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Old 07-14-2014, 12:36 AM   #1
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New to saltwater

I've had fresh water tanks for over 15 years and I'm considering the move to saltwater. I have a 72 gallon bow front and I'm looking to set it up as a FOWLR tank. The tank currently has an emperor 400 and a power head that I would continue to use. I'm planning on adding a protein skimmer, a second heater, and of course live rock. Equipment wise is there anything that I should add to my list?

Can you give me ideas on types of fish that I can house together in this setup? I've found some info on an aggressive tank but limited info on a community tank.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by hobojoe View Post
I've had fresh water tanks for over 15 years and I'm considering the move to saltwater. I have a 72 gallon bow front and I'm looking to set it up as a FOWLR tank. The tank currently has an emperor 400 and a power head that I would continue to use. I'm planning on adding a protein skimmer, a second heater, and of course live rock. Equipment wise is there anything that I should add to my list?

Can you give me ideas on types of fish that I can house together in this setup? I've found some info on an aggressive tank but limited info on a community tank.
For a tank that size, a sump system is highly recommended. Although I don't know how much you can get away with using a HOB skimmer or that emperor 400. But I would imagine that if you go without the sump, it would be a high maintenance tank. In other words, more frequent cleaning would be required. But if you want my recommendation, here's what I suggest as a minimum:

20 Gallon tank long (at least 25% of the 72gal tank)(also set up with a refugium)
Overflow Box (if not already built in the tank)
In Sump Skimmer
Heater (for the sump)
Filter Socks
Return Pump
Sump Lamp
PVC necessary to connect between Sump and Display tank
at least 2 Powerheads for display tank
Lots of LS and LR
I will assume you already have lights for main display tank

This is a general idea of what I would suggest. Now it's a matter of getting the correct equipment for the size of tank you have. And that info will vary greatly in what you are looking for in quality and price.
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tips, I'll have to do some research on sumps. It does look like the turnover rate in a salt is a bit higher than fresh so I might need extra filtration. Instead of adding a canister like I would do for a freshwater tank I can add a sump instead.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:30 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips, I'll have to do some research on sumps. It does look like the turnover rate in a salt is a bit higher than fresh so I might need extra filtration. Instead of adding a canister like I would do for a freshwater tank I can add a sump instead.
No problem, you will find that using the sump system gives you everything that you require. Filter socks and protein skimmer take care of the mechanical filtration, adding carbon to the filter socks or getting a carbon reactor is extra in my opinion, but that can serve as chemical, and finally it's your sand and rock that will provide you with the bio. Good luck.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:13 PM   #5
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type in sumps in our search engine you'll find a lot of good info
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:29 PM   #6
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With a 72 you're not going to be able to keep any large predators. You will be able to keep some cool little fish though. I'm would recommend stocking the tank with reef safe fish just incase you eventually want to add some coral/inverts. Good luck to you. Ask every question you have. It's much easier if you don't mess up lol


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Old 07-14-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
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I doubt I'll change it to a reef tank, but after looking around today I think I do want some cleaner shrimp in the tank. I'm really leaning towards community fish at the moment. The only problem is my LFS has a very limited salt section so I'll have to special order items most likely.

Are there any companies that sell aquariums with the baffles for a sump already installed?
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:21 PM   #8
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After doing more research and talking with some friends I did make my first purchase towards moving to salt water. I ordered a BRS 4 stage RO/DI unit, now I just have to figure out where I'm going to put it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:17 AM   #9
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Good buy! RODI units are super useful. And also, you can easily have glass or acrylic cut and silicone the baffles into a regular tank to make a sump. Much less expensive than a commercial one and you can customize it however you like.


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Old 07-17-2014, 10:44 AM   #10
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Looks like my salt conversion project is going to get slow tracked. I contacted a relative to ask where they purchased everything locally for their tank and to my surprise they offered to give me the setup. So I'll be transporting a fully established 60 gallon cube this weekend if all goes to plan. Any tips on transporting the water? I was going to get 5 gallon buckets but after draining the sump/tank/rock I think I'll end up with a lot of buckets.

The new plan is to get the 60 gallon tank in tip top shape while I setup the 72. Once the 72 is ready to go I plan on moving the fish from the 60 into the 72 then possibly doing corals in the 60.
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