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Old 02-16-2004, 02:59 PM   #1
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FW to SW Need advice

Hello everyone,
I'm new to this forum, I've been in the fish hobby for around six years. I currently have a 75 gallon african cichlid tank and a 65 gallon (high) FW tank. well what I want to do is convert the 65 gallon to a SW FOWLR tank. for the set up I a empeor 400 filter, tronic 250 watt heater, air pump all of which is currently running on the tank. I also have a seaclone 100 protein skimmer and 3 aquaclear powerheads which are not in use but all work. my question is, is this enough to start a SW tank what else in equipment will I need. Also with the live rock I have 2 standard 36" strip lights with a single bulb in each would that be enough for live rock.

also what is a good substrate I would like a sand and crushed coral mix (about 75% sand 25% crushed coral) substrate but my question is I would like something to help me buffer the PH but still be able to purchase some sand sifters that would clean the substrate.

I guess my first step is to buy whatever other equipment I need, then drain out the freshwater, then add water salt and live rock and let it cycle

By the way this is an excellent and well informative site.
I just found it yesterday

Thank you for help.

Gus
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Old 02-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #2
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first welcome to AA!! Now get rid of the air pump. Not normally used in sw. Every thing else looks good, one thing to think about is go with a "reef sand" instead of the cc, no matter how much you mix the sand and cc the cc will work it's way to the top and defeat the purpose of having the sand. I'm no expert and I'm sure one of the experts will correct me if I have told you wrong. Welcome to AA again.
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Old 02-16-2004, 08:25 PM   #3
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Welcome to the board! I would suggest that you check out www.reef-aquarium.net. There is a good bit of info on there for you to look through that will probably answer alot of your questions.

Squishy
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:12 PM   #4
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Re: FW to SW Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gusto
for the set up I a empeor 400 filter, tronic 250 watt heater, air pump all of which is currently running on the tank.
You won't want to use the air pump. It will cause you to have all kinds of problems with salt creep. You can use the Emp 400. If you have at least 1.5lbs per gallon of LR in the tank, you won't want to use the biowheels or filter carts in the Emp. You could use it for circulation and to run carbon occasionally. It will also have some salt creep issues though...just have to clean up after it.

Quote:
I also have a seaclone 100 protein skimmer and 3 aquaclear powerheads which are not in use but all work. my question is, is this enough to start a SW tank what else in equipment will I need.
The Seaclone 100, while it's better than nothing, is not enough for a tank this size. I would suggest an Aqua C Remora Pro with a Mag 3 pump. Other options would be a Berlin HOB with a Mag 7 or a Turboflotor Multi. The Aquaclear powerheads are fine. I would replace them with MaxiJets as they wear out though. The MaxiJets will give you better service than anything else...at least in the affordable range. Even though this isn't a reef tank, you'll want plenty of flow in there...I would shoot for at least 700gph total flow in the tank.


Quote:
Also with the live rock I have 2 standard 36" strip lights with a single bulb in each would that be enough for live rock.
Not really enough IMO. You might be able to keep the LR in it's current condition with these lights, but I think you'll really want to upgrade to either PC's or T-5's. You could set up a 2x96w PC for not a lot of money. You can also get T-5 retro kits reasonably. VHO is an option as well although the ballasts for these lights can get expensive. I would run a 50/50 ratio of white and actinic bulbs. Be sure you get true actinic 03's instead of the 7100k blue bulbs...there is a difference. The extra light should give you good coraline growth and, where coraline is growing, pest algae usually doesn't.

Quote:
also what is a good substrate I would like a sand and crushed coral mix (about 75% sand 25% crushed coral) substrate but my question is I would like something to help me buffer the PH but still be able to purchase some sand sifters that would clean the substrate.
Use either CC or sand. If you mix them, they will separate and it won't look right. Have you thought about using a DSB with this tank? Do a search here on DSB's and read up on them. I would use either a DSB with sugar sized aragonite sand, a shallow sand bed with aragonite sand (1" deep or less), or the CC. If you go with the CC, you'll need to keep it vacuumed out when you do water changes...it's bad about trapping detritus because of the large grain size. The DSB will add diversity to your tank since there are all kinds of critters that live in it. It will also make the change to a reef tank easier in the future should you decide to go that route. The aragonite sand will help buffer the water and stabilize pH.

