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Old 07-09-2007, 03:38 PM   #1
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Converting FW to SW

I currently have 2 75 gallon FW tanks and I'm want to convert one to SW. Currently I have an 8" oscar with 4 silver dollars in one tank and in the other I have a community tank with mollies, guppies, platies and a 3 angles. The community tank is the one I'm thinking about converting to a SW tank.

I've been doing a lot of reading and I've decided to go with the FOWLR tank as this will give me a nice balance and I believe after a while I can expand and move on to a reef like setup. I currently have 2 AC 110's running, a 200w heater, and pool filter sand as the substrate. So far here is my plan and

120lbs rock (70lbs live, 50lbs base)
2 large rubbermaid tubs (for hold premixed SW)
Pool Filter Sand (do I need to clean the sand again)
Standard 48" AGA strip

The question I have so far is:
1) Can I mix the saltwater in the tank, then add the rocks?
2) Should I clean the rocks, if so how? I plan on ordering http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/p...cfm?pCatId=397 unless I can find it cheaper.
3) Will my lighting be enough for now? I want to make sure I get growth on the rocks, and in the future I'll upgrade if I decide to go with a reef setup

I just hoping I'm on the right track.
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Old 07-09-2007, 03:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are on the right track. Just take everything out of which ever tank you are going to convert and If I were you I would use new sand. Too much trash in the old sand. Sand is not that expensive. Just mix good clean RO/DI water with the salt and let it go for a day or two and when you have the proper salinity then add Sand and LR and go ahead and cycle the tank and cure the LR at the same time. Your lighting will be enough for the type tank yopu are planning on.

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Old 07-09-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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You can also save some money by using base rock or lace rock and adding the LR together.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:21 PM   #4
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I don;t know much about saltwater, seeing as how i am just starting out in it, but i'm sure i have read that pool filter sand (silica sand) is not to bee used in saltwater aquaria.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:42 PM   #5
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I read both opinions about the sand and was not sure either way. I'm trying to figure out the steps needed starting from a clean empty tank. So far I have:

1) Fill tank 3/4

2) Add AC 110's and turn on (what media should I use in the filters)

3) Add SW mix to the tank (how do you properly mix the salt and water to get the proper SG. Should I stir with my hand or will the filters do the mixing for me. I plan on using Instant Ocean)

4) Set heater to proper temp

5) Wait a few days to verify water is at proper SG

6) Add sand

7) Add Live Rock/Base Rock

8) Wait for cycle to finish testing for ammonia to drop to 0

9) Do partial water change

10) Add fish

Does this sound right. If not please expand or correct. Steps 1 - 3 I'm not sure about. Would it be best to try to mix it in the tank or mix it in a large rubber tub? I'll probably have to have multiple tubs in order to have enough water to mix for a 75 gallon.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:50 PM   #6
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you're going to need WAY more flow than those 110's are going to produce. I suggest a few powerheads.

Also, filter media isn't needed(i think because it hold nitriates). Live rock rubble in the filters will do fine.

I have been told you need to wait until ammonia and nitrite drop to 0. Then you need to keep your nitrates low.

You can use a refractometer or a hydrometer to test SG, but hydrometers are supposedly innacurate. Refractometer is another thing you should probably invest in. When mixing my salt, i added a cup of it, tested SG, then added another cup, then tested again... and so on...

I think you are trying to keep this cheap. But you are going to have to spen a little money if you want to be sucessful with this tank.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:59 PM   #7
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I know my rocks are going to be my bigest investment at first. Lights sometime down the road maybe. I just want to make sure that I'm spending the money where it needs to be most and reuse what I can, if I can. I was thinking that the AC 110's would do, but I'll invest in powerhead if needed. I looked at the AC 110's Power Heads. I was thinking about 2 of them. Would create enough flow? With the 2 PH, are the filters even needed then? 2 PH and 2 filters, would that be too much flow?
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:14 AM   #8
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I would suggest you invest in a big bucket with wheels to premix your water. It is best to premix your water for at least 24 hours to allow the salt, heat and pH to match your tank. I have a constant 32G bucket of premixed water. I just add the water, salt (you'll get good at guaging how much salt to add to your water after a few times), ph and heater. Some great phs are Maxi-Jet (a strong central flow), SEIOs (a strong, adjustable, varied directional flow) and my personal favorite the Hydor Koralia Water Circulation Pump . I have two of the 2s in my 55g.
On Jason's about the ammonia. You cycle should consist of a spike and declinie in ammonia, a spike and decline of nitrItes and then a spike in nitrAtes. Once there is no ammonia or nitrItes, you do your PWC to reduce your nitrAtes.
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