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Old 10-06-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
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Freshwater to saltwater

Have a 20 gallon marineland tank with stand. I was hoping to convert it to a saltwater tank. What do I need to do to convert it? What kind of filter? Lighting? Etc? And an appraisal if possible.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:26 PM   #2
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Depends on what you want to keep..... if it's fish-only, then you can get away pretty cheap. As far as lighting & filtration, SW fish don't really need any different than FW fish. You'll just need to do pwc's a bit more, as SW fish are less tolerant of nitrates.

You'll be a lot more limited on what you can keep, as marine fish need lots more room than FW fish, so there are fewer fish that can be kept in a tank that small, and fewer of them together...... probably looking at maybe 2 or 3 smaller fish max.

If you want to consider a reef tank with corals, then the costs are going to significantly climb just with the cost of proper lights, better test kits, and other misc costs.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Phranque View Post
Depends on what you want to keep..... if it's fish-only, then you can get away pretty cheap. As far as lighting & filtration, SW fish don't really need any different than FW fish. You'll just need to do pwc's a bit more, as SW fish are less tolerant of nitrates. You'll be a lot more limited on what you can keep, as marine fish need lots more room than FW fish, so there are fewer fish that can be kept in a tank that small, and fewer of them together...... probably looking at maybe 2 or 3 smaller fish max. If you want to consider a reef tank with corals, then the costs are going to significantly climb just with the cost of proper lights, better test kits, and other misc costs.
are you sure there's no fancy filtration or lighting I need for SW fish?
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Old 10-07-2013, 02:41 PM   #4
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are you sure there's no fancy filtration or lighting I need for SW fish?
nope, pretty cheap for a 20g the only thing that stays expensive is the rock, live rock is around $6/lb if you have the patience, get all dry rock for around $2/lb and wait an extra few weeks for cycling.

for a 20g sw which i just upgraded from, its pretty cheap, and if your impatient like me, you can go both live rock a dn live sand but its more expensive, if you can wait about 6wks you can go all dry, but for the sake of it lets say...

40lbs of live sand (type is your preference) - $50
30lbs of rock - live (reef) $150 - dry (fish only) $50
good hob filter 30-40g rated (overkill is good) -$50
a pair of good powerheads (koralia nano 240s) - $75
a good hob skimmer (reef only) - $75
good led lighting - fish only $50 - reef (taotronics dimmable fixture) $150

so for a fish only your looking at around $300
and for a reef your looking at close to $600

initial cost is very high to most people especially coming from a freshwater background, but its cheap in the long run, with water changes and other minimal maintenance its very worth it, IMO, i went from 7 fw tanks to 3 sw tanks and now im working on a 4th, its a cake walk once you get in the groove of things.

hope this helps
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