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Old 04-29-2014, 05:15 PM   #1
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Converting FW to FOWLR

I am interested in converting my 29 gallon freshwater fish tank to a FOWLR tank. I am wondering what is the absolute CHEAPEST option for doing this. I am very content housing some clowns and anenomes, and am interested most in budget-minded advice that will keep my fish healthy and happy. I have a light, filter, and the necessities for my freshwater setup. Therefore, I understand that I will need to upgrade the light (but can I just upgrade the bulb?), probably the filter, and will maybe need a skimmer. I do not intend to cut costs that will harm the fish and am basically operating on a $250 budget and want to operate within this if possible.

Thanks!
Rob
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #2
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You don't need a skimmer. You will not be able to have a nem though if you don't have a reef capable lightin system. With that budget it seems that you won't be able to. You will need rock, aragonite based sand, salt mix, heater, filter, refractometer and I feel I'm forgetting something but can't remember
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:37 PM   #3
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I have a heater and filter that handle my freshwater needs, will this not be sufficient for Saltwater?
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:40 PM   #4
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They should be fine, I just wouldn't run the filter with a sponge as it can become a nitrate trap if not cleaned properly.
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20 Gallon Long Dart Frogs "Zig" and "Zag"
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:40 PM   #5
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so then subtracting those from the total cost, is my $250 budget do-able?
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Old 04-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #6
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Lets see ill give a rough estimate off the top of my head
Rock-base rock at $2 a pound=$60
Sand=$20
Salt mix=$20
Refractometer=$40-50
Rodi from lfs=$0.50/gallon=$15 to start
Powerheads=$40-50
Total=$215 w/o livestock, those are just rough numbers and I may be forgetting something
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:54 PM   #7
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The above post looks good to me, but that puts you nearly at your budget before you've even looked at lighting. It's really difficult to do things on the cheap in this hobby - if you didn't eat to keep nems this may be doable. It's not recommended to keep anemones in the first instance anyway, so let your system mature for a year or so then upgrade the lighting then try the nems...
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:55 PM   #8
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Oh and do t forget test kits, that can be another. $60
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:08 PM   #9
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having a QT tank is almost a necessity. It's very important to have that setup for having a sick fish, I'd hate to lose a fish that cost $50+. And yes, a test kit, the API liquid one, dont waste money on the strips. Very inaccurate.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:28 PM   #10
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Id skip the api test kit and get better ones. I use red sea test kits, they are very accurate.
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