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Old 11-20-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
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Like a Phoenix

Hello! This is my first post! :3

I've been into keeping freshwater fish for a while now, and am looking to branch out a bit, perhaps to saltwater.

See, I have a nice 56g tall aquarium (more cube than rectangle), that used to house a beautiful oscar whom I affectionately called 'Bruce'. I moved across the city, and Bruce was to be joining me and moving to a huge 130 gallon tank, all for him! However, a fight broke out between me and the now ex, and I had to have foot surgery. As a result, Bruce's big tank was not set up quickly. I had a family member feeding him for me, and I'd go over to clean on my days off, but sadly the family member tried to help clean, and used a chemical to clean the INSIDE of the tank, which ended up poisoning Bruce and his dither fish. I couldn't save him, and so lost my Brucey.

Now I'm moving back to the original location, to an empty 56g tank with no Bruce. I'd like to redecorate it and set it up again (reborn like a Phoenix!), but I'm not sure what I want to put in it. Money is not a major issue while setting it up, so long as the maintenance costs are reasonable. The biggest thing for me will be low maintenance. My foot surgery requires a few more in the next year, so I won't be able to stand every week and do frequent water changes or cleanings. I was looking into an aquaripure filter to help cut down on the water changes, and I was also considering a FOWLR saltwater tank.

I've never done saltwater, so this is all new to me. I heard it was easier to maintain as you are simply refilling it to keep salinity in balance and the nitrate filter (aquaripure) will reduce need for water changes, to about once per month. Is it true that, with live rock and sand and a few power heads, you don't really need a powerful filter? Just perhaps an HOB? Or should I just stick with freshwater and get a few simple barbs?

Thanks, and sorry for the long post!
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #2
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Not going to be easier. Just wanted you to know that. But it can be rewarding with dilligence. We have alot of articles in our sw articles section that will help you out.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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It depends entirely on your setup how easy it's going to be. For example, my 20g reef tank is somehow getting along without any nitrate or phosphate issues and aside from a recent alk and calcium dip and continuing frustration it is less upkeep than my 55g planted tank. Currently I do a weekly 10% water change and now a daily dosing of calcium and alkalinity. There are a lot of pieces of equipment out there that will make your life easier but they can be very very expensive.

Filtration in a saltwater tank is done primarily with live rock and powerheads so you can skip the HOB filter altogether. Nitrate reduction is usually done through either skimmers or growing macro algae in a refugium so you can also skip the aquaripure system.

If you're interested in a saltwater tank I would highly recommend going for it but just be aware that it isn't a simple task, however it is very rewarding.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:19 PM   #4
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When I say easy, I moreso just mean the frequent water changes. I don't mind checking for parameters, that's part of the fun. My problem is that I can't lug those heavy buckets around that often. I have someone who can carry and store fresh RO/DI water close for me, but they won't always be around to help empty the tank that 10%. That's why I considered the aquaripure filter. The less buckets I have to carry, the better.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:32 PM   #5
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Ahh I understand. Water changes are rarely about nitrate reduction in salt water but instead it's more focused on maintaining nutrient levels in the tank such as alk, calcium, and other micro nutrients.

In that case it might be a good idea to invest in a water changer so you can siphon water out of your tank and directly down your drain so you only have to lug half the water. The night before you do your water change you can mix your water in a container right next to the tank and have it ready to go by the time the water change is happening.
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