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Old 11-10-2014, 06:21 PM   #1
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First saltwater tank with absolutely no knowledge of saltwater tanks

Hi everyone i have more freshwater tanks then i can count, and i just got a old 20 gallon tank for 4 dollars that i patched up and cycle using a canister filter from my 100 gallon, doing a little research i realise this is a bit small. right now the tank is freshwater with a baby green spotted puffer. I want to very slowly transition into a succesful full sw tank and i really dont know where to start
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:25 PM   #2
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Welcome to the darkside of aquarium keeping!

I would suggest starting with a larger tank, but that is my opinion. Smaller SW tanks are typically more difficult to maintain and keep balanced than larger systems.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:33 PM   #3
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yea i have read that a lot... but that really just isnt an option hahaha i wish it was, id have a 300gal if i could but i cant do it lol. plus im willing to do more work to accomplish this im very persistent
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:39 PM   #4
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If you are willing to invest the daily work that most likely be required on a smaller tank then you will be fine. The biggest issue you will run into is keeping the parameters in check on a smaller system but it can be done.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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I plan on around a twice a week water change schedule, every 3 days? will this be efficient in the water changing aspect for a small tank?
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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Evaporation will be a bigger issue for you. Smaller tanks will show SG fluctuations faster because of the smaller volume of water. Keeping the tank topped off with freshwater will be important. Once the tank is balanced you wont have to worry too much about the parameters, but you will have to make sure to keep the tank topped off.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:54 PM   #7
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Okay so that means im going to be needing to check the salinity atleast once a day? also im assuming i should switch to some type of sand substrate? and what about lighting and foliage?
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:56 PM   #8
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Lighting depends on what you want to put in the tank. Sand is the preferred substrate for a SW tank. You should look into the article section on this site for starting up a SW tank.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:04 PM   #9
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Okay, i have two more question that is gsp specific as ive tried to look it up and i cant seem to find anything. 1) how much salt should i add into the tank and at what rate? like should i put just a small amount in every week? or month? and 2) what do they like in their tanks? live rock? anything like that?
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:11 PM   #10
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I don't know a lot about GSP. you will need to research that.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BLUEaquarium06 View Post
Okay so that means im going to be needing to check the salinity atleast once a day? also im assuming i should switch to some type of sand substrate? and what about lighting and foliage?
Salinity will stay the same as long as you top off regularly. In a 20g you will need to top off every 2 to 3 days or so on average to keep the salinity stable although this will change based on humidity.

Use an aragonite substrate. Avoid crushed coral like the plague.

Theres not much foliage in salt water, but there are some macro algaes you can grow in a salt tank.
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Okay, i have two more question that is gsp specific as ive tried to look it up and i cant seem to find anything. 1) how much salt should i add into the tank and at what rate? like should i put just a small amount in every week? or month? and 2) what do they like in their tanks? live rock? anything like that?
Green star polyps are pretty bullet proof. Good light, not too much flow, and stable parameters will make it grow like a weed.

The container of salt will have directions to mix it so you won't have to worry about that.
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Old 11-11-2014, 12:53 AM   #12
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I think gsp might mean green spotted puffer in this case not green star polyps but I'm not sure. But +1 to what mebbid said.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:02 AM   #13
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I think gsp might mean green spotted puffer in this case not green star polyps but I'm not sure. But +1 to what mebbid said.
I was wondering that, but the only gsp I was aware of is the green star polyps which is why I typed it out instead of using the acronym
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Old 11-11-2014, 06:17 AM   #14
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Go on YouTube and watch some of the videos by BRS TV. I prefer to see things being done rather than reading about it.


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Old 11-11-2014, 08:07 AM   #15
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Yes I'm sorry I meant green spotted puffer, and I've been doing like non stop research and I think I have most of it down, one more thing I couldn't really find that is more green spotted puffer specific, when is it safe to add love rock to the tank with him? Should I go by salinity alone? Parameters are good
I'll check again Friday when I do a water change but they were all good on Monday

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Old 11-11-2014, 08:30 AM   #16
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Yes I'm sorry I meant green spotted puffer, and I've been doing like non stop research and I think I have most of it down, one more thing I couldn't really find that is more green spotted puffer specific, when is it safe to add love rock to the tank with him? Should I go by salinity alone? Parameters are good
I'll check again Friday when I do a water change but they were all good on Monday

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Spell check, live* "live rock" lol

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Old 11-11-2014, 08:41 AM   #17
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Well, from everything ive heard, green spotted puffers are generally really aggressive towards other fish.

That being said, you start with your rock in the tank, do a fishless cycle, and then add your fish.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:02 AM   #18
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Well, from everything ive heard, green spotted puffers are generally really aggressive towards other fish.

That being said, you start with your rock in the tank, do a fishless cycle, and then add your fish.
Yea i have read that and now im not really planning to put anything else in with him. but right now hes a baby and in freshwater. I want to slowly transition the tank he is in to be a full sw tank with live rocks and everything. so i understand in a normal tank you would make it saltwater and add live rock and cycle and all that good stuff, but im trying to take a cycled fw tank with the puffer in it and slowly transition the tank as a whole into a sw (probably fowlr) over the course of like 2-3 months
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:06 AM   #19
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Yea i have read that and now im not really planning to put anything else in with him. but right now hes a baby and in freshwater. I want to slowly transition the tank he is in to be a full sw tank with live rocks and everything. so i understand in a normal tank you would make it saltwater and add live rock and cycle and all that good stuff, but im trying to take a cycled fw tank with the puffer in it and slowly transition the tank as a whole into a sw (probably fowlr) over the course of like 2-3 months
From everything I understand is that salt water beneficial bacteria is different than fresh water beneficial bacteria. I've been meaning to experiment with it, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I can't give you an answer whether it'd work or not.

Your best bet is to buy the rock and cycle it in a bucket for when it hits a salt water tank salinity level.
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:18 AM   #20
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well thanks ill definitely keep that in mind, Ill keep everyone posted as i attempt to do this. I guess it can be a little experiment if it can be done.
my plan so far was
-begin adding salt this weekend
-also this weekend change the gravel to sand

-2nd weekend add a little more salt

-3rd weekend add more salt
-remove the anachris from the tank

-4th weekend salt
-remove the anubias and just have fake decorations

-5th weekend new lights and of course salt

-6th weekend add more salt
-also add live rock to a bucket?

-7th weekend add live rock to tank

I plan to add around .oo3-.004 salt everyweekend. and hopefully it will stay cycled throughout the entire process
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