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Old 09-15-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
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So my son wanting a Salt Tank...

My son is learning oceanography in school this year and his teacher has a small 5 or 10 Gal Salt tank in the classroom, which is making him want a saltwater tank.

I currently have a 55 Cichlid tank, a 50 FW community and two 10 gal Community in both kids rooms. Unfortunately my Son's filter died (found it not running tonight) so his fish are now in my 50Gal.

Anyway, if I do a SW, the kids want a starfish. We were at Aquariu Adventures and the Manager there was pretty helpful but I figured ask here too..

Here is the equipment I have if I go SW

50 gal tank, Fluval 405, Aqueon Pro Heater (200W I think). So what else will I need? the tank is older so I am not looking to drill it, I have to buy a new HOB for his 10gal, but now it the time to starting thinkign about converting and giving the fish away or putting a couple in my daughters tank..

The tank is 30in x 18in x 24in I believe.. here is a picture of it:


THANKS for any help
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:29 PM   #2
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In order to answer what you'll need, you need to determine if you want a reef or FOWLR (fish only with live rock). It really does help to plan first before you're too far one way or the other to change. Many fish aren't safe for a reef and if you have a reef, there a certain starfish you can't get either. Also some fish eat starfish too, so plan what you want first, then more answers will follow.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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Dunno honestly.. I guess more research is required on my end.. Which would work better?

What is needed for both from a filtration and Live Rock or Live Sand stand point? Can I use the Fluval with either? Is there one of the above that is a bit better on the pocket book then the other?
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Old 09-16-2013, 12:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=Jeff=- View Post
Dunno honestly.. I guess more research is required on my end.. Which would work better?

What is needed for both from a filtration and Live Rock or Live Sand stand point? Can I use the Fluval with either? Is there one of the above that is a bit better on the pocket book then the other?
I'd probably go Folwr to start with but stick to reef safe fish. A full on reef will require good lighting and ideal parameters...which means getting some decent gear $$$. By sticking to reef safe fish, you can switch your fowlr to a reef system more easily if you want to go that route down the line.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:45 AM   #5
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Check out live aquaria.com for checking reef compatibility. FOWLR is cheaper, but a reef will provide a greater opportunity for learning. Just takes more time, money, and patience. Up to you. I have a reef and a FOWLR and I seem to spend more time looking at my reef. Both are awesome though!!
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:24 AM   #6
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I agree best to decide what you want first before set up. I also think its a good idea to start fish only before you try any corals, just so you get the hang of it all. Salt water is different to freshwater in that there are so many different ways to set up your filtration. Canisters are not commonly used in salt but people do use hob filters. Check out some of the articles on here about how to set it all up. You will need powerheads for water movement, probably 2 and although its not needed I would recommend a protein skimmer for this size tank. Sand is optional, but I believe good to have for beneficial bacteria but also in case you decide to get a substrate dwelling fish, live rock is a must - aim for around 50 pounds or so (you can buy dry rock to start, it's cheaper and will become live over time) test kits of course and if you are thinking reef at any stage I recommend investing in a rodi machine for making water, tap water is not advised. A refractometer is more accurate in measuring your salinity. I think that's the basics! Oh, be prepared to drop some cash on lighting that will support corals too...
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:56 AM   #7
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Okay so it looks like I would start with FOWLR but with reef safe fish, then move on to reef later if I so choose..

Am I able to use the canister or what are better options? Also what sand do I use?
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:08 AM   #8
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I would recommend a sump if you can fit one below the tank. I would recommend getting a good skimmer and ditching the canister unless you want to clean it at least once a week.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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I'd probably go Folwr to start with but stick to reef safe fish. A full on reef will require good lighting and ideal parameters...which means getting some decent gear $$$. By sticking to reef safe fish, you can switch your fowlr to a reef system more easily if you want to go that route down the line.
im going to same route with my tank, its been up about 3 months and i plan to go reef once i hit the 6 month mark so im planning everything for that as should you IF thats what you want to do, and my $0.02 is to spend the money now and dont skimp, you get what you pay for in performance and quality ESPECIALLY in this hobby. i would rather drop some extra cheese now on good equipment then have a crash and lose BIG $$$ on fish later.

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Check out live aquaria.com for checking reef compatibility. FOWLR is cheaper, but a reef will provide a greater opportunity for learning. Just takes more time, money, and patience. Up to you. I have a reef and a FOWLR and I seem to spend more time looking at my reef. Both are awesome though!!
a fowlr is very affordable and easy to care for, you and your son will catch on and get the hang of things quickly on a fowlr, and liveaquaria is a very helpful site with LOTS of info and ease of navigation through fish selection.

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Okay so it looks like I would start with FOWLR but with reef safe fish, then move on to reef later if I so choose..

Am I able to use the canister or what are better options? Also what sand do I use?
i have a thread on this where we all get into it sorta lol canister are ok to use especially if you already own one rated for the tank you have, that will cut a huge chunk out of the cost of a sw conversion. the ONLY thing with canisters is your going to have to be very persistant in keeping it clean, as in weekly cleaning and media changes to prevent nitrate spikes.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:21 AM   #10
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Okay..

A couple suggest a sump, does that mean I have to drill the tank for it?
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