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Old 08-24-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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Switching to saltwater?

I have an established 10g freshwater tank that I'd like to turn into a saltwater thank. I've never done anything with saltwater, so I'm pretty much clueless as to how to go about it. Do I just add salt and that's it? Will my current gravel and plastic plants work, or do I need to start an actual reef type setup? Do I need a different filter? I'm sure there are lots of other issues I don't even know about. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Hi! Welcome to the salty side! I recently just did a switch just like you on my 10 gallon freshwater tank. Saltwater is very different though and it will take a lot of research. It's also more pricey.

For a starter, stuff you need:

1) You can keep your filter. (Just change the pad and clean it thoroughly)

2) Heater

3) Small power head or wave maker

4) Live rock or base rock seeded with live rock

5) some type of marine substrate (preferably live sand)

You can keep your plastic plants but it just gives out an unnatural feel and it doesn't look right. Live rock is essential in a saltwater tank so you'll need 8-10 pounds of it. It will take up most of the space.

Ditch the gravel and get marine substrate.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:22 PM   #3
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Oh and almost forgot, for water many places sell pre mixed water but you can also get ro (reverse osmosis) water and mix it with salt yourself. You can't use just any salt though, you have to purchase marine salt mix from a lfs
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:26 PM   #4
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Hey thanks. So is it possible to switch substrates without completely starting over? I'd like to avoid cycling again if possible.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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The bacteria are completely different. You will have to go through a cycle.
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:34 PM   #6
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Alright. I suppose it'll be worth it in the end. Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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For equipment an such, pet moutain has lots of online
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36 gallon fresh water

10g saltwater
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Old 08-24-2013, 04:29 PM   #8
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If you but live rock it'll help you cycle much faster than buying dry base rock, or getting base rock with some live to mix in and see it will work as well, just might take a little longer than going with all live.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:25 PM   #9
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Salt is a whole other level of maintenance. On a 10 gallon watch water lvl and fill daily with distilled or RO/DI water. The salinity will change drastically with evaporation. If the sailinity changes, everything changes. Water evaporates in a Fresh water tank and it has much less bearing on livestock. Also once cycled, I would recommend fish only for 6 months. Coral and invertibrates are very sensitive to changes where fish can usually handle much more. If you didn't test water before, you should now. There are more variables and items that need to be maintained, like salinity, pH, phosphates, magnesium and alkalinity. Fresh water fish and plants can usually survive pretty well on just water changes.
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