Quote:
I guess my first step is to buy whatever other equipment I need, then drain out the freshwater, then add water salt and live rock and let it cycle
You're right there. You'll want to get a good hydrometer or refractometer. You'll also need some good SW test kits. Most of us have found Salifert kits to be the best. Seachem kits are good as well. I couldn't really recommend any of the others though. The Tronic heater will do for now. Most of us run two smaller heaters instead of one large one. This is so if one sticks on, it'll take a lot longer to overheat the tank. If one sticks off, the other heater will keep the tank from getting too cold until you can get a replacement. I would look at the Won Pro Heats when it's time to buy a heater. I have found them to be very high quality and easy to use.

Quote:
By the way this is an excellent and well informative site.
I just found it yesterday

Thank you for help.
We're glad you found us. Welcome to AA.com.
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Old 02-16-2004, 10:52 PM   #5
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here is a question about coralline algae. i have many different colors growing in my tank white green purple and red. i really like the red and the purple. is there any way to make the white and the green to stop growing or will they always be growing and trying to take over the rock.
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:19 AM   #6
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hello everyone,
Thank you for all your input,
I guess I should start by upgrading my lights because I dont want to spend a couple of hundred dollars on LR and not have good enough light. so I guess I could start with most of the other equipment and slowly upgrade it as I go along. now can I use the emperor filter like I do for my FW tank or is there a different way to use it for SW.

I guess a DSB is live sand, I looked at arag-alive, is that good sand and can I mix that with any other kind of non-live sand because its expensive.

Thank You again
Gus
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Old 02-17-2004, 12:59 AM   #7
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Getting the lights first would be a good idea IMO. As for the Aragalive, I don't recommend it. Although it's good sand, it's not real "live" sand because it doesn't have the stirring critters in it. It only has the bacteria and that will grow during the cycle anyway. I would look into getting some Southdown or Yardright tropical play sand from Home Depot...shouldn't be a problem on Long Island. I think the HD up there carries it. Then, find some unsuspecting friends who have established reef tanks, sneak up on them, and hit them up for a cup or two of sand from their tank. This will contain the critters you'll need to get the DSB started. If you can get sand from several different tanks, that's even better. I would wait till the tank has cycled before adding the live sand. You can also use some base rock for the foundation of the rock pile and top it off with LR. That will save you some $$.

Warorks,
I'm not sure of any way to control coraline growth with respect to the color of the algae. The red/purple seems to grow in the areas with less light while the green/orange tends to grow better under very bright light. This is what I have noticed in my tanks.
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:33 PM   #8
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hmm i am finding the purple/red all over the high light areas and the white and green in a few spots with low light and high light. i do not know will just have to see who will win the rock. they all look cool. thanks for your help
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Old 02-22-2004, 11:04 PM   #9
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hello everyone,
I'm going to purchase some extra lighting tomorrow ,2 x 96 watt lights and cabinet from ahsupply, will these be good on a 65 gallon high (24" high)and will these be good enough to eventually go to a reef tank . or if anyone has any other suggestions, or If I'm better off getting 2 x 96 watt power compact.

Now I want to set up the FOWLR, then when I get more experience go to
reef . how do I begin the set up and what would be my first steps.

what I want is LR with DSB , the fish I would like to start off with are clown fish, hippo tangs and some cleaner shrimp and crabs. I'm sorry that this is a very open ended question, but I've been reading a few books and keep getting alot of differnet views and also confused on my first steps to take.

also when I use my emperor 400 filter would I use the carbon filters in it.

I still have the same equipment listed above.

Also I've heard alot of different opinions on RO versus tap water. I know RO is better but can I start off with tap water.

Thank You Gus
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