nice in a 20 (percs or occellaris) and you will have room for one or two other small fish. I am not aware of any SW fish that mimic the color of the enviornment, does not mean there are not any.
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Old 07-23-2005, 01:23 PM   #4
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Well, I was planning on skipping the live rock, because I thought that I would need to run a skimmer to remove all the "junk" that comes off the rock. I figured if I went fish only I could keep the HOB filters that I am currently running.

If I do go the live rock route how necessary would a skimmer be. I'm really trying to avoid having a bunch of contraptions running on the back of the tank especially since it's pretty small. I want to notice the fish and not the equipment.

Also if I went with live rock wouldn't it stay a dull color and not grow any corraline algae since I'm running about 2 watts per gallon of NO lighting?
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Well, I was planning on skipping the live rock, because I thought that I would need to run a skimmer to remove all the "junk" that comes off the rock. I figured if I went fish only I could keep the HOB filters that I am currently running.
IMO, LR is the one thing you should not skip, especially if this is your first SW tank. The skimmer has nothing to do with the "junk" tha comes off the LR. Besides, nothing really comes off the rock. There are no disadvantages to using LR, only benefits. It is the best thing you can do for your SW tank.
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If I do go the live rock route how necessary would a skimmer be.
A skimmer is highly recommended but not an absolute must. You do not need a skimmer if you have LR. A skimmer really has nothing to do with LR. It's job is to remove DOC from the water, similar to the waves crashing over rocks, mixing with O2 and creating foam you see along the beaches. Down the road, get a skimmer but you do not need one to start.
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Also if I went with live rock wouldn't it stay a dull color and not grow any corraline algae since I'm running about 2 watts per gallon of NO lighting?
While better lighting MAY help speed up coraline growth, the proper ALK/CA levels are what are what is really important.
Bottom line...Get the live rock.
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Old 07-24-2005, 03:57 PM   #6
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You can get those tufa stones from a landscaping store/place. And seed it with a couple of small live rocks. They do a great job keeping the pH at a level you prefer.

Sand would be a great addition to your soon-to-be saltwater tank. If you want to save some money, do the home depot play sand route. Just make sure you read threads on how to actually prepare them for the tank.

If you don't have the time but have the money, you can get a bag of aragonite a small bag of live sand a to seed it. That will create your DSB.

A good wall-hung skimmer wouldn't hurt. But if you have LR, for that size of tank you may do well without the skimmer. I advice a small powerhead for circulation though.
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Old 07-26-2005, 08:30 PM   #7
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OK, for now I have 15 lbs of Carib Sea argonite sand. I will be placing an order with hirock for 30lbs of base rock and will add 10lbs from liverocks.

For water movement I currently am running 2 Penguin 125 HOB filters and a powerhead 201. If need be I also have a maxijet 1200 that I can add as well.

The cycle has just started with the ammonia level at .50. To start the cycle I only added a frozen cube of plankton. Will I need to add more to keep producing ammonia or will this be enugh to seed the tank.

I haven't placed the order with liverocks yet and may not get the chance to do so for another few weeks. Just want to make sure I keep feeding the tank so I don't have to restart the cycle and kill off the little amount of life that will come with 10lbs of rock.
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