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Old 12-10-2004, 08:12 PM   #1
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Yet another fresh-to-saltwater newbie with questions

Well, I'm ready to take my first venture into saltwater aquaria. Don't know too much about it yet, but I've picked up several books and will be cracking them this weekend.

I currently have a five gallon acrylic bowfront with a typical freshwater setup: gravel, fake plants, HOB filter, heater, airstone, and one female betta who will be moving to my 75 gallon tank. It's fully cycled.

My first question is will a recycling be necessary? Will the change to a saline environment kill off the established bacteria?

Can I keep the water currently in it and add salt to the proper mixture? Would that take the edge off a possible cycle if I need one, or am I better off just starting with new water?

The gravel in it is your typical aquarium gravel. Any problems with that? Obviously the plants won't be the most natural saltwater look, but hey, they're fake so I'm not worried there

Any other advice about fresh-to-salt conversion welcome. Yes YES, I am well aware I would be better off using a bigger tank for saltwater, but this is what I have and will try to do a good job keeping parameters correct until I get something bigger.
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Old 12-10-2004, 08:37 PM   #2
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I would seriously re-think the 5 gallon for your first tank, Even for an expert it can be challenging to keep. I would research for a few weeks until you understand the fundamentals of keeping a SW tank. it is very different from FW but it isnt the hardest thing in the world either. Just take it slow in this hobby

as far as the water goes you should start from scratch. Their is different bacteria in SW than fresh. your also going to want either CC or sand or LS as a substrate.

Good luck.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:39 PM   #3
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Welcome to the salty side of things! Comparing SW to FW is like apple to oranges. I totally agree with El Diablo, a five gal tank will be very challenging to keep as your first SW tank. I would not attempt anything less then a 30 gal, a 55 will be even better. Many people "try" to start with small SW tanks, only to become discouraged and quit the hobby. If you attempt to try this in your 5 gal. you will need to empty it completely, change the substrate, mix the water, add LR and let the tank cycle again. I urge you to continue researching before you start. You can to the right place for answers to your questions. Keep 'em coming...Lando
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Old 12-11-2004, 11:27 AM   #4
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I third the notion of going larger. small tanks, FW or SW, are always a more difficult juggling act to maintain...and with additional water parameters in a salt tank, you don't wanna get in over your head.
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Old 12-11-2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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Did anyone read my post? Telling me to get a bigger tank is not a correct answer. No ****, didn't I say that already?
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:09 PM   #6
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You could keep a 5-gal nano, but if it was mine, I would keep it as a soft coral & invert tank...no fish. Just a few pounds of LR, some mushrooms, xenia, GSP, a few small snails. I have a 29-gal with 3 small fish & the bio load just from them is hard to keep in check.

Empty everything out & clean it with vinegar, rinse it out, and let it dry a couple of days. Add the sand if you want, add the LR, add the water and get ready to wait for testing and a cycle. It will go through a cycle period. Different colors of algae & diatoms will come and go. Don't add the fake plants, castles, shipwrecks, etc. They'll just be a place for algae to grow on & you'll have to take them out to clean them.
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Old 12-11-2004, 01:41 PM   #7
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I did read your post, and gave you my opinion. Sorry if it was not what you wanted to hear. I believe I answered the questiones you asked. As for tank size, it is your tank and you can do what you want. However, I urge you to not get defensive when you get good, sound advice that you do not like. My vote is still for a bigger starter tank.
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Old 12-11-2004, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: Yet another fresh-to-saltwater newbie with questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Presence
Yes YES, I am well aware I would be better off using a bigger tank for saltwater, but this is what I have and will try to do a good job keeping parameters correct until I get something bigger.
Wrong way to go my friend.

I had wanted to get into SW for about 3 years. I did not have the money, or the time to do it right so I waited. and during those 3 years I would do a bit of research here and there. When I finally decided it was time for me to seriously consider getting a tank you know what I did? I waited. and I researched, and I saved. a year later, I finally had the knowlege and the money to do it right.

So I guess what I am saying to you is wait. Wait and Research every aspect of the hobby. You will quickly learn what NOT to do. SW is not easy. But there are ways to make it easier on yourself. Unfortuately these things cost money. (one thing that even after all my research, I was STILL not fully prepared for.) I am from the school of thought that if you cant do something right, you dont do it at all.

Have fun researching though! It's still my favorite part of the hobby!
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Old 12-11-2004, 04:46 PM   #9
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The advice I've gotten on this forum has made this hobby easier by the day. If they told me not to do something, I would highly consider it. I'm only 4 months into SW after 8 years of FW. I am taking it slow, researching before every purchase and haven't lost a creature yet.

Take their advice, and enjoy the research.
(Why waste a 75gal on a betta?)JMO
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