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Old 05-20-2010, 12:04 AM   #1
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salt water vrs fresh water maintenance

Ok... I've done freshwater tanks now for 10 years. Besides the different fish and inner dwelling, what is different regarding maintenance? Currently for my fresh water tank I do a 50% water change every weekend with the prime conditioner, wash out the filter like once a month, and besides feeding, that's about it. What is different once you have an established salt water tank? Will I follow the same schedule?
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Old 05-20-2010, 12:24 AM   #2
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well i dont think you will need to 50% water change every week. more like 20-25% every other week.

there are maybe more water tests to preform depending on corals you own. which could lead to dosing.

you have to do top offs more offen to keep the salt level consistant. in fresh water your water evaperates you just have less water. in salt water it changes the conditions of the water.

you have to get your water change ready a day early so the salt can desolve.

clean out the skimmer if you have one. that just replaces the filter maintance so thats pretty much a swap.

not really more or any harder just diffrent. salt water i think is more about prep work. getting everything ready before hand. but i dont think it will be harder.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:23 AM   #3
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It sounds like you have a very regimented routine with your FW tanks, so if you're considering SW in terms of amount of work it'd be very similar.

Harmy made some great comments on SW specific tasks you'd have to do. Some of it depends on what type of SW tank you opt for (reef vs. fish only, etc).
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:28 AM   #4
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One of the things you'll find the biggest difference in, IMO, is that you'll have to prep your water at least the night before you plan on doing your water change, which will require a separate mixing container, powerhead, and heater. Another thing is that if you plan on doing a reef tank, an RO/DI unit is pretty much a must. That will require a bit more time. All in all, its just going to be a different experience, but I'm sure you'll find it quite rewarding in the long run.


Of course there are alot of other things that will be different, those are just the two biggest things that I, personally, find the biggest difference in.
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Old 05-20-2010, 01:51 AM   #5
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It all depends on what saltwater setup you want.

Fish only-easiest care
fish only with live rock-middle of the road
reef-most care

I have fish only with live rock. It is not that hard to take care of. You just have to get in a daily routine like you would any aquarium.

I'll just tell you up front. Getting started is the hardest part. Picking a skimmer,lighting,sump if you want,powerheads, ro/di unit,etc.

Oh and before you even by the first piece of equipment, BUY A QUARANTINE TANK!!!!!!!!!. This little $40 or less investment will save you hundreds if not thousands over time. And read till you puke then read some more.

For the most part, a saltwater tank is not that much different as far as maintenance goes. Just a different way of going about it.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:19 AM   #6
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freshwater has canster filters salt water has skimmers

fresh water has low light and high light plants. salt water has high light low ligh coral.

fw planted you dose ferts and co2(if needed) sw dose calcium, alk and mag (if needed.)

fw has algae issues. sw has algae issue

fw mixes prime in the water, sw uses ro/di mixed with salt

fw does top offs with fresh water. salt water does top offs with ro/di.
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Old 05-20-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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Great post Dan, but that last one should be SW does top offs with "RODI"

That will save some headaches depending on the tap source.
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