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Old 05-21-2008, 09:09 PM   #1
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Intrigued by SW...

Hello all, I have been into freshwater for years and am intrigued by the thought of one day having a SW tank.

I am in love with seahorses, and aside from knowing that you have to cycle a SW tank the same way you do a FW tank I know pretty much nothing.

I am considering converting my 46 gal FW high tech planted tank to SW....but I am on the fence.
Some of the other things I have always loved are various anemone (sp?) and some corals. I also like starfish.

What are the water change schedules like with a SW tank? I also understand that you probably need to age the water used for wc to make sure the sg is righ etc.

Other things to consider (you can tell me if they are good or not)

I have hard well water with an aged pH of 8.5 GH 11 KH 7

I have a young family and can't see doing more than a 1x weekly waterchange, especially with needing to store/age water.

Perhaps you can point me in the right direction for research?
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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You know, once you get the taste of saltwater, there is no other water.

The first thing you should try to decide on is what are you plans?
Seahorses are cool, but need lots of work and pretty much nothing else in there to bother them. Others here kept horses and can chime on in them.
If your thinking coral of any type, the issue at hand is well water. You really need RO/DI water, so can you hook up an RO unit? Depending on the well water pressure, you may also need a booster pump for the RO unit.
Water changes are similar to fw. 10% weekly or 20% biweekly is fine. You should mix your newly mixed saltwater 12-24 hrs before adding it to the tank. That's the only "aging" any water added into the tank will need. Top off are done with RO/DI water.

Once you get a better idea of the direction you want to head, we can help lead you to the dark side.....errrrr saltie side.
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:36 PM   #3
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I am sure I could get an ro unit fairly easily, they are not that expensive and if I only need to do 10% weekly changes that is not a lot of water even for a smaller unit.

I guess I should start browsing the photos and see what else I like eh? I am thinking a reef would be awesome one day but I always assumed I would need a much larger tank for that.

What kind of filter would one use for a 46 gal? Sump? or do you use the same kind of filtration you would use on a FW tank?

The other fish I really like are clown fish and damsels but then again I have never seen a fish I didn't like so....I am still pretty flexible.

Come on guys....persuade me! pics?
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Old 05-21-2008, 10:49 PM   #4
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i am also thinking to create a inwall tank, about the size of the whole wall with SW, but then again the glass would have to be very thick.

just as a heads up, i had a friend that made it possible to breed molys platys and guppy in SW (took him 3 generations to do it... totaling about 6 months)
so i guess u can add some color to the SW anytime ;PPP
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:41 PM   #5
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Happy, I'm in the planning stages of a 46 gallon reef literally right now too! I have a thread just started that may provide some info for you in the SW - getting started forum.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:01 AM   #6
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I have a 46g Saltwater reef tank, I am about 8 months and about $3000 in. with about $300 being corals and about $400 being a waste of money on stuff I didn't need. The minimum that you need is
RO/DI unit $200
Live rock about 80pounds, $300
Protein skimmer $200
a few powerheads for tank and mixing tub(trash can) $50
Sand $75
Salt, heaters, mixing tubs $90
Refractometer and test kits $80
Upgraded light fixture. about $300 for T5 (limited) and $450 for MH (keep anything)

A sump is a bonus and extremely difficult to fit inside a 46g bow stand I had
mine custom made with the plumbing was about $400 DIY really isn't an option because most 20g long tanks are 12" wide and wont fit. Mine is 10" wide and I had to put it in when I Put the stand together as it doesnt fit just sliding it in the cabinet door.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:18 AM   #7
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Hey Fiji, time will tell for sure, but I think it can be done cheaper than that. I'm hoping to achieve that in the near term.
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Old 05-22-2008, 12:52 AM   #8
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There are a bunch of cool damsels but they don't play nice. They are quite aggressive and you have to be careful what else you put in the tank with them so you don't end up with fish fights.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:15 AM   #9
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ah, yes...there is a ton I have to learn. But I do love a challenge.
I will check out your thread too neilnh.
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