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Old 02-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Starting new tank, African Cichlid or Saltwater?

Hello everyone -

I am totally at a crossroads and could use your wonderful advice and opinions!

A few weeks ago I got the urge to do something with my old 29g since I had most of the equipment just sitting around. I have always kept FW so I instantly began researching Cichlids. I bought rocks for them, and it's about done cycling. I know from these forums a 29g is not recommended for cichlids, but from research I've done I may be able to get by with either 4 johanni's (3 females and 1 male) or 4 Auratus (3 females and 1 male).

HOWEVER, last night after "accidentally" stumbling into the SW side of AA, I was thinking, well what about a saltwater reef with fish? Already this morning I've read a ton on nano reefs and setting up SW aquariums and I'm starting to lean that way...

So here are criteria for my decision and take these into consideration when offering your opinions/advice:
  1. I am a consultant who travels 80% of the year, Mon-Thurs. I have a roommate who is also a consultant but travels every other week.
    1. My current 55g FW community has no issues with this schedule
  2. I have already bought about $40 in rocks for the Cichlids (Lake Malawi looking rocks, don't think they'd look good in a SW tank)
  3. I have an overhanging filter rated for 30g
  4. I have never started a SW before
  5. I am perfectly fine selling or donating the cichlids if/when they get too big
  6. The tank was medicated for Ich about 6 years ago and has been sitting in storage since then
SO, given all of this, do you guys suggest SW or FW Lake Malawi Cichlids?
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
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I was hoping to get some advice :/

Well after constant research I'm starting to lean towards the salty side, so let me be more direct with my question.

If I've used medication in this tank about 5-6 years ago for Ich, and it's pretty much been sitting in storage since then, do I need to worry about that if I plan to eventually go reef and get some invertebrates?

Since I've already cycled the fresh water in the tank, is there any chance I can "turn" it into salt if it has all the right properties minus the salt? Or will I have to empty all the water out and replace it with salt water from my LFS? (I won't be getting an RO/DI unit for a few months after the tank is already stable).
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:17 PM   #3
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Hi, I would start from scratch because fw cycle is totally different from sw cycle. Going sw was the best thing I've done. I've kept African cichlids for years, which I enjoyed. Sw is so much better.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thanks Richy! I think that's where I'm headed...any opinions on the potential copper leaking from the sealant?
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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How to Remove Copper From a Saltwater Aquarium | eHow.com

There the info you need
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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I just started my saltwater after keeping Africans for over three years and I love my saltwater tank its the best transition I've made in the hobby.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
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I agree I got back into the hobby with a mbuna tank which led to my first SW about 4 months ago and I don't regret it at all..you can't get the diversity and color in FW as you can SW and for you traveling issue depending on your budget you could have your entire system running on auto pilot pretty much and make adjustments and check levels via smartphone with the right equipment
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:38 PM   #8
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Thanks for the opinions! Yea I think the 29g is way better suited for SW vs. Lake Malawi. So here I come SW! Just sucks I'll have to re-cycle and clean the tank.

Erik - I actually found that article as well and pasted it to someone, I was hoping it wasn't necessary for me, but I guess better safe than sorry is always the best policy when it comes to fish
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:41 PM   #9
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Yeah deffinetly better safe then sorry.
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrc8858
I agree I got back into the hobby with a mbuna tank which led to my first SW about 4 months ago and I don't regret it at all..you can't get the diversity and color in FW as you can SW and for you traveling issue depending on your budget you could have your entire system running on auto pilot pretty much and make adjustments and check levels via smartphone with the right equipment
For sure!!! Sw doesn't compare AT ALL to fw.
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