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Old 05-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #1
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A Freshie Thinking About Trying Somethin New

OK So I am a die-hard freshwater lover. I however am interested in possibly switching one tank to salt. Now I have most of my freshwater tanks setup to minimize water changes as Im pretty busy. Got lots of plants, overfiltration, and low bioload. I have some questions before I try saltwater:
1) Can a saltwater tank be setup with low PWC needs? I was going to use some macro algae to eat the nitrates but not sure if it works like freshwater.
2) Is there a cheaper way to setup than buying live rock?
3) Besides light, tank, filter, and heater was is necessary for saltwater?
4) Are there any corals that would take some abuse from a newbie lol

Thanks for the help! If I cant do saltwater than I will just have to try something like a native tank or something God bless!
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:12 AM   #2
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Hey, good thread, I'm pretty interested in this too, I have fresh water tanks as well, and we are thinking about making a 55 gallon saltwater
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:56 AM   #3
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I don't think you could get away without water changes on a salt tank in my opinion. I do 20% weekly but some do fortnightly. More important if its a reef too you can buy base rock it's cheaper, it becomes live over time. If the tank is 55g or over a sump is recommended along with a protein skimmer and some powerheads. Canister filters aren't common in salt, I personally would never use one but I hear people do. If you had plenty of cash to drop you could set it up with a sump and refugium, put your skimmer, heater in the sump. Set up an auto top off and a timer for your lights and becomes less work, but you would still need to change water and test regularly also, tap water is no good for salt so you would need an ro-di unit to make water. Hope you decide to go down this road! I have found (coming from fresh too) that if you spend the time early and invest in some good equipment the rewards are worth it to have a little ocean in your home!
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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I do weekly water changes of 10% on my 55 gallon tank. I also have around 65 pounds of live rock and 80 pounds of live sand. I also have a Hang on the Back Protein Skimmer (Reef Octopus BH-1000). I am running a heater that is for 75 gallon tanks, and I have two power heads rated for 55 gallon tanks (One on each side).

I am running a fluval 206 canister filter right now. I am going to upgrade to a sump tank. I had it from my 29 gallon saltwater tank. I upgraded to the 55. I have been using a canister filter without any problems, and I am thinking about just keeping it on my saltwater tank even with a sump. It helps keep my water clear, and I like that.

Most people say a build up nitrates can happen, but I never had it happen. I do clean it out once every two weeks. Just a normal cleaning in dirty tank water to not kill the bacteria on the filter sponges.

As for cost. I am afraid there is no way around it if you want to start out with a successful tank. When I started my 29 gallon tank, I saved up to buy all the equipment and live rock and sand.

You can get uncured live rock, and that will be cheaper than rock already cured. What you would do is set up your tank with all your equipment and get everything running. Order your live uncured live rock online and it should be shipped overnight to you. You will set up the rock as the way you want it. The die off from the rock will cycle your tank!!! :-p You will need water movement (Powerheads) and you will need to do PWC each week until your tank is fully cycled.

Once cycled you can add your fish. Slowly of course! I put two in the first time. I waited about a week and tested my water each day. I put one more in, and after a week I added my last fish.

A saltwater tank is a little more involved than freshwater, but I have found (coming from freshwater) that it is not to difficult when done right the first time! So far I have been successful!! (Knock on wood) :-/ This is my 55 I upgraded to a month ago. From the 29 gallon I had!!
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:26 PM   #5
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ok Thanks guys. I talked to the lady at the LFS today and this is what she recomended:
She said my 20 tall with a aquaclear 70 would be ok. Use at least 10 pounds of live rock and then my crushed coral. She said to put in macro algae and then stock lightly. (I just want inverts mainly anyway) She said with that setup I could just do topoffs untill nitrates got high.
Was that completely wrong or would it maybe work?
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:35 PM   #6
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That would work, you would still need a power head I reckon and at least fortnightly cleaning of the filter. A test kit is a must and a refractometer for measuring salinity. Do you have ro-di? If you start with good water (not tap) you will find nitrates (and phosphates) easier to deal with...
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:45 AM   #7
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That would work, you would still need a power head I reckon and at least fortnightly cleaning of the filter. A test kit is a must and a refractometer for measuring salinity. Do you have ro-di? If you start with good water (not tap) you will find nitrates (and phosphates) easier to deal with...
I will buy ro water. I dont know maybe Ill stick with freshwater....
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #8
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You don't need an ro di unit or ro water at all. I used tap water and bought a tap water conditioner from API that removes chlorine, chlorimates, and heavy metals from the tap water to make it safe for marine fish. Cost less then 10 dollars for a 16 oz bottle. I have a 55 gal fowlr and have never had a fish lost or any water problems.

Hope this helps. Good luck
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #9
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May I ask how old your tank is? What is your phosphates reading?
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:39 AM   #10
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My 55 gal fowlr is 6 months old. I have 50 lbs of live Rock, 40 lbs of live sand , more than enough filtration with a fluval 406 canister filter and hob protein skimmer. I do 20% water changes every two weeks and my water parameters are always right on point. My phosphate reading is 0.03 ppm consistently.
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