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Old 12-06-2014, 07:52 PM   #1
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Totally new to this

Alright so I'm mostly in to freshwater tanks but my brother has a 65 gal freshwater tank and he wants to convert it to saltwater. I'm trying to explain how expensive saltwater tanks are but then I don't really know. Could anyone tell me what equipment we would need (he wants to do live coral) how many lbs of live rock. This is not a drilled tank but do you need to have it drilled. Can someone give me a list of everything we would need to get for this tank. I will do a lot more research before we actually decide to set it up. Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:52 PM   #2
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Whew, thats quite a list.

Dry rock - 65lbs $130
Refractometer - $30
Ro/di unit - $150 ish
Lighting - $200
Power heads - $100 ish
Skimmer $150
Water tests - $75ish
Quarantine tank - $50ish

A refugium is highly recommended and you can expect to add another $200 for one of those.

An auto top off is highly recommended as well and will run around $100



This is all some of the prices on cheap basic equipment. Costs raise immensely for higher quality equipment.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:56 PM   #3
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Wow that's a lot what do you all use on your setups and what if we didn't use live coral
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:16 PM   #4
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Wow that's a lot what do you all use on your setups and what if we didn't use live coral
Are you talking about live rock or live coral? They are two different things.

Live rock is used as filtration for the tank. It comes with hitch hikers and things that live in it. Coral is a living creature that grows. Live rock is generally composed of coral skeleton unless it's man made.

Live rock


Dry Rock


Live coral


Live rock makes up the biological filtration of our tanks. However, dry rock will become live when you cycle the tank, it will just take a little longer.

Dry rock costs $2-$3 per pound while live rock can cost $5 - $10 per pound. You need about 1lb of rock per gallon of tank volume. Buying live rock for a tank that size will be about $500 versus $130 if you bought all dry rock.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:52 PM   #5
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I meant both lol I know what they are
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:15 AM   #6
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What kind of filter would this need would the quiet flow 55/75 HOB filter he has now work. then how much lighting Is needed. How much sand and live rock would it need
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #7
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What kind of filter would this need would the quiet flow 55/75 HOB filter he has now work. then how much lighting Is needed. How much sand and live rock would it need
I've said the amount of rock twice... 1lb per gallon.

Sand - probably 40 to 60 lbs

For flow in the tank shoot for 10x to 40x the tank volume per hour. Whether you choose to do this with filters or powerheads, its not really important. Just try to avoid canisters because they are nitrate factories.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:51 AM   #8
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How can I turn dry rock into live rock
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:52 AM   #9
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How can I turn dry rock into live rock
"Live" is a statement as to whether it's cycled and has bacteria on it. When you cycle the tank it becomes live. Live rock is rhe reason you don't really need to use filters for a salt water tank.
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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So I could just get 65 pounds of regular dry rock and get a bacteria starter and it will just do it its self
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